Hands-on Heritage: SPAB Fellows roll up their Sleeves at Wightwick Manor

Published: 30th April 2024

Today we welcomed the 2024 SPAB William Morris Craft Fellows to our ongoing project at Wightwick Manor.

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) is an influential organisation dedicated to the conservation of historic buildings and craftsmanship. It was founded by William Morris in 1877, making it one of the oldest conservation bodies in the world. SPAB emphasises the importance of traditional building materials and techniques in preserving our architectural heritage.

At Wightwick Manor, we are currently immersed in the second phase of the project, funded by the Arts Council’s MEND fund. This phase involves a multifaceted approach, including oak repair, lime render panel repairs, decorating, brickwork repointing, and the replacement of cast iron gutters with larger sections to accommodate increased rainfall, ensuring the longevity of this historic site.

Tim Ratcliffe, SPAB Lethaby Scholar, and Rachael Parry, Contract Administrator for the National Trust, provided a comprehensive overview of the project’s elements, detailing both the previous and current phases, as well as insights into the MEND grant, which has been instrumental in supporting the conservation efforts.

Following the insightful presentation, our Site Manager, Dan Howlett, and Contracts Manager, Andy Chamberlain (1992 SPAB William Morris Fellow), led the fellows on a tour of the site, showcasing the ongoing works and recently completed internal renovations for the project’s public interpretation scheme.

The hands-on portion of the day saw the fellows working with our skilled carpenters, engaging in carpentry repairs to the oak frame, further enriching their understanding of traditional craftsmanship and conservation practices.

Related information:

William Morris Craft Fellows
The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings
National Trust: Wightwick Manor and Gardens


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