Discoveries, Repairs and Structural Solutions at the Old House Project

Structural Solutions and External Repairs at the Old House Project

A unique on-site CPD event

The tutors were very knowledgeable and helpful, I got to network with like-minded people in a beautiful setting.

08/05/2024 - 08/05/2024
Course Type: 


Intermediate CPD, Advanced CPD
SPAB Old House Project
Boarley Lane,
United Kingdom

£165 including lunch

Event details

Wednesday 8 May 2024, 9.30am - 4.45pm

If you work in building conservation, have you ever wanted the chance to peel back the layers on someone else's repair project and reveal the thinking behind each step?

As the exterior repairs at our Old House Project come to an end, join us for this one-off day of CPD exploring the SPAB Approach in action on our most challenging repair project to date.

You’ll hear from key specialists involved in this award-winning repair project, including the lead architect, structural engineer, project manager, contractor, and specialist craftspeople. Through talks, discussions and demonstrations, you’ll get an unvarnished view of the challenges they faced, the considerations they juggled, and the sometimes-unconventional solutions they adopted to bring this Grade II* listed ‘building at risk’ back to life.

Whether you’re an architect, engineer, surveyor or other professional, you should end the day with fresh connections, new ideas, and learnings you can take forward on projects of your own.

Who is this course for?

This one-day course is perfect for building conservation specialists, including architects, engineers and building surveyors.

You will learn

  • The key principles of the SPAB Approach to building conservation, with real-world case studies to show what this looks like in practice.
  • How specialist appraisals, investigations and monitoring systems can be used to develop low-intervention structural recommendations.
  • The approaches you can take to develop design solutions that are sensitive to both the building’s historic fabric and the needs of its future occupants.
  • The different repair options that may be available to you on a project like this, and how to collaborate with other professionals and specialist craftspeople to put them into practice.



Registration at the Hospitium, Boxley Abbey


Introductory talk by Matthew Slocombe, SPAB Director


  • The background to the Old House Project

  • How the SPAB Approach has shaped our decision process

  • Challenges and lessons learned


Presentation by Andy Beardsley, Terra Measurement


Learn how 3D capture of the Old House Project has been used throughout the project so far to understand, detail and carry out the external repairs.


West Wall Structural Challenges and Solutions: a case study by structural engineer Ed Morton


In 2019 we discovered that the 15th century west wall had not been adequately tied to the original structure when it was relocated during an earlier extension, which had resulted in movement over time.  Passively propping the stonework allowed us to access the site whilst monitoring movement. In this session, Ed Morton explains our approach to:

  • Structural issues

  • Appraisals and investigations

  • Stabilisation solutions


Tea and coffee break


East End Discovery and Response: a case study by architect Mal Fryer and structural engineer Ed Morton


In 2023 we discovered a medieval door behind the east end chimney and decided to relocate the doorway to its original location. In this session, Mal Fryer and Ed Morton will explain how this decision was reached and its impact on the project, including:

  • Philosophical issues raised

  • Structural challenges and solutions

  • Planning and decision-making process

  • Design adjustments

  • Timber and masonry repairs

  • New additions, including seasoned oak doors


Window Repairs: a case study by glazier Rob Croudace and contractor Robin Dukes of Owlsworth IJP


When we first acquired the Old House Project in 2018 the windows were in very poor condition. We considered installing simple, modern float glass as an honest repair, but finally took the decision to follow the 1890 treatment, championing traditional glazing craft skills and glass production methods. In this session, Rob Croudace and Robin Dukes explain this approach and tell us more about how the project’s architect, glazier, stonemason and joiner collaborated to achieve the intended result.


Q&A and discussion session, led by OId House Project Manager Jonny Garlick


Lunch (provided)


Walk to Old House Project site


Participants will be split into three groups and guided around three areas on rotation, hearing from the specialists involved and seeing live demonstrations.


