Two birds with one stone - A repeat client and the first phase is on Traditional Buildings Health Check website!

Repeat Clients are always good news, especially when asking us to continue with the second phase of work - and we are delighted to say that a chimney we had rebuilt in the first phase as part of Stirling City Heritage Trusts “Traditional Buildings Health Check” (TBHC) Grants is featured on the TBHC website (middle image). We are delighted on both counts.

The Traditional Buildings Health Check (TBHC) is a proactive maintenance and repair scheme which is the first of its kind in Scotland. It is delivered by Stirling City Heritage Trust (SCHT) and funded by Historic Environment Scotland. The clients contacted us after having received a very thorough Traditional Buildings Health check which described the house's condition and gave recommendations for repairs. The information from this process has been very helpful in deciding on and phasing the work being carried out. The first phase of the project was part funded by a TBHC Grant.

The house is close under Stirling Castle and so features in several views taken for post cards in national collections. It is also in Historic Environment Scotland's (HES) Listed Buildings Photograph collection, held at the former Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) Library. Photographs from the HES library told us the chimneys had been altered since the house was listed while ones from 1877 in the George Washington Wilson collection at Aberdeen University and the Valentine collection from 1935 in St Andrews University told us more about the chimney's original form and when dormers and windows to the rear elevation were added.

The chimney replacement was part of Phase 1 of a re-roofing and chimney rebuilding process using natural stone, lime mortars and re-used Scotch slate. The project has to undo many years of inappropriate repairs in cement based materials. We are currently doing the construction information work for the second and third stages which will complete the re-roofing, rebuild the second chimney to its original form and re-point the end and rear facades. We have taken the opportunity to add sheep's wool insulation into the roof as far as we can as well, the house should become dryer and warmer as a result.
"Evolution, not Revolution"
We've spruced up our website as part of a process of updating information on existing projects, like Ardchattan Priory or adding new projects, in London as well as in Scotland. More updates of more projects will follow shortly...
Falkland Craft Symposium No IV – Lateral thinking required
We will be attending the Falkland Craft Symposium once more this weekend to help with discussions about the future of the Temple of Decision, a delightful small temple by the German Architect Alexander Roos from which to consider the surrounding landscape. The Temple had fallen into ruin, which we consolidated for the Falkland Stewardship Trust, but now the building needs to be helped to move back into an active life, this will require lateral thinking…..come along to find out why!
Site start at Church of the Holy Cross, Davidsons Mains, Edinburgh

The Vestry of the Church of the Holy Cross, Davidsons Mains, has with Graeme Brown Stonemason Limited, Jonathan Gotelee Architect Limited and Morham and Brotchie Quantity Surveyors, started on a package of stone work damp repair where a number of repairs and improvements to the stonework and its detailing are being carried out. The work is to prevent the significant water penetration in to the stonework which has been going on ever since the building was built to the designs of JM Dick Peddie, in 1913.

The work has been made possible with significant grant help from:
While the church is superbly built it has two major issues, one from when it was built which have significantly compromised its remaining watertight in the long term.
  • copes lack a “drip” so water can flow over the cope face and drive into the mortar joints underneath.
  • re-pointing of the exterior in a proud “V” shaped cement pointing, perhaps to try to solve the water penetration problem.
The work being done is the careful addition of new stone or lead flashing drips to the copes on all gables, a comprehensive re-pointing at high level and an overhaul of the roofs and gutters. The slates are Carmyllie stone and new slates for patching are being sourced from Denfind Stone, in Angus, a few miles up the road from the original quarry site. The interior water damage is being attended to at the same time.

We are delighted to have been asked to lead this work and are enjoying working with all concerned

You can follow progress on the churches own website here
Here is one we did earlier...
Something very different to show that we get our hands dirty and don’t just tell people how to restore things… this is something Jonathan restored “some years” ago ...

Bonhams are selling this 1931 Stanley Argson motorised Invalid Carriage on Saturday the 2nd at Beaulieu National Motor Museum.

With a 175cc Villiers 2 stroke steered using something like a spade handle and with only weak rear brakes, it’ll do well over 30mph and is a fun drive for those of a stout constitution with two left hands, you only need one right one.

Form an orderly queue please ...

The Weather does not understand Fashion
Historic Environment Scotland's announcement of their Short Guide "Safeguarding Scotland’s traditional buildings against climate change" is the latest in a series of information they have published on how changing weather patterns affect traditional constructions and illustrating methods of reducing the impact of changing weather on older buildings (and their occupants).

We are delighted that Historic Environment Scotland have drawn the cover image from our photograph of one of our projects and that they have selected two more photographs inside to illustrate good adaptions we have made to detailing to reduce the damage rain and wind driven rain had been causing. (Figures 16 and 35)

We continue to help clients manage how their buildings adapt to changing needs of all types; whether that is meteorological change , increasing bills or simply changing requirements for how they use their buildings.

"Climate Change Adaptation for Traditional Buildings" is a free publication and is available to download from the Historic Environment Scotland website.

Atholl Estates Newsletter - Winter 2016
There is a wonderful article in the Atholl Estates Winter 2016 Newsletter giving the Blair Charitable Trust’s description of the newly completed works to the South Roofs at Blair Castle. It includes a drone’s eye photograph of the completed roof and an item about the SPAB Fellows and Scholars visit to see the works; we took them to see all the work the Blair Charitable Trust has carried out in the last 5 years.

Later in the Newsletter there is an item about Kirstie Allsopp's visit to the castle to film ‘Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas’. This show was broadcast on the 7th December on Channel 4 and includes some excellent drone footage of the new roofs.

