Pevsner Architectural Guides
The Pevsner Architectural Guides are a series of guide books to the architecture of the British Isles. Begun in the 1940s by art historian Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, the 46 volumes of the original Buildings of England series were published between 1951 and 1974. The series was then extended to Scotland, Wales and Ireland in the late 1970s. The Scottish and Irish guides were incomplete as of summer 2012. Most of the English volumes have had second editions, chiefly by other authors.
Buildings of England
Origin and research methods
After moving to Great Britain 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 to 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 ten with collaborators, with a further four of the original series written by others: the two Gloucestershire volumes by David Verey, and the two volumes on Kent by John Newman. Newman is the only author in the series to have written a volume and revised it three times.
Since Pevsner's death, work has continued on the series, with several volumes now in their third revision, and three in their fourth editions.
Content of the volumes
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 published by Yale University Press since 2003.
In 1986 Penguin Books published an anthology from Pevsner's volumes edited by Bridget Cherry and John Newman, "The Best Buildings of England", ISBN 0-670-81283-8. It has an excellent introduction by Newman asssessing Pevsner's aims and methods.
In 2001 the Penguin Collectors Society published The Buildings of England: a Celebration, edited by Simon Bradley and Bridget Cherry, fifty years after BE1 was published: it includes twelve essays and a selection of text from the series. ISBN 978-0-9527401-3-1
Volumes in print
The list below is of the volumes that are in print in 2014. Since 1962, many (although not yet all) of the volumes have been updated to reflect architectural-history scholarship and to include significant new buildings. Pevsner left virtually all the revisions to others, acting as supervisor only. He ultimately revised only two of his original editions alone: London 1: The Cities of London and Westminster (1962) and Cambridgeshire (1970). Both were later revised again by others. Beginning in 1983, a larger format was introduced, and all subsequent new editions have been issued in this format. As of 2014, the oldest unrevised volumes are Warwickshire and Yorkshire: The North Riding (both 1966). All editions are now published by Yale University Press.
Those volumes marked with an asterisk remain in the original, smaller format.
|Title of Current Edition||First Edition||Co-author(s)||Second Edition||Co-author(s)||Third Edition||Co-author(s)||Current ISBN|
|Bedfordshire, Huntingdonshire and Peterborough||1968||2014||Charles O'Brien||ISBN 978-0-300-20821-4|
|Berkshire||1966||2010||Geoffrey Tyack, Simon Bradley||ISBN 978-0-300-12662-4|
|Buckinghamshire||1960||1994||Elizabeth Williamson||ISBN 978-0-300-09584-5|
|Cambridgeshire||1954||1970||2014||Simon Bradley||ISBN 978-0-300-20596-1|
|Cheshire||1971||Edward Hubbard||2011||Clare Hartwell, Matthew Hyde||ISBN 978-0-300-09588-3|
|Cornwall||1951||1970||Enid Radcliffe||2014||Peter Beacham||ISBN 978-0-300-12668-6|
|County Durham*||1953||1983||Elizabeth Williamson||ISBN 978-0-300-09599-9|
|Cumbria||1967 1||2010||Matthew Hyde||ISBN 978-0-300-12663-1|
|Derbyshire*||1953||1978||Elizabeth Williamson||ISBN 978-0-300-09591-3|
|Devon||1952 2||1989||Bridget Cherry||ISBN 978-0-300-09596-8|
