Architecture – December 2020

Welcome to the eleventh instalment of the Virtual Architecture Group. Thank you for the feedback I’ve had in response to these messages. Please feel free to contact me if you have any suggestions about architecture related films, tv programmes or other material that might be of interest to the rest of the group.

The theme last time was modern and post-modern architectural styles, so this time I thought we’d have a look at architectural styles from the Victorian period.

  1. Heritage Calling – A Spotter’s Guide to Victorian Architecture

This is from the Historic England website, and introduces what are considered to be some of the finest examples of Victorian Architecture.

  1. Beautiful Victorian architecture

From the Londontopia website, this covers what the author considers to be the top ten most beautiful Victorian buildings in London.

  1. Peoples Palaces – the Gothic Revival.

This is a programme originally broadcast on BBC4 about the transformation of British cities during the Victorian era.

  1. Old London

The buildings of ‘old’ London have always fascinated audiences, from John Stow’s survey in 1598 down the centuries into the film era.

This short film made in 1914 covers a variety of the capital’s treasures, including Henry VIII’s hunting lodge in Chelsea, the ‘new’ Temple Bar put up in 1878, Cloth Fair and the Old Dick Whittington pub (a 15th century building demolished in 1916), Spaniard’s Inn and the 15th century Crosby Hall, once home to Thomas More, which was moved stone by stone to Chelsea Embankment.

  1. Online course

Hilary Hunt has kindly sent me a link to an online course being run by the Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution (what a great name). There are a series of online lectures. The website states that These courses are for anyone interested in the buildings around them. No previous knowledge is assumed. The aim is to foster a fuller understanding of world architecture and thereby encourage the enjoyment of its rich variety.”

  1. Guided architecture walks

I am still working on the idea of organising some guided architecture walks around local villages, and depending on the public health guidelines on the pandemic these might be able to commence in the spring or summer.

So far I have volunteers to lead a guided walk around Geddington, Spratton, Lubenham, Medbourne and Hallaton. If you would like to take a turn as a tour guide please let me know.


  1. Annual Architecture Group quiz

At this time of year we’d usually be holding the annual SLU3A Architecture Group quiz, and no doubt you would have been getting excited about the prospects of winning both the solid gold cup and the acclaim of your fellow group members.

Sadly we can’t meet face to face, so Geoff and I thought that the next best thing would be to send out some questions that you can look through at your leisure.

Please note that for this year only, the use of Google is actively encouraged, and other reference sources are available.

There are two parts to the quiz. In Round One there’s a total of 30 points on offer. You can give yourself one point for naming the architect, one point for naming the building, and one point for linking the correct architect to the correct building.

In Round Two there’s a total of 20 points on offer. You can give yourself one point for naming the place of worship, and one point for naming the town or city.

To allow the excitement to build in the run up to Christmas, I will circulate the answers in the next edition of the newsletter.

In case you hope to get help with the questions, please note that Geoff and I are immune to flattery. But bribery is a completely different matter!

Here are the links to both parts of the quiz:      Round One    Round Two

Happy holidays to one and all.

Colin Cohen   07973 348817