Heritage organisations

Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB)

The SPAB is the UK’s oldest building conservation body, founded by William Morris and others in 1877. 

It protects historic buildings through advice, training, awards and campaigning. Our specialism is repair and maintenance of the structural fabric and finishes of old buildings.  We publish guidance and run a free technical advice service on weekday mornings (020 7456 0916).  In its casework, the SPAB advises councils and others on threats to the fabric of old buildings (where the building dates from 1720 or before).   The Society also runs a range of courses and training programmes.

Areas of interest


  • Care and repair of historic buildings (secular)
  • Care and repair of historic  buildings (ecclesiastical)
  • Energy efficiency and old buildings
  • Listed building applications for demolition, alteration or addition (where the building dates from before 1720)
  • Wind and watermill conservation

Please note that the SPAB cannot help with:

  • Parks and gardens
  • Archaeology
  • Demolition or alteration threats to buildings of Georgian or later date
  • New development where old buildings would not be physically altered
  • Green belt and landscape issues
  • Wind farms

Training & Education

  • Courses for a range of specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • Annual lecture series
  • Scholarship and fellowship programme
  • Bespoke courses for a range of clients
  • Working party


  • John Betjeman Award for repairs to place of worship
  • Philip Webb Award for architectural students
  • Esher Award
  • Publications and Archive
  • Books, technical pamphlets and information sheets
  • Archive available to researchers by appointment


The SPAB is not generally a grant-making body but has a few small funds:

  • Baber Fund for emergency work
  • Misses Newcombe Fund for Almshouses
  • Thomas Hardy Fund for buildings with a Hardy connection (particularly Dorset)