Clayfest 2017, 12-17th June, Lincoln Castle, Lincoln, UK

Hello Earth Building enthusiasts, and welcome to this year's EBUKI Festival and Conference in Lincoln. Our theme explores the relationships between Earth Building and other materials, construction and design and training, thinking about building bridges through knowledge, skills, research and training.

Following the last year's tremendous success in Scotland and Cumbria, we were delighted to be holding 2017's workshops, from 12th to 17th June, at the beautiful Lincoln Castle in their Heritage Skills Centre. This central location not only brims with life, but also LOTS of the local earth vernacular Mud and Stud and clay mortared stonework.

This year we want to combine teaching core skills at beginners, semi-skilled and skilled levels with a spirit of curiosity and invention. Earth building is having a renaissance with people trying many new ways to work with some of the oldest materials and techniques. From the structural to aesthetic, thermal properties to colour we hope to encourage and show that earth in buildings can exceed all expectations. Last year saw the second only ever rammed earth vault, the year before the first turf wall in Scotland in a very long time. This year what will it be?, stoves that heat and cook by burning straw, industrial clay and hemp and some clay and lime magic!

Last year Clayfest got a lot of great feedback, most people rated it as very good or excellent, 80% said they would recommend Clayfest to others. It's a chance to try things out with a group of experts working together, asking and answering questions over four days, the UK's biggest earth building event!
For more about the workshops and leaders please see here


Conference this year continues with the theme of Clayfest, building bridges. How do we respect tradition, learn from tradition, for more details click here

The post-conference dinner in the unique setting of the Collection Archaeology Museum in central Lincoln, a short walk from the Castle, book here
The dinner to comprise main meal with sweet, access to a licensed bar and live folk band.

For Conference program see here


This years symposium is on the local vernacular, mud and stud, for details please see here


There will be tours of old and new, experimental and traditional, housing and public buildings, for more on tours please see here

For an easy Tours download please click here


Clayfest Workshops and Leaders


Earth, earth-lime and hot mixed lime mortars - hidden in plain sight.

Nigel Copsey.



'Earth and earth-lime mortars were the common mortar of masonry construction across the UK, Ireland, Europe and the Americas until the end of the 18thC, in association with hot mixed lime pointing and finish coat or render mortars. This course will demonstrate mixing mortars and building a stone arch, one of the classic building types to build with stone. Nigel will discuss demand for compatible repair and conservation and explore the materials and methods necessary to achieve this'.

Starting out as a dry-stone waller in Cornwall, Nigel trained after 1989 as stonemason and carver, working largely in conservation across the south of England, and in Vermont, USA, as well as in Granada, Andalusia. Nigel was consultant stonemason for the Irish Hunger Memorial project in Battery Park City, New York, 2001. Since 2001, Nigel has worked extensively as consultant and practitioner in the field of building conservation and repair in North Yorkshire upon a wide range of vernacular and high status buildings, as building conservation consultant for the Fitzwilliam Estate in Malton, designing, specifying and executing major repair projects to a wide range of historic buildings within the town, as well as researching,


designing and specifying a number of building repair and conservation projects on behalf of Natural England, most recently at Scampston Hall. Nigel has contributed to several volumes of the recently published Historic England Practical Conservation series. A Research Associate of the Dept of Archaeology, York University, Nigel regularly delivers hot mixed earth and lime mortars and traditional skills training and leads the Practical Skills module for the MA Conservation Studies.


The Steppe Oven: Food Without Wood

Maria Brown and Rowland Keable.



This forsaken device, an ingenious hybrid of mud oven and Roman hypocaust, comes to you from the Spanish castellan steppe to warm up your shared tasteful dinners using only mud and straw, as it was for centuries in its tree-free birth land. Stepped into in: that's what ESTEPA Association did a decade ago, developing this model we are spreading around in three continents. Permanent equipment in public areas, community centres and schools, it stands in rural and urban Europe, Latin America and Africa, witnessing new applications and swallowing unexpected fuels.

We hope this itinerant workshop will combine intercultural sharing, technical training and building of public equipment. Languages (EN-FR-ES), ages and professions are mixed and trainees are encouraged to skip the script in a twin track participative learning. In plus, bringing this oven to life develop many earth building skills in a short time by using different techniques adobe and rammed earth in this case. And then many hours of cooking remain ahead So come and join us!


