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Historic Building workshop, Traditional vernacular building construction and materials, Knightshayes, Tiverton, Devon – POSTPONED

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Historic Building workshop, Traditional vernacular building construction and materials, Knightshayes, Tiverton, Devon – POSTPONED

June 11, 2020, 09:00 - 17:00

Historic Building workshop – POSTPONED, NEW DATE TO FOLLOW

Traditional vernacular building construction and materials

Image result for knightshayes

Date:Thursday 11 June 2020

When: 0900 – 1700

Where: Tiverton Golf Club followed by Knightshayes Court

Cost:  £125.00 plus VAT (£150.00) to include seminar proceedings, all refreshments, lunch, entrance to Knightshayes and comprehensive delegate pack

The day’s course will consider in depth the following aspects of historic building conservation and the care and repair of the heritage.

  • The local pallet of historic building materials. These including brick, stone, flint, timber, thatch and tile.
  • The more prestigious materials such as decorative plasterwork and glass.
  • The methods of selection and use of materials, identification of causes of failure and the selection of appropriate repair and conservation systems will all be considered.

The afternoon will be spent on a visit to Knightshayes Court.

The local pallet of traditional materials.

The use of stone and flint in the region was not just confined to the grand buildings and churches but was also used for a variety of ordinary domestic and vernacular buildings. Timber framing was also important in the medieval period but during the 16th century good building timber became scarce in the region. In the late medieval period the region saw some of the earliest use of brick in the country. After the 16th century brick became the most abundant local building material and was used for both the prestigious houses and the smaller domestic buildings. Water reed for thatching roofs was readily available from the reed beds of the wetland areas of the region. However for the more prestigious buildings clay tile was the preferred roofing material and again appeared quite early in the region. Glass for glazing windows became more available at the end of the 16th century though was expensive.

Care and Repair

The first important stage of the process of repair is to identify the sources which have caused the problems of decay to occur; these must be resolved before the building can be repaired.  It is also important to understand the nature and function of historic materials and the dangers of the use of modern products which may not be as flexible or vapour permeable as the original materials.  The use of inappropriate mortars can result in the rapid deterioration of historic masonry and long term structural problems. Many of the problems with historic structures are due to lack of maintenance and water ingress. The most appropriate methods of repair will be considered, not only for aesthetic reasons, but to ensure the correct performance and durability of the new work. 

A brief history of Knightshayes

The house was built by Sir John Heathcoat Amory, the grandson of John Heathcoat, creator of the mechanised bobbin lace making machine and owner of a lace factory in Tiverton.
The foundation stone was laid in 1869, but it was not until 1873 that the elaborate interior designs were completed. William Burges, designer of Knightshayes, had a rocky relationship with the family and was fired half way through the project, leaving his imaginative vision incomplete.
Burges was replaced by another reputable designer, John Dibblee Crace, who turned out to be another ill-fated choice. Much of Crace’s work was covered up by the family, but later restored by the Trust.


Kevin Stubbs BA(Hons)  DipBldgCons(AA)  IHBC   CertEd

Kevin Stubbs is a Historic Buildings Consultant and comes with a background of education, archaeology and building conservation. He was Director of Archaeology for the Test Valley in Hampshire and later moved to Hampshire County Council to join the Historic Buildings Bureau, where he became the Principal Buildings Conservation Officer for the County. For eleven years he acted as the Director of a Conservation Centre and now runs his own Historic Building Consultancy and Training Company.

He advises on the repair and maintenance of all historic structures and provides training at all levels for the building conservation industry.  This includes the development of historic building technology, traditional materials and hands-on craft training.  Work for Local Government Authorities includes Conservation Area appraisals, historic building condition surveys and feasibility studies.  He has provided training exercises with local communities to raise awareness of their village plans and local heritage interpretation documents and he has provided Traditional Skills Awareness Courses for a number of bodies.

He undertakes the Historic Analysis of buildings and produces: Statements of Significance; Method Statements; Impact Assessments and Specifications for the repair and conservation of traditional buildings.

He lectures for various CPD providers, Universities and national building conservation organizations including SPAB, RICS and the Weald and Downland Museum.  Topics include: Bricks and Mortar; Lime, Plasters and Renders; Cob and Earth, Timber Frame and Stone Structures and Traditional Roofing.

The day will include formal Power Point presentations, material handling sessions and first hand observations of the building.

Bookings can be made below


Tiverton Golf Club
Post Hill,
Tiverton, Devon EX16 4NE

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