Part of Historic Environment Scotland

Stone conservation

Examine the use of stone as a key element of Scotland’s historic built environment, from prehistory to the present day.



Our Advanced Diploma prospectus contains information about all our short courses:

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10 weeks


9 September - 18 November 2019

Study time

Taught:13 days


As a stand-alone short course:£1080


Looking for a related qualification? Learn about our Accredited Diploma that can be taken part-time or full time.

Explore Diploma course
A group learning about stone inside a workshop, looking at different stone types and equipment


Learn about the variety of traditional Scottish structures built from stone. From simple walling or structural materials, to surface finishes, flooring, paving, and monumental or ornamental purposes.

What you will learn

You will get an overview of stone's fundamental physical properties, including natural weathering and decay processes, and its resilience to man-made damage and interference.

Learn conservation repair principles and how to carry out appropriate repairs, from initial survey and diagnosis, through to specification, procurement and on-site installation.

Discover how to use petrographic analysis in the specification and procurement process, and learn about stone matching in order to source appropriate replacement material for a repair project.

You will also examine all stages of a stone repair project, and get an overview of traditional methods as well the latest techniques in repair and restoration, emphasising standards of best practice, appropriate skills training and current Health & Safety issues.

Topics covered

  • Stone in Scotland
  • Building stone types
  • Use of stone in construction
  • Mechanisms of stone decay
  • Stone matching
  • Petrographic lab work
  • Approaches to stone repair and conservation
  • Undertaking repair works
  • Stone repair treatments
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Course content

Short courses offer the opportunity to learn about building conservation through lectures, workshops and site visits.

Classes, lectures and presentations

Students benefit from attending classes and lectures taught by national and international experts. Forthcoming lectures are to be confirmed.

Previous speakers have included:

  • Luis Albornoz-Parra (British Geological Survey)
  • Ewan Hyslop, Head of Technical Research and Science (Historic Environment Scotland)
  • Callum Graham, Laboratory Scientist (Historic Environment Scotland)
  • Charles Jones, Technical Conservation Skills Project Manager (Historic Environment Scotland)
  • Johnnie Clarke, Works Manager (Historic Environment Scotland)

Hands-on workshop/lab activities

Students are often offered the opportunity to take part in hands-on workshops or lab activities as part some short courses.

On this short course, you can participate in workshops on:

  • stone dressing
  • petrographic analysis and stone matching

Potential site visits

Students have the opportunity to participate in site visits. These vary from one year to another.

Previous site visits for this course have included:


Although our short courses are not formally assessed, students will be awarded a certificate upon successfully completing this course.

A formal qualification can be obtained by studying our Advanced Professional Diploma on Technical Building Conservation.

What our students say