Pevsner Architectural Guides

Pevsner Architectural Guides

The Pevsner Architectural Guides are a series of guide books to the architecture of the United Kingdom. Begun in the 1940s by art historian Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, the 46 volumes of the Buildings of England series were published between 1951 and 1975. The series was then extended to Scotland and Wales, and in the 1990s the Buildings of Ireland series was begun. The Scottish, Welsh and Irish guides are incomplete as of Spring 2008.

Buildings of England

After moving to England from his native Germany in the 1930s, Nikolaus Pevsner found that the study of architectural history had little status in academic circles, and that the amount of information available, especially to travellers wanting to inform themselves about the architecture of a particular district, was limited. He conceived a project to write a series of comprehensive county guides to rectify this, and gained the backing of Allen Lane, founder of Penguin Books, for whom he had written his "Outline of European Architecture". Work on the series began in 1945. Lane employed two part-time assistants, both German refugee art historians, who prepared notes for Pevsner from published sources. Pevsner spent the academic holidays touring the country to make personal observations and carry out local research, before writing up the finished volumes. The first volume was published in 1951. Pevsner wrote 32 of the books himself and 10 with collaborators, with a further 4 of the original series written by others. Since his death, work has continued on the series, with several volumes now in their third revision.

The books are compact and intended to meet the needs of both specialists and the general reader. Each contains an extensive introduction to the architectural history and styles of the area, followed by a town-by-town - and in the case of larger settlements, street-by-street - account of individual buildings. The guides offer both detailed coverage of the most notable buildings and notes on lesser-known and vernacular buildings; all building types are covered but there is a particular emphasis on churches and public buildings. Each volume has a central section with several dozen pages of photographs, originally in black and white, though colour illustrations have featured in revised volumes since 2003.

The list below is of the volumes that were in print in 2006. The original volumes are gradually being replaced with new editions in a larger format, updated to reflect architectural-history scholarship since the first publications of the guides and to include significant new buildings. The dates after each title are of the first publication and of any revised edition. All are now published by the Yale University Press. The volumes for Bath, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, the London City Churches, Manchester and Sheffield are part of the parallel "Pevsner City Guides" series, a more heavily illustrated paperback format.

