This is another of those books that I’ve been led to by the requirements of the current workload, in this case the need to find pictures of a particular London church. George H. Birch’s book was published in 1896, and while it’s possible to find contemporary photographs of these buildings, I like the exterior views for showing the churches in a different time to our own.
The photographs were by Charles Latham who avoids the usual street-level portraits in favour of views of each steeple from the highest floors of surrounding offices and warehouses. The buildings of London in the 1890s didn’t reach very far, St Paul’s Cathedral still dominated the City skyline, but Latham’s pictures have the additional attraction of showing us that skyline as it was over a century ago, before it was radically reconfigured by the bombs of the Luftwaffe and several generations of planners and architects. George H. Birch was the curator at the time of one of my favourite places in London, the Sir John Soane Museum. Browse or download the rest of his book here.