6.00 pm – 7.30 pm

The Providence Chapel at Charlwood

This unique Grade II* building dating from 1798 was on the Buildings at Risk Register.  It has been conserved and its fundamental structural problems have been addressed, with the aid of a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund

The Providence Chapel at Charlwood is a modest building, but described in the Historic England list as “a most unusual building, more typical of New England than Surrey.”

The wooden chapel dates from 1798, but was originally the guardhouse of a barracks in Horsham for troops assembled to repel an expected invasion by a French army under Emperor Napoleon. In 1815 a local farmer, Joseph Flint, moved it to Charlwood on horse-drawn wagons and opened it as a non-conformist chapel.

By 2014 the building was in a parlous state. Its salvation involved complications stemming from Flint’s original deed and reluctance of the Baptist Chapel trustees to accept Lottery money for repairs. In 2013, the chapel was put on the Heritage at Risk Register.

The process of getting grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund took until 2016. The chapel finally re-opened in 2019.

Robert Bowles is an independent conservation accredited consulting structural engineer, dealing with structural issues relating to historic buildings and new construction in the context of historic buildings.  He provides specialist conservation advice to other firms of Consulting Engineers, to individual building owners directly, and acts as an expert witness. He is a member of the CARE panel, which oversees the development of the National Register of Conservation Accredited Engineers. In February 2019 his work at the Providence Chapel, Charlwood received the Institution of Structural Engineers South East Region Refurbishment Award.
Amongst his current works are projects at St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Hall and the Guard’s Chapel at Wellington Barracks. 

No charge to members, non-member’s tickets £5



6.00 pm – 7.30 pm

Musing on the Mithraeum

Jane Sidell, Historic England

This talk will look at the current 21st century presentation of the Walbrook Mithraeum, housed within the new Bloomberg building. The talk will explore the history of the peripatetic temple and concepts of authenticity, conservation vs reconstruction and the importance of public enjoyment.

Jane Sidell has been a London archaeologist for some decades, initially at the Museum of London, then English Heritage as science advisor, then was lucky enough to become Inspector of Ancient Monuments. Preservation in situ of archaeological remains is a key area of research interest, coupled with public presentation of archaeology.

No charge to members, non-members’ tickets £5


6.00pm -7.45pm

Single Use Structures, Then Throw Away:
Can all heritage Assets be Repurposed?

Unadaptable Structures?

An unloved granary: surely not?
An unloved transporter bridge: a dinosaur?
A monastic ruin: Power of Place?

What are we doing and what are economics, culture and environment doing to us?


James Miller will begin our webinar with a short presentation of his thoughts before entering into a discussion with Sherry Bates and Jackie Heath.

This webinar will be recorded and made available to ASCHB members – please CONTACT us for access.




The recording of this webinar is now available to members, please contact us for the link.


Kate Clark

Please book a place on the Webinar through Eventbrite

It is nearly 25 years since I last talked to ASCHB about significance and values.  In the late 90s I was working at English Heritage – I had just done the conservation management plan for Whitby and in the run up to Power of Place (2000) we were all grappling with new more inclusive approaches to conservation, putting values and human factors at the heart of decision-making.  There was an ongoing battle with the RCHME and the HB Inspectors over whether recording was something you did to inform decision making or after the decision was made, and several of us were trying to get ideas about significance and value into the UK heritage lexicon.

A quarter of a century later, I think they might have won.  It seems – from the outside at least – that significance is now something to be defined at the point of designation, or set out in tick box Statements of Significance, based on a list of four values.   It is not something that emerges from an inclusive and engaged understanding of place, and then goes on to be part of the negotiation of values between the present and the future – the private and the public. Top down, vs bottom up.

In this talk we will look at how values are only one part of a process of decision-making and why writing statements of significance out of context is not helpful to clients or decision makers.  I hope I am wrong, but it feels as if our attempts to create a more inclusive, values-based approach to conservation have been firmly put back in the box.

Kate Clark started out as an industrial archaeologist with Ironbridge Gorge Museums in the late 80s before joining EH as an Inspector of Ancient Monuments in 1993.  She later worked with the Heritage Lottery Fund dealing with policy, research and evaluation, as Director of Sydney Living Museums and CEO of Cadw, and in other policy roles. Her latest book ‘Playing with the Past’ contains around 80 activities and games to help people think about the value of heritage.

