Five separate courses are available this year - two designed to teach you the basic skills and then build on those with specialist techniques; and three which focus on themed bindings. (The numbers are strictly limited to a maximum of 8 so please book early.)

The Skills of Traditional Bookbinding

Thurs. 6th - Sun. 9th April (3 days) - Bookbinding Beginners - The Case-bound Book

Thurs. 8th - Sun. 11th June (3 days) - Progressing with Bookbinding - Simple Repairs and Different Binding Styles

Themed Courses

Thurs. 11th - Sun. 14th May (3 days) - Limp Vellum Binding (Please check availability)

Friday 8th - Sunday 10th September (2 days) - Photo Albums

Thurs. 26th - Sun. 29th October (3 days) - Three-quarter Leather Binding (Waiting list only)

(arrival 5-6pm, departure 4-5pm)

  • Bookbinding - Inserting ribbon on spine
  • Bookbinding - Book sections
  • Bookbinding -  Preparing spine
  • Bookbinding -  Tail band
  • Bookbinding -  Book Press
  • Bookbinding at the Grange 4
  • Bookbinding at the Grange 5
  • Bookbinding at the Grange 6
  • Bookbinding - sewing 1
  • Bookbinding at the Grange 3
  • Bookbinding at the Grange - Book press
There are five courses at the Grange this year. If you are completely new to bookbinding, and want to start at the beginning with a view to becoming accomplished, we recommend that you learn the basic skills of making a case-bound book with our beginners’ course. Thereafter, there are lots of ways of adding to those skills, perhaps on the Progressing with Bookbinding course or on one of the themed courses. Some of the themed courses are also suitable for beginners.

You may like to watch the short film about the Grange here.

Bookbinding Beginners - the Case Bound Book (with Jim MacWilliams)
Thursday 6th - Sunday 9th April (3 days)

Cased bookbinding

The Beginners’ course - an ideal starting point if you’ve never done any bookbinding before or only dabbled in it. Whatever you choose to go on and specialise in, or if you just want to work towards repairing your own books, a basic grounding in the traditional skills of bookbinding will be invaluable. This course provides you with an introduction to the tools and techniques of bookbinding and will enable you to produce, by the end of the three days, a case-bound book. You will learn about bookbinding materials, the correct use of bookbinding tools and the technical processes of bookbinding, including sewing, attaching endpapers, glueing, trimming, rounding and backing, case-making and casing-in.

'I have just returned from a book binding course tutored by Jim Mac Williams
and what a privilege to be taught by such an expert bookbinder. Jim is
an inspirational teacher who can put across his subject in a
relaxed & humorous way that brings out the best in his students.
We were all amazed at the amount of work we
accomplished and the standard we achieved.'

Progressing with Bookbinding (with
Jim MacWilliams)
Thursday 8th - Sunday 11th June (3 days)


So, you’ve learnt the basics of bookbinding and now you are ready to see some of the things you can do with them.

This 3-day course is aimed at those who have already made a cased book but who want to further develop bookbinding skills. It will mainly focus upon developing the skills required to undertake:

1) cloth case binding repair (where the spine is detached from the book) together with simple page repairs;

2) an attractive, functional and strong library style cloth case binding; and

3) a single-sheet hardback cloth case binding style that is suitable for binding dissertations, thesis or short run publications such as those used for family memoirs.

By the end of this course you will have learnt how to make some simple repairs as well as having two splendid cased books to take home (both of which would make lovely gifts if you can bear to part with your own handiwork!)

To see some photos of the bindery and Jim in action on the Beginners' course, you may like to visit our Blog pages.

Limp Vellum Binding (with
Glenn Malkin)
Thursday 11th - Sunday 14th May (3 days)
(Waiting List Only)

limp vellum bookbinding

This is a very old style of binding where the vellum cover is laced on to the book block and very little glue is used. Here we will be utilising attractive old vellum documents to create the covers. The first process is to line the vellum with tissue to flatten it and make it easier to work with. Participants will then prepare a blank book block, cutting, folding, piercing and sewing their book on to leather thongs. We will then sew on some simple headbands. Then we will create a template to cut our vellum cover and fold it into shape before lacing on to the books. The result is an attractive book with a strong flexible cover, using a binding style which has been used for centuries. This course is suitable for beginners and more experienced binders.

'Just a thank you for a splendid weekend. The course was terrific, and Glenn is a superb tutor.
I had such an enjoyable time . . . Thank you also for the amazing, delicious and healthy food.
What a good bunch of people you are.'

Making a Photo Album (with Naomi Sadler)
Friday 8th - Sunday 10th September (2 days)

photo albums small

Photo album inner Photo-album-spine Photo-album-sewn-block

Everybody loves a beautiful photo album.

On this course you will create a blank hand-folded and sewn photo album with 40 leaves (80 pages). The album will have guards (added bulk in the spine) to allow for insertion of pictures. Tissue paper between pages will be optional.
(The pages will be blank so that photos can be affixed with photo corners or similar.)

You will be able to choose from one of two styles:
Either 1) a traditional cloth half-bound style case with patterned or marbled paper, or
2) a more modern, personalised, full-bound cloth binding (for which you will need to bring at least a couple of copies - not an original, please - of a favourite portrait photograph, 6 x 4).

During the course you will learn about the equipment involved in bookbinding and how to use it correctly. The skills you learn will not only enable you to complete the photo album but will also be useful for different bookbinding projects you may undertake in the future.

Beginners welcome.

Three-quarter Leather Binding (with Glenn Malkin)
Thursday 26th - Sunday 29th October (3 days)
(Please check availability)

three quarter leather binding

Participants will create a hand-sewn, rounded and backed blank book block with leather joints and coloured paper doublures. The sewing tapes will then be laced on to lined boards and we will make our own applied leather headbands. Whilst applying leather to the spine and fore edges, we will look at ways of giving this traditional style a contemporary look by creating alternative raised band patterns, looking at different covering materials and, if time allows, exploring decorative approaches. This course is for those with some basic experience of binding (and is less suitable for absolute beginners).

Tools and equipment will be provided. (We can supply a list of suppliers for those who wish to buy tools afterwards. Some of these are given on our
Links page.) The courses will be held in our recently restored and refurbished bindery.

For 3-day courses:
Residential (single with en-suite bathroom) - £495
Sharing (or in single room without bathroom) - £435
Non residential £380
(to include Thursday evening meal and lunches each day)

For 2-day courses:
Residential (single with en-suite bathroom) - £355
Sharing (or in single room without bathroom) - £315
Non residential £285
(to include Friday evening meal and lunches both days)

Prices include tuition, all meals and accommodation. An additional materials charge may be made depending on the materials used.
If you would like further information about our secure payment system, please see our booking and payments pages. Deposits can be paid online to reserve your place, although please be aware that as places are strictly limited (and online bookings are not monitored 24/7, your booking is not confirmed until we have confirmed it by email. Should you make a booking for a course that has reached its maximum number we will advise and, of course, make a refund of a deposit if there are no other courses that are of interest.)