Matthew Glasgow

Senior Building Surveyor, Midlands

Matthew Glasgow - Senior Building Surveyor
Hanbury Hall, Worcestershire

Wat's it like being a Building surveyor with the National Trust?

A building surveyor’s role is one of the most diverse professions around! We spend lots of time planning, monitoring and organising works. With a range wide range of skills we need to work closely with our colleagues to make sure that what we do is collaborative and effective. Building Surveyors are the largest professional group at the National Trust and spend more money per annum than any other, so we have a real responsibility to organise effective maintenance, conservation and development that is value for money and of a high standard.

How long have you worked for the Trust?

I have worked for National Trust for almost 5 years firstly as Building Surveyor and then as Senior Building Surveyor working in Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Birmingham area.

What are you working on at the moment?

At present I am preparing for a significant conservation project at Charlecote Park to replace the heating system. This is a really important project for the property as it will control internal temperatures and relative humidity which are vital in keeping collections and interiors free from mould and pests.

Our central heating system is in desperate need of renewal
Charlecote Park's old central heating system is in need of renewal
Our central heating system is in desperate need of renewal

I am also involved in exciting infrastructure projects at Charlecote Park and Hanbury Hall which will deliver improvements to visitor reception, car parking, toilets and restaurant facilities; these are vital in providing a warm welcome to our supporters and providing income for our conservation work.

What's the best bit about your job?

The best bit about my job as a Senior Building Surveyor for the National Trust is two-fold; it’s the opportunity to work with the very best of our nation’s built heritage and to work with passionate, talented staff and volunteers. You can see the value of our work when leaving a site and knowing that your contribution is helping generations to come to enjoy what we love.

Removing mould is an ongoing part of our conservation work
Charlecote's conservation assistants constantly work at keeping mould at bay
Removing mould is an ongoing part of our conservation work

Any worst bits?

I think it’s all relative. If I’m having a hard day I always put it into perspective with how important the bit that I enjoy is. The amount of work we have to do is high but find that by planning and prioritising, we can work at pace and deliver our strategy effectively.

What’s the most unusual job/project you’ve worked on?

Probably the installation of a private water supply to the cottage at Knowles Mill in Bewdley. I you haven’t been there, Knowles Mill is the most picturesque disused mill and cottage located in the Wyre Forest. To access it from the Natural England car park there is a single track road winding its way along the river banks and the building is the other side. 

To get the necessary drilling equipment to construct the well we had to build a bridge over the river. I certainly learnt a lot during that project and even consulted helicopter lifting companies that we use in Snowdonia in the search for a suitable method of getting across. If any building surveyor ever says that two days are the same then that would be very unusual!