Intellectual, scientific and cultural history > London, Survey of

Detailed studies of the capital's architecture and topography, since 1894.

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Survey of London: volume 1Bromley-by-Bow

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Describes the parish of Bromley, including the church of St. Mary, the manor houses, and the Old Palace of Bromley. The Introduction gives a detailed account of the circumstances in which the Survey was founded.

Survey of London: volume 2Chelsea, pt I

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This first of two volumes on Chelsea details significant buildings in Paradise Row and in Cheyne Walk.

Survey of London: volume 3St Giles-in-the-Fields, pt I: Lincoln's Inn Fields

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Surveys the buildings of Lincoln's Inn Fields, including the building of the Royal College of Surgeons, and Sir John Soane's Museum.

Survey of London: volume 4Chelsea, pt II

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The second volume covering Chelsea covers those parts of the parish not included in part 1, with the exception of the Royal Hospital and Chelsea Old Church. It includes accounts of Crosby Hall, Old Battersea Bridge, and buildings in Cheyne Walk, Cheyne Row, Church Street and the King's Road.

Survey of London: volume 5St Giles-in-the-Fields, pt II

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Surveys the notable buildings of the parish, including the church of St Giles-in-the-Fields, the hospital of St. Giles, and Freemasons' Hall. Lincoln's Inn Fields is covered in volume 3.

Survey of London: volume 6Hammersmith

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Covers the historic parish of Hammersmith, including the parish church of St. Paul and Ravenscourt Park.

Survey of London: volume 7Chelsea, part III: The Old Church

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Provides a detailed account of Chelsea Old Church, the parish church of Chelsea until 1819.

Survey of London: volume 8Shoreditch

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Covers the parish of St. Leonard, Shoreditch, including the church of St. Leonard, the priory of St. John the Baptist Holywell, and the Geffrye Museum.

Survey of London: volume 9The parish of St Helen, Bishopsgate, part I

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A survey of the parish church of St Helen, Bishopsgate.

Survey of London: volume 10St. Margaret, Westminster, part I: Queen Anne's Gate area

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This, the first of three volumes on the parish of St. Margaret Westminster, covers in detail the area between Parliament Square and St. James' Park, and in particular Queen Anne's Gate, Old Queen Street and Great George Street.

Survey of London: volume 11Chelsea, part IV: The Royal Hospital

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A history and architectural account of the Royal Hospital at Chelsea, including King James' Theological College, formerly on the same site.

Survey of London: volume 12The parish of All Hallows Barking, part I: The Church of All Hallows

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An account of the parish church of All Hallows Barking (also known as All Hallows-by-the-Tower). The rest of the parish is surveyed in volume 15.

Survey of London: volume 13St Margaret, Westminster, part II: Whitehall I

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This volume details some of the buildings on the east side of Whitehall and Parliament Street, particularly the Banqueting House, Cadogan House and Montague House.

Survey of London: volume 14St Margaret, Westminster, part III: Whitehall II

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This volume details some of the buildings on the west side of Whitehall and Parliament Street, particularly the Treasury and Privy Council Offices, and Downing Street.

Survey of London: volume 15All Hallows, Barking-by-the-Tower, pt II

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The second part of the survey of the parish includes the Custom House and the several quays on the Thames, as well as buildings on Great Tower Street, and Muscovy Court and Catherine Court in the northern part of the parish.

Survey of London: volume 16St Martin-in-the-Fields I: Charing Cross

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Describes the part of the parish at the north end of Whitehall, including the Admiralty, the Horse Guards, and old Scotland Yard.

Survey of London: volume 17The parish of St Pancras part 1: The village of Highgate

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The first of four volumes describing the parish of St. Pancras. It covers the village of Highgate, including Kenwood.

Survey of London: volume 18St Martin-in-the-Fields II: The Strand

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Describes the part of the parish between the Strand and the river, including Charing Cross Station, Hungerford Market, Northumberland House, and the chapel and hospital of St. Mary Rounceval.

Survey of London: volume 19The parish of St Pancras part 2: Old St Pancras and Kentish Town

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Part 2 details Old St. Pancras and Kentish Town, and includes accounts of St. Pancras Old Church and the Royal Chapel of St. Katharine.

Survey of London: volume 20St Martin-in-the-Fields, pt III: Trafalgar Square & Neighbourhood

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Describes the environs of Trafalgar Square, including Trafalgar Square itself, the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Old County Hall and the Haymarket.

Survey of London: volume 21The parish of St Pancras part 3: Tottenham Court Road & neighbourhood

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Describes the areas to the east, west and north of Tottenham Court Road, including University College London and Euston station prior to its redevelopment.

