Vernacular Conservation Ltd. has been created as a collective with a passionate drive to conserve our vernacular heritage, crafts, skills, materials and buildings through our sensitive conservation practices, and training. Drawing on many years of combined experience in a wide range of fields from traditional stonemasonry, dry stone walling, architectural and monumental masonry, cob walling, traditional Lime mortars, pointing and renders, teaching, contracting, consultation and structural engineering, we provide a service that draws on the tried and tested craft traditions, and combines it with the very latest advances in conservation and safety practices. Our aim is to make our vernacular crafts accessible again, and show people that these skills are not dead, or unobtainable, and that our humble vernacular built heritage is worth preserving.
Dominic Keogh is a Stonemason from Kilmovee in East Mayo, an area rich in culture and heritage. The stone strewn local landscape, criss-crossed with meandering sandstone walls, and vernacular farmhouses originally led Dominic to begin experimenting with local dry stone building techniques, gaining knowledge from older farmers in the Kilmovee area. Dominic’s passion for dry stone walling gave him a thirst for knowledge in all aspects of stonework, and his love of vernacular buildings led him into historical conservation, training in architectural, monumental masonry and letter cutting, and lime mortars to conserve and restore everything from humble cottages, to grand tower houses. He has worked for many years to promote vernacular crafts through training at several Irish stone festivals and working with community groups and upskilling practitioners as well as volunteer projects such as the “Gathering of the stones” monument in lough Boora, co Offaly, the “Clocha Na hEireann” monument in Glencolumkille, Donegal, and traveling as far afield as Amherst Island in Ontario, Canada to work on an Irish themed Dry Stone monument with the Dry Stone walling association of Canada, and being invited to the Milwaukee Irish fest in America to promote Irish stonemasonry.
Eoin is a sixth-generation stonemason and lime practitioner from the Burren region of Co. Clare, Ireland. He is passionate about the conservative repair of vernacular structures and specialises in the use of historic lime mortars. In 2005 he completed a nine-month dry stone walling and stone cutting course run by master craftsman Tom Little in Tralee Co. Kerry. From there he became an active member of The Buildings Limes Forum Ireland and again, under the tuition of master craftsman Pat McAfee, he gained his knowledge and love for historic mortars. In 2005 he won a placement with The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB). The SPAB was set up in 1877 by William Morris to combat the needless architectural restoration being carried out by the Victorians. SPAB believes in conservation over restoration. Along with 2 other craftsmen and 3 conservation professionals, they criss-crossed the UK and Ireland visiting and working alongside master craftspeople and professionals. He is now a committee member and trainer for The Building Lime Forum Ireland and a founding member of SPAB Ireland where again he is a trainer in masonry and lime mortars.