  • West Wall

  • East End

  • Windows, Stonework, Timber Repairs


Tea and coffee with talk by Jonny Garlick at the lime kiln


Guided talks continue


Final Q&A and discussion

4.45 - 5pm  

End of course

You will need

  • Please wear overalls or working clothes and sturdy (flat, enclosed) footwear, ideally steel toe-capped boots. All other PPE is provided.
  • If you wish to take notes, please bring writing materials.
  • We recommend you wear warm layers and bring waterproofs in case of rain. 

Practical information

  • The nearest train station is Maidstone East, which is a 10-minute taxi ride away.
  • Parking is available on site.
  • A light lunch will be provided. Please indicate any dietary requirements in the booking form.
  • Portaloos and handwashing facilities are available on site.


Andy Beardsley, Director, Terra Measurement

Andy Beardsley is a surveyor specialising in geospatial surveying and 3D visualisation. Passionate about helping heritage sites benefit from the 3D digital age, he has supported our work at a number of sites including Kibworth Harcourt Mill and the Old House Project. Andy is a SPAB Guardian on the Technical and Research Committee. 

Rob Croudace, glazier

Rob Croudace specialises in the repair, design and installation of traditional glazing including leaded and stained glass. Working with period homes and listed buildings, he is passionate about the use of appropriate glazing and other materials to complement the existing building fabric. 

Robin Dukes, Director, Owlsworth IJP

Robin Dukes is the Chair of Owlsworth IJP’s and has been a director of the company for over 30 years. He has led on notable projects including the Tower of London and Windsor Castle and sits on the SPAB's Technical & Research Committee as a SPAB Guardian.

Malcolm Fryer, architect

Malcolm Fryer is an architect and SPAB Scholar with more than 20 years’ experience working in historic building conservation in the UK. He established his own practice, Malcolm Fryer Architects, in 2013, sits on the Conservation Advisory Committee of the Churches Conservation Trust, and teaches in the UK and abroad.

Jonny Garlick, Special Operations Manager, the SPAB

Special Operations Manager and 1996 SPAB Scholar, Jonathan Garlick, is a chartered building surveyor who project manages the SPAB’s repair projects and leads on the Old House Project. 

Ed Morton, engineer

Ed Morton is the Managing Director of The Morton Partnership, a civil and structural engineering company renowned for its conservation work. Ed is a CARE-accredited engineer with over 30 years’ experience working on historic buildings, including Canterbury Cathedral, York Minster, Westminster Abbey and many National Trust and English Heritage properties. 

Paul Sellwood, Mills Manager, Owlsworth IJP

Paul Sellwood is Owlsworth IJP’s longest serving employee and has extensive experience as a carpenter, joiner and millwright. He has recently been working on timber frame repairs at the Old House Project.

Matthew Slocombe, Director, the SPAB

Matthew Slocombe is Director of the SPAB and Secretary of the Joint Committee of the National Amenity Societies (JCNAS). He has served on various government steering groups concerned with heritage strategy and planning law and is author of the Shire book of Traditional Building Materials.

Jim Whitbread, stonemason

Having left a corporate career to retrain as a stonemason, Jim Whitbread won the Building Crafts College Sir Banister Fletcher Student of the Year award in 2019.  He has since worked for Owlsworth IJP on several high-profile conservation projects, where he has continued to develop his craft under the mentorship of John Lister.   


This course is recognised by the IHBC for Continuing Professional Development (CPD).  


Please note that this is a working site and construction work will be in progress throughout the day.

  • Visitors will need to take care as they tour the site.
  • The ground is uneven in places.
  • Seating will be limited.
  • The building and surrounding area is dusty and muddy in places.
  • There may be loud construction work happening.

Anything we can do to make this event more accessible for you? Please email

We may take photos or videos at this event to be used in future promotion, including in print and online.

All bookings are subject to our Terms and Conditions.

Image credit: The Old House Project © Rachel Stoplar

Getting here