Survey of London: volume 22Bankside (the parishes of St. Saviour and Christchurch Southwark)

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An account of these two parishes on the south bank of the Thames, from London Bridge to Blackfriars Bridge. It includes descriptions of Guy's Hospital, the Bankside playhouses and Borough High Street.

Survey of London: volume 23Lambeth: South Bank and Vauxhall

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Published to coincide with the Festival of Britain Exhibition of 1951, this volume covers the northern, riverside portion of Lambeth, between Waterloo and Vauxhall Bridges. As well as giving the history of the Festival site itself, the book focuses on the venerable buildings and monuments then scattered among the mostly nineteenth-century houses, dwellings and factories. Chief of these is the Archbishop of Canterbury’s residence, Lambeth Palace, which is described and illustrated in detail. Other buildings covered include the Church of St John, Waterloo Road, and some of the eighteenth-century terrace-houses in Kennington Road and Lambeth Road.

Survey of London: volume 24The parish of St Pancras part 4: King's Cross Neighbourhood

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Describes the area around King's Cross as far north as Camden Town, and includes descriptions of the new St Pancras church and the Foundling Hospital.

Survey of London: volume 25St George's Fields (The parishes of St. George the Martyr Southwark and St. Mary Newington)

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A description of these two Surrey parishes, lying south of the Bankside area described in volume 22. It includes accounts of the Old Kent Road, the Imperial War Museum building (formerly Bethlem Hospital) and of St. George's Cathedral.

Survey of London: volume 26Lambeth: Southern area

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Volume 26 completes the Survey’s study of Lambeth parish, taking in Kennington, Vauxhall, Stockwell and Brixton, and the outlying districts of Denmark Hill, Herne Hill, Tulse Hill and West Norwood. Much of this area is classic suburbia of the later eighteenth and nineteenth centuries — late-Georgian terraces in Kennington; detached and semi-detached villas in Brixton, Denmark Hill and Herne Hill. There are two interesting planned estates: Stockwell Park, a Regency 'rus in urbe', and Angell Town, with its heavier, early Victorian manner. As well as houses, the volume also describes many public buildings, churches and chapels, including three Greek-Revival ‘Waterloo’ churches in Brixton (St Matthew’s), Kennington (St Mark’s) and Norwood (St Luke’s).

Survey of London: volume 27Spitalfields and Mile End New Town

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Spitalfields is well-known for the handsome silk-weavers’ houses in and around Spital Square, Fournier Street and Elder Street, with their distinctive weavers’ garret workshops. The greater part of this volume is devoted to a detailed account of these houses. The area’s principal monument — Nicholas Hawksmoor’s masterpiece, Christ Church, Spitalfields (1714–29) — is also studied in detail, and its complex building history explained, making use of the then recently-discovered archives of the Commissioners for Building Fifty New Churches. In addition, the volume takes in the adjoining suburb of Mile End New Town, an area of eighteenth-century origin, largely rebuilt in the late nineteenth century, and at the time of writing undergoing extensive redevelopment for public housing. Spitalfields Market, and the well-known brewery of Truman, Hanbury, Buxton & Company, are also described.

Survey of London: volume 28Brooke House, Hackney

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An account of Brooke House in the parish of Hackney. Built in the fifteenth century, it was held by, amongst others, Thomas Cromwell. Used as an asylum between 1759 and 1940, it was demolished as a result of bomb damage in 1954-5.

Survey of London: volumes 29 and 30St James Westminster, Part 1

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These volumes cover the part of the parish of St James which lies south of Piccadilly, between Haymarket and Green Park. St James's was post-Restoration London's Court suburb, laid out during the reign of Charles II. The story of its development is fully explored, with accounts of Wren's parish church, the aristocratic houses in St James’s Square, the theatres on the west side of Haymarket, the gentlemen’s clubs of Pall Mall, and some of the West End’s most prestigious private palaces, including Spencer House and Bridgwater House.

Survey of London: volumes 31 and 32St James Westminster, Part 2

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These volumes complete the Survey's study of St James, describing the northern part of the parish, between Piccadilly and Oxford Street. This is a varied area, lying astride Regent Street, embracing tightly-packed streets in Soho and more orderly developments in the Savile Row area. The principal monument here is Burlington House, which is dealt with in some detail; there are also accounts of the streets of Lord Burlington's adjacent estate. East of Regent Street, the coverage includes Golden Square, the later history of the Piccadilly Circus area, and the formation of Shaftesbury Avenue. The history of James Wyatt's Pantheon, of 1772, is also given. (Note: Regent Street itself is not included, though there is a short account of the rebuilding of the Regent Street Quadrant in 1905-28.)

