Traditional Building Skills

The continued use of traditional materials, such as stone, slate and lime mortar, in the repair and maintenance of historic buildings is of vital importance to maintaining and managing Scotland’s stock of traditional (pre-1919) buildings. These traditional materials, and the skills and techniques required in their use, also provide a valuable connection to our past and inspiration for future employment.

Changes in construction materials and techniques since the end of World War I, have resulted in a serious decline in the skills used to construct and maintain historic structures. The scale and significance of this skills shortage has been highlighted in Historic Environment Scotland’s 2009 audit of Scottish traditional building skills and it’s related 2011 strategy.

Following the success of traditional building skills workshops delivered as part of past projects, most recently through the Tay Landscape Partnership (2014-18), the Trust is continuing to develop and provide new training projects and roadshows. The training programme recognises the potential for significant social and economic benefits for academically disengaged and disadvantaged people to experience traditional building skills in a practical working environment. It also targets an acknowledged skills gap in the building sector and difficulties in creating pathways between the school curriculum and industry.

The objective is to create opportunities for young people to actively experience traditional building skills and give them the tools and practical understanding to make an informed decision about their own abilities and future career options, whilst creating and developing links between schools and interested young people, and potential employers and colleges.

Traditional Building Skills Courses 2021: Inspiring Futures
Lime and Masonry at Murray Royal Walled Garden
Lime and Masonry with Castle Huntly Prison
Traditional Building Skills Roadshows
Training and Traditional Lime: Demonstration Video

Explore some of our project-based traditional building skills training initiatives…

Explore a selection of the Trust's boat building projects aimed at raising awareness of regional rivercraft heritage and pass on skills knowledge to future generations.

The Tay Landscape Partnership (TayLP) was a £2.6 million initiative, led by Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust and Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust to celebrate the cultural and natural heritage of the inner Tay estuary.

A project focusing on the Historic Churchyards of Eastern Perthshire, conserving structures, improving management and engaging with local communities to celebrate these remarkable repositories of religious and secular life.

A project to conserve bridges and promote the history of General Wade and the 18th Century military road network in Perth and Kinross.

An exciting project inspired by the 3,000 year old Carpow vessel to build a Bronze Age log-boat using replica tools and techniques.

COVID-19 Operations Statement

Trust staff are largely home-working until further notice. Please note contractors/deliveries requiring access to Lower City Mills should arrange with a member of staff. We continue to deliver many of our projects and services, however, some work has been postponed or redesigned. Please ensure all enquiries are directed to staff via email as monitoring of office telephones, and mail, is reduced.

General enquiries can still be made using the Contact Us page.