Roundwood Timber Framing & Reciprocal Roundhouse Building Course

roundwood timber framing course wholewoods

4 day Intensive

The Woodyard, Gloucestershire, UK

Free camping and breakfast.

18-21 April 2024

26-29 April 2024

5-8 Sept 2024

13-16 Sept 2024

⇒ BOOK NOW  £315 – 385

A Bit About Me

Click here to see what I’ve built over the last 20yrs…

“I’ve been Roundwood Timber Framing and teaching courses since 2003 after working with Ben Law on his ‘Woodland House’ filmed for Grand Designs. Pretty much everyone Roundwood Framing today will have been taught by Ben or I or someone we’ve taught but this relatively new art has been around long enough now that a few different styles have emerged which is very exciting.  I’ve cherry-picked a range of techniques to teach for this course ranging from the original & rustic to the modern & sophisticated. I love passing these skills on and hanging out round the fire in the evening so hopefully you’ll join me.”

Check out my podcasts

Ben laws house

The Roundwood Timber Frame Curriculum

I have been a professional roundwood timber framer for 20yrs. Most importantly this course allows me to share all of the professional short cuts & experience I’ve accumulated since starting in 2003. My 4 day intensive Roundwood Timber Framing & Reciprocal Roundhouse Building Course covers cutting scribed (butter-pat) & mortise and tenon joints for Cruck Frames. But also we’ll build a full size reciprocal roundhouse roof, cutting all the joints you’ll need to build a roundhouse. We’ll raise a Cruck frame, look at foundations, timber harvesting, roofing & walling. ABOUT YOU…this course is for anyone whether you have never touched a saw or are a professional timber framer.


timber roundhouse

In the evenings after BBQ we normally hang out around the fire in the Reciprocal Roundhouse. 


reciprocal roundhouse building course

After the Course

Once you’ve done a course you can apply to BUILD CAMP, This will give you a chance to be involved right through the building process on a real project. And you’ll be able to Advertise your build on our notice board if you are looking for volunteers.

 Check out all the Roundwood Timber Framed buildings on-site

roundwood timber framing course

Camping in the fields beside the Woodyard, or stay in your van.

Roundwood Tools 4 Sale

Roundwood Timber Framing tools for sale during the course. There will be plenty of new and used tools for sale. Not available mail order only during the course.

Reciprocal roundhouse timber frame

The Roundwood Framing Course fee.

The course is £315 – £395 depending on your circumstances. There are some cheaper 1 & 2 day courses click here. And also some one day 1:1 sessions here.


We share food at meal times. I provide a porridge every morning, lunch & dinner are diy and usually the bbq is on in the evening. You have access to our yard kitchen with rocket stoves, gas stoves & haybox. (There is no fridge). Camping is included in the cost.


 Send me an email

Or call 07952 759466

Download the Gift Voucher

What people have said about our course

This has been roundwood timber framing course6one of the most lovely experiences I can remember. Mostly I enjoyed being part of an honourable, hilarious and imaginative enterprise. Thanks so much. There is much I want to think over, and will no doubt bring you news from time to time. The cooking and campfire were lovely, Love and Best Wishes. Ian



roundwood timber framing course5



The course is laid back, intensely informative, but hands on in the extreme. The whole course was much more than I expected with a wide age range. The evening fire and social make the course so much more enjoyable, it was the best Christmas present I have had in years.

roundwood timber framing course


Have had a wonderful time, it’s an amazing place to learn and let go. Brilliant people on the course bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge. It’s been so good to slow down to the pace of life I dream of… With love.




roundwood timber framing course

A truly inspiring 5 days – I’ll leave with a warm glow of rightness and the confidence to tackle my own project. A great warm hearted group, very practical hands on instruction at the right pace and level, fabulous catering! thank you.

roundwood timber framing course


I’ve been doing lots more carpentry and building this year – I left my job in London in February to do a 6 month heritage construction course in S Wales – it’s funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to get more women working in the trades…I count myself very lucky to be part of it, and I’m pretty sure that going on your course helped me get my place, so thanks again for a great week! Take care, Poppy


Alex Brilliant, thanks – worth doing a 1200 mile round trip for : )


roundhouse building courseAndy

I just wanted to repeat my thanks to both of you for making a thoroughly enjoyable weekend that worked on so many levels for me. I was really impressed with the level of sophistication in content, manner and style of the course which is a tribute to the mantra of, ” it takes a lot of effort to make it look this easy “. I also appreciated your warmth and inclusiveness which was felt by everyone. I hope we get the chance to meet again.


Pete (Reciprocal roof roundhouse course)

Adrian and Katherine, thanks very much for such a fun weekend. The food has been great. The informative approach based on obvious in-depth experience of building shines through. I feel confident that I could tackle building a small reciprocal roof roundhouse.

roundhouse building course

roundwood timber framing course
Lynn & Sandra,Scotland
What an UTTERLY inspiring week! A meeting of like minded people all coming together to learn, share + laugh. We came here at the start of the week to learn about building with roundwood + are now leaving feeling empowered with an even stronger drive to start our project. Thank you so much to Adrian and Katherine for sharing a wealth of knowledge + providing an absolutely delicious spread every day.

roundhouse building courseLinda

A wonderful course! The laid back learning approach and catering was exceptional. So many other questions were answered about my proposed project, as well as of course how to erect a reciprocal roof roundhouse.
Many thanks, Linda Scott – Austrailia



roundwood timber framing course


2 Life changing weeks!
What I learnt on the courses was only part of it. What I learnt out side of the course from both of you and the fellow students was amazing. Good people attract good people.

roundhouse building courseJames & Sandy

Thank you for a great few days….I learnt a lot and food to die for. For those not wishing to camp I’d really recommend ‘the snooty fox’ in Tetbury. Back to Greece now, where the roundhouse project will begin!
Best wishes, James & Sandy – Athens, Greece.


