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Heritage Skills in Action

This project is part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas. The project is being delivered through the Northwest Development Agency, with Defra as the managing authority.

for more information go to the EU Commission's rural development website

North of England Civic Trust in partnership with Churches Trust for Cumbria has been successful in securing funding for the Heritage Skills in Action (HSA) programme from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas.

The HSA programme followed on from the success of the Heritage Skills Initiative and consisted of three elements – a master class training course for contractors to undertake the repairs on a historic/traditional building, lecture/walk and talks and heritage craft taster days for young people.

We undertook master classes at St Cuthberts Church Dufton, St Giles Church, Gt Orton and Kirklinton Hall. Walk and talk/lectures also took place at the same sites. A brief report about these events can be seen further down this page.

Heritage Craft Taster days took place in Stone Carving, Wood carving and blacksmithing. Some photos can be seen in the gallery below.

This programme of events has now come to an end, but keep checking our website for further Cumbria Skills events in the near future. Join the mailing list by emailing to be the first to find out about new events.

These training events are FREE to attend. To book on these events, please email or call 0191 232 9279 with your: name, email address, mobile (or best contact for the day of the event) number, occupation and employer, home and work postcodes and date of birth, as well as confirmation that you posses the appropriate skill level if you are booking on the master class.

The RDPE and DEFRA logos
Churches Trust for Cumbria Logo

Photos of recent events

Kirklinton Hall: 28 October - 2 November 2012

The second of the Heritage Skills in Action events took place on 28th October – 2nd November. The event began with Pieter Rol, Architectural Consultant, taking the delegates on a walk and talk around Kirklinton Hall, discussing the history of the building and the architectural details that can still be seen. Pieter also divulged information regarding future plans of Kirklinton Hall.

The afternoon saw the beginning of the Building with Lime masterclass. James Innerdale, Conservation Architect, began the day with an explanation of working with lime and discussed the principles of conservation philosophy. Clive Taylor, builder, then took over the masterclass and works on the chimney stack began. The delegates climbed the 50ft scaffold to re-point the chimney. Once that was complete the masterclass delegates took on the task of clearing the rubble on the site and solving the puzzle of the fallen chimney. Some exciting discoveries were made along the way... a staircase into the cellar and a Victorian fireplace with all the tiles still intact.

The Heritage Skills in Action Project is part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas.

St Giles Church, Great Orton: 1st - 5th October 2012

The Heritage Skills in Action programme is in full swing and the first events took place last week at St Giles church, Great Orton. The week started with a walk and talk around St Giles church lead by John Little of Askins & Little and Alistair McGregor of Johnston & Wright Architects. The walk and talk looked at what makes the building special, its history, problems and issues.

The lime pointing masterclass delivered by Askins and Little then began on the south wall of the church. Over the five days the attendees learnt how to work with an architect’s specification, produce test panels, safely remove cement mortar, understood why lime is used, how to mix and apply lime mortars and the aftercare needed. The attendees of the masterclass also had a go at some banker stone masonry.