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Bloomsbury Project

Bloomsbury Institutions


Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB)

Also known as “Anti-Scrape”


It was founded by William Morris in 1877 to campaign against what he saw as the damage caused to medieval buildings by Victorian restoration

It is a registered charity which continues to campaign to protect threatened historic buildings built before 1720

It must be informed by local authorities whenever listed buildings are threatened with whole or partial demolition

It also circulates to its members details of historic buildings for sale

It is no longer based in Bloomsbury

What was reforming about it?

It was the first buildings conservation society

Where in Bloomsbury

According to the Society’s website, its inaugural meeting was held in in Queen Square

From 1936 to 1981 it was located at 55–57 Great Ormond Street

It is now in East London

Website of current institution

www.spab.org.uk (opens in new window)

Books about it

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, 1877–1977 (1977)


Its archives are kept on site by the Society in east London

There is a finding aid, List of the Historical Records of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (1980), compiled by Philippa Bassett; it has been scanned and is available online via Access to Archives (opens in new window)


This page last modified 13 April, 2011 by Deborah Colville


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