Gillian Darley

Gillian Darley is an architectural historian whose books include Excellent Essex and biographies of Sir John Soane, John Evelyn and Octavia Hill, the founder of the National Trust.

From The Blog
22 April 2022

It was David Lloyd George’s wish to be buried near Llanystumdwy, the village where he grew up, on the River Dwyfor in Gwynedd. The site and the setting for his grave were chosen in 1946, the year after he died, by his neighbour and friend, the architect Clough Williams-Ellis.

From The Blog
30 March 2022

The little circular garden skyed high over the traffic flow on London Wall that currently leads to the entrance to the (soon to be relocated) Museum of London is to be reimagined as ‘The Meadow’. Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the New York architects of the High Line, know a bit about bringing pasture into the city. They also designed Zaryadye Park, a.k.a. ‘Putin’s Paradise’, thirty-five acres of ‘wild urbanism’ in the middle of Moscow.

From The Blog
22 February 2022

Suspicions of invasion come in many guises, but the first sighting of four French vessels off Lundy Island, clearly signalling their intentions by the names of the two frigates, La Vengeance and La Resistance, presaged serious alarm. The last hostile invasion of mainland Britain took place in south-west Wales on 22 February 1797. For the bicentenary, the Fishguard Arts Society made a tapestry on the model of the one in Bayeux.

From The Blog
7 October 2021

The archaeological site of Sutton Hoo in coastal east Suffolk has ‘seen an overwhelming increase in interest’ since the release of the movie The Dig. The National Trust, the site’s guardian, has seized the opportunity to build a new viewing tower, a gossamer structure of latticed galvanised metal and slatted dark-stained timber which stands at the furthest end of the site. The aerial perspective you gain from the platform 17 metres up, together with an elegant explanatory plan etched into metal, transforms the scene from a bumpy stretch of heath into the royal burial ground of an Anglo-Saxon monarch and his immense retinue, a place of unmistakable, if masked, resonance.  

From The Blog
19 March 2021

In central London you’re never far from buildings designed by Henry Astley Darbishire, the dependable architect of choice for philanthropic individuals and institutions in the second half of the 19th century. 

Tombs do not rank high in the history of modern architecture. Only two grave monuments in London have been designated as Grade One Listed Buildings: the icon of Karl Marx in Highgate Cemetery,...

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