Learn a new skill: Timber framing from scratch workshops

If you like discovering how timber frame buildings were made you will love our timber framing from scratch workshops, as they take you from the raw timber to the “reared-up” carcass of a structure.

timber frames







Learning from the past is at the heart of the Museum’s course programme. In terms of timber framing this is made possible due to the Museum’s Collection, which contains a large number of timber frame buildings from the 17th century to the 19th century. These vary from rural houses to farm buildings to craft workshops and they all have a wide selection of visible and informative marks left on their surfaces. Joe Thompson has run over one hundred of these week-long practical workshops, since 1998, and is well versed in taking students on this exciting journey of learning and discovery.

Timber framing from scratch courses include:

The range of people undertaking these workshops is very wide in terms of age, careers and carpentry experience. The important thing that unites them all is a desire to learn more about the historic carpentry processes. Their own passion, persistence and perseverance mixed in with the new knowledge has allowed them to make some wonderful and fascinating structures. Many of them have gone on to work on either their own project, to work for a timber framing company or to set up their own small business. This has enabled the Museum to extend its reputation, influence and friends far and wide, with some former students coming from as far as North America, Sweden and Finland.

By being able to combine the practical work with short site tours, students can see how the historic carpenters solved problems when they are guided around some of the Museum’s buildings by Joe. This enables each student to put into practice a range of historic techniques and to know that they are probably close to “stepping in their footsteps”.

The tips and tricks taught during these weeks have been proven in the workshops over the last twenty years. They are the essential rules that work time and time again, based on the evidence of the Museum’s Collection and buildings in the Weald and Downland region. After attending one of these workshops you will look at timber framed buildings afresh.

Find out about our timber framing from scratch courses here and sign up to receive our Historic Building Conservation and Rural Trades and Crafts courses email newsletters.

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