Maria Brown, architect, founder and president of ESTEPA Association (Spain). 30 buildings with local materials, mainly earth; 25 years programme designer/trainer in earth building, energy and safe habitat. Nomad by nature, after long-term living and working in 16 towns/cities of 7 countries of 3 continents she’s actually based in Senegal as a director of gender-based development programmes.


Earth and Fibre; Experiments with Forms and Finishes.

Becky Little and Tom Morton.




This workshop will experiment and play with earth and natural fibres to creatively explore surface and form. We will use a range of soils, mixes and building techniques to construct several small structures. The emphasis will be on the artistic and sculptural potential of earth in combination with other natural materials including straw, hemp, aggregates, fabrics and small dimension timber. The workshop is for all levels of experience and will give you the opportunity to learn from our experience through your individual interests.  

Becky and Tom have been building with earth and fibre in Scotland for over 20 years: Becky as a mud mason carrying out repair of historic mud buildings and new earth structures and Tom as an architect designing and managing earth projects. They also carry out materials research and have spent the last few years building and sculpting their own home using a wide range of techniques including mudwall, mud blocks, clay mortar and stone, mud and stud, wattle and daub, earth furniture, earth floors and decorative earth plasters. They have a wide knowledge of Scottish earth traditions and have travelled to gain wider earth building experience in Arizona, Denmark, Devon, Iceland, Iran and Burkina Faso.


Mud and Stud, Lincolnshire Heritage Technology for the Future

Rob Ley and Trevor Oliver.




Mud and Stud, a vernacular form of wattle and daub, comprises a mixture of earth, clay, straw and water being in-filled within a lightweight timber frame with laths and traditionally having a thatched roof. It is peculiar to Lincolnshire, and versions of it can be found all round the world. Such buildings have links to Tennyson through the village of Somersby in the Lincolnshire Wolds, and Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas.

Trevor Oliver and Rob Ley will be leading a hands-on workshop which can be joined for either one or more days over a four-day period, building a sizeable scaled down model of a Mud and Stud structure. A brick plinth will have a pre-fabricated timber frame with openings and pre-fabricated roof. They will introduce the basics of Mud and Stud, the concept and tradition of the building form. Rob will show and demonstrate the elements and methods that make and form the timber framing with vertical riven ash laths and together with Trevor will lead into the earth with clay material selection, mixing with straw, sand and water and application within the timber framing to the laths using the 'daubing' technique. Attention will be paid to the treatment and technical detailing with junction of the 'earth material mix' with other materials such as the plinth and openings.



Cob Workshop, Basics to Mobius Strip.

Colin Ritchie and Féile Butler.





Day 1 of four days of workshops will concentrate on the basics of cob material selection, methods of mixing, building by hand and exploring cob's sculptural potential. Over the following 3 days we will teach practical cob building skills through the construction of an earthen 'mobius strip'. As well as looking at techniques for scaling up cob, we will look at forming arches using both wet cob and cob blocks. We will also look at how to incorporate different types of timber elements.

Between 2008 and 2010, Colin Ritchie and Féile Butler designed and built their own contemporary cob home. Two years later they founded Mud and Wood, an award-winning company providing advice, architectural and building services, and practical training for natural building projects. Over the past five years, they have taught private workshops for numerous community and student groups, as well as hosting dozens of courses at the Mud and Wood House.


Creative clay plasters - designing with colour and texture.

Peter Coch Shaman and Nyja Maya.




Day 1 will concentrate on the basics of clay plasters - material selection, methods of mixing using traditional and modern ingredients from local sources. We'll explore how each ingredient influences the final look of clay decoration.
Day 2, 3 & 4. We will teach you techniques for creating relief and sgraffito by applying texture and using coloured plasters. By joining this workshop for 3-4 days you'll have the chance to produce a portable panel of your own clay art. You will play with different mixes to create something that integrates your internal feeling for design with the possibilities of home made clay mixes. Together we'll explore the limits for clay decorations, if there are any. If you've less time (or want to try other workshops) 1-2 days will introduce you to the techniques and you'll take away a portable panel to complete at home.

