Recent English Architecture 1920-1940 – Then & Now

I was recently fortunate enough to pick up a copy of marvellous book entitled ‘Recent English Architecture 1920-1940’. Its a small hard back compendium, published by Country Life in 1947, containing 63 of  images of English architectural highlights from the inter-war years. Selected by the Architecture Club, it served as an epitaph to the groundbreaking design from this era, and heralded the start of a new one in a post-war Britain.img_1035

The photographs show each of the buildings, some iconic, some less well known, at their best. Each freshly completed and free from the ravages of ‘modernisation’ and general weathering. I initially decided to reproduce the book in blog form, simply to share these striking images, then curiosity got the better of me. How many of these structures still exist, and to what extent have they been altered? Below is a selection of my personal highlights from the book, with a modern comparison from various credited sources (if you own the copyright to any of these photos and would like me to remove them, i am happy to do so).

#7 Town Hall (aka Meridian House), Greenwich by Culpin and Son (1939)
Image courtesy of Google Streetview
#8 Town Hall, Dagenham by E. Berry Webber (1937)
Image courtesy of WIkipedia commons. 
#9 Arnos Grove Underground Station by Adams, Holden and Pearson (1932)
Image courtesy of
London Passenger Transport Board by Adams, Holden & Pearson (1927)
Grade I listed. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia commons
#11 Woodside Ventilation Station, Mersey Tunnel, Liverpool by Herbert J. Rowse (1925-1934)
Grade II Listed. Image courtesy of Panoramio
#17 Ramsgate Air Port by A. Pleydell-Bouverie (1935)

Closed in 1968 and demolished at some point during the following decade I’m afraid folks.

#18 Liverpool Philharmonic Hall by Herbert J. Rowse (1939)
Photo courtesy of
#19 St Dunstan’s Convalescent and Holiday Home, Rottingdean by Francis Lorne (1938) 
Photo courtesy of
#27 National Provincial Bank, Osterley by W.F.C. Holden (1935)
Photo courtesy of Pete aka DaveyJones144 – a prolific deco hunter!
#29 “Comet” Roadhouse, Near Barnet by E.B. Musman (1936)
Photo courtesy of Mark Amies, his blog post about the roadhouse notified me of the existence of the book.
#36 Church of St Nicholas, Burnage by Welch, Cachemaille-Day & Lander (1932)
Photo courtesy of Sarah aka tintrunk via flickr
#38 Church of St. Saviour, Eltham by Welch, Cachemaille-Day & Lander (1934)
Photo courtesy of Stephen Craven via Geograph
#45 Bedford Girls Modern School by Oswald P. Milne (1938)
Photo courtesy of
#48 Greenford County Secondary Grammar School, Middlesex by H. W. Burchett (1939)

While the school still thrives as Greenford High School, it appears that the original building has either been replaced or modified beyond recognition.

#58 House at fawley, Bucks by Christopher Nicholson
‘Kits Close’, the house was used in the Poirot episode ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd’. Photo couresty of Chimi Wiki

This is obviously only a selection of the images featured in the book. There are some interior shots, and some more well known buildings such as Battersea Power Station and The University of London, and others that showcase some more traditional constructions of the era. Should you wish to track down your own copy they seem to be fairly obtainable. Mine only cost a mere 83p + P&P from Abebooks!


7 thoughts on “Recent English Architecture 1920-1940 – Then & Now

      1. Yes. Plate 28 in Recent English Architecture 1920-40. A Clough Williams-Ellis monograph (ISBN: 9781854904300) states that it was demolished in the 1960s.

        Liked by 1 person

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