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The Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies

- the research arm of the Department of Architecture

Studying at Cambridge


History and Development of Building Construction

Architectural history has been widely studied but the history of building construction is only just beginning to be explored. Building technologies have tended to vary widely from place to place and methods of technology transfer from one culture to another are often unclear. Moreover building technology is often overlooked. The study of the history of building construction involves the use of documents to understand the social background and economics of the building process. It also involves archaeological recording of surviving building fabric wherever possible. At the moment building construction is often not well enough understood to allow dating by construction method; one of the primary aims of this research is to make this possible.

The following projects have already been carried out by James Campbell and Michael Ramage and published:


  • The Development of the Timber Roof Truss 1660-1710
  • The Development of Brickwork in England 1610-1710
  • The Economic and Social Status of Building Craftsmen
  • Brickmaking and Bricklaying across the world
  • The Recording of Castle Heddingham
  • The History and Use of the Timbrel Vault
  • The Moving of Marble to Lydian Sardis