A Victorian school in York which the AMS helped to save.
Defending Historic Buildings
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Historic cow houses complete with stalls.; from one of Dr RW Brunskill's many articles on vernacular architecture in AMS Transactions.

Despite our name the AMS is concerned with the study and conservation of buildings of all periods and styles.

Under the 1968 Town and Country Planning Act we are recognised as one of the National Amenity Societies - which means we are informed of any application for listed building consent in England and Wales involving demolition.

What does this role entail?

Each year we receive about 5,000 consultations, nearly all from planning authorities but also several hundred affecting historic places of worship. This gives us a key role in opposing damaging change and commending those cases, lesser in number, which deserve praise. There was a time when casework was dominated by threats to demolish listed buildings in their entirety. In 1979, the worst year in this regard, there were applications to destroy some 693 listed buildings. Since then there has been something of a seachange. Although the total of listed buildings has doubled in the interim, the number of total demolition applications has hovered between 20 and 30 in the last few years, ( although it was over 100 as recently as 2007 ). We have played a role in bringing this about by driving home the conservation message. The threats are now as much to detail and character, the principal enemies being neglect, crass alterations, particularly the plastic window, and the overbearing extension or neighbour. Casework may have changed over the decades but we still have our work cut out in defending the hundreds of buildings referred to us every year

We also produce an annual Register of Listed Buildings Threatened with Applications to Demolish.

How can I find out about cases you have commented on?

The Society publishes three 60 page Newsletters which give a brief summary of key cases, and a 150 page volume of Transactions, in which such cases are discussed and illustrated in greater depth, each year. Newsletters and Transactions are mailed to all members as a benefit of membership; so to find out more please consider joining the Society. Back issues of the Transactions are available to purchase, and Newsletters can be sent out on request.

Volunteer to help

We welcome volunteers who are able to act as our local eyes and ears. If you have a basic knowledge of architectural history or conservation, your own transport, and a camera, you may wish to register as a volunteer. Contact the office for details.

The Society is immensely grateful for a substantial grant from English Heritage to enable it to perform its casework functions. We are grateful too for the annual subsidy from Cadw.

AMS is interested in buildings of all ages and all types. - including modern interiors such as this.
Whitley Sunday School, West Midlands. AMS tried, unsuccessfully to get it listed.
Fine medieval stone carving. - AMS defends secular and non-secular historic buildings.
A building under scaffolding. awaiting essential repairs which AMS have advised on.
The roof at Beverley Minster, Yorks.hire -  featured in Volume 44 of AMS Transactions.
A medieval shopfront - featured in our lecture series on 'Shops and Shopping'.

The Ancient Monuments Society is a
Registered Charity No: 209605.

Registered Office:
St Ann's Vestry Hall, 2 Church Entry, London EC4V 5HB
Telephone: 020 7236 3934 - email: office@ancientmonumentssociety.org.uk

The Ancient Monuments Society works in partnership with the Friends of Friendless Churches