Repair of Old Buildings Course

Repair of Old Buildings Course

20/05/2024 - 24/05/2024
Course Type: 
Repair of Old Buildings Course


Intermediate, Advanced
Museum of the Home (formerly Geffrye museum)
Kingsland Road,
United Kingdom


Event details

This popular short course has been presented by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings since the 1950s. Run over five days, this course delivers an intensive programme of lectures and visits to building repair projects. It runs twice a year - in the spring and the autumn.

Presented by leading building conservation professionals, the Repair Course considers British and international approaches to the conservation of old buildings.  The SPAB philosophy of repair and maintenance - established by William Morris in 1877 - underpins the course programme of case studies, presentations and site visits.


Who is it For?

The course welcomes students and professionals interested in deepening their understanding of old buildings, and who may be interested in developing work in this area.

Past delegates on this course have included:


Architectural Technologists;


Building Surveyors;

Buildings Archaeologists;

Conservation Officers and Planners;

Craftsmen and women;

Project Officers and Managers;

Structural Engineers and others.


Not sure if the course is suitable for you? Contact us at, 020 7377 1644 and we will be happy to give you a steer.


What will be Covered?

The Repair Course offers a five day programme of lectures and site visits. The course delivers three days (Monday, Tuesday and Friday) of presentations by practicing building conservation professionals and SPAB staff. The first day focuses on approach, with lectures on conservation philosophy, legislation, traditional construction methods and materials, structural appraisals, and lime. Day two starts with a talk on dealing with damp and then moves onto look at practical repairs to different materials in more depth , including brickwork and stonework, timber, metalwork, and roofs. The final day of the course looks at the finishing touches; inserting and maintaining services, windows and glass, plasterwork and other surface finishes. Speakers draw on their own practical experience and use case studies to illustrate their points.

From churches to stately homes and historical gems, two days of the course (Wednesday and Thursday) are dedicated to visiting buildings under repair in London and further afield. Previous visits have included the Tower of London, Bletchley Park, Ely Cathedral, Hampton Court Palace, Royal Hospital Chelsea, Winchester Cathedral and Wilton's Music Hall. These visits are a key part of the course, allowing delegates to see how the principles discussed in the lectures are applied, or not, in the real world.

Importantly, the course provides an opportunity to meet like-minded professionals to share information and experiences with. There is plenty of time for questions and discussion as part of the programme.

Accommodation and meals are not included within the course fee. Refreshments will be available during lecture days and lunch will be provided on site visit days. 

For a sample of the course programme, download the PROGRAMME OVERVIEW from the May 2023 Repair Course. 



There is no formal assessment for this course; delegates will receive a Certificate of Attendance upon completion.

The Repair of Old Buildings Course is recognised by the IHBC for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and the RIBA for Career Learning.


Required Equipment

Steel toe capped boots for site visits



Please contact us before booking a place to discuss any special access requirements:, 020 7377 1644


Repair Course Bursary

We are delighted to be able to offer a small number of partial and fully-funded places on this year's Repair Course.

To apply for a bursary please send a CV and cover letter by email to before the deadline of Friday 22nd March.

Anyone can apply for a bursary, but priority will be given to students, people who are unemployed or self-employed, and those needing financial assistance to support their attendance. The SPAB is committed to eliminating discrimination and encouraging diversity in the sector. We particularly welcome applications by people from backgrounds underrepresented in building conservation.  We cannot provide support toward travel, accommodation or subsistence. Bursaries will be offered as partial or full funding of the course cost.

Bursary places are made possible thanks to the Donald and Patricia Marsh Fund.

Please contact us if you would like more details.


Booking Terms & Conditions

Accessibility: please contact the SPAB before booking to discuss any special access requirements.

Getting here