Press Release Archive

The destruction of an irreplaceable Jacobean ceiling at a former merchant's house in Bristol ear-marked for development has highlighted a failing in English conservation law. If 15 Small Street, the 17th-century property at the heart of this shocking act of vandalism, was located just 17 miles to the west in Wales it would have been protected.
The demolition of a Grade II-listed cottage at 13 Church Street, Owston Ferry, Doncaster was the result of North Lincolnshire Council’s failure to safeguard the building, reports Britain’s oldest conservation charity, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB).
Dan Cruickshank says: "The world famous Whitechapel Foundry is a landmark - both for its splendid use and its fine historic buildings. Bells cast at the foundry have sounded in cities around the world for hundreds of years. "For many that sound represents the heart and soul of London, and in the case of Big Ben in the Palace of Westminster it is the sound of Freedom. The existing buildings deserve the highest level of recognition and protection as a unique and important part of our heritage." The petition, signed by more than 10,000 people in three weeks, calls on the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport Karen Bradley MP to understand and respond to the concerns of thousands of people objecting to the loss of the bell foundry on this site.
The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) has objected to plans to demolish the Grade II-listed Robin Hood Hotel, 1-3 Lombard Street, Newark. Britain’s oldest conservation body has written to Newark and Sherwood Council objecting to proposals to replace the prominently-sited historic building with a bland 66-bedroom Travelodge Hotel. SPAB maintains that the importance of the Robin Hood Hotel has been under-estimated by the council and that its repair problems have been over-estimated. Along with local heritage groups, the Society believes there can still be a positive, sustainable future for this unique group of significant buildings.
SPAB’S 2017 Scholars hit the conservation trail There is no parallel in the architectural conservation world to the annual SPAB (Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) Lethaby Scholarship. The four newest recruits to this long established training scheme for young architectural and building professionals now join a roster of talented individuals, many of whom care for the most significant buildings in Britain. Kristian Foster, 33, architect, Aoife Murphy, 31, structural engineer and Lilian Main, 26, architect have embarked on a prestigious nine-month programme of site, workshop and studio visits across the UK. The aim is for SPAB’s Scholars to gain hands-on experience of building conservation in action guided by experts in the field and to use this knowledge to inform their own approach in their working lives. Their travels will enable them to meet fellow architects, building specialists and craftspeople working in traditional ways. The
SPAB’S WILLIAM MORRIS CRAFT FELLOWS 2017 Stonemason Gregor Alcorn, 28, stained glass conservator Jack Clare, 26, carpenter Dale Perrin, 25 and plasterer Paul Walters, 34 are the latest recruits to a unique educational scheme designed to nurture and develop the hands-on skills needed to care for old buildings. Chosen as the 2017 William Morris Craft Fellows, the talented group has now begun the countrywide conservation ‘grand tour’. Since 1987 the SPAB (Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) has organised the Fellowship to foster a new generation of outstanding craftspeople with the knowledge and expertise to pass on essential skills for working with historic materials. The prestigious scheme runs in parallel to the SPAB’s Scholarship programme for architectural / building professionals. The aim is for the Fellows to gain broad, practical experience and knowledge to enable them to bring a strong awareness of craft diversity to their future professional roles. The Fellowship also equips them with the skills necessary to lead and manage historic building contracts, while deepening their understanding of the importance of gentle repair - the keystone of the SPAB approach.
The SPAB was delighted to receive a number of well-presented and thought-provoking entries for this year's Philip Webb Award. Joint firt prize winners are Bethan Watson and Cristiano Lamarque.
Old floors are beautiful, marked by the passage of time and worn by the feet of centuries of visitors and inhabitants, they provide a very real and tangible link wth the past. But too often their value and contribution to the interest, beauty and historic value of a building are overlooked. The key event of SPAB's year-log campaign to raise the profile of historic floors is this one-day seminar in Manchester in November.
This autumn our annual National Maintenance Week (Friday November 18th - Friday November 25th) will focus on damp. We'll be showing property owners that taking simple. informed steps to tackle the problem can potentially save £££'s!
People across the country are plucking up the courage to bake bread, new artisan bakeries are popping up on high streets and The Great British Bake-Off has just featured a week dedicated to bread - real bread has never been more in the public eye! What better time to launch Crop to Crust II, a conference focusing on the bread food chain?