Guest Article: Yale Editor Sally Salvesen on The Survey of London

Yale editor Sally Salvesen marks the arrival of the latest Survey of London by touring the historic neighborhood of Marylebone. Along the way she discovers the foundations of the next Survey, visits ‘a neo-Gothic hygienic aberration’ and meets a statue in a surprising lather. Accompanying Sally’s description of the event are a selection of photos which vividly demonstrate why the area offers such rich material to architecture scholars and appreciators alike.

The first advance copies of Woolwich, volume 48 of the Survey of London, have just arrived in our office and publication is set for 26 November; to celebrate Woolwich’s rich and varied history there’s an exhibition at Greenwich Heritage Centre, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich. Called ‘The Survey of London in Woolwich’, it includes historic and new photographs and drawings from the volume alongside related objects from the Centre’s collections and loans from the English Heritage Architectural Study Collection.

Already the Survey team at English Heritage have delivered the manuscript for the first of two Battersea volumes scheduled for publication this time next year, and part two is due to arrive at the end of the month. So you might imagine that it would be a moment to regroup before turning to a new district. Far from it – work has already started on collecting the preliminary information for Marylebone, the next area to benefit from the Survey’s attentions.

To mark the project about twenty supporters recently met under Meekyoung Shin’s new statue of Butcher Cumberland in Cavendish Square. It’s made of soap and over the next year it will slowly wash away, leaving only a faint perfume in the air (and presumably a sticky residue). Our walk included the interiors at the Royal College of Nursing, the Wigmore Hall and two Cavendish Square houses; brief stops outside the new BBC building and the Howard de Walden Nurses’ Home in Langham Street (‘a neo-Gothic hygienic aberration’ according to Pevsner, London, North West) before concluding at Butterfield’s magnificent All Saints, Margaret Street. It will be a rich and rewarding area for the Survey to address.


Photos courtesy Survey of London / Chris Redgrave.

All back volumes of the Survey of London are free to read online. The text is fully searchable, and has been enhanced with many addenda and corrections.

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