The IHR Blog |

Survey of London monographs

by

The second instalment of these digitised volumes has now appeared on British History Online. With generous funding from English Heritage, we will eventually have added all 17 volumes of the series; a series which complements the parish survey volumes of the Survey (already part of BHO) with in-depth studies of particular buildings.

As well as being a fundamental reference source in themselves, the volumes give a fascinating picture of the motivation behind architectural conservation in the early years of the twentieth century; a period before the present system of listing, in which buildings were entirely in the hands of their owners; and indeed, several of the buildings documented were demolished shortly after the volumes were written. The preface to volume 1 records the legal position pertaining at the time, and volume 3 records C.R. Ashbee, chairman of the Survey Committee, in full flow of invective against the demolition of the Old Palace at Bromley-by-Bow.