Beautifully elegiac... a memento mori of British civic pride lost to the shopping centres and ring roads of the 1960s... This masterful book should be placed in every council planning committee in the country' Tristram Hunt, BBC History Magazine The destruction of Britain's city centres by the combined efforts of the Luftwaffe and postwar planners, is legendary. Mediaeval churches, Tudor alleyways, Georgian terraces and Victorian theatres vanished for ever, to be replaced by concrete office-blocks and characterless shopping malls. Now, for the first time, Gavin Stamp shows us exactly what we have lost. Reproduced in this haunting volume are hundreds of top-quality photographs of cities from Plymouth to Dundee, all of streets and buildings that are gone for ever. In the accompanying text Stamp traces their creation and destruction, remembering the massive campaign to save the Euston Arch, wantonly demolished in 1962, and mourning the loss of lovely mediaeval Coventry, which was already doomed by the city planners even before German air-raids intervened. Alternately fascinating, enraging and heartbreaking, this is an extraordinary evocation of Britain's architectural past, and a much-needed reminder of the importance of preserving our heritage. One of Britain's best-known architectural historians, Gavin Stamp is author of numerous books including Lutyens Houses. He is an energetic campaigner against demolition of important buildings and writes for numerous publications, including Country Life, Apollo and Private Eye.
Gavin Stamp is an architectural historian and writer, who for many years was chairman of the Twentieth Century Society. His other books include Lost Victorian Britain, Britain's Lost Cities and Edwin Lutyens Country Houses (all published by Aurum), as well as The Memorial to the Missing of the Somme and The Changing Metropolis: Earliest Photographs of London 1839 - 1879.