The Friends of Abingdon are affiliated to the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) which was founded in 1877 by William Morris “to counteract the highly destructive ‘restoration’ of medieval buildings being practised by many Victorian architects”. Among their other activities SPAB organise occasional visits to heritage buildings in the region and last week a few of us were lucky enough to be able to go on a visit to Broughton Castle, near Banbury.
This turned out to be absolutely fascinating: we were shown round by Martin Fiennes, whose family have owned the castle since 1447 and he took us to every nook and cranny – including areas not normally open to the public: after the tour we were given time to explore the castle on our own, or under the guidance of a SPAB buildings historian. From the FoA point of view it was also very interesting to hear Martin’s insights into maintaining and conserving a historic building – including some tips on dealing with Historic England.
There will be a fuller report in the next newsletter.