An international organisation for all those interested in lesser traditional buildings


The Group's conferences are where members meet to study buildings and discuss their findings. Conferences are normally open to members only, although guests may be accepted if space is available. Recordings from some of our recent conferences can be watched on the VAG YouTube Channel.

Training Conferences

Introduction to Vernacular Architecture

In 2018 the VAG introduced a short weekend training conference held in Gloucestershire and this was offered again in Wiltshire in 2019, aimed at those who are new to the group and/or new to looking at vernacular buildings. These conferences were based on visits to buildings rather than on papers, and introduced people to examining buildings, covering basic vocabulary, some of the typical forms of vernacular buildings and how we go about investigating them. Following a two-year break, we intend to run the next training course in Denbighshire, North East Wales, on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 October 2022. Booking priority will be given to VAG members and details are included in the July 2022 newsletter. Enquiries: please email

Members' Meeting

We plan to hold an online conference for VAG members only on Saturday 15 October 2022. Members are invited to make short presentations (10-20 minutes) on any aspect of vernacular architecture and traditional buildings - you are welcome to highlight a specific building, raise a problem or question, or explore a theme. If you would like to offer a presentation, please contact with a title by 30 September 2022. The event will be free to attend; further details for members are included in the July 2022 newsletter.

Winter Conferences

The winter conference takes a theme of current interest and explores it in depth through papers given by experts in the field. In normal times the winter conference is open to members and guests only; please see the Membership page for details of how to join the group. Bursaries are usually offered each year to enable a registered student or a professional in the early years of his or her career to attend the winter conference. Enquiries: please email

Next Winter Conference


Trans-National Connections - Vernacular Architecture in Britain & Beyond

VAG Winter Conference to be held at College Court, University of Leicester, 7-8 January 2023

Vernacular architecture studies in the UK have often focused on the nations that make up the island of Britain England, Scotland, and Wales or, more often, on particular regions within those nations. In contrast, this conference will explore patterns that transcend regional and national boundaries, especially the ways in which buildings in different parts of Britain may share features with building traditions elsewhere in the world.

We welcome papers from any time period that explore the relationship between British vernacular building styles and those of the rest of Continental Europe, Scandinavia, Ireland, and the Isle of Man. We are also interested in connections further afield, throughout the British diaspora, particularly in relation to colonial contexts where British building styles and methods were adapted or transformed, as well as where colonial or indigenous building practices influenced British architecture. Papers might explore building types, methods of construction, or use of space, or any other way in which trans national connections can be found.

This conference will take place in person, but contributions from speakers presenting on Zoom may also be considered. Submissions are encouraged from academics, students, and non academics alike. A small number of bursaries are available for students or early career professionals to enable their attendance at the conference.

Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be emailed to Adrian Green at by 31 August 2022.

This Call for Papers is also available in pdf format.

Previous Winter Conferences

Recordings of talks from the latest Winter Conference can be watched on the VAG YouTube Channel.

Spring Conferences

Somerset conference 2006

In the spring members and guests meet in a different part of the country each year to visit a selection of buildings in the local vernacular tradition. Local experts are on hand to explain the background and more experienced members help others to interpret them. In the evenings, lectures and discussions allow the day's findings to be explored further. The spring conference is normally open to members and guests only; please see the Membership page for details of how to join the group. Bursaries are usually offered each year to enable a registered student or a professional in the early years of his or her career to attend the spring conference. Enquiries: please email

Next Spring Conference

We hope to hold the next spring conference in person in 2023 in the Greater Manchester area.

Previous Spring Conferences

Oxford Study Schools

The Group contributes to occasional weekend or day schools held in Oxford and run by the Oxford University Department of Continuing Education. Previously run annually, the weekends are now arranged on an ad-hoc basis. They are open to the public and will be advertised here as they become available.

Previous Oxford Weekend Schools

Tip: if all the residential places on Oxford Weekend Schools are already taken, you may be able to find alternative student accommodation in Oxford at various prices via University-Rooms.

Other Conferences and Visits

Visit to France
The VAG arranged a trip to the Maine region of France on 23-27 June 2016. A full report is available on the Members' Area.

Visit to Denmark
The VAG organised a trip to Denmark on 8-14 June 2014, visiting a number of historic towns and some of the many long-established folk museums, where historic buildings have been collected together to illustrate the regional differences.

Saeters and Stave Churches
The group organised a tour to Norway on 16-26 June 2011 to visit some of its notable timber buildings. A full report is available on the Members' Area.