Realistix Solutions: The 8 most important buildings in england
1. The 8 Most Important Buildings in
FROM- REALISTIX SOLUTIONS
2. Westminster Abbey (c.960)
This year will be important for our nation’s heritage. In 2013, we celebrated a century of heritage
protection by the state, allowing us to enjoy our countryside. In 2014, all three national heritage agencies
— Historic Scotland, Cadw (in Wales) and English Heritage — will be under review, and the outcome will
affect their ability to continue to do their jobs into the next century. Each agency will have its work cut
out, but I predict that facing the consequences of deindustrialization will be somewhere at the top of
3. Coronation church and mausoleum, Westminster Abbey has been a royal foundation since
the 960s, and money was lavished on it by successive monarchs. Although only a few Saxon
fragments survive, it was here that Edward the Confessor developed the style that we call
Norman. It was also here that Henry III began his lavish Gothic rebuilding, a project that
continued, after his death, for nearly three centuries. The nave today demonstrates the rich
taste of English medieval monarchs and their masons, with large-scale sculptures and
carved and painted heraldic shields.
4. Rievaulx Abbey, North Yorkshire (1147-67)
Rievaulx Abbey is England’s most beautiful ruin. Deliberately built in a remote valley by Cistercian
monks, it was originally a virtually self-sufficient community.
Like 839 other monasteries, friaries and
nunneries, Rievaulx was suppressed by
Henry VIII in the 1530s, but its remote
position meant that much of its
stonework still stands. It is easy to forget
what a big role monasteries played in
medieval society, and the Cistercian
houses of Yorkshire were responsible for
developing a style of building with
pointed arches that we call Gothic.
This spread to become the dominant
architectural style of Britain for 300
5. Not many early examples survive unaltered, but
the pattern developed in the 1670s became the
blueprint for a huge proportion of urban
housing even today. Uniform on the outside,
but individualistically decorated within, in many
senses they encapsulate the characters of the
people who lived in them.
In James I’s London, a new type of house was developed. It was then known as a “row house”, but today
we call it a terrace. These houses, built of brick from the 1620s, became the backbone of the city after the
Great Fire of London.
King’s Bench Walk, Temple, London (1677)
6. The Peckwater Quadrangle, Christ
Church, Oxford (1707)
Although Inigo Jones and a small group of other architects in the 17th century had conceived
buildings that were rigorously faithful to ancient Roman buildings, it was not until after 1700 that
patrons and architects became obsessed with designing buildings using the ancient orders of
An early example of this was the courtyard built
at Christ Church by Dean Aldrich in 1707-14 to
house rich undergraduates. The courtyard was a
startling new look, and when the style was
taken up by the circle of the royal court, it was
adopted for houses, public buildings and
7. Ditherington Flax Mill was the world’s first
incombustible iron-framed building. It was
also the ancestor of every large building with a
steel frame today, from supermarkets to
During the late 18th century, British manufacturers revolutionized the production of cotton, using
machinery powered by waterwheels. By 1800, there were 900 cotton mills employing 400,000
people. Vast new mills were built — but there was a problem. Brick and timber construction was
vulnerable to fire, and many mills lit by oil or gas burnt down.
Ditherington Flax Mill, Shrewsbury (1797)
8. A&G Murray Mills, Ancoats, Manchester
Britain’s industrial revolution entered a new phase after 1830. Instead of waterwheels, new coal-fired
steam engines were used to power both the mills and other new types of manufacturing. As Britain
became the dominant power in the world, success was built on urban factories. A&G Murray’s mills
were the first in which manufacturing processes were all powered by steam. Started in 1801-2, these
hulks look, at a distance, like a Georgian street, but behind the iron casements, they drove the largest
economy the world had ever seen.
9. Liverpool Road Railway Station, Manchester
The world’s first passenger railway station is a modest but reassuring-looking building. Reassurance
was at the forefront of the minds of the early railway engineers and architects: both passengers and
investors needed to believe that railways were safe and profitable ventures. Avant-garde engineering
mixed with reassuringly familiar architectural styles created an atmosphere of confidence.
10. All Saints, Margaret Street, London
It was at a church, rather than at an industrial site, that architecture and engineering
first fused to create a new language for the Victorian era. William Butterfield saw the
possibilities of colored and engineered brick for making modern buildings that were
both decorative and functional.
Subsequently, this polychromatic brick style was adopted by house builders and came
to dominate Victorian streets all over the country.