I am very proud to be a visiting Professor of the Built Environment at Gresham College in the City of London. The College is named after Sir Thomas Gresham, son of Sir Richard Gresham who was Lord Mayor in 1537/38 and who conceived the idea of building an Exchange modelled on the Antwerp Bourse. Sir Thomas was appointed Royal Agent in Antwerp by Edward VI, a position which he held throughout Mary’s reign and the first nine years of Elizabeth’s. His fine mansion in Bishopsgate was the first home of Gresham College. It was there that the Professors gave their lectures until 1768, their salaries being met from rental income from the shops around the Royal Exchange which Sir Thomas had bequeathed jointly to the City of London Corporation and the Mercers’ Company. This period saw the formation and early development at Gresham College and the tenure of chairs by a number of distinguished Professors, including Sir Christopher Wren.
In later years lectures were given in various places in the City until the construction of a new Gresham College, opened in 1842, in Gresham Street. The College has been based at Barnard’s Inn Hall since 1991, although I give my lectures at the Museum of London which has a larger lecture theatre.
Amazingly Gresham professors have been lecturing free in the city for 400 years: it’s a great tradition and one that I’m proud to be part of. By the end of this year I will have delivered 14 lectures all of which were recorded and can be viewed on line. The text is available on line too.
- Playing Catch-up: Palaces from the Hundred Years’ War to the Wars of the Roses Wednesday 23 April 2014
- War Halls: Royal Houses from the Saxons to the Hundred Years’ War Wednesday 12 March 2014
- The Building of England: Retrospect and Prospect 410 AD to 2000 Wednesday 16 October 2013
- Coming to Terms with Modern Times: English architecture in the post-war era Wednesday 6 March 2013
- Forwards and Backwards: Architecture in inter-war England Wednesday 6 February 2013
- English Architecture and the First World War Wednesday 14 November 2012
- Building the Victorian City: Splendour and Squalor Wednesday 10 October 2012
- On Top of the World, 1830 to 1914 Wednesday 7 March 2012
- Engine House, 1760 to 1830 Wednesday 8 February 2012
- The Rise of Consensus, 1650 to 1760 Wednesday 2 November 2011
- The End of the Old World Order, 1530 to 1650 Monday 10 October 2011
- How the Middle Ages were Built: Coming of Age, 1408-1530 Wednesday 13 April 2011
- How the Middle Ages were Built: Exuberance to Crisis, 1300-1408 Wednesday 23 March 2011
- A New Jerusalem: Reaching for Heaven, 1130-1300 Wednesday 1 December 2010
- Making England: The Shadow of Rome, 410-1130 Wednesday 3 November 2010
- Town and Crown: Why London never became an imperial capital Thursday 11 March 2010
- The Politics of Architecture in Tudor and Stuart London Thursday 11 February 2010
- From boom to bust: The politics of heritage 1997 to 2009 Thursday 10 December 2009
- The birth of heritage and the fabrication of history Thursday 22 October 2009