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Traditional building skills and building conservation courses

27 November 2017

Place Services at Essex County Council runs a Traditional Building Skills and Conservation Courses and Lectures programme.

The programme, now in its 21st year, is delivered by leading craftsmen and experts in their fields, and is aimed at conservation and building professionals, contractors, general builders, the owners and managers of historic buildings and sites, as well as interested amateurs and enthusiasts.

Over the last three years, there has been a revival of interest in the use of hot mixed lime mortars and we’re very pleased to be able to offer a one-day hot lime workshop delivered by Nigel Copsey, one of England’s leading stonemasons and lime/earth mortar experts. The course will enable trainees to gain a practical understanding of its use for conservation and repair.

Another highlight of our 2017/18 programme will be a one-day conference on the Forests of Essex,  to be held in memory of Oliver Rackham who contributed so much to our understanding of forests, woods and trees in Essex. Key national speakers include Professor Tom Williamson and Professor Charles Watkins, who will be joined by local experts to explore the cultural and natural heritage of our forests, and their understanding and future management.

Our popular one, two and three-day ‘hands-on’ courses are back helping to raise awareness of the importance of the protection of historic buildings and the most appropriate methods and techniques to conserve them. As well as our workshop at Cressing Temple Barns, our venues for practical courses this year will include Stock Windmill, Essex, Little Wenham Hall in Suffolk, and the magnificent walled garden at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire.

Our CPD programme is recognised by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation and is a great way to gain new insights and knowledge, whilst supporting your professional development. New subjects for 2017/18 include investigating and remedying dampness and timber decay,  historic paint work,  and the management of Conservation Areas.

Please check the courses page for a full list of courses and dates.

Financial assistance

Ongoing support for the programme from City & Country means we are able to continue to offer our bursary scheme, which provides the opportunity for suitable applicants to acquire experience of craft building techniques.
Bursaries are available to trainees, self-employed workers and anyone who is embarking on a career in traditional building skills. For further details email