|Dorset*||1972||John Newman||ISBN 978-0-300-09598-2|
|Essex||1954||1965||Enid Radcliffe||2007||James Bettley||ISBN 978-0-300-09601-9|
|Gloucestershire 1: The Cotswolds||1970||David Verey 3||1979||1999||Alan Brooks||ISBN 978-0-300-09604-0|
|Gloucestershire 2: The Vale and Forest of Dean||1970||David Verey 3||1976||2002||Alan Brooks||ISBN 978-0-300-09733-7|
|The Isle of Wight||1967 4||David W. Lloyd||2006||David W. Lloyd||ISBN 978-0-300-10733-3|
|Hampshire and the Isle of Wight*||1967||David W. Lloyd||ISBN 978-0-300-09606-4|
|Hampshire: Winchester and The North||1967 5||David W. Lloyd||2010||Michael Bullen, John Crook, Rodney Hubbuck||ISBN 978-0-300-12084-4|
|Herefordshire||1963||2012||Alan Brooks||ISBN 978-0-300-12575-7|
|Hertfordshire*||1953||1977||Bridget Cherry||ISBN 978-0-300-09611-8|
|Kent: North East and East||1969||John Newman 3||1976||1983
|Kent: West and the Weald||1969||John Newman 3||1976||2012||ISBN 978-0-300-09614-9|
|Lancashire: Liverpool and the South West||1969 6||2006||Richard Pollard||ISBN 978-0-300-10910-8|
|Lancashire: Manchester and the South East||1969 6||2004||Clare Hartwell, Matthew Hyde||ISBN 978-0-300-10583-4|
|Lancashire: North||1969||2009||Clare Hartwell||ISBN 978-0-300-12667-9|
|Leicestershire and Rutland||1960||1984||Elizabeth Williamson||ISBN 978-0-300-09618-7|
|Lincolnshire||1964||John Harris||1989||Nicholas Antram||ISBN 978-0-300-09620-0|
|London 1: The City of London||1957 7
1997 (4th) 8
|London 2: South||1952 9||1983||Bridget Cherry||ISBN 978-0-300-09651-4|
|London 3: North West||1951 10
|1991||Bridget Cherry||ISBN 978-0-300-09652-1|
|London 4: North||1951 10
|1998||Bridget Cherry||ISBN 978-0-300-09653-8|
|London 5: East||1952 9||1998 11||Elizabeth Williamson||2004||Bridget Cherry, Charles O'Brien||ISBN 978-0-300-10701-2|
|London 6: Westminster||1957 7
2003 (4th) 8
|Norfolk 1: Norwich and North East||1962||1997||Bill Wilson||ISBN 978-0-300-09607-1|
|Norfolk 2: North-west and South||1962||1999||Bill Wilson||ISBN 978-0-300-09657-6|
|Northamptonshire||1961||1973||Bridget Cherry||2013||Bruce Bailey||ISBN 978-0-300-18507-2|
|Northumberland||1957||(Ian A. Richmond) 12||1992||John Grundy, Grace McCombie, Peter Ryder, Humphrey Welfare||ISBN 978-0-300-09638-5|
|Nottinghamshire*||1951||1979||Elizabeth Williamson||ISBN 978-0-300-09636-1|
|Oxfordshire*||1974||Jennifer Sherwood||ISBN 978-0-300-09639-2|
|Shropshire||1958||2006||John Newman||ISBN 978-0-300-09642-2|
|Somerset: North and Bristol||1958||2011||Andrew Foyle||ISBN 978-0-300-09640-8|
|Somerset: South and West||1958||2014||Julian Orbach||ISBN 978-0-300-20740-8|
|Suffolk*||1961||1974||Enid Radcliffe||ISBN 978-0-300-09648-4|
|Surrey*||1962||Ian Nairn||1971||Bridget Cherry||ISBN 978-0-300-09675-0|
|Sussex*||1965||Ian Nairn||ISBN 978-0-300-09677-4|
|Sussex: East with Brighton and Hove||1965 13||(Ian Nairn) 14||2013||Nicholas Antram||ISBN 978-0-300-18473-0|
|Warwickshire*||1966||Alexandra Wedgwood||ISBN 978-0-300-09679-8|
|Wiltshire*||1963||1975||Bridget Cherry||ISBN 978-0-300-09659-0|
|Worcestershire||1968||2007||Alan Brooks||ISBN 978-0-300-11298-6|
|Yorkshire: The North Riding*||1966||ISBN 978-0-300-09665-1|
|Yorkshire: The West Riding*||1959||1967||Enid Radcliffe||ISBN 978-0-14-071017-5|
|Yorkshire: The West Riding: Leeds, Bradford and the North||1959 15||1967||Enid Radcliffe||2009||Peter Leach||ISBN 978-0-300-12665-5|
|Yorkshire: York and The East Riding||1972||1995||David Neave||ISBN 978-0-300-09593-7|
Note 1: First published as Cumberland and Westmorland – see Superseded Volumes.
