Historic Buildings Consultant

An independent building surveyor and architectural historian offering a professional, thorough and conscientious service to a wide range of clients, both in the heritage and private sector.

The appreciation and understanding of history makes working with tangible heritage so enthralling.

James Weir MA (Oxon) PgDipSurv,
PgCertArchHist FRSA IHBC


After leaving Somerville College, Oxford, where I read Classics, I decided immediately to take my passion for history and historic buildings and make a career of it. I began my training as a building surveyor in a small, private practice of Chartered Building Surveyors in Kent, where I was fortunate to gain much experience of historic building conservation, not only in the technical knowledge, but - equally important - the appreciation and understanding of history that makes working with tangible heritage so enthralling.

During this first appointment, I gained much experience in all aspects of building surveying, including building surveys, design and specification and contract administration and project management on both standing buildings, old and new, and new-builds. I also at this time attained a Postgraduate Diploma in Surveying from the College of Estate Management and began training as a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

To focus fully on the historic environment, I then took up a building surveyor post with the National Trust in Dorset, for whom I was responsible for implementing planned maintenance and survey programmes and specifying and managing repair projects for a number of estates, in total comprising over 150 buildings.

After having focussed mostly on the technical side of building surveying for my professional career, I left the National Trust to develop the historical side and offer it as a joint, complementary service to building surveying - not as a change of direction, but to follow my own love of that field. In addition, I am currently partly based at the University of Oxford, where I am reading for a DPhil in Architectural History.

I am also a member of the Institute for Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) and the services I provide strictly follow the Code of Conduct of that institution, as well as the professional standards of the RICS. The care I have for the buildings I work with, and my appetite for learning, enables me to provide a genuine, thorough and personal approach to each client, building and research project.

The breadth of my experience has provided me with a rounded knowledge of not only construction technology (historic and modern), but also of building types, including churches, schools, industrial units, cottages, farm buildings, castle ruins, forts, monuments and even Second World War bunkers - an endless variety which never lets fascination fade.

I am fully insured and based in Kent, Oxford and Dorset; I am therefore able to work conveniently in any UK location. For a full list of services, as well as an explanation of my conservation philosophy, please click on the relevant tabs.