Past Events

Surveying the City: John Britton’s ‘London Topography’, 1820-1840

Lecture – Stephen Daniels

  • 10 February 2016
  • 6:00 – 8:00 pm
  • Lecture Room, Paul Mellon Centre

John Britton (1771-1857) built a fifty year career as a prolific producer of illustrated works on the landscape, architecture and antiquities of Britain, subjects he encompassed in a reformed vision of topography. This presentation addresses Britton’s works on ‘London Topography’. Often collaborative enterprises, undertaken with a range of artists, engravers and writers, these range widely in form and subject, including prints, maps, memoirs, magazine articles, albums of views, volumes of architectural illustration and pictorial guides. The subjects include the Colosseum Panorama, Regents Park, John Soane’s house-museum and the works of the London to Birmingham Railway as well as wider districts of the metropolis. Published at various stages of his career, Britton’s works on London topography survey the expansion and transformation of the city from a reformist perspective, at times precariously so as the pace of change quickened, including that of topographical publication. This presentation focuses on a magnificent display map Britton published in the wake of the Reform Act The Topographical Survey of the Borough of St Marylebone (1834).

A black ink drawing of an arrid landscape with buildings

Institution of Civil Engineers, J.C.Bourne, Building the Stationary Engine House, Camden Town, from Bourne, J.C.: Drawings of the London and Birmingham Railway, 1839

All are welcome! However, places are limited, so if you would like to attend please contact our Events Manager, Ella Fleming on events@paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk

The seminar will be followed by a drinks reception.

About the speaker

  • Stephen Daniels

    Stephen Daniels is Professor Emeritus of Cultural Geography at the University of Nottingham. He is author and co-author of a number of books and exhibition catalogues on the landscape arts, including The Iconography of Landscape (1987), Mapping the Landscape (1990), Fields of Vision (1994), Humphry Repton: Landscape Gardening and the Geography of Georgian England (1999), Art of the Garden (2004), Paul Sandby: Picturing Britain (2009), and Landscapes of the National Trust (2015). He is currently completing a book on the nineteenth-century topographer, John Britton.