Clay Buildings of the Carse

Buildings that were “made out of the ground upon which they stood” were once the most common vernacular structures in parts of Scotland. In the Carse of Gowrie, a substantial number of significant historical structures survive that demonstrate the local tradition of mass clay walls or mud-wall. This construction method is virtually unrecognised, poorly recorded and not properly appreciated, protected or celebrated either locally or nationally. The buildings do not respond well to repairs in modern materials and fail rapidly, sometimes catastrophically, if not maintained appropriately. The project looks to secure the future of this now very rare construction method via repairs, training, awareness raising and education.

Horn Farm, Errol
Last year TayLP commissioned mud mason Becky Little to carry out emergency repairs to a 2 storey clay built steading at Horn Farm, Carse of Gowrie. Broken rainwater goods  and water damage had caused partial collapse of a gable end. Using clay bricks and earth mortar Becky patched the building and will harl with a suitable lime later this year.

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Clay Apprentices
To broaden the professional knowledge and skills of working with earth buildings two apprentice placements were offered with Becky Little on TayLP jobs. Placements have been filled by both the Sottish Lime Centre Trust and Historic Scotland staff, more details of how they are getting on are coming soon…

A week long festival of workshops, talks, art projects and community events was held in Errol, 8th – 13th June 2015.
The festival celebrated the culture of building with earth was coordinated by national charity Earth Building UK, and supported by the Tay Landscape Partnership and national heritage bodies.

In support of Clayfest! TayLP held an exhibition in Perth Museum and Art Gallery to celebrate our rich earth building culture and discuss the 21st century problems it faces. We are looking for local venues for our touring pop upexhibition to go – get in touch if you know a good venue!



Clay information leaflet – now online! TLP Clay Biggins Leaflet

Related Files

The Tay Landscape Partnership Area

The Tay Landscape stretches from Newburgh on the south side of the Tay Estuary around to Perth and along the Carse to Dundee.

The project, a £2.6 million initiative is principally funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, will enable locals and visitors to reconnect with the natural, built and cultural heritage of the area.