You are here: About Us > History of SPS

Every generation of the Suffolk Preservation Society has confronted different challenges.....


The Old Wool HallSPS was founded in 1929 in Lavenham. In the Society's early years, Suffolk's farm buildings were dilapidated from decades of agricultural depression whilst its medieval heritage was being dismantled for sale abroad.



Bentwater Control TowerFifty years later, at the end of the Cold War, the Society led the campaign to prevent RAF Bentwaters, located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, from being converted into a regional airport.

"It is hard to imagine a less suitable place for a new regional airport than this remote site on the Suffolk coast. It is a place of outstanding beauty and solitude where by day and by night the wide Suffolk skies are at their finest and the cry of the curlew breaks the stillness." Lord Marlesford, SPS President, House of Lords, 1999

Little Hall LavenhamThe Suffolk Preservation Society acquired Little Hall in Lavenham in 1975. The Suffolk Building Preservation Trust was formed to maintain and ultimately own the building. SPS retains its offices within Little Hall while The Trust operates the remainder as the Little Hall museum which is open to the public.

Pakenham water mill.jpgSPS also helped to found the Suffolk Architectural Heritage Trust, which together with the Suffolk Building Preservation Trust, have fought to conserve the county's architectural heritage.