The Victorian Society

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1 Priory Gardens (1880), Bedford Park, London, by E.J. May (1853–1941), the headquarters of the Victorian Society.

The Victorian Society is the national charity responsible for the study and protection of Victorian and Edwardian architecture and other arts in Britain.

It was founded in 1958 to fight the then widespread ignorance of 19th and early 20th century architecture. The first meeting was held at Linley Sambourne House on 28 February. Among its thirty founder members were John Betjeman, Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Nikolaus Pevsner.

Today, the society continues to fight to preserve important Victorian and Edwardian buildings and landscapes. The Twentieth Century Society serves a similar role for post-1914 buildings.


Based in London, with regional groups across England and Wales, the society:

  • Provides expert advice to churches and local planning authorities on how Victorian and Edwardian buildings and landscapes can be adapted to the way we live now, while keeping what is distinctive about them.
  • Advises members of the public on how they can help shape the future of their local Victorian and Edwardian buildings and landscapes.
  • Provides information to owners of Victorian and Edwardian houses about how they can better look after their buildings.
  • Helps people understand, appreciate, and enjoy the architectural heritage of the Victorian and Edwardian period through its publications and educational programmes.
  • As one of the National Amenity Societies, it is a statutory consultee on alterations to listed buildings, and by law must be notified of any work to a listed building which involves any element of demolition.

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