SANHS Historic Buildings Committee

A drawing of a typical mediaeval cross-passage house
The Mediaeval Cross Passage House: Drawing by Dr Lizzie Induni

When the Historic Buildings Committee was founded within SANHS, vernacular buildings were not considered to be of great importance. Early members of this Committee made a significant contribution to the national groundwork which established a better appreciation of what is now seen as an important aspect of the history of buildings within this country. Today, with that topic now receiving due recognition, the focus of the Historic Buildings Committee has broadened to cover all buildings of interest, whether they be stately homes, mansion houses or humble homes, public buildings and churches, farm buildings or any other buildings associated with the lives of all and any of the people of this county.

To pursue its aims the Committee’s functions include a full programme of events, some one-off events, such as talks, exhibitions and visits to interesting properties, other longer term projects, such as surveying and recording old buildings and acting as an agent for the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) in assessing listed building planning applications within the county. Some of this work is carried out through the SANHS Building Recording Group. Recently some of the talks have been linked into specific themes, which have added a further dimension to their content. Also, as there is a high level of professional expertise amongst some of our Committee members, a keen interest has been taken in the Society’s estate, particularly in the work involved with the setting up of Taunton museum, Castle House and the grounds of the estate. 

A significant project is currently underway to record and investigate early buildings in Dunster. Click here to read more about the project

During its existence the Committee has amassed a considerable number of papers and pictures which provide a valuable source of information for those researching buildings within the county. These are still being augmented by current projects. Although not on general display those researching historic buildings within Somerset can, with suitable proof of identity, apply to us for access to our archive.

Reports on specific talks, events and projects covered in the recent past, together with references to members who have played a major role in advancing building research both within the county and nationally, can be found by following the links listed to the right.

Events, Projects and Articles

Valuation and Conservation of Corrugated Iron Buildings

At the fourth in our series on different aspects of conservation work, Lizzie Induni enthused us with her passion for corrugated iron reinforced by the extensive studies for her PhD

Buildings Research in West Someret and Exmoor

Launched by the “Porlock Dig” project in 2015, work with the SANHS Building Research Group (West Somerset and Exmoor) has been studying the pattern of vernacular buildings in the area.

SANHS Building Recording Group articles and past newsletters

Click to view archive newsletters from the SANHS Building Recording Group.

Little Wilscombe Farm

Visit to Little Wilscombe Farm and Raddington Church

It was a real pleasure for the Historic Buildings group of SANHS to get out into the countryside and look at buildings again. Our 1st post-lockdown event was a visit to Little Wilscombe farm and Raddington Church. Click on the photo above to read an account of the day.

A day out in Dunster - The Old Kiln

A Webinar online lecture and discussion on 1st August 2020 by David Dawson on behalf of the Archaeology and Historic Buildings Committees

MAYA visit to Dunster April 2022

A group of 16 young people from the Mick Aston's Young Archaeologist (MAYA) group visited Dunster on 2nd April 2022 and were hosted by Barbara Hoffbauer for a walking tour, taking in a number of important historical sites