Celebrating 25 years of Carpenter Oak in Scotland


Carpenter Oak is an award-winning company that specialises in designing, making and installing bespoke structural timber frames for everything from small cabins and extensions to large homes, as well as non-residential frames for wedding barns and school buildings

This post was written in partnership with Carpenter Oak

At the end of May 2024 Carpenter Oak celebrated 25 years since they established in Scotland. The yard there, by the Loch of Lintrathen near to Kirriemuir in Angus, has seen some incredible projects built by very talented carpenters.

The projects that propelled the establishment of the yard

The first major project in Scotland, before the yard had been established, was to rebuild the hammerbeam roof of the Great Hall at Stirling Castle. This project involved handcrafting and erecting 1328 pieces of timber to restore the roof to its impressive 500-year-old self.

hammerbeam roof inside Stirling castle
Stirling Castle roof

The project at Stirling Castle received acclaim and a lot of coverage in Scotland – it gave oak framing and what could be done with it great exposure, leading to the realisation that there was a lot of interest and appetite for oak framing in Scotland and the north of England.

Within two years of the Stirling Castle project the new yard had been set up, and another impressive project helped to put Carpenter Oak in Scotland on the map. The team in Scotland raised the frames for four green oak ‘pods’, to house 36 inhabitants on the remote island of Taransay, in the Outer Hebrides, for the BBC Castaway series in 2000.

Over 500 incredible projects built

Since then the team have continued to excel and have completed a huge variety of projects. With over 500 projects built and employing more than 100 people over the years, the frames they have raised show the level of skill and expertise that is the Carpenter Oak trademark.

These are just some of the incredible projects the team in Scotland has been involved with.

Residential projects

These three homes designed by Roderick James Architects – A sweeping curved house, and two ‘evolution’ houses Tigh Na Mara and Tigh Darach which are designed as affordable timber framed houses that can be easily adapted.

blue checked couch and fireplace in room with wooden beams and timber frame
Tigh Darach

An eco-home on the edge of a loch, built on a rocky, sloping shoreline, designed by Helen Lucas Architects.

Frisealach (George Fielding Photography)

An exceptional boathouse with cruck-blade air-dried oak trusses on the shores of Loch Ness.

Boathouse (Kishorn and Tide Graphic)

A complete renovation of a listed country manor added a contemporary Douglas-fir framed wing.

Renton Hall (Gillian Dapple Photography)

Another modern addition to an older building, this time a glass living room with a partially-kiln dried Douglas fir and concealed steel connections with an innovative glazing system.

Old Schoolhouse (Eoghan Smith Photography)

Non-residential projects

As well as building beautiful timber framed spaces for people’s homes, the team in Scotland have also had the privilege to build frames for some non-residential projects.

Maggie’s Centre – a RIBA award-winning uplifting and inspiring building that provides non-residential care for cancer patients.

Maggie’s Centre

Loch Lomond National Park HQ – with all timber sourced from Scotland the new HQ for the National Park was built in 2008 and was at the time the largest green timber frame building in the UK. It won the RIBA award in 2009.

Loch Lomond NP HQ

Rosslyn Chapel – a new and innovative visitor centre was built, with monolithic green oak posts that bear the criss-cross roof trusses.

Rosslyn Chapel

Netflix trebuchet – the production ‘Outlaw King’ drew Hollywood to Scotland and required a full-scale replica trebuchet.

Carpenter Oak in Scotland – many more projects to build

The dedicated team in Scotland are excited for the next 25+ years at their lovely loch-side base. They continue to craft and raise beautiful frames throughout the region, from oak-framed cafes at well-known castles for businesses who want something special, to homes and extensions for clients who are after their own stunning timber framed space.

If you’re planning your own oak framed self-build in Scotland, please get in touch with the team to discuss your plans.

They’re always ready to answer your questions and offer help and inspiration.

They offer a full range of services including design consultancy, in-house architectural services, bespoke frame design, and frame handcrafting and installation.

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