An international organisation for all those interested in lesser traditional buildings

The Vernacular Architecture Group

The Vernacular Architecture Group was formed in 1952 to further the study of traditional buildings, originally those of the British Isles. In recent years, its membership and publications have also reflected a growing interest in buildings from other parts of the world.

Members are involved in all aspects of the recording and study of vernacular buildings including:

  • Detailed local or regional surveys
  • Studies of particular types of buildings including houses, farms, industrial and urban buildings
  • Building materials
  • Techniques of building, including carpentry and masonry
  • Documentary evidence

The Group encourages communication between members in a number of ways:

  • A four day conference held each spring in a different region
  • A two-day winter conference with papers on one topic
  • An occasional joint weekend school with Oxford University's Department for Continuing Education
  • Publication of a journal
  • A twice-yearly newsletter with notices of events and new publications
  • A library of offprints for circulation to members (index available on Members' Area)

The Group produces a refereed journal of national standing - Vernacular Architecture - the authoritative voice on the subject. All members automatically receive a copy of Vernacular Architecture and are eligible for free online access to current and back issues. See the Publications page for full details.

Latest news (7 September 2020)

The Early Modern House

  • Booking is now open for our extra conference this year, to be held online on 19 September 2020. Details are available on the Conferences page.

Other News

  • We are delighted to report that Cruck Building: A Survey (eds Nat Alcock, Paul Barnwell and Martin Cherry) has been shortlisted for the Colvin Prize, one of the most important prizes in architectural history. Congratulations to all those involved!
  • Malcolm Airs and his son have made another excellent and enjoyable video which can be found on YouTube: Shedding light on windows in an Oxfordshire village.
  • The Landmark Trust is offering a free webinar on timber dating techniques. Professor Danny McCarroll of Swansea University will talk about applying oxygen isotope dating to historic buildings, and in particular Llwyn Celyn, on Friday 11 September 2020 at 2.30pm.
  • Free online courses are on offer by the Centre for the History of People, Place and Community, including 'Reading and Writing Historic Buildings' led by several VAG members. The current courses are mostly fully subscribed but recordings will be made available on the Centre's website after the sessions.


The Vernacular Architecture Group is a Registered Charity: No 279839