Building skills for conserving seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Scottish built heritage : the initial assessment of timber roof structures

Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2019
Thesis identifier
  • T15367
Person Identifier (Local)
  • 201380016
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • This thesis researches seventeenth- and eighteenth-century timber roof structures in Scotland,which had been largely forgotten up to now. Previous studies fail in characterizing the extent and nature of historic timber roofs in Scotland, especially post-1650, mainly because of the scarcity of measured surveys. This lack of knowledge, together with the lack of specific standards and training for the assessment of existing timber structures, hinders good conservation practice. Scottish professionals rely mainly on traditional methods and past experience, which makes it difficult for them to reach a confident structural assessment. The result is that many roofs are heavily altered or replaced.The thesis investigates the extent, nature and condition of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century timber roof structures in Scotland in order to raise awareness about their value and contribute in improving conservation practice. A database of 1500 Scottish buildings of the period has been created and a representative sample of 59 original timber roofs has been surveyed. Archival research has also been carried out. This has allowed tracing the historic development of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century timber roof structures in Scotland and demonstrating that they form a heritage of great extent and quality. For the first time overall structural arrangements, construction methods and details, the species and quality of the timber employed, the role of architects, wrights and patrons in the design process and foreign influences have been comprehensively described and classified. The data gathered during the surveys has also been used to identify typical pathologies and possible causes for each roof structural typology. Moreover, the assessment techniques used during the surveys have been evaluated in terms of effectiveness, reliability, costs and training needed, in order to inform specific training for conservation professionals.
Advisor / supervisor
  • Agapiou, Andrew
  • Longo, Cristina Gonzalez
Resource Type
Date Created
  • 2019
Former identifier
  • 9912922392702996