No charge to members, non-members’ tickets £5


To buy Kate Clark’s book, Playing with the Past, click here
ISBN 978-1-78920-300-4 Published (October 2019)



Cuba, Conservation and Utopia

Anna Joynt, Allies and Morrison

19 January 2021 6pm startThere is no charge for this event.This talk is about conservation in a very different context to our own. The international conservation principles may be the same, but the problems and the resources are vastly different. The scale of the Cuban task is staggering but so is the vision, and while the results may raise eyebrows in some conservation circles, there is much to admire. Anna will be talking mostly about the holistic, heritage-based regeneration of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also extending the talk to the wider capital and around Cuba. She will touch on the Cuban modern movement along the way, including the seminal Cuban modernist work, the National Schools of Arts. Lastly, she will finish up with a look at the practice of architecture in modern CubaAnna Joynt is an architect at Allies and Morrison with a long-standing interest in Cuba. Her 2006 thesis for the Buildings Conservation Course at the Architectural Association was on the heritage-based regeneration of Old Havana. She has since made many return visits to Cuba including two grant-funded research trips; a 6-month study in 2009 funded by British Academy to research hydraulic pressed cement floor tiles, and a report funded by the Zibby Garnett Travel Fellowship on an Old Havana tenement building. Her most recent return to Havana was in February 2020Please note that this talk will not be recorded
FIRST ASCHB ZOOM WEBINAR 17 December 2020 6pm-8pm

ASCHB was pleased to present this revealing and topical talk as its first webinar

Voices from the Ground: an Enslaved Workers Village in Jamaica

Enslavement, Truth-telling and the Pursuit of Stolen Identities through Architecture and Archaeology at Good Hope Estate, Jamaica

Ke Vaughn Harding, designer and architecture conservator, will speak about the archaeological explorations of the Enslaved Workers Village at Good Hope Estate, one of the largest plantations in Jamaica.  His drawings and renderings of the data from an architect’s perspective led to the re-construction of an enslaved workers dwelling house there, which is open to the public. Through his analysis, Ke Vaughn helps us understand the reality of lives of enslaved people and the wider plantation community.In the summers of 2014 and 2015, archaeological investigations began to provide greater insight into the domestic lives of enslaved workers at the Good Hope Estate in Trelawny, Jamaica. During these studies, Ke Vaughn used reconstructive illustrations of the data and landscape to re-imagine the largely vanished contexts of the archaeological findings. Also expressed in his depictions are hypotheses surrounding the ways of life of the enslaved workers that shaped the physical environment of this location.Ke Vaughn’s talk explores how reconstructive illustrations served not only as an end product of the archaeological investigations, but also as an active tool in the processes of analysing and interpreting the data collected to reveal truths about enslavement and habitation.Ke Vaughn has served as the director of Falmouth Heritage Renewal, sat on the national council of the Georgian Society of Jamaica, and acted as Jamaica National Heritage Trust’s representative in Trelawny, Jamaica. Practical experience and leadership of the rehabilitation of historic dwellings in his hometown of Falmouth, Jamaica, (a World Heritage Site)  as well as his academic studies have provided Ke Vaughn with an in depth knowledge of architectural conservation best practices. He is also skilled in interpreting the cultural values represented by the historic built environment.Following his first degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Technology, Jamaica, he completed a Master of Architecture degree and a Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation and Regionalism at the University of New Mexico. 

There is no charge or fee for this webinar.

In view of the advice on non-essential gatherings during the  COVID-19 precautions, our meetings on March 17 2020 and 19 May have been cancelled, and our talk and visit to the Mithraeum on 21 April, and the visit to Turner’s House on 5 May will not go ahead. We are hoping that The Gallery will re-open at the end of May, and we will keep you updated.

Our ASCHB North Convenors had been working hard to arrange our visit to Elsecar and Wentworth Woodhouse but this has also had to be postponed. We look forward to it being re-arranged in Spring/Summer 2021. 

ASCHB Events 2020/2021

Sherry Bates, our Chairman, writes:We are looking forward to a new season of events. As uncertainty remains following the Covid-19 outbreak, it has not yet been possible to arrange meetings for the coming season at Cowcross Street. Accordingly we shall not be publishing an events card in August.ONLINE WEBINARS However, we shall commence online webinars this month which we hope you will join. These will begin with Alex di Valmarana’s talk about the laser scanning of the Villa Rotonda in Vicenza carried over from the conference last March. We shall follow that with other talks scheduled for the end of last season that we had to postpone.HOW TO LINK TO TALK We shall put a link to each talk on our website several days prior to a live online question and answer session. That will enable you to view the webinar in your own time and email questions to us before the Q and A, which will include the speaker and a session chair plus perhaps one or two others socially distanced on camera in the same space. A link to the Q and A will also be posted. This is a very exciting innovation but experimental, at least to us. The committee has spent a lot of time, developing the webinar format and checking the technology that will support it and has external help from experts in the field. The links to the webinar and the Q and A will also be sent by Mailchimp to those of you who have provided us with emails. If you have not already done so, please provide us with your email address now.NEXT AGM and CONFERENCE I should also like to announce our next conference, Conservation and Carbon. That is a hugely important topic currently and many think policy could be heading in the wrong direction.Download the the full letter here

Until we meet again …

In the meantime we are putting links on this page to online information, webinars, virtual events and tours. We are looking for the less well known websites – please send us ones you have come across.

