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Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/3499/EH
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives - click here to see details of the physical location of collection
Date(s): 1828-1993
Level of description: Sub fonds
Extent: 56.09 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Greater London Council | Architect's Department Historic Buildings Division
English Heritage | London Region


Administrative/Biographical history:

On the abolition of the Greater London Council in 1986, the functions of its Architect's Department's Historic Buildings Division were handed over to the London Region of English Heritage. The plans and files formerly belonging to the Historic Buildings Division form the bulk of this collection.

The division was involved with the refurbishment, repair and general maintenance of buildings within the Greater London area which were deemed as being of historic or architectural significance. English Heritage continued this work after 1986 and in many cases files and plans of individual buildings will originate from both the GLC and English Heritage, and also sometimes from the GLC's predecessor, the London County Council.

In addition to these responsibilities, English Heritage is involved with the statutory listing of historic and architecturally significant buildings, and also with town planning and civic design, and these two areas of its work are also represented in the archive.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Greater London Council Architect's Department's Historic Buildings Division, which were passed to the London Region of English Heritage. Highlights of the archive include plans and files for the refurbishment of Covent Garden Central and Flower Markets, which was carried out during the 1970s and 1980s. There is practically a full set of plans, around 800 in total, showing the main project and a range of sub-projects. The earliest drawing in the whole collection is the original site plan for Covent Garden, dating to 1828.

Other large projects include the rehabilitation of houses in Albury Street, Deptford (1954-1979), restoration of the terraces at Crystal Palace (1952-1989) and restoration work at Holland House (1952-1985). There are also plans of a group of projects covering work on Thames bridges, giving information on superstructure and cast iron work. Related files can be found in the list for GLC/AR/HB/01.

The collection contains a large and important series of plans and drawings for buildings and other projects, dating between 1828 and 1993. The GLC allocated job numbers to each project it undertook, with the prefix HB, and these plans are listed in job number order and are also arranged by size (our ref: ACC/3499/EH/02 for AO size and ACC/3499/EH/05 for AQ size). Plans outside the GLC period, ie 1828-1965 and 1986-1993, were produced by the LCC or by English Heritage and consequently do not have job numbers. These plans have been listed in alphabetical order by the premises or street involved and again have been arranged by size (ACC/3499/EH/03 for AO size and ACC/3499/EH/06 for AQ size).

Most of the plans were used as working drawings, and many were re-used for later projects. Where possible the original order of the drawings has been re-established, but as a result of this re-use there are some gaps and many will not be in date order as old plans were removed and other contractors' drawings added in.

In many cases the files for individual projects will complement the plans, and they too have been arranged by number; those produced by the GLC's Historic Buildings Division were given reference numbers beginning AR/HB (the HB number will correspond with the number allocated to any plans), and those produced by English Heritage after 1986 had the prefix LD. These original reference numbers have been included in the main description field of this list (ACC/3499/EH/07/01).

Other material relating to individual projects has been listed as ACC/3499/EH/07/02-05. This includes specification and some folded contract drawings, surveys and reports, photographs and order books for repairs. Framed awards from the Civic Trust, which were awarded to English Heritage for certain refurbishment projects, have been catalogued as ACC/3499/EH/11/01-02.

Administrative Files were generated by the GLC, and by English Heritage through its Works, Administration and Survey and General Sections. They include such topics as staffing, finance, organisation, technical files and civic design, and include minutes of several bodies, such as the GLC's Historic Buildings Division itself and the Faculty Jurisdiction Commission. They have been listed as ACC/3499/EH/08/01-06. Some town and borough planning schemes are also included in the collection, under ACC/3499/EH/10.

Borough Lists: English Heritage began compiling a "visible index" of buildings within the Greater London area during the 1970s. It was intended to be a reference point for listed buildings, those proposed for listing and those on the supplementary list (i.e. Grade III listed). The Grade III listing was subsequently abolished and the buildings either absorbed into the main statutory list or included in councils' own Local Lists.

The volumes of the visible index in this collection (ACC/3499/EH/01) cover the London Boroughs of Brent, Ealing, Enfield, Hammersmith, Haringey, Harrow, Hillingdon and Hounslow. Much more of Greater London was included in the index but the volumes were subsequently lost.

During the early 1980s the whole of Greater London was systematically re-listed, and the lists published in book form, in borough order, by the Department of the Environment. Most of these "Green back" books are represented in this collection (ACC/3499/EH/09/01-05), with the exception of those for Enfield, Havering, Haringey, Merton, Newham, Southwark and Waltham Forest. Some supplementary lists and local lists are also included.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

ACC/3499/EH/01: Visible Index;
ACC/3499/EH/02: Plans, numbered series, A0 size;
ACC/3499/EH/03: Plans, general series. A0 size;
ACC/3499/EH/04: Publications;
ACC/3499/EH/05: Plans, numbered series, AQ size;
ACC/3499/EH/06: Plans, general series, AQ size;
ACC/3499/EH/07: Individual projects;
ACC/3499/EH/08: Administration and policy files;
ACC/3499/EH/09: Borough lists;
ACC/3499/EH/10: Town and borough schemes;
ACC/3499/EH/11: Awards.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

This collection was transferred to the archives at various times between March 1995 and March 1996.

Allied Materials

Related material:

For Greater London Council's Historic Buildings Division, see GLC/AR/HB.

For London Registry files which were transferred from Greater London Council to English Heritage but not continued beyond 1982, see GLC/AR/HB/02.

For English Heritage London Registry files which were transferred from Greater London Council to English Heritage and were continued beyond 1982, see LMA/4441.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
June to August 2010.

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