This Volume contains (in addition to the Terms of Appointment and
official Report) a Sectional Preface, which, under subject headings, calls
attention to any particularly interesting examples mentioned in the
Inventory; an illustrated Inventory, with a concise account of the monuments
visited; a list of monuments that the Commissioners have selected as especially
worthy of preservation; a glossary of architectural, heraldic and archaeological
terms; a map showing the topographical distribution of the scheduled monuments
and an index.
With the second volume of the Inventory of the County of London a return
has been made to the normal arrangement of the Commission's Inventories, the
special conditions necessitating a departure therefrom, in the case of Westminster
Abbey (London, Vol. I), being no longer operative in the larger area. Nevertheless, certain departures from our usual procedure have been found desirable
in dealing with this purely urban district. The most important of these
concern the divisional unit, the boundaries adopted being those of the Metropolitan boroughs instead of the civil parishes as heretofore. The choice of this
arrangement was dictated partly by the indefinite nature of the parish boundary
in towns and partly with a view to allocating the monuments inventoried to
districts corresponding with the areas of local government.
One unavoidable result of the adoption of the Borough as the unit of
description has been the separation of secular monuments from the account of
the parish church. In consequence, streets which are far from one another are
often described in close sequence, a fact which may disconcert the reader until
he remembers that the index at the end of the volume makes them easy of
reference when necessary.
The details of the arrangement otherwise correspond to those adopted in
the Commission's Inventories of Essex. The boroughs are arranged alphabetically with an introductory paragraph calling attention to the more noticeable
monuments in each borough.
The chronological sequence chosen is perhaps not scientifically perfect, but
it has been found a workable basis for classification. The order adopted is as
(1) Prehistoric Monuments and Earthworks.
(2) Roman Monuments and Roman Earthworks.
(3) English Ecclesiastical Monuments.
(4) English Secular Monuments.
(5) Unclassified Monuments.
In addition to dwelling-houses the English class (4) includes all such
earthworks as homestead-moats. To the section of unclassified monuments (5)
are assigned all undatable earthworks.
The early part of the 18th century was a period of great building activity
and expansion in W. London and this has rendered the date limitation of 1714
contained in the Commission's Terms of Reference a source of considerable
difficulty. In few instances is the exact year of erection of a house preserved
and it is obvious that the criteria afforded by style and decoration may
sometimes be insufficient to determine on which side of the dividing line a
given building should be placed. I can only say that the fullest consideration
has been given to these monuments on the border-line and that if any have
been passed over without mention their omission must not necessarily be
assumed to be due to an oversight.
The descriptions of all monuments are of necessity much compressed, but
the underlying principle on which accounts of any importance are based is the
In the first place the Borough is located by reference to the Ordnance sheets
(scale 6 inches to the mile) and by small letters in front of the number of each
monument indicating the individual sheets when the borough extends over more
than one sheet. In the case of churches, the description begins with a few words
on the situation and material of the monument, together with a statement as to
the development of its various parts. A second paragraph calls attention, when
necessary, to its more remarkable features. This is followed by a concise description,
mainly architectural, of its details. A fourth paragraph deals with the fittings
in alphabetical order, while the concluding sentence gives a general statement
as to the structural condition. The accounts of less important buildings, whether
secular or ecclesiastical, are still further compressed, and, in the case of secular
monuments, consist of a single paragraph, or of a mere mention of their
situation if they belong to a group with certain characteristics described in a
The standardization of the spelling of proper names in the Commission's
inventories has always presented considerable difficulties and almost any system
is open to criticism. It is well known that during the period covered by our
terms of reference, and indeed to a much later date, the art of spelling was
in a very fluid state, proper names especially being subject to a wide variation
dictated partly by their phonetic values and partly by individual caprice. In
the absence, therefore, of any final court of appeal, it has been thought best
to abide, in the matter of place-names, by the spelling adopted by the
Ordnance Survey, without prejudice as to its accuracy. In the matter of
personal names, in treating of individual funeral-monuments, etc., the actual
spelling of the memorial has been reproduced in the detailed description, while
in the rest of the text the normal spelling of the name has been adopted.
The illustrations are derived from photographs taken expressly for the
Commission, and reproduced by H.M. Stationery Office, whose work, I think,
deserves special recognition. They have been chosen both for their educational
and for their aesthetic value. Had appearance alone been made the test of
selection, many more might easily have been included. The map at the end
of the volume shows the distribution of the monuments.
To ensure clearness of description, all ancient churches not illustrated by
historically hatched plans have been provided with key-plans to a uniform scale
of 48 feet to the inch, with the monumental portions shown in solid black.
The dimensions given in the Inventory are internal unless otherwise stated.
It may also be well again to draw attention to the fact that our Record
Cards may be consulted by any properly accredited persons who will give
notice of their intention to our Secretary, at 66, Victoria Street, Westminster,
S.W.1. The cards contain drawings of tracery and mouldings as well as plans
and sketches of the monuments—forming in truth the complete National
Inventory—and will ultimately be deposited for reference in the Public Record
As in the past, no monument has been or will be included in our
Inventories that has not actually been inspected and the account of any monument
of importance checked in situ by a member of our own investigating staff. In a work
of such intricate detail there must be mistakes. But I hope these are neither numerous
nor serious. A further guarantee of accuracy lies in the fact that my fellow
Commissioners, Mr. Page and Mr. Peers, have revised the reports of the
Inventories of secular and ecclesiastical monuments, while Mr. Montgomerie has
visited and supervised the reports on earthworks. Further, the heraldry of the
Inventory has been checked by the Reverend E. E. Dorling, F.S.A.; the
descriptions of armour by Mr. J. Murray Kendall, M.B.E., F.S.A. (Assistant to the
Secretary of the Imperial War Museum); the descriptions of glass by Dr. M. R.
James, F.S.A.; the description of brasses by Mr. Mill Stephenson, F.S.A.; the
spelling of names and descriptions of costumes by Mr. O. Barron, F.S.A.; and
the accounts of Roman monuments by Dr. R. E. Mortimer Wheeler, F.S.A.
(Director of the National Museum of Wales). Nevertheless, I shall welcome any
corrections and criticisms that may be sent to me with a view to their possible
inclusion in some future edition.
The plans of Chelsea Hospital, Kensington Palace, the Palace of Westminster,
St. James Palace and Marlborough House are based on those of H.M. Office of Works.
The plans of Holland House are based on those lent to the Commission by Lord
It is much to be regretted that owing to the financial exigencies of the
time, our staff has not yet been restored to its pre-war strength.
The success that has already attended the publication of the Commission's
Inventories, and their value in securing the preservation of monuments of
historical interest that otherwise might have been destroyed, leads me again to
express a hope that the reduction of the work of investigation will be only
CRAWFORD & BALCARRES.
26th May, 1925.