The SPAB Manifesto: The Principals of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings as Set Forth upon its Foundation (1877)


Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings

Written by William Morris and other founder members of the Society, this manifesto holds up the ideal of restoration of ancient buildings as "protecting our ancient buildings, and hand[ing] them down instructive and venerable to those that come after us." Most of the manifesto is devoted to attacking thoughtless and destructive efforts of restoration that leave the building a "feeble and lifeless forgery." The manifesto recommends protection rather than restoration as well as resisting tampering with the fabric or ornament of the building as it stands, advocating "staving off decay by daily care."