This Volume contains (in addition to the official Report) a series of articles giving
a general survey of certain aspects of the art, architecture and monuments
of the county of London, a Sectional Preface which, under separate headings,
calls attention to any particularly interesting examples mentioned in the Inventory;
an illustrated Inventory, with a concise account of the monuments visited; a list
of monuments selected by the Commissioners as especially worthy of preservation;
a glossary of architectural, heraldic and archæological terms; a map showing the
topographical distribution of the scheduled monuments, and an index.
In this, the fifth volume of the Inventory of the County of London, a return has
been made to the arrangement adopted in the case of West London of grouping the
monuments described under boroughs rather than parishes.
Apart from this, the arrangement of the volume is similar to that of the Commission's earlier Inventories. The boroughs are arranged alphabetically with an
introductory paragraph which gives the parishes included in each and calls attention
to the more noticeable monuments.
As the Roman monuments of the County have been dealt with already in the
third volume and there are no recognizable prehistoric monuments or earthworks
within the area, this Inventory includes only two of the usual classes:—
(1) English Ecclesiastical Monuments.
(2) English Secular Monuments.
The early part of the 18th century was a period of great building activity in
London, and for this reason the limitation of the Commission's reference to the year
1714 has, as in W. London and the City, been a source of considerable difficulty.
The exact year of erection of a private house is seldom preserved, and it is obvious
that the criteria afforded by style and decoration may sometimes be insufficient to
determine on which side of the dividing line a given building should be placed. I
can only say that the fullest consideration has been given to monuments on the
border-line and that if any have been passed over without mention, their omission
must not necessarily be assumed to be due to an oversight.
The descriptions of all monuments are of necessity much compressed, but the
underlying principle on which accounts of any importance are based is the same
As in W. London, the Borough is located by reference to the Ordnance Sheets
(scale 6 inches to the mile) and by small letters in front of the number of each
monument indicating the individual sheets wherever the borough extends over
more than one sheet. In the case of churches, the description begins with a few words
on the situation and material of the monument, together with a statement as to the
development of its various parts. A second paragraph calls attention, when necessary,
to its more remarkable features. This is followed by a concise description, mainly
architectural, of its details. A fourth paragraph deals with the fittings in alphabetical
order, while the concluding sentence gives a general statement as to structural condition. The accounts of less important buildings, whether secular or ecclesiastical,
are still further compressed, and in the case of secular monuments, consist of a single
paragraph, or of a mere mention of their situation if they belong to a group with
certain characteristics described in a covering paragraph.
The standardization of the spelling of proper names in the Commission's
Inventories has always presented considerable difficulties and almost any system is
open to criticism. It is well known that during the period covered by our terms of
reference, and indeed to a much later date, the art of spelling was in a very fluid
state, proper names especially being subject to a wide variation, dictated partly by
phonetic values and partly by individual caprice. In the absence, therefore, of any
final court of appeal, it has been thought best to abide, in the matter of place-names,
by the spelling adopted by the Ordnance Survey, without prejudice as to its accuracy.
In the matter of personal names, in treating of individual funeral-monuments, etc.,
the actual spelling of the memorial has been reproduced in the detailed description,
while in the rest of the text the normal spelling of the name has been followed.
The illustrations are derived, with a few exceptions, from photographs taken
expressly for the Commission, and reproduced by H.M. Stationery Office, whose
work deserves special recognition. They have been chosen both for their educational
and for their æsthetic value. Had appearance alone been made the test of selection,
many more might easily have been included. The map at the end of the volume
shows the distribution of the monuments.
All the important parish churches described in the Inventory are provided with
plans to a uniform scale of 24 feet to the inch. The plans of secular buildings have
the appropriate scales attached.
Let me again draw attention to the fact that our Record Cards may be consulted
by properly accredited persons who will give notice of their intention to our Secretary
at 29 Abingdon Street, Westminster, S.W.l. The cards contain drawings of tracery
and mouldings as well as plans and sketches of the monuments—forming in truth the
complete National Inventory—and will ultimately be deposited for reference in the
Public Record Office.
As in the past, no monument has been included in our Inventory that has not
actually been inspected, while the account of every monument of importance has been
checked in situ by a senior member of our own investigating staff. In a work of
such intricate detail there must be mistakes. But I hope these are neither numerous
nor serious. A further guarantee of accuracy lies in the fact that my fellow Commissioners, Mr. Page and Mr. Peers, have revised the reports of the Inventories of
secular and ecclesiastical monuments. Further, the heraldry of the Inventory has
been checked by my colleague the Reverend E. E. Dorling, F.S.A.; the descriptions
of glass by my colleague Dr. M. R. James, F.S.A.; the description of brasses by Mr.
Mill Stephenson, F.S.A. Nevertheless, I shall welcome any corrections and criticisms
that may be sent to me with a view to their possible inclusion in some future edition.
I should add that I have received a Report from our special Publication
Committee which from time to time is summoned to consider suggestions for improvement in the printing and production of our Inventories. This Committee, composed
of Mr. Page, Mr. E. V. Lucas, Dr. Hagberg Wright, Mr. Harold Macmillan, Mr. W. R.
Codling and our Secretary, in their recommendations, while not affecting the format
of our volumes, deal with such matters as type, margins, etc., which will be adopted
by the Commission for future volumes.
It is much to be regretted that owing to the financial exigencies of the time,
our staff has not yet been restored to its pre-war strength.
The success that has already attended the publication of the Commission's
Inventories, and their value in securing the preservation of monuments of historical
interest that otherwise might have been destroyed, lead me again to express a hope
that the reduction of the work of investigation will be only temporary.
CRAWFORD & BALCARRES.