May update:

The Institute of Structural Engineers have put seven of the James Sutherland History Lectures on YouTube: the 2020 lecture was given by Steven Brindle on The Origins of the Engineering Profession.The Heritage Alliance has a wealth of links and guidance have published several articles in Conservation wiki London Society holds webinars Boughton, author of Municipal Dreams: The Rise and Fall of Council Housing  runs a website with a host of articles SPAB are running online events – some for members only Practical Path to Net Zero for Churches has been published Church of EnglandIf you have got round to that pile of filing during lockdown, you may have come across details or pictures of listed places that you can add to HE’s entries if you need a rest, pack a picnic and go for a long train journey – choose from 18 spectacular rail journeys from the Jacobite Steam Train to the Cherry Blossom Tunnel of Japan


Enjoy FAI UK Italian Heritage (National Trust for Italy – Fondo Ambiente Italiano) on Facebook and Instagram and look forward to being able to visit again.

Frank Lloyd Wright buildings will swap a short video every Thursday at 12pm CST (6pm in UK) on Instagram #wrightvirtualvisits  HERE

Hadlow Castle has gone on sale through Sotheby’s International Realty, if you have £1.6m to spend. Have a look at Rena Pitsilli Graham’s article about the importance of the building and its conservation in Volume 33 of Transactions. Details HERE

Sound is a vital part of the experience of a place but rarely included as an element of the design – the Museum of Portable Sound is dedicated to “bringing the culture of sound to the world. One listener at a time”. It has collections of recordings, such as Door: Neue Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart 17 Oct 2012, and Ventilation Duct: Venice, Italy 3 Nov 2014 as well as The First Recording of a Museum: The Crystal Palace, London 1888. Its collections also include videos and physical objects – where else would you find a Stylophone?. Originally, the curator would bring the museum to you, now you can visit online for a £10 fee.

The Crafts Council has produced a list of virtual exhibitions – the amazing installation by Emmanuelle Moureaux at the Now Gallery is not to be missed.

Dezeen offers a wealth of articles – these pictures of abandoned buildings appeal to the lovers of the picturesque – surely a prerequisite of conservation professionals! Remember to pack a flask and sandwiches for your visit – you are sure to find interesting links.

RIBA has listed museums that are putting their shows and collections online. Virtual lectures, readings, exhibitions and tours bring culture to your laptop

The Guardian has also put together a museum list, with links

Some of the museums on the list use Google Arts and Culture for the “Museum view” tool.  Look for places such as Queen Victoria’s Durbar Room in 360°, Alexandra Palace, the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, or Palmyra.

Layers of London is a map-based history website developed by the Institute of Historical Research. Maps of Medieval London, through Agas and Roque’s, the Bomb Damage Maps to a modern satellite map can be overlaid. There is a wide range of information on individual buildings and there is the opportunity to add your information. Please send us details of other initiatives outside London.



The Association for Environment Conscious Building (AECB) webinars

The World Monuments Fund have put their webinar Protecting Our Cultural Icons From Fire: Lessons Learned from Notre-Dame and Beyond. It was produced in partnership with the American Institute of Architects New York, and the Center for Architecture on the importance of protecting our cultural heritage from fire.

Historic England have put some of their webinars online, on Damp, Glazing, Statements of Heritage Significance etc. These need Adobe Flash Player or Adobe Connect app.


The Association for Environment Conscious Building also have a course concentrating on developing a good understanding of issues related to heat and moisture in buildings to help retrofitters avoid and/or manage any unintended consequences arising from the repair, insulation, draught proofing and ventilation of existing UK buildings. £410 + VAT Academy are offering a variety of webinars at various prices, the subjects including fire, flood, sustainable design, BIM, Energy Efficiency, and Construction Design Management. There is currently a 20% discount during April. 19 IHBC 2020 ‘Brighton’ School ‘OLD TOWNS | NEW FUTURES’ Heritage Reflections and Speculations from a Pandemic
Meetings are held at The Gallery, 77 Cowcross Street, London EC1. Nearest tube: Farringdon. Wine served from 6.00pm, lectures usually start at 6.30pm, Forums at 6.00pm. Non Members are welcome: please donate £5 on door. For queries please contact us.Download a foldable copy of our meetings programme hereWe have added events of interest from other Societies to this page. See the CALENDAR page for further forthcoming dates: //