Dylan Cicero
Hey all, it was really great to meet everybody during a fantastic course!  I’m in a natural building frenzy right now…can’t stop thinking about it… will be taking a straw bale course in NY in a few weeks (put off the “job” search a little longer hehe)… thanks all for the knowledge and inspiration.

roundhouse building coursePhil

Fantastic training – not just for the theoretical and practical aspects which were delivered in a fun and relaxed manner, but for the opportunity to sit and discuss the more philosophical aspects of this type of build and sustainable building in general. Also feel like a new doorway has opened into a network of magical, practical people.



What a course! Highlights include raising the cruck frame and not dropping it! Great food and people, Muchas Gracias.


It was an absolute pleasure to be in the company of someone who just fucking loves what they do and are good at it. The small amount of time I have spent here has had an untold and un-measurable influence on my future plans and my general treatment of my life and my own trade. Much love. Will defo see you again at some point.


Heya mate, I just wanted to say thanks again for the roundwood framing course last summer. We ended up successfully building our roundhouse in just over 10 days (one session a week) with a group of Syrian refugees. They absolutely loved the programme and got a lot out of it, as did I.

This is a short video of the build which you might be interested to see.
I was very out of my depth before coming on the course, but after the weekend at yours i felt as confident as one can be before giving 10 incredibly rowdy middle eastern men axes and very heavy timbers. And I has a proper laugh as well.
Hope your good man. cheers Adam

Hi Adrian, Darren here from 3 years ago.

I’ve completed my first roundwood project in the woodland. All home grown timber, larch and hazel. Did it all by myself.
Thanks for the training.
Kind regards Darren



What inspired me to build a reciprocal roof roundhouse.

I started working on roundwood timber frame buildings over a decade ago in Belize.
The reciprocal roof roundhouse is a particularly elegant and mind boggling spectacle of geometry. The Reciprocal Frame, also known as a Mandala roof, has been used since the 12th century in Chinese and Japanese architecture although little or no trace of these ancient methods remain. Leonardo da Vinci designed a self-supporting bridge using this method in the 16th century

The timbers in a reciprocal roof roundhouse are left round but they do need the bark removed. You can have the logs mechanically peeled.  However that process strips away the natural form which trees spend decades maturing and which is so relaxing on the eye. It’s a real joy to see the natural world expressed in a building. Archie Milles once mused that, “No writer could ever match the poetry expressed in the form of a single tree. Peeling the logs by hand leaves the natural form of the tree intact.

Raising the frame is another classic moment for people to come together in a rare moment of ‘team building’, literally. This feels good because for thousands of years collaborative outdoor work was part of community life. The power of the shared journey to overcome a physical challenge is well recognised for its feel-good social bonding effect. I’ve built structures for many different organisations over the years and most of them have been run as team building events. I have helped school children, college students, university students, corporate groups, community groups and families shape their own environments. It’s always a joy and a real one off opportunity for most people that they’ll never forget.  (Adrian Leaman – course tutor)

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Roundwood Timber Framing is Cool

What seems now like a very long time ago when I lived in Belize I had my first experience of a community building project. We were building a family home of humble and natural materials. The whole village came out to help women, children, young and old dug with their hands or with sticks to make the foundations and slowly bit by bit the building grew. There was no big deal about it being an ‘eco home’ there just human beings getting on with creating shelter and nesting the way we always have and like most other species will. As social we are beings the tribe where doing it together.

I love building Reciprocal Roundhouses

How we normally roll. 

We’ll size the crew to fit the project but it often around 10 people who camp on site for between 2and 4 weeks. The event is not a course but somewhere between volunteering, crowd funding, and an apprenticeship. I do teach but we are all learning through doing and sharing. Normally Wholewoods gets paid directly by the venue who rarely have the budget for a full commercial build but have sufficient to cover our costs and build materials. Wholewoods is a sole trade business  run on not for profit principals. Our bottom line running costs without training are£…….? If possible I like to charge between £100-200 per day for onsite work. Wholewoods usually has a turn over of £15-20k. 

Reciprocal Roof Roundhouse for sale

I don’t know why people come but our time together is full of pioneering spirit, learning, sharing skills and being part of something bigger than themselves. All I ask is that everyone be fit and competent with basic hand tools. If they are not I recommend coming on one of our courses instead. 

Roundwood Timber Framed Building

It is not a course and I don’t charge it as such. We would want some money to cover our business bottom line. People on the course usually pay for food and the venue pay me. It could be that the venue provide lunches and the participants pay me 

Cruck framed buildings are cool

 it was difficult to distinguish the difference between the community building