The Building Craft Workshop Series 2015

The Spelt Barn, The Old Dairy, Upton-Upon-Severn, Worcestershire, WR8 0SN


















The Traditional Building Craft Workshop Series is our 14 weekend programme aimed at Craftspeople, Professionals, Homeowners and Enthusiasts who want to gain practical experience in Vernacular Building Crafts.


"A category of architecture based on local needs, construction materials and reflecting local traditions. It tends to evolve over time to reflect the environmental, cultural, technological, economic, and historical context in which it exists."


Workshop participants will create a vernacular demonstration building from the ground up, using local materials and traditional techniques, lead by a group of experienced craftspeople who are all associated with the prestigious William Morris Craft Fellowship, Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and The Prince's Foundation Building Craft Apprenticeship.


The Course aims to address the shortfall of skills and knowledge in the care and repair of vernacular buildings, and to inspire participants to be able to understand, demand and achieve a a high level of Craftsmanship in the sympathetic repair of traditional buildings.  It is also hoped that the course will inspire others to build their own new build vernacular structures...


The Workshop Series is designed so that participants are able to take seperate workshops, however, those seeking a career in historic building repair or traditional building crafts are encouraged to undertake the full workshop series for an holistic understanding of how traditional buildings function from the ground up.


For more information, please do not hesitate to CONTACT US.




Course Outline


Introduction to Project / Lecture on Vernacular Architecture - 2nd May

  • Induction

  • History & Regional Variances of Vernacular Buildings in the UK

  • Vernacular Buildings in the UK today

  • Introduction to Vernacular Building Design and Philosophy

  • Introduction to Demonstration Building


Earth & Lime Mortared Stone - 3rd/4th May

Eoin Madigan, Madigan Stonemasonry, County Clare, Ireland

  • Introduction to Lime

    • Lime Cycle

    • Small scale Lime Burn

    • Slaking

    • Hot Mixing

  • Earth & Marl Based Mortars

  • Creating Mortar Mixes


Timber Framing #1 - Creating Crucks - 9th/10th May

  • Introduction to Timber Framing

    • Timber selection

    • Historic Frame Types

    • Traditional Jointing Techniques

  • Roundwood Timber Framing & Scribed Joints x 3 (Crucks)


Timber Framing #2- Traditional Timber Conversion - 16th/17th May

Rob Ley, Mud & Stud, Lincolnshire, UK

  • Hewing

  • Pit Sawing

  • Wedge Splitting


Timber Framing #3 – Creating Cross Frames - 23rd/24th May

Tom & Peter Massey, Dolman Conservation, Kent, UK

  • Mortice & Tenon Joints

  • Lapped Joints


Weekend Off! - 30th/31st May


Strawbale & Light Straw Clay - 6th/7th June

Jeffery Hart, Jeffery the Natural Builder, London, UK

  • Building with Strawbales

  • Light Straw Clay Infill


Earth Building UK Conference, Errol Scotland (Not Included) - 13th/14th June

  • A week of Earth Building workshops and a Conference Day

  • For more information, please visit


Weekend Off! - 20th/21st June


Cob Building - 27th / 28th June

Alex Gibbons, UnEarthed Traditional Building Crafts, Worcestershire, UK

  • Building a Cob Wall

  • Locally Sourcing & Mixing Appropriate Earth

  • Different Mixing & Application Techniques


Wattle and Daub - 4th / 5th July

Rob Ley (Mud & Stud) & Alex Gibbons (UnEarthed)

