The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings was founded by William Morris in 1877 to counteract the highly destructive 'restoration' of medieval buildings being practised by many Victorian architects. Today it is the largest, oldest and most technically expert national pressure group fighting to save old buildings from decay, demolition and damage.
We advise. We educate. We campaign. We offer help when it's wanted and informed resistance when we are alarmed. We encourage excellence in new design to enrich and complement the historic environment.
We represent the practical and positive side of conservation. We have a firm set of principles about how old buildings should be repaired and the practical knowledge to show how these can be put into effect.
We are training the next generation to do the job with discernment and care and we are helping many others, who own or live in old buildings, to understand them better.
Today, the Society has a statutory role as adviser to local planning authorities. We must be notified of listed building applications that involve total or partial demolition. We are also informed by those religious bodies, that have an exemption from the secular system, of certain types of proposal for listed places of worship.