Visit a Place

Historic Bricks and Tiles

Wednesday 5 June 2024

Multiple venues

Enthusiast, Professional
Quite technical

Scotland has long been perceived to be a country built of stone. Yet, recent research shows brick and other clay products like terra cotta, faience and tiles have contributed significantly to our historic built environment.

The three morning talks will explore how fired earth products have contributed to Scotland’s buildings for centuries and how these materials can be repaired and conserved.

The sessions begin with a broad overview of of brick clay products, their material characteristics and the development of industrial production in the 19th century. We will then discuss how bricks and tiles were used in a range of Scottish buildings, their physical properties and variable abilities to withstand weathering and decay processes.

We will consider the repair process stages, review traditional and current repair, restoration and cleaning techniques, and discuss sustainable sourcing of replacement materials.

A networking lunch will provide you with the opportunity to continue discussions and explore the Engine Shed.

In the afternoon, there will be a guided visit to the nearby Stirlingshire village of Cambusbarron where the speakers will discuss a range of brick conservation issues surrounding the converted 19th-century mill structures.

Learning outcomes

You will:

  • discover how fired earth products such as brick, terra cotta and clay tiles were used in a wide range of traditional Scottish buildings over many centuries
  • understand the basic principles and techniques underpinning best practice in repair and conservation of traditional brickwork
  • understand the challenges of repairing and conserving historic wall and floor tiles, including mosaics


  • Gordon Urquhart, Postgraduate Course Manager, Historic Environment Scotland
  • Dr Moses Jenkins, Sector Skills Manager, Historic Environment Scotland
  • Darren McLean, Conservation practitioner and Cardiff University lecturer

Wednesday 5 June 2024


£75.00 - full day learning session (in person)
In person ticket includes lunch and refreshments, and a walking tour of Cambusbarron mills in the afternoon.

Refreshments will be provided on arrival and lunch will be catered. Please contact our events team with any special dietary requirements.



£45.00 - morning session (virtual attendance)
A virtual ticket to the morning learning session.


Engine Shed

Get directions

Dietary Requirements

  • Refreshments will be provided on arrival and lunch will be catered. Please contact our events team with any special dietary requirements.

Afternoon Site Visit

  • Walking will be required on the afternoon tour, so please wear suitable footwear and dress appropriately for seasonal weather as the tour will go ahead even if wet.

Cancellation and Refunds

  • Visit Historic Environment Scotland's Consumer Terms Site for information on our cancellation and refund policy.