Survey of London

*"See John Stow for the 1598 work 'Survey of London'."

The Survey of London is a research project to produce a comprehensive historical and architectural survey of the former County of London. It was founded in 1894 by Charles Robert Ashbee, an Arts-and-Crafts architect and social thinker, and was motivated by a desire to record and preserve London's ancient monuments. The first volume was published in 1900, but the completion of the series remains far in the future. It was initially a volunteer effort, but later became a government sponsored project, currently organised by English Heritage.

The Survey consists of a series of volumes based mainly on the historical parish system. Each volume gives an account of the area, with sufficient general history to put the architecture in context, and then proceeds to describe the notable streets and individual buildings one by one. The accounts are exhaustive, reviewing all available primary sources in detail; buildings which receive the briefest of mentions in the "Buildings of England" series (itself a vast and detailed reference work by most standards) sometimes have thousands of words devoted to them in the Survey. However the earlier volumes largely ignored buildings dating from after 1800.

Due to the scale of the existing endeavour there are no current plans to extend the project to take in the whole of Greater London. As at 2006, 45 volumes in the main series had been published. The Survey has also produced 17 monographs on individual buildings. Most of the volumes have not been updated since publication, but those which have been published online have received a limited amount of updating.

External links

* [http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/server/show/nav.1636 Information from English Heritage]
* [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/catalogue.asp?type=false&gid=74 Selected volumes online at British History Online]
* [http://www.westminster.gov.uk/libraries/archives/indexes/surveyoflondon/index.cfm Index from Westminster City Council] - doesn't have the actual text online


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