Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings
The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) (sometimes known as Anti-Scrape) was 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.
Morris was particularly concerned about the practice, which he described as "forgery", of attempting to return buildings to an idealised state from the distant past, which often involved the removal of elements added in their later development and which Morris saw as contributing to their interest as documents of the past. Instead, he proposed that ancient buildings should be repaired, not restored, so that their entire history would be protected as cultural heritage.
Organization and activities
Today, the SPAB still operates according to Morris's original manifesto. It campaigns, advises, runs training programmes and courses, conducts research and publishes information. The Society must be notified of all applications in England and Wales to demolish in whole or part any listed building. It currently has c. 8,500 members (2012).
The Society also has a branch in Scotland, and the Mills Section, which is the only British national body concerned with the protection, repair and continued use of traditional windmills and watermills.
- Somerset Buildings Preservation Trust
- Wiltshire Historic Buildings Trust
- Marianne Suhr
- Ken Major
- Scottish Civic Trust
- Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland