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


    Booking is now open to members for our Winter Conference, New Developments in Dendrochronology and its impact on the study of Vernacular Architecture, which will be held at College Court, University of Leicester, on 6-7 January 2024. There have been significant developments in dendrochronological dating over the past 10 years and much of this has had important implications for vernacular building research. New complementary techniques have opened up opportunities to date other wood types and timbers derived from short-lived trees and increased the number of buildings that can be accurately dated. This has allowed dendrochronology to contribute to vernacular building studies in a wider number of areas, moving beyond the dating of individual buildings to contribute to studies of settlements and regions and contribute to other debates. The conference will cover three main areas; new techniques, dating of other timber types, and the contribution of dendrochronology to wider debates in vernacular building studies. Two bursaries are offered to assist registered full or part-time students, recent graduates or professionals in the early years of their career to attend the conference. For more information, see our Conferences page.


    If you haven't already done so, do explore the VAG Building Glossary which was published last year. Essential reading for anyone involved in vernacular buildings, in particular timber-framed structures.

Updated November 2023

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The Vernacular Architecture Group is a Registered Charity: No 279839