Survey of London: volumes 33 and 34St Anne Soho

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These volumes describe Soho, the most famous of London's cosmopolitan quarters. The area covered is defined largely by Wardour Street, Oxford Street and Charing Cross Road, and includes Soho Square, Leicester Square, and part of Cambridge Circus. Many of the streets here were first built up in the late 17th century under the building speculators Dr Nicholas Barbon and Richard Frith. Some fine Georgian houses are described and illustrated, for example No. 1 Greek Street and 76 Dean Street. Many well-known West End theatres are also found here.

Survey of London: volume 35The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

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An account of the history and buildings of these two prominent London establishments, from their origins in the seventeenth century to the twentieth century.

Survey of London: volume 36Covent Garden

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Covent Garden has a special significance as the birth-place of modern town planning in London. Inigo Jones’s Italianate Piazza, designed in the 1630s for the 4th Earl of Bedford, was unlike anything the capital had seen before, and provided the prototype for the laying-out of London’s suburban estates for centuries to come. Based on a detailed study of the surviving fabric and the Bedford Estate’s archives, this volume recounts the story of the Piazza’s evolution (and eventual redevelopment), including the building of St Paul’s Church, the area’s principal monument. In addition to the Piazza and surrounding streets, the volume also describes the buildings of the Covent Garden Market, at the time the nation’s principal market for horticultural produce, since removed to Nine Elms, Battersea.

Survey of London: volume 39The Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair, Part 1 (General History)

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The Grosvenor family's large estate in northern Mayfair, for two centuries a by-word for wealth and fashion, is described in two volumes of the Survey. This first volume, a general history, traces the administrative and architectural history of the estate from its acquisition by the family in 1677 and its development and redevelopment from the 1720s onwards around the centrepiece of Grosvenor Square, and analyses the reasons for its pre-eminence among London’s great private estates. Detailed accounts of the buildings are provided in the companion volume 40.

Survey of London: volume 40The Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair, Part 2 (The Buildings)

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This volume completes the Survey's study of the Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair by looking in detail at its rich and varied architectural and building heritage. From the fine eighteenth-century houses of Brook Street and Grosvenor Street to the smart inter-war flats of Park Lane, the Grosvenor Estate offers a compendium of some of the best English urban architecture, often by leading practitioners, from Colin Campbell (who lived here in a house of his own design) and Robert Taylor in the eighteenth century, to Lutyens and Detmar Blow in the twentieth. Among the larger buildings described, both standing and demolished, is Grosvenor House, the Grosvenor family’s own London mansion, the internationally renowned Claridge's Hotel and the American Embassy's controversial post-war building on the west side of Grosvenor Square.

Survey of London: volumes 43 and 44Poplar, Blackwall and Isle of Dogs

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The dockland parish of All Saints’, Poplar, encompasses the ancient hamlet of Poplar itself, the old shipbuilding centre of Blackwall, and the former industrial districts of Millwall and Cubitt Town. Poplar’s story is one of development and redevelopment on both the grand and the comparatively small scale, driven in the nineteenth century by mercantile interests and manufacturing, and after the Second World War by de-industrialization and the obsolescence of the Thames-side docks. The East and West India and Millwall Docks system is discussed in detail, together with the riverside wharves and works, and the massive regeneration, still in progress, which followed the creation of the Isle of Dogs Enterprise Zone in 1982. Among important individual buildings described is the seventeenth-century church of St Matthias, a rarity from the Interregnum, built for the East India Company. A major subject is public housing, which includes the famous Lansbury Estate, built in association with the 1951 Festival of Britain.

Survey of London: volume 45Knightsbridge

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This volume describes a district today synonymous with wealth and smartness. The area covered includes the old thoroughfare of Knightsbridge itself, and the triangular swathe of land to its west, north of Brompton Road, bounded on the north by Hyde Park and on the west by Exhibition Road. In addition to the hotels, shops and fashionable houses and apartments for which the area is known today, the volume also describes the fabric of Knightsbridge’s more diverse past: the medieval hamlet, straggling out along the road to Kensington; the string of aristocratic mansions, such as Kingston House, that in the eighteenth century lined the south side of the road west of Knightsbridge Green; the famous Tattershall’s horse-mart at Knightsbridge Green; the Japanese Native Village of the mid-1880s, from which W. S. Gilbert drew inspiration for 'The Mikado'; and Whistler’s legendary Peacock Room at 49 Princes Gate, the greatest of all Aesthetic interiors. Also included is Sir Basil Spence’s Knightsbridge Barracks, still providing a Brutalist modern concrete home to the military pageantry of the Horse Guards.

