Are we losing the art of the craft?

Are we losing the art of the craft?

April 18, 2023

Scotland is known for its stunning landscapes and beautiful architecture, which is highly appreciated by tourists from around the world. The country is home to some of the most iconic and impressive architectural structures in the world, and stonemasonry has been a significant part of Scotland’s cultural heritage for centuries. However, recent studies have shown that there has been a sharp decline in the number of stonemasons in Scotland, which is a cause for concern for the country’s architectural heritage.

Why is the number of stonemasons decreasing in Scotland?

There are various reasons why the number of stonemasons is decreasing in Scotland. One of the primary reasons is the lack of interest among the younger generation in pursuing a career in stonemasonry. With the increase in technological advancements, younger generations are more interested in computer science, programming, and other digital professions rather than hands-on skilled trades.

Another reason is the declining demand for stonemasonry jobs due to a shift in the construction industry towards less traditional building methods. With new building materials emerging and modular building techniques becoming more popular, there needs to be more emphasis on the use of traditional stone masonry techniques.

The decline in the number of stonemasons in Scotland can also be attributed to a lack of training and education. The art of stonemasonry is passed down from generation to generation, and apprenticeships are a vital part of this process. However, there has been a decrease in the number of apprenticeships available in recent years- Edinburgh College closing its doors to new stonemason apprentices further highlights this.

Impact of a decrease in the number of stonemasons in Scotland:

The decrease in the number of stonemasons in Scotland has significant implications for the country’s rich architectural heritage. Much of Scotland’s architecture is made of stone, and the lack of skilled workers can lead to a decrease in the preservation and maintenance of these buildings’ historical value. Furthermore, the loss of stonemasonry skills can also negatively impact the construction industry, as traditional building methods become less relevant in modern construction.

In conclusion, the decline in the number of stonemasons in Scotland is a worrying trend that needs to be addressed urgently. By encouraging the younger generation to explore stonemasonry as a career option, providing more training and educational opportunities, and promoting the importance of preserving Scotland’s architectural heritage, we can ensure that the art of stonemasonry is passed on to future generations. It is our responsibility to do what we can to restore the diminishing numbers of stonemasons in Scotland, preserving our beautiful country’s architecture, history, and culture.

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