In summer 2016, the SPAB launched a campaign to encourage people to look down and appreciate the history at their feet in the form of beautiful old floors. Often in plans submitted for our consideration there is not much consideration given to historic floors.
Campaigning for the protection of ancient buildings has always been at the heart of the SPAB. In 1877 William Morris objected strongly to the restoration of Tewkesbury Abbey which sparked the foundation of the Society. The SPAB went on to put its weight behind the international campaign to save St Mark’s in Venice, to lobby the Church of England to look after its wealth of architecture - leading to the establishment of the Diocesan Advisory Committees - and to oppose the irretrievable loss of old buildings during the slum clearances of the 1930s.
Casework is the Society’s everyday campaigning voice; we receive over 2500 cases for consideration a year and give a substantial response to over 500 of those cases.
After 2016’s successful History at Your Feet campaign to highlight the importance of old floors and to promote their care and retention, we hope to run more campaigns. If you think there is a cause the SPAB should be involved with please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
With the support of Historic Environment Scotland, the SPAB undertook a nationwide survey of Scotland's thatched buildings. The survey demonstrated the significant losses that had occurred in recent decades, and helped establish the need for revisions to policy, grants and craft training.
The SPAB has expressed concerns about expansion proposals for a range of UK airports including Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Manchester and Southend. Our primary concern is for the historic buildings that would be demolished for or blighted by new runways. We are not experts in aviation, but have campaigned alongside other bodies with the aim of securing national policy that respect people, old buildings and the wider environment.
Concerned about the number of barn conversions occurring across England, the SPAB conducted a volunteer-led national survey to record the numbers of farm buildings still in agricultural use and the impact of residential conversion.