Archives & Library

Paul Joyce Archive

Paul Joyce (1934–2014) was an architectural draughtsman and historian with a life-long interest in the work of George Edmund Street (1824–1881), a leading architect of the Victorian Gothic Revival. The Centre holds Joyce’s archive, containing material compiled in the course of his research on G.E. Street and other Victorian architects. The archive is fully catalogued and available for research. This spotlight feature highlights original drawings from the archive and a representative sample of Joyce’s research.

Paul Robert Joyce (1934–2014)

Photographic portrait of Paul Joyce looking at camera wearing large glasses and striped shirt on There is little in the way of biographical information on Paul Joyce (1934–2014). Born in north London, but brought up partly in Northampton, where he was evacuated during World War II, Joyce left school as a teenager and after national service went to art school. He trained as an architectural draughtsman, and in the 1970s worked for the architect Roderick Gradidge.

Early in his career he became interested in one of the greatest architects of the Gothic revival, George Edmund Street (1824–81), and in the 1960s embarked on a monograph. Although he published only a little of his research, he compiled a fully documented list of works in the form of index cards and assembled an archive of drawings and photographs of Street’s buildings. For 40 years or more he was the acknowledged authority on Street and, as the correspondence files demonstrate, was generous with help and information.

The archive also contains the large card index that Joyce compiled in the 1970s for another unfulfilled project, a dictionary of Victorian architects that he was to have written with Professor J. Mordaunt Crook. His strong interest in conservation drew him into the campaign to save Abney Park cemetery, near to his home in Clapton. His historical guidebook to the cemetery, published in 1983 (second edition, 1994), is his major published work.

This description is largely based on information kindly provided by Michael Hall.