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Wednesday, 8 February 2012, 6:00PM
Museum of London

Engine House, 1760 to 1830

Professor Simon Thurley CBE

England’s take off as the first industrial nation created a whole new language of building underpinned by technology and by an emerging view of the rest of the world. 

This is a part of the lecture series From Architectural Periphery to the World's Engine House: English Building from the Reformation to the First World War.
In this lecture series Simon Thurley continues his investigation into the history of building in England. Starting with the shattering events of the Suppression of the Monasteries and the Civil War he moves on to look at the architectural consensus that briefly reigned in the mid eighteenth century before it dissolved in the white heat of the Industrial Revolution. Economic and technological change then drove English building in remarkable new directions for over 150 years. This period was ended by another shattering event, but this time of global proportions – the First World War. This extraordinary chronicle is not just history of architecture, but the history of an ascendant civilization.

The other lectures in this series include the following:
    The End of the Old World Order, 1530-1650
    The Rise if Consensus, 1650-1760
    On Top of the World, 1830-1914

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Professor Thurley is a leading architectural historian, a regular broadcaster and was, for thirteen years, Chief Executive of English Heritage, the Government's principal advisor on the historic environment in England. Prior to joining English Heritage in 2002, he served as the Director of the Museum of London, the world's largest city museum. Between 1990 to 1997 he was the Curator of Historic Royal Palaces, the organisation is responsible for Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, the Banqueting House, Whitehall and Kew Palace.

Throughout his career, Simon has been passionate about communicating English history. He is the author of more than ten books including The Building of England, his history of English architecture, and The Royal Palaces of Tudor England, the subject of his PhD taken at the Courtauld Institute. At Historic Royal Palaces, and later at English Heritage, he was responsible for major restoration projects - the most recent of which was the restoration of the Stonehenge landscape and the construction of a new museum there. At the Museum of London, he led an exciting exhibition programme, inspiring people with a passion for the city. His television projects include, most recently, Heritage! the story of the heritage movement in Britain made for BBC4.

He is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. He is also a Trustee of the British Library, of the Canal and River Trust and of the Society of Court Studies, an academic study group he helped to found 25 years ago. He is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and the Royal Historical Society. He is currently the Gresham Visiting Professor of the Built Environment.

Professor Thurley's previous lecture series are as follows:

2019/20 Theatres of Revolution: The Stuart Kings and the Architecture of Disruption

2018/19 Art and Power

2017/18 Merchants, Money and Megalomania: Buildings in the West End of London

2016/17 History at a Turning Point: Why We Have to Rethink Conservation

2015/16 Power, Medicine, Genius and Destruction: Great London Buildings and Their Creators 1200-2000

2014/15 The Royal Palaces of England

2010/13 A History of English Architecture: 410-2013

2010 London and its Architecture 

2009 Heritage and its impact on the way we live

All lectures by the Visiting Professor of the Built Environment can be accessed here.

Current Visiting Professor of Architecture

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8 February 2012

Engine House, 1760 to 1830
Professor Simon Thurley CBE

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