Film: 9402

History | 1940 | Sound | B/W


A brief history of British architecture, exulting the old (Gothic, Tudor and Classical) and contemporary but decrying the Victorian! Film made in the 1940's

A pretty, old stone/brick detached house, three storeys, several windows, and plants climbing the walls. Close up of part of the tiled roof and one of the dormer windows. Close up of one corner of the house. Close up of one of the plain windows. Close up of the doorway; a wooden door with small semi-circular window above, set in a stone frame.

Shot looking down and across at top of closely-packed houses, with tiled roofs and chimneys; washing is strung between two of the houses.

Rear view of man, in cloth cap, breaking up stone with a hammer in a quarry. Close up of the hammer smashing the stone. A man, in trousers, shirt and braces, chops down a tree in a wood. A man, in a cloth cap, pushing a trolley of bricks into the entrance of a brick factory; piles of bricks lie around. Close up of a pile of new bricks.

Close up of a thatched roof. Close up of one end of a thatched roof. Close up of roof of baked clay tiles. Close up of a stone wall, which turns out to be the bottom half of a house with black and white wooden beam storey above, set with a leaded light window. Close up of brick wall. Close up of front lower-half of a black and white timber house, with window and door; adjoining house is of brick (?) with a plain stone door frame and wooden door with small oblong window above; brass door bell push. Close up of grander stone doorway, with a pair of small columns either side and broken pediment above; wooden door with semi-circular window above. Close up of a window with a wooden frame set into a brick house, with climbing plants. Close up of an exotic window, Turkish looking frame with a heavy stone lintel, set in a brick house. Close up of brick (?) walls of a ruined building, probably a castle (unidentified).

Portrait of a 15th century man (possibly a king) in rich clothes. A 15th or 16th century wattle and daub house, with timber beams, in a wooded setting. A portrait of a 16th or 17th century bearded man in a large white ruff. A 16th or 17th century timber-framed house, white and black, next to a church tower. Portrait of an 18th century man in a large grey wig. 18th century townhouses, terraced and three storeys high. Portrait of a 19th century man in a dark cravat. Close up of 19th century Victorian terraced houses. Painting of a 20th century man, in shirt and tie, with upturned coat collar. Another view of terraced houses shown earlier, one black and white timber and the adjoining one of brick; with others, heavily decorated, in the same terrace; close up of their roofs and chimneys.

Interior of a gothic cathedral; close up of a column (formed of three small round columns) with heavily decorated capitals (acanthus leaves?); with heavily decorated arches springing from the capitals of the column; dim view of high, gothic interior beyond. Close up of a heavily decorated gothic arch, forming part of a stone screen, topped with a stone cross, looking up to the fan-vaulted ceiling. Close up of part of wall of cathedral, with stained glass window, decoration, and multi-ribbed archway; close up of rib-vault ceiling and bosses. Wall of Romanesque cathedral; pilasters along wall; cushion capitals with rounded archway above with dog-tooth decoration; apse, with blank arcading on two levels.

Small stone church next to a large fortified manor house, Stukesay (?) Castle; the castle is mainly stone (with thick stone walls) but is partly timbered; it has some long windows but most are small slit-windows for defence; it has a large tower crenulated on top.

Simple wattle and daub timber-framed black and white cottage in wooded setting. Drawing of a tree and of the construction of the timber frame of such a cottage. Close up of a 15th or 16th century 'pre-fabricated' black and white timbered townhouse; carved wooden corners; road sign 'Butcher Row' on the house. Another, more distant, view of the same house, showing its chimney and windows. The partly-assembled wooden structure for such a house is shown in a studio setting; the remaining wooden pieces, which are lying around, fly into place to complete the 'pre-fabricated' structure. Close up of a window in the house, with small diamond leaded lights. Close up of the gables, and of the decorated black and white frontage, of the house. Close up of detailed, ornate wooden carving on the house façade. Close up of linen-fold panelling inside the house, with mural of a classical scene (including nuns and heroic men) above; an old chair is also in the room. Exterior of a long black and white timbered building. View of a narrow roadway between old timber-framed black and white houses; the camera gradually moves up to look up to the sky between the closely-packed houses, some with open windows and over-hangs.

