A timber roof truss is a structural framework of timbers designed to bridge the space above a room and to provide support for a roof. Trusses usually occur at regular intervals, linked by longitudinal timbers such as purlins. The space between each truss is known as a bay.
Timber roof trusses were a medieval development. Earlier roofs had been supported by coupled rafters – pairs of rafters linked by horizontal beams. But such roofs were structurally weak, and lacking any longitudinal support were prone to racking, a collapse resulting from horizontal movement.