Save Britain's Heritage


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Save Britain's Heritage (styled as SAVE Britain's Heritage) was created in 1975 by a group of journalists, historians, architects, and planners to campaign publicly for endangered historic buildings. It is also active on the broader issues of preservation policy. It is a registered charity governed by a board of trustees.

Save Britain's Heritage
Founded6 June 1975; 47 years ago (1975-06-06)
Registration no.England and Wales: 269129
  • 70 Cowcross Street, London, EC1M 6EJ
Area served
England and Wales
£672,000 (2017)[1]
RemarksTo awaken public interest in and public appreciation of britain's architectural heritage.
To encourage the study of that heritage and related matters and to promote high standards of planning and architecture.
To save from needless destruction or disfigurement buildings or groups of buildings and designed landscapes of special historic or architectural interest.

Through press releases, leaflets, reports, books and exhibitions, Save Britain's Heritage champions the cause of decaying country houses, redundant churches and chapels, disused mills and warehouses, cottages and town halls, railway stations, hospitals, military buildings and asylums.

Save Britain's Heritage was the first organisation to campaign for the introduction of the Thirty Year Rule, which now makes outstanding post-war buildings in England and Wales eligible for listing.

Achievements and failuresEdit

From the start, Save Britain's Heritage has always placed a special emphasis on the possibilities of alternative uses for historic buildings and has, on a number of occasions, prepared its own schemes for re-use of threatened buildings. On repeated occasions, its proposals have been instrumental in giving threatened buildings a renewed lease of life.

Many of its campaigns have altered the way conservation now protects Britain's built heritage. Save's attack on insensitive shop fronts contained guidelines now adopted by many local planning authorities, and Save Britain's Heritage was the first organisation to campaign for the introduction of the Thirty Year Rule, which now makes outstanding post-war buildings in England and Wales eligible for listing.

Save Britain's Heritage was instrumental in saving buildings such as:

It is not always successful. Its campaign in 1977 to 1978 to save the Baltic Exchange building and its collection for the nation failed; it was unable to stop the demolition of historic buildings in the City of London to make way for the new Baltic Exchange and could not prevent the disposal of the interior of the Baltic Exchange, which had been damaged by a Provisional Irish Republican Army bomb in 1992. It is currently campaigning to save the General Market Buildings of Smithfield Market on Farringdon Road and the Royal Aircraft Establishment in Farnborough.

It has also established charitable trusts to restore the following:


Save Britain's Heritage has published many campaigning books and leaflets, including:

  • The Concrete Jerusalem (1976),
  • Elysian gardens (1979),
  • Vanishing London: A catalogue of decay (1979),
  • The Fall of Zion (1980),
  • The Country House: to be or not to be (1982),
  • Estates Villages who cares? (1983),
  • Crisis at Saltaire (1986),
  • Pavilions in peril (1987),
  • Bright future: the reuse of industrial buildings (1990),
  • Stop the destruction of Bucklesbury (1992),
  • Beacons of learning (1995),
  • Mind over matter (1995),
  • Silence in Court (2004),
  • The Guildhall Testimonial (2006),

Advocating the preservation and reuse of, amongst other things, nonconformist chapels, redundant Anglican churches, Victorian mental hospitals, country houses, their gardens and outbuildings, and industrial buildings.

It also publishes an action guide, to assist campaigners with setting up their own groups to advocate the case for particular buildings. It maintains an electronic register of around 700 "buildings at risk", and publishes a paper version of the register annually.

An exhibition highlighting the first 30 years of its work was held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2005.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Save Britain's Heritage, registered charity no. 269129". Charity Commission for England and Wales.

External linksEdit

  • SAVE Britain's Heritage 1975-2005: 30 Years of Campaigning, V&A
  • SAVE Britain's Heritage website