This large timber framed shed is for teaching stonemasonry. It needed to be open-air due to the dusty nature of the work, whilst also allowing the students to work in bad weather. The structure is a simple, traditionally pegged and braced timber frame, constructed of painted softwood. The posts are on sandstone bases and there is a sandstone plinth on three sides to provide shelter. This versatile timber framed shed is well lit, spacious, and provides the perfect learning environment for the stonemasonry apprentices.
The Building Craft Apprenticeship Programme
Every year, the Prince’s Foundation runs a Building Craft Apprenticeship Programme at Dumfries House, in Ayrshire. The course is designed for craftspeople looking to bridge the gap between basic qualifications and becoming a master craftsperson. The students spend the first three weeks taking part in drawing classes, geometry and structure exercises, and architectural tours. Then they start the 10-week ‘Live Build’, where they are able to put their craftsmanship into practice. Following this, the apprentices then move on to placements with master craftspeople working on traditional projects across the UK.
Jonny trained on this course in 2011, and went on to become the timber framing tutor for the next five years. As well as timber framing and stonemasonry, the course teaches traditional lime plastering, thatching and blacksmithing.
Dumfries House was famously saved by Prince Charles in 2007, and has since become a hub for learning. Jonny has worked on a number of landscape structures on the estate, including the Peach House, the Woodland Shelter, and several bridges. He also built the Farm Education Centre. where school children come to learn about farming.