*"Bath" (2003) (Michael Forsyth) ISBN 0-300-10177-5
*"Bedfordshire, Huntingdon & Peterborough" (1968) ISBN 0-300-09581-3
*"Berkshire" (1966) ISBN 0-300-09582-1
*"Bristol" (2004) (Andrew Foyle) ISBN 0-300-10442-1
*"Buckinghamshire" (1960;1994) (rev. Elizabeth Williamson) ISBN 0-300-09584-8
*"Cambridgeshire" (1954;1970) ISBN 0-300-09586-4
*"Cheshire" (1971) ISBN 0-300-09588-0 (with Edward Hubbard)
*"Cornwall" (1951;1970) (rev. Enid Radclffe) ISBN 0-300-09589-9
*"County Durham" (1953;1983) (rev. Elizabeth Williamson) ISBN 0-300-09599-6
*"Cumberland & Westmorland" (1967) ISBN 0-300-09590-2
*"Derbyshire" (1953;1978) (rev. Elizabeth Williamson) ISBN 0-300-09591-0
*"Devon" (1952;1989) ISBN 0-300-09596-1
*"Dorset" (1972) ISBN 0-300-09598-8 (with John Newman)
*"Essex" (1954;1965;2007) (rev. James Bettley) ISBN 9780300116144
*"Gloucestershire: The Cotswolds" (1970;1999) (David Verey, rev. Alan Brooks) ISBN 0-300-09604-6
*"Gloucestershire: The Vale & Forest of Dean" (1970;2002) (David Verey, rev. Alan Brooks) ISBN 0-300-09733-6
*"The Isle of Wight" (2006) ISBN 0-300-10733-1 (with David Wharton Lloyd)
*"Hampshire & The Isle of Wight" (1967) ISBN 0-300-09606-2 (with David Wharton Lloyd)
*"Herefordshire" (1963) ISBN 0-300-09609-7
*"Hertfordshire" (1953;1977) (rev. Bridget Cherry) ISBN 0-300-09611-9
*"Kent: North East & East" (1969;1983) (John Newman) ISBN 0-300-09613-5
*"Kent: West & the Weald" (1969;1976) (John Newman) ISBN 0-300-09614-3
*"Lancashire: Liverpool & the South-West" (2006) ISBN 0-300-10910-5 (with Richard Pollard)
*"Lancashire: Manchester & the South-East" (2004) ISBN 0-300-10583-5 (with Clare Hartwell and Matthew Hyde)
*"North Lancashire" (1969) ISBN 0-300-09617-8
*"Leicestershire & Rutland" (1960;1984) (rev. Elizabeth Williamson) ISBN 0-300-09618-6
*"Lincolnshire" (1964;1989) (with John Harris, rev. Nicholas Antram) ISBN 0-300-09620-8
*"Liverpool" (2003) (Joseph Sharples) ISBN 0-300-10258-5
*"London 1: The City of London" (1997) ISBN 0-300-09624-0 (with Simon Bradley)
*"London 2: South" (1983) ISBN 0-300-09651-8 (with Bridget Cherry)
*"London 3: North-West" (1991) ISBN 0-300-09652-6 (with Bridget Cherry)
*"London 4: North" (1998) ISBN 0-300-09653-4 (with Bridget Cherry)
*"London 5: East" (2004) ISBN 0-300-10701-3 (with Bridget Cherry and Charles O'Brien)
*"London 6: Westminster" (2003) ISBN 0-300-09595-3 (with Simon Bradley)
*"London City Churches" (1998) (Simon Bradley) ISBN 0-300-09655-0
*"Manchester" (2001) (Clare Hartwell) ISBN 0-300-09666-6
*"Norfolk 1: Norwich & North East" (1962;1997) (rev. Bill Wilson) ISBN 0-300-09607-0
*"Norfolk 2: South & West" (1962;1999) (rev. Bill Wilson) ISBN 0-300-09657-7
*"Northamptonshire" (1961;1973) (rev. Bridget Cherry) ISBN 0-300-09632-1
*"Northumberland" (1957;1992) ISBN 0-300-09638-0 (with Ian A. Richmond, rev. John Grundy, Grace McCombie, Peter Ryder and Humphrey Welfare)
*"Nottinghamshire" (1951;1979) (rev. Elizabeth Williamson) ISBN 0-300-09636-4
*"Oxfordshire" (1974) ISBN 0-300-09639-9 (with Jennifer Sherwood)
*"Sheffield" (2004) (Ruth Harman and John Minnis) ISBN 0-300-10585-1
*"Shropshire" (1958;2006) (rev. John Newman) ISBN 0-300-12083-4
*"Somerset: North & Bristol" (1958) ISBN 0-300-09640-2
*"Somerset: South & West" (1958) ISBN 0-300-09644-5
*"Staffordshire" (1974) ISBN 0-14-071046-9
*"Suffolk" (1961;1974) (rev. Enid Radcliffe) ISBN 0-300-09648-8
*"Surrey" (1962;1971) (with Ian Nairn, rev. Bridget Cherry) ISBN 0-300-09675-5
*"Sussex" (1965) ISBN 0-300-09677-1 (with Ian Nairn)
*"Warwickshire" (1966) ISBN 0-300-09679-8 (with Alexandra Wedgwood)
*"Wiltshire" (1963;1975) (rev. Bridget Cherry) ISBN 0-300-09659-3
*"Worcestershire" (1968;2007) (rev. Alan Brooks) ISBN 9780300112986
*"Yorkshire: The North Riding" (1966) ISBN 0-300-09665-8
*"Yorkshire: The West Riding" (1959;1967) (rev. Enid Radcliffe) ISBN 0-300-09662-3
*"Yorkshire: York & East Riding" (1972;1995) (rev. David Neave) ISBN 0-300-09593-7