  • Locally sourcing, Splitting & Installating Staves & Withies

  • Locally Sourcing, Mixing & Applying Daub


Roof Framing - 11th/12th July

Tom & Peter Massey

  • Slip Mortice & Tenons

  • Birdsmouth Joints


Weekend Off! - 18th/19th July


Thatching #1 - 25th/26th July

Simon Glauert, Complete Thatch, Somerset, UK

  • Introduction to Thatching

    • Materials

    • Regional Variances

  • Eave Line

  • Coat Work


Earth & Lime Plasters #1 - 1st/2nd August

Jeffery Hart & Alex Gibbons

  • Substrate Preparation

  • Locally Sourcing & Mixing

  • Earth & Lime Base Plasters


Earth & Lime Plasters #2 - 8th/9th August

Jeffery Hart & Alex Gibbons

  • Substrate Preparation

  • Sourcing & Mixing

  • Earth & Lime Finish Coats


Earth Floors15th/16th August

Jeffery Hart & Alex Gibbons

  • Prep

  • Sourcing & Mixing

  • Base Pour

  • Finish Pour


Thatching #2 - August 22nd/23rd

Simon Glauert, Complete Thatch, Somerset, UK

  • Ridging


Earth & Lime Paints - August 29th (1 Day Course - £95)

Jeffery Hart & Alex Gibbons

  • Lime Washes

  • Homemade Clay Paints


Presentation/Open House/Cob Oven Pizza Party *Free Entry*- August 30th (Bank Holiday Weekend)





Price for full Building Craft Workshop Series:     £1950

(Working out at equivalent of 4 FREE Workshops)


Price for Individual Weekend Workshops:        £195



(Numbers are limited to 8 for each Workshop, so please book early to avoid disappointment!)


All courses include lunch provided on site, as well as tea, coffee and snacks throughout the day.

Please advise when booking of any dietary requirements...


Booking is now OPEN!


Please send completed booking form to


To reserve your place on any of the above workshops, you'll need to fill out the booking form and  pay a 10% Deposit, which you can do securely through paypal using the links above. 

Alternatively, you can do it the old fashioned way by sending a cheque to:


unearthed building

sunnyside farm

old road south



wr5 3nj


Call 07871 690605 if you need more information





There is a range of accommodation options available locally.  A few options are given here with a variety of price ranges, but lots more are available...


The Marlbank Inn - B&B and Camping (5 Mins)

Marlbank Road,Welland, Malvern,Worcestershire, WR13 6NA
01684 310603


Bramble Berry - Bell Tent 'Glamping'  (3 Mins)

Clives Fruit Farm, Upper Hook Road, Upton upon Severn, Worcestershire, WR8 0SA
01684 439707


The Firs - Yurt 'Glamping'  (2 Mins)

The Firs, Morton Green, Welland, Malvern, Worcestershire, WR13 6LR

01684 310736


Berrow House Bunkhouse (15 Mins)

Berrow House, Hollybush, Ledbury, HR8 1ET

01531 635845


The Old Plough B&B (7 Mins)

Longdon, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, GL20 6AT

01684 833767


The Chestnuts B&B (10 Mins)

The Chestnuts, Gilberts End, Hanley Castle, Worcestershire,WR8 0AS

01684 311219


The White Lion Hotel (3 Mins)

21 High Street, Upton upon Severn, Worcestershire, WR8 0HJ

01684 592551



The Hilton Puckrup Hall Hotel (14 Mins)

Puckrup, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire GL20 6EL

01684 296200


Upton Upon Severn is the closest town (Approx 3 mins), but the beautiful spa town of Malvern is with 10 minutes as well.  For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Getting Here

All Workshops will be held at:


The Spelt Barn

The Old Dairy

Welland Road





The site is quite rural, but is well served by public transport, as detailed below...


By Road

Junction 1 of the M50 is only 10 minutes away.


Come off at Junction 1 of the M50, and turn right on the roundabout on the A38 towards Worcester.  In approximately 3 miles, take a left turn towards Upton-Upon-Severn on the A4104.  Drive into Upton, crossing the bridge, and take a left at the mini roundabout into the town centre.  Go along the main street, and stay on the A4104 out the other side of the town.  Approximately 2 miles outside of Upton-Upon-Severn, you drive past a group of brick barns on the right, with a derelict farm opposite.  DO NOT turn into the Woodworking School, but take the small entrance after this, which will be clearly marked for the Traditional Building Craft Workshop Series. 


If you have any problems finding it, please call Alex on 07871 690605.


By Train

The nearest railway station is Great Malvern, which has direct lines to London Paddington, Birmingham and Cardiff.  We can arrange to pick you up from there!


Please get in touch if you need any more help in how to get here!