Free online lectures and booklets to help parishes with maintenance of buildings


Timely reminder to maintain church buildings.

Beginning today (Friday, 20th November) and culminating in #NationalGuttersDay next Friday, 27th November, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings’ Irish Maintenance Week 2020 campaign reminds anyone who looks after a building regardless of its age, type or purpose of the simple, achievable steps they can take to get their building winter ready.

Alongside the sharing of resources and top tips for keeping buildings in good condition, the week will include a number of free online events to help owners and users get to know their old buildings better and take practical action to look after them. The first, Maintenance Matters in Ireland, will be delivered by SPAB Ireland committee member and trustee Jamie McNamara today at 12 noon. The lecture will be followed by a Q&A session.

The second live lecture, on Tuesday, 24th November, from 7.30pm to 8.30pm is titled Maintaining Chimneys and Roofs, will be an illustrated online presentation of the issues commonly found with high level building elements, focusing on chimneys but also looking at roof, parapet and central gutters along with other typical roof defects. The talk will explore how these elements are best maintained and what to do when they go wrong in an appropriate conservation manner and will be presented by Lisa Edden, a chartered structural engineer specialising in conservation and co-author of the guide Roofs: A Guide to the Repair of Historic Roofs, published by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in 2010. The lecture is brought to you in collaboration with the Lurgan Townscape Heritage Scheme. Book your free place here.

In conjunction with the Lurgan Townscape Heritage Scheme, SPAB bring you its third live lecture of the week, on Wednesday, 25th November, from 7.30pm to 8.30pm, Maintaining Historic Brickwork. Beginning with an overview of the history of brickmaking and brick use in Ulster, the talk will then provide tips on how to identify different types of bricks and brickwork, the conservation principles associated with each and the common problems which occur. A case study showcasing example repair works will round off the presentation. The talk will be presented by conservation architect Susan Roundtree, a brickwork expert who has written extensively on the topic. She is currently in the process of preparing a gazetteer of brickmaking in Ireland. Booking is essential but all places are free.

SPAB is also delighted to launch, in conjunction with the Heritage Council, a series of Maintenance Flyers. These accessible, easy to read online leaflets feature top tips about how to carry out simple maintenance of a variety of materials and building elements. The flyers are designed to be shared far and wide and will be shared on social media throughout the week. To request a complete set in PDF form (to send to your colleagues/friends/family/clients etc.) please email SPAB Ireland directly at

Finally, be sure to check out the brand new Maintenance Matters page on the SPAB website for useful tips and helpful advice.

Shared on behalf of the RCB Property Department