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Traditional building crafts cover a wide range of skills and techniques employed in the construction and maintenance of buildings, particularly those with historic or cultural significance. Many of these crafts have been passed down through generations and are crucial for the preservation of architectural heritage. Here are some categories of traditional building crafts:


  1. Stone Carving: Detailed carving work for architectural elements such as capitals, friezes, and facades.
  2. Stone Masonry: Construction and repair of stone walls, buildings, and other structures.
  3. Bricklaying: Traditional methods of laying bricks for walls, arches, and other structures.
  4. Tuckpointing: The practice of repairing mortar joints in stone or brick masonry.


  1. Carpentry: Skills involved in constructing timber frames, doors, and furniture.
  2. Joinery: Specialized woodworking techniques for joining pieces of wood, particularly in the construction of corners, frames, and complex structures.
  3. Cabinetmaking: The crafting of detailed wooden furniture like cabinets, dressers, and built-ins.
  4. Wood Carving: Sculpting intricate designs in wood, often for decorative elements like friezes or moldings.


  1. Thatching: The traditional craft of building roofs with dry vegetation such as straw, water reed, or rushes.
  2. Slate and Tile Roofing: Installing and repairing slate or clay tile roofs.
  3. Leadwork: Working with lead sheets in roofing and cladding, often found in historic buildings.
  4. Shingling: Using wooden shingles to create a roof or side walls.


  1. Lime Plastering: Application and repair of traditional lime plasters.
  2. Stucco: Creating decorative coatings for walls and ceilings.
  3. Fresco: The art of painting on wet plaster.


  1. Blacksmithing: Forging iron and steel to create gates, railings, and architectural fittings.
  2. Bronze Casting: Creating decorative elements like statues and door hardware.
  3. Sheet Metal Work: Crafting elements like guttering, downspouts, and decorative facades.


  1. Stained Glass: Designing, creating, and restoring stained glass windows.
  2. Glass Blowing: For light fixtures, windowpanes, and other functional or decorative elements.

Floor Covering

  1. Terrazzo: Creating floors from chips of marble or granite set in concrete.
  2. Tiling: Laying ceramic, clay, or stone tiles on floors and walls.
  3. Wood Flooring: Installing and repairing traditional wooden floors.

Painting & Decorating

  1. Gilding: Application of fine gold leaf or powder to solid surfaces such as wood, stone, or metal.
  2. Faux Finishing: Paint techniques that replicate the appearance of materials like marble, wood, or stone.
  3. Mural Painting: Creating large-scale art directly on walls.

Other Specialized Crafts

  1. Dry Stone Walling: Building walls without the use of mortar.
  2. Rush and Cane Seating: Traditional techniques for creating seating surfaces for chairs.
  3. Sgraffito: A technique of wall decor, produced by applying layers of plaster tinted in contrasting colors.

Various guilds, organizations, and educational institutions work to preserve and promote these traditional crafts, ensuring that the skills are passed down to future generations.