Note 2: First published as two volumes: North Devon and South Devon – see Superseded Volumes.
Note 3: Sole credited author.
Note 4: First published as Hampshire and the Isle of Wight – see below.
Note 5: First published as Hampshire and the Isle of Wight – see above.
Note 6: First published as Lancashire 1: The Industrial and Commercial South – see Superseded Volumes.
Note 7: First published as London: The Cities of London and Westminster – see Superseded Volumes.
Note 8: Not identified as a Fourth Edition in the text but as a 'successor volume'.
Note 9: First published as London, except the Cities of London and Westminster – see Superseded Volumes.
Note 10: First published as Middlesex – see Superseded Volumes.
Note 11: Docklands area only – See Superseded Volumes.
Note 12: Ian Richmond credited as a contributor rather than co-author.
Note 13: First published as Sussex – see above.
Note 14: Ian Nairn was only indirectly involved in the text under revision in this volume.
Note 15: First published as Yorkshire: The West Riding – see above.
The first of the paperback City Guides, covering Manchester, appeared in 2001. It featured a new format with integrated colour illustrations. In most cases the City Guides have preceded a revision of the county volume in which they are located, although they do go into greater detail than the county volumes and have more illustrations. Thus the Birmingham guide completely supersedes the central Birmingham section of the Warwickshire volume, which is now over forty years old. Two of the guides, covering Newcastle and Gateshead and Hull, are more recent than the hardback editions for the surrounding counties, and therefore update as well as expand the coverage of those cities. This series appears to be on a hiatus, with no new volumes published since 2010 and none confirmed as in planning.
- Bath (2003) (Michael Forsyth) ISBN 978-0-300-10177-5
- Birmingham (2005) (Andy Foster) ISBN 978-0-300-10731-9
- Brighton and Hove (2008) (Nicholas Antram and Richard Morrice) ISBN 978-0-300-12661-7
- Bristol (2004) (Andrew Foyle) ISBN 978-0-300-10442-4
- Hull (2010) (David Neave and Susan Neave) ISBN 978-0-300-14172-6
- Leeds (2005) (Susan Wrathmell) ISBN 978-0-300-10736-4
- Liverpool (2003) (Joseph Sharples) ISBN 978-0-300-10258-1
- Manchester (2001) (Clare Hartwell) ISBN 978-0-300-09666-8
- Newcastle and Gateshead (2009) (Grace McCombie) ISBN 978-0-300-12664-8
- Nottingham (2008) (Elain Harwood) ISBN 978-0-300-12666-2
- Sheffield (2004) (Ruth Harman and John Minnis) ISBN 978-0-300-10585-8
A volume on London's City Churches was published in 1998, and like London Docklands (see Superseded Volumes below) represented preliminary work for an expanded main volume. It is in the format of the main series rather than the City Guides. However, unlike the Docklands volume, which was superseded when London 5: East was published, the City Churches volume (by the nature of its content) remains current and is still in print.
- London City Churches (1998) (Simon Bradley) ISBN 978-0-300-09655-2
Buildings of Scotland
The series continued under Pevsner's founding editorship into Scotland. The format is largely similar; however, only Lothian was published in the original small volume style. One noticeable difference in some of 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 adopts 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 late 2012, the series is three volumes from completion.
The volumes on Glasgow and Edinburgh are, with Dublin (see below) the only Pevsner volumes outside London to focus exclusively on a city. These volumes should not be confused with the City Guide format (see above).