.Maria Janstova alias Nyjamaja studied restoration of stucco decorations, graduating from the department of Art Culture. Today she specialises in working with clay plasters; creating art installations with earthen reliefs, clay images on panels and leading public art workshops. (

Peter Coch alias Shaman is "clayman" in the natural building co-operative Organica. He leads a team of clay and lime plasterers who craft creative surfaces for wooden and straw bale houses using local clay sources. Shaman likes to source and use local natural materials and is reviving the ancestral link to clay in restoration projects of traditional slovak architecture. (



Conference this year continues with the theme of Clayfest, building bridges. How do we respect tradition, learn from tradition, teach tradition, adapt tradition to bring a new generation of builders, designers, developers and clients to a better understanding and respect for materials which have almost perfect credentials in the circular economy, cradle to cradle materials which can be used and re-used almost indefinitely. Earth as a material has powerful properties and yet what people too often think of are it's weaknesses. Other building materials also have weaknesses but have been more successful in projecting their strengths, what can we learn from this and how do we project that knowledge and understanding? Hearing from speakers working in and out of the earth building world we will plot a course to better understanding, better networks, building bridges to better building.




Light-Earth Building.

Franz Volhard




Light earth: an amazing building material, but completely unknown. Today the renewable surplus of wood has led to the Renaissance of wood-frame construction, and we can go back again to the old tradition of the earth formwork in the modern form of wooden skeleton and frame construction. The big advantage compared with load-bearing construction methods: earthen construction works can be built under the weatherproof protection of the roof. Earth is adaptable and is the ideal partner for wood because of its drainage qualities. With thermal-insulating light earth, all structural elements exterior and interior walls, ceilings and roof can be filled in in a non-load bearing way. The desired thermal insulation or heat storage are controlled through the proportion of earth and straw mixed together. Uncomplicated production with simple hand tools or machine support promised a quick and cost-effective implementation, even in professional applications.

Franz Volhard (born in 1948 in Frankfurt/Main) is a partner of Schauer + Volhard architects (BDA) in Darmstadt. Since 1980, he has designed and built numerous light earth projects, many of which have won architecture prizes and awards. His  


extensive research has given rise to new techniques of using light earth for contemporary applications in sustainable building with wood and earth. He teaches and consults internationally and has lectured and published widely, including co-authoring the Lehmbau Regeln, the German earth building codes. He is member of CRAterre, the International Center for Earthen Architecture in France, and a founder member of the Dachverband Lehm, the German Association for Building with Earth.


Clay? An Innovative Material for the Future?

Dan Maskell.




Are modern low carbon buildings detrimental to our health? Modern buildings have been developed to be very airtight, improving their energy efficiency and reducing their carbon footprint. However, these sealed environments have created unexpected side effects, with research showing that a build-up of potentially harmful chemicals in the air is potentially causing negative impacts on occupants.

Dan will present the findings of a European Union project titled ECO-SEE which has used clay plasters to regulate the indoor environment quality. The project has been running for 3.5 years and brought together 18 partners from across Europe. His research bridges the quantitative measurements behind the qualitative experience of living within an earthen home.


Daniel is is a Research Associate at the Univeristy of Bath working on the ECO-SEE project. His passion for earth construction is mainly within the new build sector; which is fostered by his PhD work. It is his belief that mainstream adoption of earthen construction can utilise the environmental benefits on a wider scale and have a significant and measurable impact. This approach has become the rationale for his current research and will become key to his planned future work in academia.


Making earth a conventional building material.

Louise Halestrap.



Louise will explore the relationship of The Centre of Alternative technology (CAT) and Earth. She will show how CAT allows future professionals in building, policy and sustainability to fully appreciate the credentials of materials. She will explain how critical thinking and practical exploration are key to fighting green wash and understanding carbon footprint whilst increasing breathability and health within the built environment. She will give a brief outline of how CAT keep students excited about sustainability after they leave CAT and show some data on the influence CAT alumni have in taking natural materials into the main stream.

Louise is a senior lecturer at the Centre for Alternative Technology's Graduate School of the Environment. She focusses on adaptation planning, water security and practical sustainable building. She is especially interested in 'normalising' low carbon materials and debunking greenwash.


Connecting knowledge of past, present and future earthen materials and built environments.

