The projects providing knowledge in „Traditional Carpentry Techniques” had been the starting point of European Heritage Volunteers’ volunteering and educational activities. Originally coming from this professional background and having started its work while saving abandoned heritage sites in rural areas from decay by firstly restoring their roof constructions and roofs European Heritage Volunteers sees traditional carpentry still as an important field of volunteering and heritage-linked education.
The particular topic of the projects is answering to the needs of endangered heritage sites and so changing from season to season. So, in the last years there had been carried out different projects as the restoration of the historical roof construction of a church from 13th century, the restoration of the roof construction of a Renaissance castle from 16th century including the ceiling system with its baroque paintings, the restoration and the static strengthening of a classicistic roof construction having been dramatically endangered by unprofessional constructive changes during the 19th and 20th century and others.
When restoring historical wooden constructions in line with accepted conservation practices European Heritage Volunteers is concerned with slow, careful repairs using suitable materials and considers carefully the original structures even when this entails more work. For example, historic timber joints are preferred over the use of metal connecting elements and the works are carried out with great care down to the smallest details so that a repaired roof construction loses none of its original constructive and aesthetic quality.
In 2016, European Heritage Volunteers organised two projects dealing with “Traditional Carpentry Techniques”:
The first project took place at Lohra Castle in Thuringia, Germany, one of the largest castles of Middle Germany with more than 1,000 years history. The ensemble consists of almost twenty buildings from the 11th to the 20th centuries, among them one of the very rare Romanesque double chapels.
In the frame of the project a roof construction in traditional style had been erected in order to protect the remains of a medieval building which had been unprotected since late 19th century. Traditional carpentry techniques have been used and the roof has been covered with historical tiles which had been saved from a house in a nearby village which had been recovered by its owner with new tiles.
The second project took place at a manor house in Brandenburg, situated 100 kilometres northern from Berlin. The manor is a picturing example of an originally baroque building changed in the 19th century in neo-baroque style.
The manor has an annex of hexagonally shape with a roof construction which shows – although the current roofing is dating back only to the beginning of the 20th century – interesting remains of older structures.
In the frame of the project a research of the complex situation of the roof construction had been undertaken followed by the restoration of the roof construction of the hexagonally annex.
The projects for 2017 are currently under preparation and will be announced from February on.