High Victorianism for the Kent Coast: the architecture of Wheeler and Hooker

The three series of Six English Towns that Alec Clifton-Taylor made for the BBC in the 1970s-1980s are an excellent introduction to some of the most attractive, best preserved and architecturally most rewarding historic places in the country. All 18 subjects were well chosen and all of them will repay handsomely the time and effortContinue reading “High Victorianism for the Kent Coast: the architecture of Wheeler and Hooker”

Introducing C.H. Driver (1832-1900), Architect to the Steam Age

It is a measure of the prominence which civil engineering assumed in the 19th century that members of the profession achieved the status of household names. Indeed, they not merely achieved, but also retained it – witness, for instance, Isambard Kingdom Brunel polling second place in the 100 Greatest Britons television series of 2002, nearlyContinue reading “Introducing C.H. Driver (1832-1900), Architect to the Steam Age”

Technicolour Roguery

The 19th century was the age of Romanticism. Though its influence was felt in all the arts, many of the impulses driving the Romantic movement were literary in origin and one of their purest expressions is in the archetype of the Romantic hero – fated to be an outcast from society by incomprehension of hisContinue reading “Technicolour Roguery”

A High Street extravaganza

An awful lot of towns in the Home Counties were badly sinned against in the post-war years by planners, developers, traffic engineers and architects, but few quite as grievously as Maidstone. While I can’t feel too upset about the destruction visited on certain places, where there may well never have been anything terribly interesting, MaidstoneContinue reading “A High Street extravaganza”