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Timberwatch Scotland Campaign

The Timberwatch Scotland campaign aims to raise awareness, improve protection and seek support for the investigation of historic timbers in Scotland’s built heritage. The campaign is led by Scotland’s only two archaeo-dendrochronologists, Dr Coralie Mills of Dendrochronicle and Dr Anne Crone of AOC Archaeology.

As their recently published Timberwatch Scotland article shows, there is very little uptake of dendrochronology or related investigation of historic timberwork in Scotland, few conditions are ever placed upon timbers impacted by repairs or development here, and there is no central funding or support for dendrochronology – in stark contrast to the much better support in England and most European and Scandinavian countries. We are grateful to the Native Woodlands Discussion Group ( for publishing our article.

The article includes a Timberwatch Scotland campaign email address for anyone wishing to assist with the campaign, or contact its leaders.

If you would like to read an accessible introduction to dendrochronology, then a free resource funded and published by Forestry and Land Scotland is a good place to start – it is downloadable from a link given within this brief blog on Coralie Mills’ website.

The blog also gives access to some Scottish dendrochronology case studies.

(8 March 2021)


Working from Home in the Vernacular Period

Recording of (most of) the Working from Home in the Vernacular Period conference (20th November 2020) is now available on the Events page.

(9 January 2021)

  Wester Acre Dyke  


The SVBWG AGM will be held on Tuesday 8 December at 2pm, on Zoom.

(5 December 2020)

  Former RC Chapel  

Vernacular Building 43 - out now

The latest issue includes the following articles:

  • Alex Gibbons, Priorslynn Bothy, Canonbie
  • Jenni Morrision, Fluthers Cottage, Earlston
  • Niamh Ni Shúilleabháin, Archbald Moffat House, Moffat
  • Niall A Logan, Little Bruach-caoruinn, Stirlingshire: surviving afforestation and harvesting
  • Geoffrey Stell, Early flatting in Scotland, part 2: evaluating the parallels and explanations
  • Barry O'Reilly, Vernacular architecture in Ireland: developing a strategy

Find out more on the Publications page.

(15 November 2020)

  Vernacular Building 43  

SVBWG conference: 'Working from Home in the Vernacular Period'

The Scottish Vernacular Buildings Working Group is holding an online conference from 7-9 pm on Friday 20th November.

It will focus on some of the kinds of buildings that people worked in, or from, and how their ways of life influenced the design and character of those buildings. There will be five short presentations followed by discussion:

  1. Geoff Timmins: England’s handloom weavers’ cottages: working and living conditions.
  2. Mark Watson: Where are the weavers’ windows? Hand loom shops in the Scottish linen and cotton industries.
  3. Richard Bebb: The Welsh Cegin - Work, Rest and Play.
  4. Hannah Kingsbury: A Farmer-miner landscape: Cowhouses and the practice of smallholdings in Castle Bolton (Lower Wensleydale, North Riding).
  5. Linda Fitzpatrick: Home from the Sea: living and working in Scottish fisher housing.

The conference is free of charge and is open to all those interested – it is not restricted to SVBWG members. You are welcome to forward this invitation to others.

Please book your place by emailing Niall Logan You will then receive a confirmation email containing the Zoom link for the conference.

(1 November 2020)

  Wester Acre Dyke  

Interpreting Buildings: AGM and Annual Conference 2020

Please note that in the light of updated Scottish Government advice regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19), we have taken the decision to POSTPONE this meeting. Members will be informed in due course when it is possible to rearrange it.

The following event: Hills Tower, Dumfries, Saturday 13th June, 11 am-3 pm; a joint visit with Cumbria Vernacular Buildings Group to this restored 16th-century, square towerhouse with adjoining 18th-century house, courtyard and gatehouse HAS ALSO BEEN POSTPONED and members will be informed in due course when it is possible to rearrange it.

The following event HAS BEEN CANCELLED: Talks and Walks in Linlithgow, Saturday 27th June 10.30-mid afternoon; with talks on local history and the High Street, and tours of High Street and Linlithgow Palace. This is a Scottish Local History Forum event, with which SVBWG is associated. Please see the flier for more details.

(29 March 2020)


Macarthurs Store Dunbar


Vernacular Building 42 - out now

The latest issue includes the following articles:

  • John G Harrison, Archival evidence and urban vernacular houses
  • Geoffrey Stell, Early flatting in Scotland, part 1: documentary and physical evidence
  • Niall A Logan, ‘In the defuncts merchand buith’: 16th- and 17th-century merchants’ premises
  • Mark Cranston, A history of the brick and tile manufacturing industry of Scotland
  • Paul Bishop, A rural water mill in Baldernock, East Dunbartonshire

Find out more on the Publications page.

(2 February 2020)

  Vernacular Building 42  

SVBWG and Cumbria Vernacular Buildings Group joint event

Vernacular Buildings of the Debateable Lands

Find out what effect the Border troubles had on the built environment.

Saturday 8th June 10.00-16.00

Meet Alex Gibbons at Canonbie Village Hall DG14 0UX. Cost £10; tea and coffee provided, but bring a packed lunch.

Places are restricted, so please register with Niall Logan at: or write to Prof. Niall A Logan, Wester Acredyke, Balmore, Glasgow G64 4AF (Tel. 07885 815256).

(26 May 2019)


SVBWG AGM and Conference 2019

This will be held on Thursday 2nd May 2019 in the Scottish Storytelling Centre, John Knox House, High Street, Edinburgh, starting at 10am. The title of the conference is 'The Urban Vernacular'; there will be talks in the morning and a walking tour of the Royal Mile in the afternoon.

Full details and bookings are now available on the Events page.

(31 March 2019)

  Canongate, Edinburgh  

Vernacular Building 41 - out now

The latest issue includes articles on Auchindrain at 50; early farmhouse construction in the western lowlands; Arran watermills; Edinburgh doocots; masons' marks at Douglaston doocot, Milngavie; Cullen House icehouse; and Hermits & Termits, an 18th-century urban villa in Edinburgh.

Find out more on the Publications page.

(22 October 2018)

  Vernacular Building 41  

Industrial Archaeology Conference, Caithness 2018

SVBWG is pleased to announce details of a conference in Caithness from 22-27 June, organised jointly with the Scottish Industrial Heritage Society and Historic Environment Scotland.

This conference includes talks, tours and site visits in and around Caithness, with options starting and finishing in Inverness and a day in Orkney. Full details and a booking form are now available on the Events page.

(25 February 2018)


Follow SVBWG on Twitter

SVBWG is now on Twitter - so spread the word! Get involved, share your photos, take part in events, and find out what people are saying about Scotland's vernacular buildings.

(28 January 2018)

  Twitter logos  

Annual Conference - October 2017

The SVBWG AGM and Conference will be held in Edinburgh on Thursday 5th October 2017.

The conference theme will be Investigation and Conservation. Full details are now available on the Events page.

(17 September 2017)

  Tiree, Balevullin, Creag Chrom  

Vernacular Building 40 - out now

Vernacular Building 40 is now available.

Find out more on the Publications page.

(17 September 2017)

  Vernacular Building 39  

New SVBWG website launched

We've completely redesigned our website. As well as a brand new look and feel, we've added more information on what we do and how you can get involved, along with other ways of exploring Scotland's vernacular buildings.

We hope you like it, but let us know what you think!

Email your comments to

(14 August 2017)

  Berneray, Laimrig Ruadh  
  Twitter iconSVBWG, National Museums of Scotland, c/o D Kidd, Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF
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