 Wendy Matthews.




This paper explores how we can build bridges between past, present and future knowledge, technologies and experience of earthen architecture to develop healthy resilient built environments and ways of life. It examines some of the earliest experimentation and innovation in a range of earthen architectural materials more than 10,000-4,000 years ago in early villages and cities in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. It presents new high-resolution insights into building materials and histories from microscopic analyes of intact sequences of wall, floor and roofing materials, surfaces and residues in large resin-impregnated thin-sections, 14.5 x 7 cm.

Wendy is Associate Professor in Archaeology at the University of Reading. She co-directs the Central Zagros Archaeological Project and research on the origins of agriculture, sedentary communities and resource management in Iraq and Iran, 12,000-8,000 years ago. She has studied ancient built environments and earthen architectural materials across south-west Asia since 1987, initially for her PhD and as Research Associate and Research Fellow at the Department of Archaeology and McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge (1987-2000).


Light-Earth Construction; Clay and Natural Fibre Composites.

William Stanwix.



This talk will discuss the versatility of spray machines and the range of possibilities for clay/fibre spray applied coatings and monolithic walls. It also demonstrates the possibilities for insulating light-earth blocks and load bearing earth blocks for use in mainstream construction. 

Will Stanwix is a natural building enthusiast. Will has worked in the construction industry as surveyor, contractor and project manager. He is most well known for starting the Hempcrete building company; Hemp-LimeConstruct (now UK Hempcrete) and co-authoring 'The Hempcrete Book'. Will has now taken a break from contracting and joined HG Matthews to look at ways to develop clay, straw and hemp based materials for the more mainstream building industry in the form of un-fired blocks. Will is working with Grahame Durrant of Hemp-lime Spray to explore the potential for spray applied coatings composed of clay and natural fibre.


Earthen mortars in conservation: recent work and new initiatives by Historic England.

Alison Henry.




Earthen mortars in conservation: recent work and new initiatives by Historic England.

Alison Henry is a Senior Architectural Conservator with the Building Conservation and Research Team at Historic England. A trained stone conservator, she has wide experience in private practice, higher education, and as a conservation officer. She has a special interest in earthen construction and co-edited the recent Historic England Practical Building Conservation volume on Earth, Brick and Terracotta.


Analysis and documentation of the historic use of earth materials in Scotland and general overview on Bruce Walker collection.

Maria Saez-Martinez.




Maria will talk about her research survey on the remained earth buildings, or places where the element earth as a construction material was crucial and widely used in Scotland’s past. One of the main resources for documentary evidence for her research is the extensive inherited collection of Bruce Walker by historic environment Scotland, as Bruce’s main field of research for many years had been vernacular buildings and clay traditional uses in construction mainly in Scotland. She will give us an overview of the content of his archive.

Maria trained as a Building Engineer in Spain. Initially specialising in earth materials and intervention in catastrophes she worked in Portugal at the Civil Engineering School on the analysis of seismic effects on adobe bricks. At Edinburgh 2013 she took BEng (HONS) Energy and Environmental Engineering focusing her studies in energy efficiency, thermal mass and solar space heating for new design as well as old/historic buildings. Successfully finished the MSc Architectural Conservation at Edinburgh University in 2016, Maria now works for Historic Environment Scotland on her project Documentation and Analysis of the History and Use of Earth Materials in Scotland. She is passionate about heritage and its conservation, earth materials, energy efficiency and sustainable design. 


Earth Building from Slovakia.
Yesterday and Today.

Peter Coch Shaman.




In Slovakia clay has a new purpose… or perhaps an old one. Seen from a distance Slovakian folk building might seem dominated by timber traditions, looking more closely earth is found alongside timber and stone and in southern regions in raw lump form. Earth has always had it’s uses retaining heat or maintaining cool, making surfaces. In his work with Organica, Peter, known as “Shaman”, is reviving the ancestral link to earth in renovation projects of traditional buildings. In this talk he will lead us from traditional earth buildings to new forms of housing and applications for local earths.

Peter Coch alias Shaman is "clayman” in the natural building co-operative Organica based in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia. He leads a team of plasterers who craft creative surfaces for wooden and straw bale houses using local clay sources.


Earth building in Ireland: the example of tempered clay.

