If Floors Could Talk...

As part of SPAB's summer 2016 campaign to encourage increased awareness of the imporantance and vulnerability of old floors we’ve made a short sweet video.

Floors are where we make a direct physical connection to a space, following in the footsteps of those who – throughout the centuries – have gone before us.
The grooves, undulations, imperfections and scratches are the 'ghosts of time'.

We’ve tried to capture that here: https://vimeo.com/179047426

The SPAB is very grateful to the National Trust for allowing us to film at Ightham Mote in Kent and to the Churches Conservation Trust for allowing us to film at  All Saints Church, Icklingham, Suffolk.

We believe that once you make a significant intervention to an old floor you remove something vital to a building’s heart and story. The patina of time caused by centuries of wear and tear, daily use and gradual settlement are essential components of a space’s presence and unique atmosphere. The floors of old buildings are often worn, discoloured, and out of true level. Yet these imperfections can make their own important contribution to the interest, beauty and historic value of a structure.

Yet old floors are vulnerable. Obliteration of ancient fabric is happening with alarming frequency. Work is undertaken under the guise of ‘improvement’ with little or no regard given to the aesthetic or historic value of a floor and its importance to the integrity of a building or place.

SPAB fears that a vital ‘step’ is being missed by homeowners, architects, builders and planners who, often unwittingly, proceed without first taking note of the  significance of the materials, literally, beneath their feet.

To find out more go to: http://www.spab.org.uk/advice/history-at-your-feet/

For more information please contact the SPAB communications team:

Kate Griffin: 0207 456 0905, email kate@spab.org.uk

Alison McClary: 0207 456 0908, email alison@spab.org.uk

SPAB is Britain's oldest building conservation charity. We have been campaigning to protect old buildings and their original fabric and features since we were established by William Morris in 1877. We welcome new members to help us to continue to spread our message of gentle repair.