WIT Press

Maintenance Of Heritage Architecture: Implementation And Practice


Free (open access)








257 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


D. Lazarus


While maintenance has been defined in slightly different terms by various bodies and standards, the underlying philosophy was eloquently expressed in the 19C by William Morris as \“to stave off decay by daily care” and adopted in the manifesto of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. Maintain our Heritage was formed in 1999 specifically to promote a new, long-term, sustainable strategy for the care of historic buildings with pre-eminence given to maintenance rather than sporadic major repair. Attitudes differ internationally as to the imperative for such work and the extent to which it should be publicly regulated and funded. Owners may recognise the benefits but lack either the resource or indeed the knowledge as to what should be done. While all European countries have a statutory system for the identification and protection of buildings and structures considered to be of cultural significance, the degree of support from the different states shows significant variation. Monumentenwacht (literally ‘Monument watch’) started in the Netherlands in 1973 on a very small scale: it now has a substantial provincial subsidy for its operation and has also been established elsewhere in Continental Europe. Within the UK, although there are national heritage organisations, the position in terms of financial support is very different. There is a need for collaborative research into appropriate methods and materials for such work, and for widespread dissemination of the findings, in order to avoid a repetition of damage to historic fabric acknowledged to have been caused in the past. This paper explores the separate themes identified above, including recommendations for the management and implementation of systematic maintenance. Keywords: inspection, systematic maintenance, prevention, plans, duty of care, management, access, log book.


inspection, systematic maintenance, prevention, plans, duty of care, management, access, log book.