Scholars and Fellows start conservation tour

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We are delighted to announce that, after a year’s delay, the newest SPAB Scholars and Fellows have begun their prestigious training programmes with us. Over the next six months they will travel together to develop a practical understanding of traditional buildings by visiting sites and craft workshops across the UK. 

Scholars and Fellows, left to right: Toby Slater, Tom Skinner, Amy Redman, Thom Taylor, Lucy Newport, Libby Watts, Oli Beatson


The programme is a unique opportunity for a talented group of craftspeople, architects, surveyors and engineers to gain hands-on experience of building conservation, learning from leading specialists and craftspeople working in traditional ways. 


Last year our annual learning schemes were deferred due to the pandemic. As Covid-19 restrictions started to lift recently, the groups began a delayed but intensive programme.  


Their first few weeks have entailed outdoor work; soft capping, wall head repairs, repointing and stone repair on site in Devon; thatching in Somerset; brickmaking in Suffolk; and timber framing in Herefordshire; hosted by past Scholars and Fellows, and new and old hosts alike. The Covid-19 situation and risks are being be kept under review, alongside government advice and regulations.  

South Huish Soft capping church repairs in South Huish, Devon with Simon Cartlidge


Our 2020-21 Scholars are: Lucy Newport, structural engineer; Amy Redman, architect; and Libby Watts, architect. 
Our 2020-21 Fellows are: Oli Beatson, carpenter; Thom Taylor, bell founder and conservator; Tom Skinner, conservation builder; and Toby Slater, carpenter, who will also be undertaking millwright training. 


Past SPAB Scholars and Fellows are among the today’s leading conservation experts, caring for many of the most significant buildings in the UK and abroad. 


We would be grateful to hear of any building conservation projects on site between June – December 2021 that may be interesting for our Scholars and Fellows to visit. Please email course organisers Pip Soodeen and Catharine Bull with any suggestions:;  


Read more about the Scholarship and Fellowship schemes.

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