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New 'Buildings' Exhibition

by Deborah Leggate -

Historic Scotland, Technical Conservation Group

Building Scotland – Scotland's Traditional Building Materials

16th October – 22nd November.

Scotland's traditionally-built environment is one of its most distinctive features. Buildings draw visitors from around the world and give inhabitants a sense of place and identity. Historic Scotland's Building Scotland exhibition is a study of the many raw materials employed in forming Scotland's traditional buildings, and has been developed to accompany a new book of the same title by Moses Jenkins, published this year.

Display panels introduce 14 different building materials, including stone, timber, iron, clay and slate. Building Scotland explores the socio-economic stories behind each material, and shows how each has been utilised over time.  The exhibition examines geographical variations throughout Scotland and the natural properties of the materials – factors that have shaped Scotland's built environment. Samples of each material, together with the tools used to shape them are included, and pictures by a successful young photographer make the exhibition as visually impressive as it is informative.

Items from Shetland Museum and Archives collections highlight the differences between indigenous and wider building styles.  Like other areas of Britain, Shetland used to rely on local resources and traditions; styles changed little over time. From the 19th century Shetland was influenced by wider British styles, and architecture mirrored changes elsewhere. The display includes rope made from plants, wooden locks, and items made from driftwood.

On Friday 22nd October Moses Jenkins, senior technical officer with Historic Scotland and editor of the book Building Scotland, will deliver a talk on “Traditional Building Materials”.  Admission is free and the talk will begin at 7.30pm.

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