About Us

19 May 2016

Apprentices set the bar high at competition

A pair of Historic Environment Scotland apprentice stonemasons had a strong showing at a three-day skills challenge.

Conservation work on rock with a chisel

Two Historic Environment Scotland apprentice stonemasons took part in a three day skills competition challenge, held at the City of Glasgow College, last weekend.

Drawn from Forth Valley College and the Elgin Stonemasonry Training Facility, the Historic Environment Scotland and private contractor apprentices joined other aspiring stonemasons from Edinburgh’s Telford College and the City of Glasgow College for the yearly team-based competition. Each college team – made up of two apprentice stonemasons – were tasked with constructing stone benched seating.

Supplied with only a drawing and the stone for the challenge, each team from the four colleges went head-to-head as part of the competition. The apprentices had sixteen hours to complete their benches, showcasing a range of skills along the way, including, working to technical drawings, cutting the stone to exact specifications, construction and team working.

At the end of the competition the judges named apprentices Gregor Alcorn of Historic Environment Scotland and Alex Hill of Masonry and Lime, who formed the Elgin team, second place winners overall. Whilst Historic Environment Scotland’s Jack Suthers and Danny Downie from Boyles Stonemasonry, who together made up the Forth Valley College team, picked up the fourth place prize in this year’s competition.

Stephen Townsend, Traditional Skills Officer at Historic Environment Scotland, said: “Now in its seventh year, the Scottish National Stonemasonry Competition is a great opportunity for our apprentices to put their skills and knowledge to the test. All of the finished stone benches were of a very high quality and the competition was extremely close on the day.

“Our apprentices tackled the challenge with great enthusiasm and we’re pleased with their achievements at this year’s competition.”

Edinburgh’s Telford College took first place and the City of Glasgow College claimed third place in the 2016 competition.

The four finished stone-built benches will be donated to a number of different Scottish charities and worthwhile causes.

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

  • As of the 1st October 2015, Historic Scotland and RCAHMS came together to form a new lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. The new body Historic Environment Scotland (HES) will lead on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time.
  • Historic Scotland is a sub brand of HES.
  • View our press pack and keep up to date by registering for media release email alerts. If you wish to unsubscribe, please contact us.

Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016

2016 is the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design (IAD). Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland's position as an "innovation nation", its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector. This is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland and supported by a variety of partners.

Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016

Follow Historic Environment Scotland

Twitter: @HistEnvScot | @welovehistory 

Facebook: @HistoricEnvScotland @VisitHistoricScotland


For further information

Grant Thomson
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Direct Line: 0131 668 8603
Mobile: 07580 702 611