Close up of a skull sculpted in stone, with an arm resting upon it; shot widens to show that it is part of a painted stone sculpture of life-sized effigies of a husband and wife dressed in Tudor clothes, lying on their tomb. Close up of the cover of an old book, against a black background. A similar shot of another book. Similar shots of open books, one with illustrations of a bird in a jar and one with illustration of an old ship, sails billowing; close up of the ship illustration. A large globe, held in a wooden frame, revolving. Close up of part of the globe, showing Italy. Close up of an Italian (?) statute of a man holding a horn or drinking horn to his mouth. Close up of Renaissance (?) ornate stone carving, including leaves and shells, presumably on part of a building.

Ornate wrought-iron gates and carved stone entrance-way to Hatfield House; view of Hatfield house. Close up of an entrance to Hatfield House; the camera then following round the façade of the house, with its decorated, classical, stone pilasters and columns, and many medieval windows; an ornate, stone royal (?) crest set between columns on a tower; the tower is topped with another carved stone crest with a crown.

Exterior of Rotham House (?) , an English Renaissance building; huge columns and decorated stone pediment above, with square features and symmetrical windows. Close up of a huge, decorated, stone urn at the foot of steps up to the house; the camera follows the stairway up to one of the huge columns and then follows the column up to the large pediment above; the pediment contains a carved stone sculpture of a classical scene, with a central crowned male figure. Close up of the dome roof of a small corner-tower of the house, with a weather-vane on top; the camera then follows down the tower and down the balustraded curved external stairway leading down to the grounds.

Three-storied 18th century Georgian town-houses, terraced, showing influence of classical design; one has a sign 'Lloyd and Son'. Close up of façade of one such house, with many, symmetrical windows, and climbing plants. Close up of doorway (of same house), with its simply carved wooden frame, marked '6 Old Palace Terrace'.

Close up of façade of timber houses, with overlapping timber planks. Close up of stone wall. Detached stone house in rural setting, three storeys high.

Drawing of Royal Crescent, Bath (?). Close up of a façade of another terraced crescent, showing its many windows and pilasters. Façade of Royal Crescent, Bath, with early cars on the road; camera then homes in on the large columns on one corner. Façade of another, much smaller, crescent; then showing its glorious view over countryside, through an ornate wrought-iron archway. Close up of the iron archway, with the crescent beyond. Interior of a house in this crescent; close up of a porcelain group of two men and a woman in 18th century (?) dress, on a table with an hour-glass and knife box; the view moves up through the doorway into the adjoining room, with its heavily decorated wall-panels, elegant table and fruit bowl. Close up of the ornate chairs, which blend in with the wall panels; the wall panels are painted with rural and sea scenes; the camera follows the walls, showing the simple fireplace.

A shot of a different interior, with a harp, paintings, more simple furniture. Close up of one of the paintings, showing a man in a grey wig playing the cello. Close up of a heavily decorated grandfather clock. Close up of a fashion print of two women in classical dress, including headdresses. Another similar fashion print. Interior of a comfortable house, with paintings, busts, bookcase, clocks, carved white stone/marble fireplace, harmonium. Close up of a corner of the same room, the camera following the wall across the plain wooden door and the patterned wall-paper, to show an elegant, carved sofa, wooden furniture, chair and desk.

Façade of a brick house, painted white, with small balcony on the downstairs window.

Facades of two large classical buildings; these terraces in Cheltenham are examples of Regency architecture; they have ornate wrought-iron balconies. Close up of the balconies. Another view of the balconies, and then the windows and wall below; close up of the iron railings and the basement entrance.

