SPAB, Society for Protection of Ancient Buildings

SPAB Edinburgh, Scottish Events, Architecture, Barony Street Building, Glasite Meeting House

SPAB : Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings in Scotland

19 January 2022

SPAB Heritage Awards 2022

post updated 8 June 2021

Archives of UK’s oldest building conservation charity now catalogued

The records of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings are now available to search online

9th of June 2021 – The Society for the Protection of Ancient Building’s (SPAB) online archive catalogue launched on 9 June to coincide with International Archives Day.

The SPAB Archive contains records dating to 1877, when the SPAB was founded. It illustrates the evolution of building conservation policy and practice in this country from the late-19th century – which was strongly influenced by the SPAB – and the role of key figures such as SPAB founder William Morris and others closely associated with SPAB. The collection is especially relevant to those with a local or professional interest in historic buildings or places and how these have changed during the Society’s lifetime.

Correspondence from Thomas Hardy, he was a SPAB member and an architect as well as a writer. He is writing to alert the SPAB about Puddletown Church in Dorset, most likely there were some damaging repair works taking place:
Correspondence from Thomas Hardy
image courtesy of SPAB Archive

The catalogue currently contains over 20,000 descriptions of historic casework files and photographs. New listing will be added each month and will include historic SPAB membership files (such as correspondences from famous members such as Thomas Hardy and Beatrix Potter), exhibitions, research, education, and technical advice.

Anyone wishing to find out more about the SPAB’s holdings had to rely on hard copy lists but for the first time there is one online catalogue which brings all elements of the collection together.

Dunblane Cathedral, Scotland, prior to restoration of the building in 1890 (included in the photo albums):
Dunblane Cathedral, Scotland
image courtesy of SPAB Archive

Maggie Goodall, SPAB education and training manager, says: “I’m particularly fond of the photo albums, which seem really special – images from early casework and evidence that SPAB was commissioning photography. What is quite poignant is that we have images of buildings that have since changed, been repaired or been lost.  We’d love to find out more about the albums and their history, to have them conserved and digitised as part of the next stage of our cataloguing project.”

Explore the SPAB collection here:

The SPAB is the country’s oldest building conservation charity, set up by William Morris in 1877. Today the SPAB encourages excellence in new design to enrich and complement the built historic environment. We train new generations of architectural professionals and building craftspeople to shape this landscape with sensitivity and skill, and we play a statutory role as adviser to local planning authorities. In our casework we campaign actively to protect old buildings at risk.

Society for Protection of Ancient Buildings, 37 Spital Square, London, E16DY, United Kingdom

Previously on e-architect:

11 Jul 2002

SPAB Scotland

Information re The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings in Scotland

Address: The Glasite Meeting House, 33 Barony Street, Edinburgh
Contact: [email protected]

This amenity society founded by William Morris, Philip Webb and others, in 1877; to oppose what they saw as destructive ‘restoration’ of ancient buildings then occurring in Victorian England; ‘ancient’ being used in the wider sense of ‘very old’ rather than the more usual modern one of ‘pre-medieval’.

The society states on their website: “We believe old buildings have a future. From cottages to castles and from churches to cathedrals we are here to help buildings and the people who care for them. Based on years of experience and research we understand how old buildings work.”

Programme of SPAB Events

Discover the city

Walking Tours in the historic towns of Edinburgh and Glasgow to explore their culture and feel their past

Edinburgh 13 Jul 2002
A walking Tour in the historic town of Edinburgh. The tour will cover conservation issues of the past and the present with a focus on several commercial and private buildings in the Old and the New Town.
Delegate: Mr Simon Green, RCAHMS

Starts at 11am, from the Glasite Meeting House,
33 Barony St, Edinburgh

Glasgow 27 Jul 2002
A walking Tour in Glasgow. The tour will focus on different conservation projects of the past and the present. Several commercial, industrial and private houses will be visited, unravelling the history of the city.
Delegate: Mr David Martin
Starts at 11am, from George Square, Glasgow

For further info contact SPAB on 0131 557 1551

Location: Scotland

Architecture in Scotland

Scottish Architecture Designs – chronological list

Scottish Architecture News

Scottish Architecture

Scottish Natural Heritage

Traquair, Scottish Borders
Traquair House

Scottish Architect

HALO Masterplan in Kilmarnock, Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, Southwest Scotland
Architects: Keppie Design
HALO Kilmarnock building model
image courtesy of architects
HALO Masterplan Kilmarnock

Hawkhead Centre, Paisley, Southwest Scotland
Design: Page \ Park Architects
Hawkhead Centre in Paisley
photo : Keith Hunter
Hawkhead Centre in Paisley

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