Building Construction in Britain from 600AD to 1890
Building Construction in Britain from 600AD to 1890, Geoffrey R Sharpe, 2018, 364 pages, 223 black and white and colour illustrations, softback.
As the author of several books on traditional building construction, including churches and rural building types, Geoffrey R Sharpe provides an overview of craft traditions and their development over 1,300 years in this new handbook. A chartered surveyor and engineer, he has wide experience of caring for historic buildings, and puts his knowledge to good effect. The book includes chapters on building methods; building in stone; timber construction; brick and unbaked earth; and heating, plumbing and other services. Specialist tools and equipment are described in detail, while the often arcane language used for different types of mallets, chisels, timber joints, and so on is helpfully explained. His accounts of medieval building technology and craftsmanship in particular are clear and concise, and both text and images (the latter mostly drawings by the author), are useful reference sources. One niggle that this reader had is the separation of text and images into separate blocks, which means constant thumbing back and forth through the pages to fully understand the author’s points.
This article originally appeared in IHBC's Context 164 (Page 54), published by The Institute of Historic Building Conservation in March 2020. It was written by Context’s reviews editor, Peter de Figueiredo.
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