Working Parties

The SPAB believes that the best way to learn traditional building skills is through hands-on experience. The Working Parties offer a unique opportunity to learn from some of the country's leading craftspeople in a relaxed setting. Every year the SPAB puts its advice and expertise into practice at a building in need and it has become an increasingly popular event, attracting volunteers ranging from heritage and architectural professionals, to those with an informed amateur interest in buildings and history. For one week they are united in their efforts to help a specific building. The Working Party is a sociable and fun way to learn more about building conservation.


Conservation in action at a medieval church from The SPAB on Vimeo.

Hands-on History, Sullington Manor Farm from The SPAB on Vimeo.

Working Party 2019
We are currently looking at locations for our 2019 working party.

Past Working Parties

Lumsdale Mills Site, nr Matlock, Derbyshire
The SPAB’s 2017 Working Party saw over 100 volunteers head to the beautiful valley of Lumsdale, Derbyshire to carry out detailed conservation work to stabilise and protect the ruined mills there. The work ensured that there will be no further deterioration of the fabric, making the valley safer for visitors and preserving the buildings for future generations.
Greatham Old Church, near Liss, Hampshire
In 2016 we returned to Greatham in Hampshire, the site of our Working Party from 1993-2001. Built in 1262, the Old Church in Greatham fell into disuse after the dedication of the new church in 1875. SPAB staff, skilled craftspeople and enthusiastic volunteers spent a week consolidating stonework, repointing, limewashing the chancel and applying a grassy soft capping to the semi-ruined structure.
Sullington Manor Farm, Pulborough, Sussex
The SPAB’s 2015 Working Party at Sullington Manor, a Saxon farmstead nestled in the South Downs, West Sussex, was our most complex and ambitious project to date. In July over 150 volunteers and experts carried out repairs to seven buildings across five days.
Croxley Great Barn, Rickmansorth, Hertfordshire
In 2014 the SPAB returned to 14th-century Croxley Great Barn for a second year of conservation and repair work. The project was part funded by a Heritage Lottery Fund Sharing Heritage Grant of £4100. The team of 50 strong conservation experts and enthusiasts enjoyed scorching weather and a great social experience while working on this medieval gem.