Steam billowing in the sky. Flames. Part of a steam engine (?). Sequence of fast shots of parts of a working steam engine (?) and coal mining machinery (large wooden structures with huge wheels). Close up of molten iron being poured in a factory. Close up of moulded iron being manufactured. Close up of liquid iron being poured into moulds. Series of close ups of parts of machines in use. A panorama of huge factory chimneys billowing black fumes in a bleak landscape. Another view of tall chimneys with black smoke and other industrial buildings. Overhead view of vast workers' housing estate, with tall factory chimneys beyond, with large factory buildings: according to the narrator 'ugly, cheap little houses all jumbled up with the factories'; a viaduct with steam-train going over it. Close up of a young boy dangling off railings, with tenement building behind. Another view of the same tenements, bleak and dark, with children playing and women cleaning.

Close up of a carved, stone gatepost, engraved with 'The Tower'; the camera follows up to a building with a tall tower, balcony, little turrets on each corner, and slit windows; this is a copy of medieval gothic (known as gothic revival). More Victorian gothic revival architecture as the façade of another house is shown. Façade of a detached house of oriental style, ornately decorated. Close up of a round, gilded mirror; the reflection shows the interior of a comfortable house; below the mirror hang several plates; the camera moves slowly around the walls whilst the unseen narrator comments that the insides of these houses of the new rich were 'crammed with pictures and ornaments and too much curly furniture'; the walls are covered with paintings; decorated fireplace; the rear of a tall china display stand with figurine. Close up of 19th century terraced brick houses, as the narrator comments that now 'every man built only for himself . . . The new streets were a hotchpotch of badly proportioned houses'. A turret, with a pointed conical roof, at the corner of a large Victorian house; with decorated façade and pointed gables with crenulations.

Exterior of vast blocks of post World War One flats in a large housing scheme; they are built of plain brick, five-storeys high and with chimneys; close up of the brick balconies of one block on the scheme. Close up of board saying 'On View'. Semi-detached houses, 1920 or 1930's style, in residential area. Rear view of houses of same period, looking cramped and tatty, with metal stairways to their second storeys. View of houses of same period, with washing hanging and obscured in part by the corner of a large board (an advertising hoarding?) in foreground; its writing is not completely visible. Similar shot of more houses and another board. More similar houses, with the end of a large advertising hoarding for 'Genasprin' in the foreground. Close up of poster 'Quickridge Estate. A chance in a lifetime! Only 110 desirable labour-saving bungalows will be erected on this beautiful site. Secure yours now. Five pound deposit. Weekly payments from 10 shillings. A. Jerry. Builder'. The camera moves away from the poster to show rolling fields beyond, with factory buildings and chimneys in the background.

Overhead view of a main road, dual carriageway in both directions, with lorries and traffic; in the background are rows and rows of identical houses. Houses (1930 or 1940's?) with brick lower half but top half painted white with mock black wooden beams (in poor imitation of Tudor style). Close up of boards nailed to the walls to look like old beams. Close up of part of genuine Tudor black and white timbered house. Close up of part of the imitation Tudor style house. Back of long terrace of houses, some looking derelict, with waste land and a barren-looking solitary tree. Man in cloth cap using a large metal machine, possibly a cement mixer. Part of a large metal, slatted construction.

Close up of part of façade of (1940's ?) block of brick built flats, with long, rounded balconies. Close up of neighbouring block of brick flats, with plain, rounded lines. Two plain, brick-built houses of a similar period. Close up of timber-cladding on part of a large building. Interior of a modern house; a woman sits sewing on a plain-covered sofa; the room is relatively unfussy and comfortable, with a piano (?) and furniture; it has very large windows looking onto a beautiful garden; the camera focuses on the garden. Close up of exterior of (the same?) house, part wooden slats and part brick, with a porch supported by metal poles, and metal windows. Top half of the exterior of a Tudor black and white timber-framed house. Modern building, part wooden slats and part brick, with several windows, some vast. Titles.

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