Survey of London: volume 46South and East Clerkenwell

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Details the architecture of the southern areas of the historic parish of Clerkenwell immediately to the north of the City of London, including Clerkenwell Green and the church of St James Clerkenwell. It also includes Charterhouse Square, to the east of the historic parish. To the north and east it covers the Northampton Square area, and Rawstorne Street as far the the Angel, Islington. The rest of the parish is described in volume 47.

Survey of London: volume 47Northern Clerkenwell and Pentonville

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Details the architectural history of the north-western portion of the historic parish of Clerkenwell. It includes Islington High Street and the Angel, the Exmouth Market area, and the Pentonville westwards towards King's Cross. The southern and eastern parts of the parish are covered in volume 46.

Survey of London: volume 37Northern Kensington

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This is first of the Survey’s four volumes to cover Kensington, an area synonymous with Victorian architecture. It concerns the area to the north of Kensington High Street, extending as far as Kensal Green, where large-scale building development took place between the 1820s and 1880s. Here can be traced in some detail the evolution of London’s nineteenth-century suburban housing. Among the many examples described are the fashionable Italianate villas of the 1820s and ’30s in Campden Hill and Holland Park; the opulent large mansions of ‘Millionaires Row’ in Kensington Palace Gardens; and the red-brick ‘Domestic Revival’ artists’ houses of the 1860s and after in the Melbury Road area. Victorian ecclesiastical design can also be studied in its many variants, in the area’s churches, chapels and convents, including the Greek Revival architecture of Kensal Green Cemetery.

Survey of London: volume 38South Kensington Museums Area

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At the core of this volume is a study of the estate in South Kensington and Westminster acquired under the auspices of Prince Albert by the Commissioners for the Great Exhibition of 1851, and developed as a remarkable cultural centre for the applied arts and sciences. In many ways the great sequence of world-famous institutions described here – such as the Victorian and Albert Museum, the National History Museum, the Royal Albert Hall, and the Imperial Institute – is a memorial to the Prince Consort’s vision. The book sets out his role in the creation of South Kensington as a centre for art and scholarship, and the parts played by others, such as Queen Victoria herself, Captain Francis Fowke, and Sir Henry Cole (the dynamic first Superintendent of the South Kensington Museum). The High Victorian memorial eventually erected to the prince in Hyde Park is also considered. Part of the Commissioners’ estate was used for house building, and the volume describes the development here and on adjoining lands of the great ranges of Italianate stucco mansions in and around Queen’s Gate, Elvaston Place and Cromwell Road, which today give South Kensington its architectural flavour. The emergence after 1870 of the red-brick ‘Domestic Revival’ idiom in reaction to all this ‘builders’ classical’-style housing is here exemplified by half-a-dozen important houses and flats by Richard Norman Shaw.

Survey of London: volume 41Brompton

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This, the third of the Survey’s four volumes devoted to Kensington, describes the southernmost part of the old parish, covering both sides of Brompton Road and then continuing westward between Old Brompton Road and Fulham Road as far as Brompton Cemetery. Renowned in the seventeenth century for the nurseries and market gardens of old Brompton, and the isolated genteel settlement of ‘Little Chelsea’ in Fulham Road, this area was by the time of the Survey’s study in 1983 a characteristic inner west London mix of well-to-do residences, exuberant shops, and streets of humbler but up-and-coming houses. The volume contains some notable set-pieces, such as Harrods, the Oratory, the Brompton Hospital and Brompton Cemetery (each of which is described in detail); but its main subject is the building-over of the various estates here from the early 1800s with streets, crescents and squares of houses, each demonstrative of their period — such as the urbane Regency-style stucco of Pelham and Egerton Crescents of the 1830s and ’40s, the rich classicism of The Boltons of the 1850s, and the High Victorian mix of styles in Redcliffe Square and surrounding streets of the 1860s and ’70s.

Survey of London: volume 42Kensington Square to Earl's Court

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This volume completes the Survey’s study of Kensington. It describes the expansion of building development south and west towards Earl’s Court from the original late-17th-century ‘Old Court Suburb’ around Kensington Square and Kensington High Street. The area has a great variety of house-types and architectural styles: surviving 1680s houses in Kensington Square; brick-and-stucco Regency terraces in and around Edwardes Square; George & Peto’s large and flamboyant Flemish-inspired brick-and-terracotta family homes in Harrington and Collingham Gardens; and later mansion flats. In addition to the residential architecture, the volume also traces the history of the commercial and light-industrial quarter to the west, near the Kensington Canal and West London Railway; the fashionable shopping area on the south side of the High Street, with its well-known department stores, such as Barkers and Derry & Toms; and a rich collection of churches and chapels. The volume ends with a retrospective chapter, considering some of the themes and building trends common to Southern Kensington as a whole.