Monday, 10 February 2014

Shipwright School Build Offers Traditional Skills Opportunities

Timber framed building
2014 will see the building of a new replica timber frame 18th century shipwrights’ workshop at the historic shipbuilding village of Buckler’s Hard, on the banks of the Beaulieu River, using hand hewn timber from the Beaulieu Estate.

The first stage of this exciting venture will be to construct the workshop, using local timber. The whole building process will be run as a community training project to teach and demonstrate traditional building skills.

Courses will be run for the public, apprentices and students in a variety of specialist traditional timber framing skill areas including hand hewing, pit sawing, timber framing and the raising weekend.  The first course will be Hand Hewing, Pit and Trestle sawing of the timber from 24th - 28th March. Other courses follow in July to teach timber framing.

In early August, the public will be able to watch and enjoy the traditional hand raising of the timber framed shipwrights’ workshop as the building is lifted into position using a traditional ‘Gin’ pole and blocks and tackle. The operation will be carried out under the supervision of Henry Russell, one of the UK’s leading timber frame carpenters with 20 years experience. Once assembled on site the frame can be pegged together with cleft oak ‘Trunnels’.

Upon completion of the school, Buckler’s Hard will become a centre for the teaching and study of traditional shipbuilding, with courses scheduled to start in 2015. The Shipwright School which will be run in partnership with the International Boatbuilding Training College (IBTC) in Portsmouth, will help to ensure the continuation of shipwright skills at both a local and national level for the restoration of historic ships and to support the traditional boatbuilding industry. The close proximity of woodland with standing timber at Buckler’s Hard will present an important opportunity to teach arboriculture techniques and theory, and allow students to learn about the felling, conversion and storage of timber for shipbuilding.

Visitors to Buckler’s Hard will be encouraged to visit the workshop. By seeing a practical demonstration of shipbuilding methods, it is hoped that everyone will gain a better understanding of the industry which gave the village a place in British naval history.

For further information about the courses visit:

This project is being part-funded by the New Forest National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund. The Sustainable Development Fund is a grant scheme to encourage sustainable ways of enjoying and living in the New Forest National Park.

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