The Architecture of the Raj is remarkable: let's celebrate it

Anthony Peers

Wednesday 19th February 2020

                      

This lecture commences with a brief appraisal of attitudes towards the British empire and concludes with a quick look at efforts being made to preserve the buildings of the British Raj.  In between consideration is given to the very best of British colonial architecture in India.  Commencing with East India Company era churches and mausolea of the mid-17th century, the lecturer takes his audience on a round India journey giving centre stage to the most impressive and unusual buildings of Madras (Chennai), Mumbai (Bombay), Kolkata (Calcutta), the military cantonments and hill stations. This whistle-stop tour is completed with a brief look at the grandest of imperial buildings, William Emmerson’s Victoria Memorial in Calcutta and Edwin Lutyens’s Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.

ANTHONY PEERS MA FSA Educated as an architectural historian and trained in building conservation, Anthony works as a consultant providing guidance to those planning the repair, alteration and extension of historic buildings.

Anthony set out in the field of building conservation in the employ of SAVE Britain’s Heritage, a charity founded to campaign for historic buildings at risk of decay and dilapidation.

In the mid-1990s he worked with English Heritage’s Listing Division and then with the DTI in Bombay (Mumbai), India. There he set up and ran an innovative (and UNESCO award winning) project to repair George Gilbert Scott’s University buildings whilst training local architects and craftsmen in traditional repair techniques and conservation philosophy.

In more recent times Anthony has harnessed his aptitude for documentary research and fabric analysis in the preparation of building studies.

His history reports and conservation guidance has served to inform major schemes of works at sites such as The Workhouse, Southwell; Aston Hall, Birmingham; The Royal Institution, London and Winchester Cathedral. One such project saw Anthony immersed (for over a decade!) in the planning and execution of the £35 Million scheme to repair and revitalise Birmingham’s Town Hall. His book on the building’s history was published in 2012, to much critical acclaim, being one of the seven British ‘projects’ cited in the European Union’s 2013 Europa Nostra Awards.

Anthony is Deputy Chairman of the Ancient Monuments Society and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.