What members gain from the Group

Visit debrief at Pettifers Petworth 2014At the end of the study visit, we sit down for a discussion of all our observations, in which we encourage the owners to participate.How to apply for membership

The Group aims to provide both experienced and newer members with diverse experience of ‘hands on’ work in inspecting, measuring, sketching, analysing and recording buildings. We also encourage study of the extensive literature covering vernacular buildings. Our main activities are:

  • A monthly site visit from April to September, usually on a Sunday, visiting one property in the morning and another in the afternoon.
  • Additional site visits that fall outside this main programme.
  • Winter monthly meetings, also on Sundays, at a central Sussex location from October to March, with expert speakers who may be members or guests.

Other benefits include:

  • A copy of the previous year’s visit reports, and access on request for approved purposes to WBSG’s archive of over 600 reports.
  • A free library of books and reports.

Apotropaic mark, 1 Coppards Bridge Chailey 2012 kitchen fireplace lintel.Apotropaic mark, believed to fend off evil, common on fireplace lintels - two inverted V’s, interpreted as the letter M, and taken to stand for the Virgin Mary.And we are a very sociable group:

  • We enjoy each other's company as we discover the wonderful features of the properties we visit together.
  • We enjoy meeting the owners who care for their houses and who delight in knowing more about them.
  • We value meeting and working alongside each other – and enjoying post-visit debriefs with the owners.

What you can contribute

In return, the Group expects that members will themselves contribute:

  • Help identify potential ‘new’ buildings to visit and co-ordinate an approach to their owners.
  • Share knowledge - this might be about a type of building, an area of the Weald, or a special subject such as interior fittings or apotropaic marks (see picture, right).
  • Share expertise.

Every new member helps to enlarge upon our ever-increasing joint knowledge and understanding of the very complex subject of vernacular architecture in the Weald.

How to apply for membership