- Aberdeen and South Aberdeenshire (in preparation)
- Argyll and Bute (2000) ISBN 978-0-300-09670-5 (Frank Arneil Walker)
- Ayrshire and Arran (2012) ISBN 978-0-300-14170-2 (Rob Close and Anne Riches)
- Borders (2006) ISBN 978-0-300-10702-9 (Kitty Cruft, John Dunbar and Richard Fawcett)
- Dumfries and Galloway (1996) ISBN 978-0-300-09671-2 (John Gifford)
- Dundee and Angus (2012) ISBN 978-0-300-14171-9 (John Gifford)
- Edinburgh (1984) ISBN 978-0-300-09672-9 (John Gifford, Colin McWilliam and David Walker)
- Fife (1988) ISBN 978-0-300-09673-6 (John Gifford)
- Glasgow (1990) ISBN 978-0-300-09674-3 (Elizabeth Williamson, Anne Riches and Malcolm Higgs)
- Highland and Islands (1992) ISBN 978-0-300-09625-5 (John Gifford)
- Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire (in preparation)
- Lothian, except Edinburgh (1978) ISBN 978-0-300-09626-2 (Colin McWilliam)
- Moray and North Aberdeenshire (in preparation)
- Perth and Kinross (2007) ISBN 978-0-300-10922-1 (John Gifford)
- Stirling and Central Scotland (2002) ISBN 978-0-300-09594-4 (John Gifford and Frank Arneil Walker)
Buildings of Wales
The series has also been extended to Wales, and was completed with the issue of Gwynedd in 2009 (although this initial survey had taken seven years longer than Pevsner's first complete survey of England). Only the first volume, Powys (edited by Richard Haslam, and published in 1979) appeared in the original small format style; and this volume has now been superseded by a revised large-format edition, published in 2013. This is the first (and to date only) guide outside The Buildings of England series to be revised.
- Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion (2006) ISBN 978-0-300-10179-9 (Thomas Lloyd)
- Clwyd (Denbighshire and Flintshire) (1986) ISBN 978-0-300-09627-9 (Edward Hubbard)
- Glamorgan (1995) ISBN 978-0-300-09629-3 (John Newman)
- Gwent/Monmouthshire (2000) ISBN 978-0-300-09630-9 (John Newman)
- Gwynedd (2009) ISBN 978-0-300-14169-6 (Richard Haslam, Julian Orbach and Adam Voelcker)
- Pembrokeshire (2004) ISBN 978-0-300-10178-2 (Thomas Lloyd, Julian Orbach and Robert Scourfield)
- Powys: Montgomeryshire, Radnorshire and Breconshire (1979; 2013) ISBN 978-0-300-18508-9 (rev. Robert Scourfield and Richard Haslam)
Buildings of Ireland
The Irish series is not so far advanced as the others, with only four volumes having being published between 1979 and the present day. Research for several of the intended volumes (as of 2012) has not yet begun.
- Belfast, Antrim and County Down (in preparation)
- Connacht/Connaught (in preparation)
- Dublin (2005) ISBN 978-0-300-10923-8 (Christine Casey)
- Dublin: County (in preparation)
- Munster (in preparation)
- North West Ulster: the Counties of Londonderry, Donegal, Fermanagh and Tyrone (1979) ISBN 978-0-300-09667-5 (Alistair Rowan)
- North Leinster (1993) ISBN 978-0-300-09668-2 (Alistair Rowan and Christine Casey)
- South Leinster (in preparation)
- South Ulster: the Counties of Armagh, Cavan and Monaghan. (2013) ISBN 978-0300186017 (Kevin Mulligan)
- West Leinster: the Counties of Kildare, Laois and Offaly (in preparation)
The revision of the series has rendered some original volumes obsolete, usually as the area of coverage has changed. To date the following volumes have been entirely superseded:
- Cumberland and Westmorland (1967)
- London: the Cities of London and Westminster (1957, rev. 1962 and 1973)
- London, except the Cities of London and Westminster (1952)
- London Docklands (1998) (with Elizabeth Williamson)
- Middlesex (1951)
- North Lancashire (1969)
- South Lancashire (1969)
In addition, two volumes, North Devon and South Devon (1952) were superseded by a single volume covering the entire county. Parts of the original Hampshire & the Isle of Wight and Yorkshire: the West Riding volumes have been superseded by revised volumes.
- Survey of London – an even more detailed but incomplete account of the architecture of London
- The Penguin Collectors Society for the Pevsner Memorial Trust
- Buildings of the United States
- Cherry, Bridget (1998). The Buildings of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales: a short history and bibliography.
- Pevsner Architectural Guides, Yale University Press