This paper deals with results of preliminary analysis to determine the bending strength of approximately 150 year old oak timber obtained from structural elements used in construction. The test procedures were those specified in the PN-EN 408 standard. The experiments involved subjecting specimens to four-point static loading using three different loading rates: 5, 7 and 10 mm/min. The specimens were sampled from full-size timber beams. The experimental data revealed that after such a long period of use the structural oak timber elements had retained high strength. The failure mode and the behaviour of the beams during tests were dependent on the location of wood defects as well as the rate of deflection gain in time.