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The Survey of London: methods and sources for recording the development of London’s fabric

by

Metropolitan History
The Survey of London: methods and sources for recording the development of London’s fabric
Peter Guillery and Philip Temple (Survey of London, English Heritage)
12 October 2011 

Peter Guillery starts by telling his listeners what the survey of London is about.  Founded in 1894 to focus on the east end of London the survey soon grew to take in London as a whole.  The first publication named An object Lesson in National History focused on Trinity Hospital, Mile End road which was at that time threatened with demolition (the publication helped to save the building).  The focus then turned to parish studies but still narrowly focused on architecture.  Guillery discusses the trends and ownership changes that the survey underwent during its long history and which eventually lead to its ownership by English Heritage and it’s widening out to encompass the urban history and the built environment of London in general.  Guillery also mentions where the survey is heading at present and in the future.

Philip Temple discusses and gives details on the content and use of four sources used in the survey: rate books (areas of land, houses value in parishes); Middlesex Deeds Register (single most important source for building history of London north of the Themes); monthly returns by district surveyors; valuation office field books (records of individual properties and the increase/decrease of their value). 

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