Fidelma Mullane.




An examination of the clay types used in construction, the process of tempering and the associated earth-building techniques.

Dr. Fidelma Mullane works on the study, conservation and representation of vernacular architecture with particular emphasis on the Irish vernacular house.


Healthy Building in the Digital Age

Dr Erica Mallery-Blythe.




An overview of new health concerns in an age of greatly increased radiofrequency radiation and chemical exposure, and solutions using eco friendly earth building techniques as natural shielding fabrics.

 Dr Mallery-Blythe began researching biological effects of non-ionising radiation in 2008. This research included copious literature appraisal, conducting her own research via medical histories, medical examinations and provocation testing of those with Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS). She has provided expert witness statements regarding EHS, and been invited to discuss the public health concerns of radiation exposure at the highest political level both here in the UK, and in Europe. She has provided support for schools and parents who require advice to better protect the health of children and information and advice for doctors and their patients.

She formally transitioned from clinical medicine to full time research in 2015, and continues advise where appropriate and necessary. Given that the task of providing such support for ever growing numbers is escalating, she founded PHIRE (Physicians’ Health Initiative for Radiation and Environment) to facilitate education on a larger scale. The group already has international affiliations with medical doctors’ groups abroad and we are currently constructing best practice guidelines for Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) health for multiple settings.


Building Bridges Through Marketing, Changing Perceptions of Earth Building Through Communication.

Rowland Keable.



Rowland will show how marketing can be done easily and cheaply by earth builders, changing market perceptions and personal practice.





As we have in the past we will run a days symposium on the local vernacular, mud and stud. This is a chance for builders, conservers, residents, planners, regulators, academics, architects to come together and review the 'state of the art'. Speakers will have the chance to exchange views on traditional techniques, modern design standards, compare materials, learn from each other. This will happen in a room at the Heritage Skills Centre on Thursday 15th in the Clayfest week.




Some Practical Solutions to the Problem of Thermal Insulation in Mud-and-Stud Construction.

David Glew.



Some Practical Solutions to the Problem of Thermal Insulation in Mud-and-Stud Construction.

David Glew is a retired architect who trained at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. After setting up his own office in London, he took over an established Lincoln office and became involved in conservation work, mainly on churches, but also on mud-and-stud buildings. He was a founder member of EMESS and was chairman for 15 years. He presented papers at the ICOMOS conferences of Terra 2000 and Terra 2012, both on the subject of how to carry out mud-and-stud construction to comply with the modern British Building Regulations.


Ivy Cottage, condition, investigation and planning repairs to a not so typical mud and stud.

Brian Hayes-Lewin.



Ivy Cottage, National Trust, Gunby Estate, Spilsby, Lincolnshire – condition, investigation and planning repairs to a not so typical mud and stud.

Brian has a varied background in construction across the UK, with much interest in historic property, and is currently involved with delivering surveying duties to project work for the National Trust in the East Midlands. Observing buildings and structures provides opportunity for exploring and witnessing the history of each place, expands knowledge and working with like minded individuals to repair, restore and develop new chapters for buildings to accommodate fundamental human principles.


Mud and Stud, Practical Considerations.

Rob Ley.



Details soon ...


Hexagonium Experiment – An example of cooperation between the university and local practitioners.

Marcin Kowalkowski and Trevor Oliver.




Dr Marcin Kowalkowski, senior lecturer at the University of Lincoln, School of Architecture & Design and Trevor Oliver, builder and EMESS chairman, will talk about the Hexagonium project. A combined talk with Marcin discussing the research side and student involvement in the project with Trevor talking about it’s construction.

Dr. Marcin Mateusz Kołakowski – journalist, senior lecturer at the University of Lincoln and architect practicing in the UK, Poland and Germany. He is the author of 70 publications about environmentally conscious architecture. During his research Marcin has participated in and organised about 50 workshops and projects that incorporated natural construction and other sustainable building methods. As a senior lecturer he teaches a wide range of aspects of sustainable architecture. His research interest – ecological, psychological and cultural context of technology grows from experiences in both mainstream practices and alternative projects.


Mud and Stud at Risk: long term solutions.

Kathryn Banfield.