Droning On - Temple of Decision and the House of Falkland Stewardship Trust’s Falkland Craft Symposium
As part of the process of understanding how this delightful temple fell down we asked a local resident Mark Ryan if he could take aerial views of the site using his drone and camera. The results far exceeded our expectations and will form not only a useful tool to identify the stones’ location for the August start of the consolidation of the Temple in preparation for its rebuilding, but a record of the start point of the Trusts rebuilding programme for the Temple.

Those who wish to learn more about work at the Temple of Decision and more widely at the House of Falkland might be interested in The Falkland Craft Symposium on the 19th to the 21st August.

Scaffold goes up at Blair Castle
The Blair Charitable Trust is once more making a major investment in Blair Castle’s fabric by employing Bruar Construction and Restorations to manage the re-slating of the entire South Roof area of the main castle block with new Cumbrian slate. The area is still slated with its original slates from the Craiglea quarry in Perthshire, but they had been re-dressed and relaid on lime:hair slurry sometime shortly after the First World War and are no longer large enough to keep increasing rainfall out of the roof structure below. All allied lead work including a series of curved lead rhones will be carried out as well as the relaying of original stone roof ridges on damp proof courses and re harling areas that are failing. The new slating will return the castle’s south roofs to the more regular appearance which they had after David Bryce’s remodelling of the castle in 1872.

For more information on visiting Blair Castle please go to
Rebuilding Penicuik New Garden “The Lost Garden of Penicuik”
John Dennis Ltd have just completed the consolidation of the base walls of the West Plant House. The Penicuik Community Development Trust’s aim is for this to be the start of a process of rebuilding the garden that John Dennis built in the 1870s. JGA and Elliott & Co with John Dennis dismantled the remaining timberwork from the greenhouse and the Trust have stored it in the garden lean to’s as a record for the plant house’s rebuilding in the future.

Ardchattan Priory Project Update
We are delighted to say that the scaffolding is now down at Ardchattan Priory after an extensive roof repair, re-slating and re-pointing contract to the oldest parts of the house. The work exposed some significant and unexpected surprises and the scope had to be extended to rectify them, but both the clients and our colleagues on the building team’s perseverance, forbearing and commitment has produced an excellent end result which should protect this part of the buildings for many years to come. Our thanks to them all for the enjoyable work.

For more information on visiting Ardchattan Priory Gardens please go to
Unsolicited praise is always welcome!
Jonathan Gotelee Architect have recently received unsolicited praise from several clients, so please don’t take our word for it, take theirs!

A very experienced client’s comment on our first report about a difficult set of issues with the roof space of a Category ‘A’ Listed building:

“Many thanks - an initial report worthy of your title”

Upon helping a group of clients to a full understanding of the issues that their Category ‘A’ Listed property faces:
“…you have explained everything brilliantly…. I am hugely appreciative of the work that has been done to take us to this point - a model of its kind”

On receiving grant funds for the completion of a maintenance plan for House of Falkland:

(We) “….very much appreciate also the very good and exceptionally helpful service you give us”

And finally, on completion of a project re-organising interiors in a Category ‘A’ Listed house:

“I just wanted to thank you for all the work you've put in here. You have been wonderfully efficient and I've admired your precision and attention to detail enormously. The whole project has been an uplifting and very pleasurable experience”

What is more wonderful is that all of these clients have asked us to carry out further work on different projects, we are very grateful for their appreciation of JGA.
“Really very fine” House of Falkland in Country Life magazine
Gavin Stamp has written an excellent article about the House of Falkland in the 31st December 2014 edition of Country Life magazine with fine photographs by Paul Baker. Concentrating on Robert Weir Schulz’s interiors he draws attention to how Schulz “attempted to harmonise with, rather than compete with, Burn’s work while creating something distinctive and of its own time” and in the process create “some of the most imaginative and unusual interiors in any country house in Britain”.

JGA, Elliott & Co, Irons Foulner, and Ralph Ogg & Partners have recently completed a Maintenance Plan and Condition Survey of house’s exterior in order to help the Centre for Stewardship maintain and repair the exterior for the preservation of the fine interiors.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year .. again!

Click on the image to learn more about the Shannon Class
Anniversary and new project!
Eleven years since the practices foundation and one year since recreation, we are delighted to announce a pair of important new projects.
A team lead by Richard Atkins Architect's including JGA and Irons Foulner has been selected by Historic Scotland Conservation Group to update the "Guide for Practitioners - Conversion of Traditional Buildings" it will give advice on applying the latest Scottish Building Regulations to the conversion of traditional buildings.

Jonathan Gotelee and the team have also been selected by the Falkland Centre for Stewardship to carry out a Maintenance Plan for the House of Falkland, this Historic Scotland funded project will put in place a method and programme of annual maintenance and inspections to manage the house's fabric. It will include an element of five yearly overview of the building's condition. The house is Category 'A' Listed and was originally by William Burn with David Bryce as an Assistant, it had significant internal alterations by Robert Weir Schultz in the latter part of the 19th Century which produced some magnificent interiors. The team we are working with is Ralph Ogg and Partners, Elliott & Company and Irons Foulner.

Thank you to these new clients, all the people who are already clients and the firms who work with us for the continued enjoyable work.
Glasgow City Heritage Trust Talk

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Click on the image to learn more about the Tamar Class
New Website Launched
We are pleased to announce that Jonathan Gotelee Architect’s website is now online.
Say Hello to us
The new address and telephone number of Jonathan Gotelee Architect is:

9 Forrest Road
T: +44 (0)131 629 8529

Or Email us at:

We look forwarding to hearing from you.