RepositoryLambeth Palace Library
Alt Ref NoICBS
Extent15724 files + 42 minute books
TitleIncorporated Church Building Society
DescriptionThe Incorporated Church Building Society records in Lambeth Palace Library comprise over 15,000 files relating to applications for grants from the Society between 1818 and 1982. The files may include application forms, correspondence, plans, building specifications, engravings or artists' impressions, certificates of the satisfactory completion of the building project, parochial subscription lists, parish magazines, and, from 1867 onwards, photographs.

The Library has a series of minute books, 1818-1989, numbered 1-36, and additional volumes, numbered 37-42, including an additional volume recording the foundation of the Society. The volumes record the proceedings of the ICBS committees and its Annual General Meetings.

Note that files for some of the applications have not survived and these are marked as MISSING in the catalogue record for that reference, although evidence for the application may survive in related entries in the minute books. Other numbers are simply skipped in the numbering sequence.
Arrangement2 main series:
Minute books are numbered in chronological order.
Each application/file was originally allocated a number by the ICBS. These numbers have been retained and should be used for reference purposes. The main numerical sequence runs from 1 to 15,687, and covers the years 1818-1982.

From 1859, there was a separate series of files relating to applications for grants from the ICBS Mission Building Fund Ml-1550. Very few of these files have survived, but details of the grants for the building of mission rooms are recorded in the minute books and are noted on the finding aid database.
FindingAidsThe archives catalogue database provides a guide to the ICBS files and minute books. It records the church applying for a grant, the parish where it is not a parochial church, the county and diocese in which it was located, the reasons for applying for a grant, the covering dates of the papers, the numbers of plans or photographs, the names of architects or other professionals involved in the building project, and references to the minute books.

For access to digital images of ICBS plans etc of churches (but not the whole files), see the online image management system:

Separate list of ICBS plans held at the Society of Antiquaries stored with the ICBS plans at Lambeth and in the Reading Room.

For more information about using the archive, see:
PhysicalDescriptionFiles numbered 1-3000, and 12,700-15,687, covering the years 1818-1841, and 1948-1982 respectively, comprise loose papers which have been foliated and stored in separate folders. The papers in the files numbered 3001-12,699 were guarded into folders by the Society, and have only been foliated where the file includes more than one application.
CreatorNameIncorporated Church Building Society
AdminHistoryIn 1818 the Society for Promoting the Enlargement and Building of Churches and Chapels was founded to provide funds for the building and enlargement of Anglican churches throughout England and Wales. It succeeded the system of church briefs by which churches were sometimes repaired. The Society was incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1828 as The Incorporated Society for Promoting the Enlargement, Building and Repairing of Churches and Chapels. Later in the century it adopted the title by which it is still known, The Incorporated Church Building Society (ICBS). Since 1982 the Society's administration has been transferred to the Historic Churches Preservation Trust (subsequently the National Churches Trust).

See also:
Gill Hedley, 'Free seats for all: the boom in church building after Waterloo' (2018) [Lambeth Palace Library H5194.H3 I6 [R] ]
Tim Parry, 'The Incorporated Church Building Society, 1818-1851' (Oxford M.Litt. thesis, 1984) [Lambeth Palace Library H5194.P2]
CustodialHistoryIn 1889 a seemingly random selection of 700 plans and drawings dating from the early years of the ICBS were removed from the archive by an employee of the ICBS, and given to the Society of Antiquaries of London.
AcquisitionThe Society's archive was deposited in Lambeth Palace Library between 1974 and 1990, and ownership of it transferred to the Library in 2000.
RelatedMaterialSome plans from the ICBS records are held at the Society of Antiquaries of London.

Lambeth Palace Library printed books collection. Including a list of ICBS grants 1818-1927 from the ICBS annual report 1927 (arranged by the dioceses in which the churches were in 1927, rather than the diocese they were in when the grant was made) [reference: Folio H5194.I6L5 1927].
PublnNoteGeneral publications:

G. K. Brandwood, 'Temple Moore: an architect of the late Gothic revival' (1997).
G. K. Brandwood, "To scrape or not to scrape? Plaster, stucco and Victorian church restorers in Leicestershire", 'Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological & Historical Society', vol. 64 (1990), pp. 73-77 [H5195.L3].
Alec Hamilton, 'Charles Spooner (1862-1938) Arts & Crafts Architect', Shaun Tyas, 2012 [RA997.S6H2].
T. V. Parry, 'The Incorporated Church Building Society 1818-1851' (Thesis, Trinity College, Oxford: 1984). [H5194.P2]
Sir N. K. B. L. Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England ...': uses ICBS passim.
Brenda Watkin, 'William White FSA, FRIBA, 1825-1900: the architect and philosopher' (Architectural Association, London, Building Conservation Diploma Thesis, 1994) [RA997.W4W2].

Show related Persons records.

Related name records
612Incorporated Church Building Society; 1818-1818-
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