Using one of Heritage Lincolnshire's past building preservation projects as a case study, this talk will consider how we can rescue our important buildings which have fallen into disrepair. It will look at the importance of creating sustainable projects and identify some sources of funding which can be used at the beginning of a project to help plan and develop ideas into larger schemes and generate long term solutions for sites.

Kathryn Banfield is Heritage at Risk Solutions Officer at Heritage Lincolnshire. She is funded by Historic England to work with owners and community groups, helping them to move projects forward and get buildings off the at risk register.


Lincolnshire Mud and Stud: Sorting the Fact from the Fantasy.

Naomi Field.



Despite the pioneering work of Maurice Barley in the 1950s-60s, and with the notable exception of Rodney Cousins and others, there has been little interest in the Lincolnshire tradition of building in mud and stud. The lowly origins and cheap construction of these buildings were often a source of embarrassment rather than pride to their occupiers and attempts to disguise their appearance by cladding these buildings in brick has resulted in a poor understanding of their existence and their significance in the history of the county . This talk will discuss the recent efforts to understand their origins and distribution in the county, using examples of recent surveys. It will also attempt to dispel some of the myths surrounding their age and function.

Naomi Field is an archaeological consultant with a special interest in historic buildings. Her interest in mud and stud began when she helped in the measured survey of the Withern Cottage (see site visit June 17th), prior to its dismantling and removal to Church Farm Museum. She was one of the organisers of the Mud and Stud Day for the Vernacular Architecture Group visit to Lincolnshire in 2016 and in 2014 was a founder member of the buildings recording group which is now part of the Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology. This group is actively involved in the recording of historic buildings


  but also assists in the training of local groups in buildings research and recording.




This years tour has old and new, experimental and traditional, housing and public buildings. The Hexagonium is an experimental earth building constructed on the Lincoln University campus by students from the School of Architecture. It was built as part of an ongoing project to allow experimentation with materials and construction techniques in preparation for a project to build a new mud and stud dwelling at the Village Museum in Skegness. The building has fourteen different panels of mud walls in varying thicknesses with a variety of insulation materials incorporated into the mixes in order to test the U/values and different methods of construction. The construction of the building was carried out by a local specialist contractor over a period of sixteen days.

A number of groups of architecture students from Lincoln University worked on its construction, part of the reasoning behind this was to help enable them to understand the transition from the drawing board to the actual construction process. During construction varies methods of applying earth to the walls were tested, results show that it may be possible to speed up the build process and thermal properties by introducing clay fired balls, hemp or other materials into the mix. More tests are planned in the near future. Once the building has dried sufficiently it will be tested for u/values and hygrothermal performance. This building is important in that it will help to provide evidence for the use of earth as a viable construction material for our future. The tour will be conducted by Trevor Oliver who led the construction work.




Hexagonium, Research into Building Code Acceptance for Mud and Stud



A number of groups of architecture students from Lincoln University worked on its construction, part of the reasoning behind this was to help enable them to understand the transition from the drawing board to the actual construction process. During construction varies methods of applying earth to the walls were tested, results show that it may be possible to speed up the build process and thermal properties by introducing clay fired balls, hemp or other materials into the mix. More tests are planned in the near future. Once the building has dried sufficiently it will be tested for u/values and hygrothermal performance. This building is important in that it will help to provide evidence for the use of earth as a viable construction material for our future.

The tour will be conducted by Trevor Oliver who led the construction work.






Thimbleby is a small village lying to West of Horncastle in the Lincolnshire Wolds. It has approximately 50 properties with ten of them being mud and stud and another two known to have been demolished.
Several of the cottages lie alongside the main road and are very picturesque as you drive through the village some with their limewashed walls and thatched roofs suggesting how the village would have been two or three hundred years ago.
One or two of the cottages are thought to date back to the sixteenth century; some retain their plastered mud walls whilst others are brick encased with pan tiled roofs demonstrating the progression with building materials and fashion whilst still displaying their heritage as timber framed buildings.
Thimbleby is unique, a place where you can experience a feeling of stepping back in time when you see on either side of the road a row of vernacular buildings in the Lincolnshire mud and stud tradition without a modern building in sight to spoil the experience. 

