Travels with Pevsner

Pevsner's Buildings of England: Background Information

The Buildings of England series of books was created by the architectural historian Sir Nikolaus Pevsner (1902-83), a German emigré who travelled the length and breadth of England to provide a unique record of the country’s most significant buildings and monuments. Forty-six volumes published by Penguin Books between 1951 and 1974, written largely by Pevsner himself, cover every English county and all periods from prehistoric times to the present day. For the volume on Hampshire, published in 1967, Pevsner was joined by the architectural writer David Lloyd, who was responsible for much of the southern part of the county and who is now working on a revised edition.

The series offers descriptions, often spiced by lively and informed comment, of every building of architectural importance in every county in England. Besides the great set pieces such as cathedrals and their furnishings, great country houses and their parks, the commercial and industrial architecture of cities, the reader is introduced to lesser delights ranging from village churches to garden follies, from pubs to pumping stations.

  • The Extracts A complete list of all Buildings of England extracts used in Hantsweb.

Glossary

The text of the books is often strictly architectural in content, but not without humour, stimulating curiosity and encouraging readers to discover for themselves the character of the buildings they visit. A short glossary of architectural terms used in the extracts quoted here is available.

Perambulations

A notable feature of the series are the "perambulations" - walks around a specific town, city or locality, with informed narrative which describes the buildings to be found en route and set them in their context.

Critical Acclaim

Critics have acclaimed the cumulative works in the series with these words "There is still nothing in the world, (repeat, the world, not just this country) to match these books" (Geoffrey Moorhouse, The Guardian).

The Hampshire edition is under revision

David Lloyd is presently working with Mr Rodney Hubbuck on a revision of the Hampshire edition, which will be published in two volumes by Penguin Books. Thirty years after original publication there is much new research which has increased our knowledge, as well as buildings which have been put up since 1967. Some of the details about local communities in the original edition are now out of date, although this very information provides an interesting insight into how buildings and their environment have changed. In the extracts included here known errors have been corrected, but the editors are always pleased to receive comments on the material in the books. They should be sent to The Buildings of England, Penguin Books, 27 Wrights Lane, London W8 5TZ.

Penguin books logoFind out more about the Buildings of England series by visiting the Penguin Books web site.

Material from The Buildings of England (Hampshire edition) is © Copyright Nikolaus Pevsner and David Lloyd, 1967, reproduced by kind permission of Penguin Books.

  • The Extracts A complete list of all Buildings of England extracts used in Hantsweb.

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