PROGRAMME: 2019-2020

Tuesday 24 September 2019

The Whitehall Banqueting House Jane Spooner, Historic Royal Palaces

The Banqueting House was designed by Inigo Jones for James I. It was completed in 1622, and a magnificent scheme of 9 paintings by Rubens, commissioned by Charles I, were installed in its ceiling in 1636. The Banqueting House was originally built to accommodate court masques – elaborate theatrical performances which used allegory to promote the Stuart dynasty. After the ceiling paintings were installed, masques took place elsewhere, and the hall was used for great feasts, ambassadorial receptions, and ceremonies. The architectural polychromy of the room has recently been studied by Historic Royal Palaces, with a view to understanding the original setting for the Rubens canvases, and the appearance of the room during subsequent centuries.Dr Jane Spooner is Head of Buildings Curators at Historic Royal Palaces (HRP). She manages a team of Buildings Curators and an archivist.Collectively, their job is to research, care for, and understand the six royal palaces under HRP’s care. Jane is part of a project team working on a major project at Banqueting House, Whitehall. Jane is an art historian, with a background in art conservation.

VISIT TO BRACKLEY TOWN HALL There is an opportunity to visit Brackley Town Hall this Wednesday 9 October 2019 at 10 am. Please contact Tom or Nathalie at

Tuesday 15 October 2019

ASCHB Forum: Cleaning historic masonry Latest in thinking and updates on current research

Methods of cleaning masonry have developed in recent years, and there are now many alternatives to Jos and Doff, such as the Thermatech system used in several cathedrals, laser cleaning, and latex and other chemical poulticing.How do all these systems measure up? How do we choose a method for particular circumstances? Have we cleaned buildings too much? What is the town planners attitude to cleaning? Are we cleaning buildings just for a background for tourist selfies?Join us for brief presentations by Doug Evans, of Thomas Ford and Partners, who was involved in the cleaning the interior of Wakefield Cathedral, Robyn Pender, of Historic England with the scientist’s view, and Angus Lawrence, of Taylor Pearce Restoration Services Ltd, for the conservator’s view.This will be followed by an open round table discussion, chaired by Sherry Bates. Please come along and share your knowledge and experiences.

Forum meetings open earlier at 5.30 pm for a 6.00 pm start

Tuesday 19 November 2019

Brackley Town Hall Restoration Project: RIBA award winning revitalised community space Tom Gibb, Haverstock

This Northamptonshire project was awarded a 2019 RIBA East Midlands Award.The restoration and adaptation of the Grade II* listed building was a HLF funded scheme to address the physical issues and improve the long-term financial sustainability of the Town Hall.

Tuesday 21 January 2020

After Glasgow and Paris: an update on fire risk Steve Emery, Oxford University

Tuesday 18 February 2020

ASCHB Forum: Aesthetics and conservation

Aesthetics is popularly a synonym for considerations of beauty or even beauty itself. It also can be seen as more than that; as the philosophical study of questions of beauty and taste, of our judgments relating to beauty and the visual and mental processes or percepts that enable us to make those judgments. How, if at all, does aesthetics play a role in the conservation of the historic environment?

Join us to hear three short papers by Colin Kerr (former Architect for Chichester Cathedral), Matthew Slocombe (Director of The SPAB) and Matthew Pendleton (Area Design and Conservation Officer at Westminster City Council) on the role of aesthetics in the conservation of the historic environment; then join in what should be lively discussion
with our expert panel, chaired by Charles Wagner.

Forum meetings open earlier at 5.30 pm for a 6.00 pm start

Friday 6 March 2020

ASCHB AGM and Annual Conference: Conserving Knowledge: Recording, Archiving and Retrieving the Historic Environment for Future Generations.

Webinar 19 January 2021

Cuba, communism and conservation Anna Joynt, Allies & Morrison

The following meetings have all been postponed – we look forward to rearranging them through webinars or meetings at the Gallery when the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

The Archaeology of the Mithraeum
Jane Sidell, Historic England
This includes a visit and the meeting will be held at the Historic England offices at Cannon Street – registration will be required through the Eventbrite site (no charge for ASCHB members)

Providence Chapel, Charlwood
Robert Bowles, RPB Services

Earth Mortars: latest thinking, and the Repair of the Dovecote at Barham, Lincolnshire
Alison Henry, Historic England
Peter Rawlings, Peter Rawlings Architects

CPD – Details of the previous season’s meetings are archived for your CPD records here

Steve Emery talk slides and talkThe results of our November 2017 poll, ASCHB at 50: Influential Books for the most influential books for conservation over the last fifty years are now on the Book Review page