The tour will be conducted by Trevor Oliver, Chairman of EMESS 


Greetham Farmhouse



Greetham Farmhouse lies in a small village East of Horncastle, it is known to be one of eight timber frame mud buildings in the village, six of them having been demolished.
 It is an example of a large 3 bedroom farmhouse. It is thought to be mid fifteenth century with later alterations and is grade II listed.
Ii was brick encased until 1997 when it underwent a full restoration. The restoration was carried out by local craftsmen under the guidance of John Hurd who is well known throughout the world for his work with earth buildings. The craftsmen who worked on the farmhouse all went on to do work on numerous mud and stud buildings as well as other earth structures in other counties. 

The tour will be conducted by John Hurd. 


Whitegate and Ivy cottages



Whitegate and Ivy cottages are owned by the National Trust.
Whitegate is a mid-eighteenth century cottage, grade II listed cottage. It was a typical farm labourers cottage on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds. It is part of the Gunby Hall estate where there is thought to have been a number of mud and stud cottages. It has recently been renovated and is in use as a holiday let.
Ivy Cottage is also part of the Gunby estate, it was tenanted until recently and is awaiting renovation. It is a brick house with additions in the nineteenth century. There are a few surviving mud walls and timber framework with evidence of timber posts.
An unusual feature is that one end is a half round mud and stud wall with a jettied first floor. Various features suggest that it was not an ordinary dwelling but had some, as yet, unknown commercial use, possibly as a toll house or public house.
Early in 2016 the National Trust and EMESS worked in partnership holding an investigation day to try and discover the history and the elements of the construction of the building.
When a course of action regarding the future use of the building and details decided on its renovation it is intended that workshops will be held through EMESS to allow 'hands on' repair of the mud and stud parts of the building by members of the public. 

The tours will be conducted by Brian Hayes Lewin a building surveyor with the National Trust. 


Hill Holt Wood Rammed Earth Teaching Space



Hill Holt Wood are an exemplary organisation with a slew of awards in both provision of help and training for young people, but also in sustainable building. They have been earth building in different ways on their site for the last 20 years. They are based in a wood west of Lincoln and the whole site is entirely 'off grid' so using things like compost toilets are 'fitted as standard'. Their ambitious new build in rammed earth allowed bigger visitor and learning groups into the woods and bridged public perceptions of natural building in interesting ways. It was natural for them to look to the materials they have on site for their basic building elements, and to turn the use of those materials into a building course for their young people.



Withern Cottage




Withern Cottage is a mud and stud cottage built in the 18th century in the village of Withern North of Alford. 
In the early 1980s the owner had permission to build a new dwelling and demolish the brick outbuilding standing on the site. When demolition started the encased mud and stud cottage was discovered inside the walls of the brick building. Rodney Cousins, curator of The Museum of Lincolnshire Life, initiated a project to dismantle it and have it rebuilt at another location.
It was carefully dismantled and rebuilt using as much of the original material as possible and now stands as an exhibit at the museum.
It is an important building in that it raised awareness of, and stands as an example of, our vernacular and cultural history.It led to a society for people interested in earth buildings, East Midlands Earth Structure Society [EMESS] being formed to raise awareness, of our local vernacular style of building. Over the years EMESS has helped many people with earth buildings from advice on minor repairs to planning applications.  

The tour will be conducted by David Glew who is a past chairman and founder member of EMESS and retired architect who has worked on many mud and stud buildings. 



EBUKI are partnering with three local organisations to make Clayfest as successful as it can be, they are:

Heritage Skills Centre Lincoln, the location for Clayfest in their bespoke facility and on the area around it. This is the first Clayfest to be           
hosted in an urban environment, we're looking forward to it!

Hill Holt Wood are a very successful organisation in working with young people and bringing them into the world of work and jobs. Through                
their Growing Up Green program they are able to bring young people to workshops and make sure they get the most out of them.

East Midlands Earth Structures Society are a regional earth building group founded by the visionary Rodney Cousins and currently                            
steered by Trevor Oliver who not only supports us with local knowledge and contacts, he is running a mud and stud workshop too...

School of Architecture and Design, College of Arts, University of Lincoln will host the EBUKI Clayfest Conference, it’s building number 12                          
 on the map in ‘lecture theatre AAD1W11’ on the 1st floor.                                                                                                                                      


Historic England kindly sponsors Clayfest