It’s now over 50 years since the publication of Ron Brunskill’s Illustrated Handbook of Vernacular Architecture - this pioneering and authoritative work provided a solid basis for understanding the different types of traditional architecture, construction techniques and materials and it continues to inspire extensive and ongoing research in the field.  However where new development or intervention is required,  whether in terms of adaptions to existing vernacular buildings or the introduction of new development within historic places and landscapes, design responses – and public and professional attitudes to them - have met with mixed success.

This conference will examine the constraints and opportunities of working with traditional buildings, highlight successful approaches to contemporary design within a vernacular tradition and examine how conservation and design policies and advice may be best constructed and applied to promote sensitive place-making. 

The conference will be of interest to planners, architects, developers, property owners, amenity societies, and all those who manage and care for the historic environment. 

Photograph courtesy of Friends’ Meeting House


The event will take place at the Friends’ Meeting House. It is centrally located only a couple of minutes’ walk away from Manchester Town Hall. The nearest tram stop is St. Peters Square, only 3 minutes on foot and it is within walking distance of all the city centre rail stations. There is no general use car parking on site. (See location map below)