“It shaped my entire career. I gained a promotion on the back of doing the Fellowship and continued to benefit from the knowledge learnt and the advantage it gave me on my CV.” 

- Carl Bradford, 1997 Fellow

The SPAB’s William Morris Craft Fellowship was founded in 1987. This unique annual scheme is designed to broaden the skills and experience of craftspeople from any trade who work in the repair of historic buildings. The programme gives Fellows the chance to travel countrywide together and learn on site from specialist craftspeople, architects and contractors working in building conservation.


Three or four Fellowships are awarded each year, depending on funding. There is no course fee and Fellows will receive a bursary in the region of £6000 to cover basic travel and living costs. Supplementary finance is usually required. CITB grant funding may also be available for employers registered with CITB at least 12 months prior to the Fellowship programme.


The majority of the programme is undertaken through visits guided by experts, with support from an SPAB mentor. There are no formal lectures or submissions, though Fellows make periodic verbal reports and keep a programme notebook. The six-month programme is divided into three blocks of two months, enabling Fellows to return to work between blocks. Running between March and December, the programme is full-time and intensive (including some weekends), so it is not possible to combine blocks with work or other forms of study. In the first two blocks, Fellows experience traditional materials, skills and repair techniques in workshops and through a range of site visits, arranged by the SPAB. The third block is tailored to the individual interests and training needs of each Fellow.

The SPAB favours a hands-on approach, giving Fellows chance to develop their skills in their own craft and to try others, such as timber framing, thatching, blacksmithing, pargeting, flint knapping and stone masonry. On site, Fellows are encouraged to debate traditional building construction, causes of decay, repair techniques and use of materials. Fellows will from time to time travel with the SPAB Scholars (architects, surveyors and structural engineers).

Please note that the offer of a SPAB Fellowship is subject to the applicant providing evidence of their right to live and work in the UK. The SPAB cannot guarantee that it will be able to sponsor any applicants with their visa applications. Applicants should first consider their eligibility for a UK visa, information can be found on the government website.

Get involved

Current fellows

Our 2019 Fellows are:

  • Sean Henderson, a stonemason with Mattias Garn
  • Luke O'Hanlon, a stonemason with Cadw
  • Sam Matthams,  a carpenter/joiner from Essex
  • Matt Wilson, a bricklayer from London
How to apply for the Fellowship

Craftspeople in any trade employed in the repair of historic buildings - on site or in the workshop - are eligible to apply. We are now accepting applications for the 2020 SPAB Fellowship. Download more information and an application form. The closing date is 1 December 2019.


Support the Fellowship

The SPAB is grateful to all donors and sponsors who support the Fellowship programme and make it possible for us to continue offering this unique, hands-on learning experience. The Fellowship was founded to ensure the continuation of building craft skills and with the important aim of training the next generation of craftspeople to look after old buildings. Please consider supporting the Fellowship.

Interested in hosting the Scholars and Fellows? Contact us



We are grateful to the supporters that make the Fellowship programme possible.