24 January 2023 

The Architecture of the British Raj is Remarkable. - Lets Celebrate

Lecturer : Anthony Peers

This lecture starts with an examination of evolving attitudes in India (as well as in the UK) towards the British Empire, and towards the buildings which survive as testament to its achievements. A whistle stop tour is then made of the very best colonial buildings in Chennai (Madras), Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay), Delhi and elsewhere. The  focus is on Bombay, reflecting on Anthony’s experience of having masterminded a British Government backed project to restore that city’s magnificent George Gilbert Scott designed university buildings. The telling of this mid-Victorian building’s story - its design (in England), construction, history and, of course, its restoration – provide useful start-points from which to consider the broader historical, cultural and architectural context. Bombay’s economic boom of the 1860s coincided with the high point of the Gothic Revival.

 

Anthony Peers is a freelance historic buildings' consultant, educated as an Architectural Historian at Manchester University and trained in building conservation at the Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies, York. After two years with SAVE Britain's Heritage, where he wrote Deserted Bastions, he worked with the English Heritage Listing Division on the review of military buildings and in the mid 1990s was employed by the DTI in Bombay, India, setting up and running an innovative project to repair George Gilbert Scott's university buildings and training local architects and craftsmen in conservation techniques and philosophy. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and Deputy Chairman of the Ancient Monuments Society.