Buildings of Scotland

The series continued under Pevsner's name into Scotland. The format is largely similar, however only "Lothian" was published in the original small volume style. One noticeable difference in the Scottish series is a greater subdivision of the main gazetteer ("e.g." in "Argyll and Bute" mainland Argyll has separate gazetteer from its islands, and Bute similarly is treated on its own). Unlike "The Buildings of England", none of the Scottish volumes adopt a hierarchy of ecclesiastical buildings, instead grouping them together. As with the English revisions, several of the volumes are the work of many contributors. As of 2006, the series is four volumes from completion.

*"Aberdeen and North-East Scotland" (in preparation)
*"Argyll and Bute" (2000) ISBN 0-300-09670-4 (Frank Arneil Walker)
*"Ayrshire and Arran" (in preparation)
*"Borders" (2006) ISBN 0-300-10702-1 (Kitty Cruft, John Dunbar and Richard Fawcett)
*"Dumfries and Galloway" (1996) ISBN 0-300-09671-2 (John Gifford)
*"Dundee and Angus" (in preparation)
*"Edinburgh" (1984) ISBN 014071068X (John Gifford, Colin McWilliam and David Walker)
*"Fife" (1988) ISBN 0-300-09673-9 (John Gifford)
*"Glasgow" (1990) ISBN 0-300-09674-7 (Elizabeth Williamson, Anne Riches and Malcolm Higgs)
*"Highland and Islands" (1992) ISBN 0-300-09625-9 (John Gifford)
*"Lothian, except Edinburgh" (1978) ISBN 0-300-09626-7 (Colin McWilliam)
*"Perth and Kinross" (2007) ISBN 0-300-10922-9 (John Gifford)
*"Renfrewshire and Lanarkshire" (in preparation)
*"Stirling and Central Scotland" (2002) ISBN 0-300-09594-5 (John Gifford and Frank Arneil Walker)

Buildings of Wales

The series has also been extended to Wales.

*"Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion" (2006) ISBN 0-300-10179-1 (Thomas Lloyd)
*"Clwyd (Denbighshire and Flintshire)" (1986) ISBN 0-300-09627-5 (Edward Hubbard)
*"Glamorgan" (1995) ISBN 0-300-09629-1 (John Newman)
*"Gwent/Monmouthshire" (2000) ISBN 0-300-09630-5 (John Newman)
*"Gwynedd" (research in progress)
*"Pembrokeshire" (2004) ISBN 0-300-10178-3 (Thomas Lloyd, Julian Orbach and Robert Scourfield)
*"Powys" (1979) ISBN 0-300-09631-3 (Richard Haslam)

Buildings of Ireland

The Irish series is not so far advanced as the others. However, the following have been published:

*"Dublin" (2005) ISBN 0-300-10923-7 (Christine Casey)
*"North-West Ulster: the Counties of Londonderry, Donegal, Fermanagh & Tyrone" (1979) ISBN 0-300-09667-4 (Alistair Rowan)
*"North Leinster" (1993) ISBN 0-300-09668-2 (Alistair Rowan and Christine Casey)

uperseded volumes

The revision of the series has rendered some original volumes obsolete, usually as the area of coverage has expanded. To date the following volumes have been superseded:

*"London: the Cities of London and Westminster" (1957)
*"London, except the Cities of London and Westminster" (1952)
*"London Docklands" (1998) (with Elizabeth Williamson)
*"Middlesex" (1951)
*"South Lancashire" (1969) ISBN 0-14-071036-1

In addition, two volumes, "North Devon" and "South Devon" were superseded by a single volume covering the entire county.

ee also

*Survey of London - an even more detailed but incomplete account of the architecture of London.

External links

* [ Pevsner Architectural Guides and the Buildings Books Trust]

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