An Introduction to Letter Cutting in Stone

 Registration is closed for this event
A practical two-day course, presented by the SPAB in association with the National Trust, introducing the art of letter cutting in stone led by award-winning carver Thomas Ball and sculptor Rory Young. FULLY BOOKED - please join the waiting list

An Introduction to Letter Cutting in Stone

6 - 7 May 2022
Heritage Skills Centre, Coleshill Home Farm (National Trust), Coleshill, near Swindon, SN6 7PT
£395 per person

FULLY BOOKED - please join the waiting list

Suitable for all levels, our experienced and friendly craft tutors, award-winning carver Thomas Ball and sculptor Rory Young, will guide you through the various processes within a small group setting, starting with drawing letters and setting out. There will also be various talks within the course to understand a little more about the traditions of the craft. There will be an opportunity to create a small plaque and participants are asked to come prepared with a word they would like to cut as part of their individual project. 

This course will appeal to anyone with an interest in letter cutting, either as an introduction to the craft or those wishing to extend their skills and understanding further.  

Spaces are limited - advance booking is recommended.


The SPAB is an IHBC recognised CPD provider and attendance certificates for CPD are available on request. 


This a is a two-day course. Refreshments and lunch are provided.  Accommodation is not included.    



Day 1, 6 May 2022
09:30  Registration
  Welcome + Health & Safety briefing
10:15  Introduction to drawing letters and the importance of form A
10:45  Drawing practice and setting out
- practical workshop
12:30  Lunch and an opportunity to study practical examples
13:15  Drawing practice continued
14:00  Hands-on letter cutting practice on stone and slate
15:00  Refreshment break
15:15  Hands-on practice continued
16:15  The process of setting out on stone
17:00  Individual project
- setting out on stone
17:45  Visit to Coleshill Church to study examples
18:30  Close


Day 2, 7 May 2022
09:15  Registration
09:30  Individual project
- session one
11:00  Refreshment break
11:15  Individual project
- session two
12:45  Lunch
13:30  Individual project
- session three
15:00  Refreshment break
15:30  Individual project
- session four
17:00  Carving useful and beautiful letters in stone - working in a long tradition
18:00  Close


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): 
The course will take place in a workshop. Delegates should wear suitable clothing and sturdy footwear. PPE (hi viz, goggles, gloves) and all tools and materials will be provided. Delegates are welcome to bring their own goggles and gloves if they wish. 


Please contact the SPAB before booking to discuss any special access requirements.



Thomas Ball - carver and letter cutter in wood and stone
Thomas is a freelance carver specialising in restoration carving and letter cutting in wood and stone. Originally training as a technician illustrator and model maker, Tom then moved his focus to carving and studied historic carving at City and Guilds of London Art School. Now working as a tutor at the School, Tom continues to run his own workshop taking on private commissions as well as working alongside some of the country's top restoration companies. Tom has recently been awarded the Master Crafts Certificate by the Worshipful Company of Joiner and Ceilers.

Rory Young - designer, stone carver and repairer of historic buildings
Rory has been designing inscriptions and cutting letters in stone and slate for over 40 years, always in conjunction with statue carving for cathedrals and churches, stonemasonry, repairing historic buildings, teaching and lecturing. Rory’s work is in Westminster Abbey, the Guards Chapel, St. George's Bloomsbury, Carlisle Cathedral, the Chapel of the Dukes of Beaufort and parishes churches.


COVID-19 Health and Safety Measures: We ask all delegates to bring and wear their own mask during the workshop. Hand washing stations and hand sanitiser will be available. Our measures are subject to change in accordance with Government guidelines. 


Booking Terms & Conditions


Image of course tutor Rory Young 


6th May 2022 9:30 AM through 7th May 2022 6:00 PM
Heritage Skills Centre
Coleshill Home Farm
Coleshill, near Swindon, SN6 7PT
United Kingdom
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Event Fee(s)
Per Person £395.00