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London Architecture History

Architectural History Of London

London: a sprawling megalopolis or still a collection of villages?

Exploring the 2000 years of London's expansion through its architecture, we will look not only at the great monuments but also at the everyday life of the city. Focusing on the key periods of urban development and architectural styles in comparison with other European cities will reveal the unique qualities of London's architecture. The course will discuss the relevant social, political and economic conditions of the city's development in a series of introductory lectures during the Easter and Summer sessions – weather allowing - this will be combined with a series of city walks.

We will look at churches and shipyards, highways and alleys, palaces and pumping stations, stately homes and council estates to experience the different stages of London's expansion. A critically informed understanding of the urban surrounding will allow us to develop our own historical map of the city's architecture.

When the course takes place in winter evenings, and city walks are not possible, you will be given guidance of where to go at the weekend to experience London first hand.

Tutor information

Jonathan Kewley is an architectural historian. He is a Londoner by birth and residence, and read history at Oxford. He is now Secretary of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, for whom he has recently organised their four-day annual visit (this year to the Isle of Man). He is currently working on the architecture of seventeenth and eighteenth century grave monuments at Durham University.

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