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Survey of London

The Survey of London provides essential reading for anyone wishing to find out about the capital’s built environment. 

In its 120-year history the Survey of London has explored a wide variety of London districts, from Soho, Mayfair and Covent Garden in the West End to Woolwich, Highgate and Norwood in the inner suburbs. Since 2008 the Survey of London has been published by Yale University Press.

In 2013, we became a part of The Bartlett, continuing our research and producing the detailed architectural and topographical studies we have been publishing for more than 100 years. 

What the Survey of London has covered

Each Survey of London volume covers a single parish or part of a parish. Our focus is central London and its inner suburbs, the area administered (before 1965) by the London County Council. Each book explores the topographical and architectural evolution of an area, giving a description of its buildings (including many which have been demolished), explaining how they came into being, and outlining their significance and historical associations. 

The text, based to a large degree on original documentary and field research, is profusely illustrated with a mixture of archive views, new photography and drawings, including maps, measured plans and elevations. 

Survey of London volumes are listed on our map and online versions of all but the most recent publications on Battersea and South-East Marylebone are available from British History Online. Woolwich is available to read and download from this website. 

A separate series of monographs deals with individual sites and buildings of particular note. All are online apart from the most recent, The Charterhouse.

The scope and detail of individual volumes vary greatly. Earlier volumes are highly selective and include very few buildings erected after c.1800. Southern Lambeth (Vol. 26, published 1956), was the first Survey volume to investigate the nineteenth-century suburban development which accounts for much of modern London.

The publication of Northern Kensington in 1973 marked a shift towards an increasingly contextual and inclusive approach, dealing particularly with the processes of speculative building development and examining the changing social and economic character of each area. Today, the Survey aims to deal with buildings of all types, and all dates down to the most recent.

For a list of Survey of London volumes and to access online versions of our work, please click here