Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings
The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) was formed in 1877 by William Morris, to help ensure that the restoration of buildings was undertaken sympathetically and appropriately, in particular to discourage the destructive restoration of medieval buildings that was being carried out by Victorian architects.
Currently, it is the largest and oldest pressure group fighting to save old buildings from decay, demolition and damage. It is a charity and has a small staff, but most of its work is undertaken by volunteers. It has 9,000 members, who support its work to help conserve the historic environment.
The Society is still run according to its 1877 manifesto. Its main purpose is to protect buildings that are old and interesting, ensuring that the nature of building restoration and repair is appropriate. It also undertakes research to help improve methods for implementing this policy and it provides education and advice services.
A series of courses and lectures are run by the Society for individual homeowners and professionals, and any member of the public can call the technical advice line to discuss queries with a member of the technical staff. It also campaigns on matters related to the protection of ancient buildings and publishes books, technical pamphlets and information sheets.
The society has a statutory role as advisor to local planning authorities. If any applications is made in Wales or England to demolish any part of a listed building the society must be notified. They are also informed by religious bodies with an ecclesiastical exemption, of certain proposals for listed places of worship.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- Archaeology and construction.
- Archaeological officer.
- Building Preservation Notice.
- Certificate of immunity.
- Conservation area.
- Conservation officer.
- Ecclesiastical exemption.
- Heritage partnership agreement.
- Historic England.
- Listed buildings.
- Scheduled monuments.
- Tree preservation order.
- VAT - protected buildings.
 External references
Featured articles and news
The IHBC helps UK Civic Trusts to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the introduction of Conservation Areas, with a fund allocation of up to £2500, including a prize of a place at the IHBC’s Annual School on offer for the most effective project.
The IHBC’s commercial conservation services listing, HESPR – the Historic Environment Service Providers Recognition scheme – offers weekly HESPR Bulletins listing tender opportunities. The Director’s top pick for IHBC members this week features Redbridge Borough Council’s search for a ‘consultant to provide additional guidance to support the Council’s evidence base in relation to tall buildings throughout the Borough’, with a contract valued at £60,000.
This year the AGM will be held in Lisburn on 9th November, followed by the joint conference ‘Heritage for the Next Generation, Who Pays?’, organised by the Branch with Lagan Navigation Trust and Heritage Trust Network. Key ministerial and media speakers include Paul Givan MLA, John Sergeant and Joe Mahon.
The IHBC has warmly welcomed Historic Environment Scotland's (HES) new website, a ‘Place to Explore your Built Heritage'.
Bristol may have lost one of its oldest and most historically important churches as St Michael on the Mount Without adds itself to the long line of listed buildings assailed by fire.
A resident has been fined £1,600 after Harlow Council took him to court for failing to demolish an outbuilding he has built in his garden, as Councillor Danny Purton, Portfolio Holder for Environment there, said: ‘… People living in a conservation area take pride in maintaining its special character and this development does more harm than good and does nothing to either preserve or enhance the appearance of the area. There are no public benefits to outweigh the harm this causes.’
On 12 October 2016, the AQA exam board announced that it would not be continuing work to develop new AS and A-levels in Archaeology, Classical Civilisation, History of Art and Statistics, and petitions objecting to these plans have been generating lots of signatures.
Firefighters worked through the night of 13 October to battle a huge blaze at a former north-east hospital, the derelict Glen O’Dee hospital, Banchory as now news reports have emerged that the Category A listed building, which once featured on the BBC ‘Restoration’ programme, has been deliberately destroyed by fire.
An appeal launched relating to housing near the historic battlefield of Edgehill, Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire has been dismissed, with the inspector concluding that the appeal was not in accordance with the development plan and that harm to the character of the surroundings would be likely to occur.
The remembrance poppy sculpture ‘weeping window’ which was initially at the Tower of London now graces another monument, this time in Wales, at Caernarfon Castle.