Castle Bromwich Working Party

Castle Bromwich Working Party

Was just a lovely way to spend my time, with like-minded people, being outdoors and doing something worthwhile.

Date: 
22/06/2024 - 23/06/2024
REF: 

HH3 24

Audience: 
General interest
Location: 
Castle Bromwich Hall and Gardens
Chester Road,
B36 9BT, Birmingham
United Kingdom
Price: 

£120 

Event details

Saturday 22 - Sunday 23 June, 10am - 4.30pm

Get hands-on experience with historic brickwork in the beautiful grounds of Castle Bromwich. You'll spend the weekend repairing a garden wall with leading brick experts including Lynn and Myles Mathias and Kate Longworth. 

Our Working Parties are a unique opportunity to have a go at conservation techniques on real historic buildings, under the expert supervision of world-class specialists. 

As well as getting stuck into brick cleaning and replacement, lime mixes and mortars, and raking out and repointing, you’ll also be helping the Castle Bromwich Hall Garden Charitable Trust keep this 18th century walled garden open and accessible to the public. 

Camping is not available on site and participants will need to arrange their own accommodation if they wish to stay overnight.

Who is this for?

Our Working Parties are for everyone! We welcome anyone with an interest in old buildings and a desire to get their hands dirty, so whether you’re an old hand on the tools or you’ve never picked up a trowel before, you’ll be among friends here. 

This Working Party will be particularly focused on brickwork, so whether you’re a builder working in modern brickwork who wants to make the switch to conservation techniques, a conservation professional or enthusiast just looking to understand this vital material better, this weekend should be perfect for you. 

This is also perfect for locals who want to help Castle Bromwich Hall Garden Charitable Trust keep this beautiful garden open for all to enjoy. If you live locally and become a regular volunteer, the charity might be able to subsidise your course fee. To find out more, please email Glynis cbhallgardens@gmail.com, or call her on 0121 749 4100 before booking. 

You will learn 

You’ll get to have a go at: 

  • Cleaning historic brickwork 
  • Preparing appropriate lime mortar mixes 
  • Carrying out mortar repairs and repointing 
  • Replacing defective bricks with suitable substitutes 

Programme

This programme is subject to minor changes.  

Saturday 22 June 2024 

10am Arrival and registration
10.15am Health and Safety briefing 
10.30am Introductory talk about the walled garden 
11am Tea and coffee break
11.15am Demonstrations and hands-on practical work
1pm

Lunch - please bring a packed lunch or buy onsite at the Courtyard Cafe

2pm Demonstrations and hands-on practical work
3pm Tea and coffee break
4pm Clean tools and tidy site
4.30pm  End of first day

Sunday 23 June 2024

10am Arrival and registration
10.15am Health and Safety briefing 
10.30am Demonstrations and hands-on practical work
11am Tea and coffee break
11.15am Demonstrations and hands-on practical work
1pm

Lunch - please bring a packed lunch or buy onsite at the Courtyard Cafe

2pm Demonstrations and hands-on practical work
3pm Tea and coffee break
4pm Clean tools and tidy site
4.30pm  End of Working Party

Demonstrations and hands-on practical work 

In each demonstration and work session, you'll be divided into smaller groups where you'll try out: 

  • Mixing and preparing lime mortar 
  • Raking out old mortar to the correct depth 
  • Repointing raked-out joints 
  • Removing defective bricks and replacing them with appropriate substitutions 

You will need 

You will need to wear overalls or working clothes you don't mind getting dirty, and flat, enclosed footwear, ideally steel toe-capped boots.  

If you can, please bring your own gloves, safety goggles and masks. All other PPE is provided.    

We will mostly be outside, so we recommend you wear warm layers and bring waterproofs in case of rain. 

Tutors

Lead Tutors 

Lynn Mathias is a brick and flint specialist, a SPAB Guardian and founder of Mathias Restoration Ltd. He has worked in the conservation sector for over 30 years and teaches at West Dean College. Lynn has taught many of our brickwork and flint courses sits on our Education and Training Committee.  
  
Myles Mathias is Lynn's son and has been repairing historic buildings for six years since leaving school. He has a City and Guilds qualification in brickwork and regularly assists at SPAB Working Parties.  

Kate Longworth is a self-employed conservation bricklayer who completed the Prince’s Foundation Building Craft Programme in 2022 before becoming a SPAB Fellow the following year. She has worked on a range of projects with Lynn Mathias and is currently based at Hampton Court Palace, where she is working with brick specialist Emma Simpson. 

Assistant Tutors 

Lewis Hobbs is a 2023 Scholar and Part II Architectural Assistant with Birmingham-based Oliver Architects. Lewis has been involved with a number of projects on behalf of the Castle Bromwich Historic Garden Trust. 

James “Oz” Osborne is a 2023 SPAB Fellow and conservation blacksmith based in Shrewsbury who established his own workshop, Z Forge, in 2021 after a number of years working for a large conservation company in London. During his Fellowship, Oz particularly enjoyed learning more about how closely linked his work is to brick and stone.  

Accessibility

The conditions on this working party are likely to include:

  • There is total or partial step-free access. Wheelchairs are available to use.  
  • People note there are uneven surfaces and gravel paths, and some are on a slope. 
  • The work will involve significant periods of kneeling so you may wish to wear knee pads or bring a suitable kneeler cushion. 

Anything we can do to make this event more accessible for you? Please email education@spab.org.uk.


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

Photo credit: Castle Bromwich Hall Garden Wall © Lewis Hobbes 

Getting here