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What is a Vernacular Building?

The simplest definition of a vernacular building is that it is “of its place”.

Vernacular buildings reflect local building traditions, often built using materials from the locality. Generally they are not architect-designed structures, and their form and design may reflect local folk traditions.

They are typical of a common type of building in a particular locality and generally predate 1925.

While not necessarily listed, they have a natural place in towns, villages and smaller settlements and help to bring personality and local distinctiveness.

Councils may wish to bring forward local policies to promote their sympathetic rehabilitation or to prevent them from falling into disuse.

The last remaining vernacular building was a thatch building on the Antrim Road, since demolished. Sometimes the red brick terraces of Belfast are known as “urban vernacular”.


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