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Any stone masons out there?
I have decided to hang up the trowel atfer years of going nowhere fast and grow up and get a real job! Unfortunatly I am worried that the new career i am interested in is possibly a little obscure and difficult to get into! I want to retrain as a stone mason and work in building restoration but have no idea where to start. Does anyone out there know if it is better to do an apprenticeship, degree, or shorter course and any good places to do these things? Any help would be much appreciated as am far to jaded to be any use in archaeology any more!
My first port of call would be your closest town with old walls or stone monuments. I know first hand that Southampton City Council has very close links to stone masons who maintain the Bargate etc. There may be oportunities for apprenticeships along those lines. I'm sure someone will have some decent contact info, if not I might be able to dredge something up.
A quick google search came up with a really useful looking website which includes links to courses, etc.

Trouble is, stone masonry could range from taking down/putting up field walls (a far worse an experience in the rain than any excavation) to making gargoles.

Not stone masonry, but I know there is a chronic shortage of millwrights about, and quite a bit of work. I remember hearing about a 3-year apprenticeship type course someone was trying to start. I can't remember the details but could find out.

Its worth considering - interesting, historical, archaeological, hands-on, indoor work, with time split between workshop and travel (invites abroad as well).
A grade 5 person I dealt with on a project a couple of years ago has retrained as a stone mason and now works on the restoration of a cathedral in about 12 months.

Interestingly on the BAJR cvs list there is this comment from a carpenter:

"The Restorastion programme on BBC1 was always giong on about not enough skilled craftsmen out there. Load of cobblers not enough advertised jobs is the problem. There are plenty of us out here"

So I would check out the actual job opportunities.


Cathedrals are probably best avoided unless you enjoy working for the cash-strapped and bankrupt. Last year Chester made at least one stonemason redundant. Have a look at online for information about the huge reductions in repair budgets for ecclesiastical buildings (ie your future wages, job security etc etc).

This should be of use...

You may be eligible for training.
Bournemouth Uni used to run a course on building conservation.....
Thanks to everyone for the information will check out all the links now! Thanks again you lot are wicked!Big GrinBig GrinBig GrinBig Grin
Good luck in your future mate. Wer`e only wicked when asleep........Wink

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