Tuesday-Friday 18-21 August 2020

A window into the world of Craftsmanship as expressed through a rural Estate in Fife committed to sustainability, and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, founded by William Morris in 1877 with the strong support of John Ruskin

This is a collaboration between the Centre for Stewardship and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB). It is also supported by Ruskin’s Guild of St George (founded in 1871), the Art Workers’ Guild (founded in 1884) and the Building Limes Forum.


Beginning in 2016, the Centre for Stewardship has initiated a series of Craft Symposia, in August, of which this is the fifth. The Symposia have from the beginning been supported by the SPAB and have included the participation of the Society’s William Morris Craft Fellows and the SPAB Scholars who are generally architects, building surveyors or engineers. They have also been generously supported by Historic Environment Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland.

Previous Symposia have included a mix of serious intellectual discourse with practical craft activities covering different fields every year. The traditional buildings materials of Britain (stone, earth, brick, plaster, timber, thatch, glass) and the skills associated with them such as how to produce and use lime for the all-important purposes of pointing, plastering or harling, and decoration.

This year the Crafts Symposium is perforce a virtual event but we hope that it will have some of the flavour of previous symposia in combining thoughtful reflections across the materials and skills with contributions from craftspeople working in various fields as well as from conservation professionals and historians.

Each session will begin at 2.00 p.m. and last for approximately an hour and a half. There will be a Convener who will give a short introduction, then two speakers, and a twenty-minute session at the end. The Convener will advise how questions and comments can be submitted, and allow up to ten minutes after each speaker has spoken. The timings will be strictly adhered to but with some leeway at the end of sessions.

All sessions will begin promptly at 2.00 p.m. so please arrive 5-10 minutes before. Sessions will be held on Zoom and are free to attend.

Donations are most welcome, £5.00 suggested, to be paid to SPAB but will be shared between the two participating organisations.

Find out more about the lectures hosted each day: