Building Conservation Masterclasses

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Building Conservation Masterclasses

The programme of Building Conservation Masterclasses (BCMs) at West Dean provides training in technical and practical skills in the repair and maintenance of historic structures. These intensive short courses have been designed by, and are delivered by, leading practitioners in the field of building conservation.

The unique ruinette at West Dean on which students can practise conservation and repair techniques is a purpose-built indoor structure exhibiting many of the problems found on historic buildings.

Aimed at those who need to develop practical skills and those who need to understand, specify and supervise these skills; the BCMs are relevant for craftsmen, conservators, conservation officers, architects, surveyors, planners, construction managers, specifiers, specialist contractors and archaeologists. The Professional Development Diploma can be achieved through the successful completion of 10 BCMs and the submission of a final essay. West Dean’s building conservation programme has its origins in the work of English Heritage. The organisation’s training base at Fort Brockhurst in Hampshire was transferred to West Dean in 1997.

Attendees are drawn from all over the world and on many courses at least a third of the participants are from overseas.


The Drake Trust has generously provided a number of bursaries for those attending the Building Conservation Masterclasses. For more information please contact or 01243 818219.

View the New Conservation Short Course flipbook here

2014 Courses

20-23 January
Specifying Conservation Works
Course code: BC3D183
Course leader: Malcolm Starr

3-6 February
Conservation and Repair of Architectural and Structural Metalwork
Course code: BC3D184
Course leader: Geoff Wallis

31 March-3 April
Stone Masonry: Conservation of architectural detail and surfaces
Course code: BC3D185
Course leader: David Odgers
Principal tutor: Colin Burns

14-17 April
Conservation and Repair of Plasters and Renders
Course code: BC3D186
Course leader: Graham Abrey
Principal tutor: Colin Burns

28 April-1 May
The Structural Repair of Historic Buildings
Course code: BC3D187
Course leader: Ian Hume
Principal tutor: Terry Girdler

6-9 May
Conservation and Repair of Brick and Flint Masonry
Course code: BC3D188
Course leader: Graham Abrey
Principal tutor: Colin Burns

12-15 May
Managing Wildlife and working with bats on Historic Monuments
Course code: BC3D189
Course leader: Alan Cathersides
Principal tutor: Vince Giavarini

2-5 June
Practice and Theory: Managing Change in Historic Buildings
Course code: BC3D190
Course leader: Helen Hughes

9-12 June
Conservation and Repair of Timber
Course code: BC3D191
Course leader: Richard Harris
Principal tutor: Peter McCurdy

15-18 July
Conservation and Repair of Masonry Ruins

Course code: BC3D192
Course leader: Graham Abrey
Principal tutor: Colin Burns

15-18 September
Conservation and Repair of Stone Masonry
Course code: BC3D194
Course leader: Graham Abrey
Principal tutor: Colin Burns

29 September-2 October
Conservation of Historic Concrete
Course code: BC3D195
Course leader: Catherine Croft
Principal tutor: Andrew Coxall

6-9 October
Masonry Cleaning
Course code: BC3D193
Course leader: David Odgers
Principal tutor: Brian Klelund

27-30 October
Mortars for Repair and Conservation
Course code: BC3D196
Course leader: Colin Burns
Principal tutor: Catherine Woolfitt

ENQUIRIES: Liz Campbell
Telephone: +44 (0) 1243 818219

How to Find Us

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West Dean College and Gardens are situated in South East England, six miles north of the historic city of Chichester and 12 miles from the south coast.

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