Lost Victorian Britain is the latest book by architectural historian Gavin Stamp and exposes the brutality towards the Victorian architectural heritage. The books sub title ‘How the 20th century destroyed the 19th century’s architectural masterpieces’ says it all.
Gavin is a member of the Victorian Society and is dedicated to preserving and promoting buildings and structures from the Victorian and Edwardian ages. The founding of the society took place at a time when there was a dislike of the Victorian style and the destruction of Victorian buildings is post war reconstruction took place.
The book tells a story of the great loss of this architecture, the destruction in London including Euston Arch. However, it is important to note that no major city was untouched in this wave of destruction: Bradford lost a Victorian market, Brighton lost its West Pier, fine stations and pubs were lost in Glasgow, Nottingham and Birmingham.
Birmingham alone has been transformed over the last decade and has seen much loss to its historic fabric as highlighted in the book by Roy Thornton – Lost Buildings of Birmingham.
Historic buildings are irreplaceable, cherished, diverse and are unfortunately still under threat despite efforts to save them. Recently in Birmingham plans to demolish Victorian buildings to make way for a new retirement village in Hagley Road have been approved, a scheme opposed by many including English Heritage and the Victorian Society.