Society for Photographing Relics of Old London

The Society for Photographing Relics of Old London was founded in 1875 in London, England, initially with the purpose of recording the Oxford Arms, a traditional galleried public house on Warwick Lane that was to be demolished as part of the redevelopment of the Old Bailey.[1][2][3][4]

One of the society's photos of the Oxford Arms, which started the project

Alfred & John Bool took the photographs, and when the project was announced in a letter to The Times, the news received such a positive response that the society's work was continued, with a total of twelve issues being produced over twelve years, containing a total of 120 photographs.[5]

The photographs were commissioned to preserve an architectural record of buildings, some of which were built before the Great Fire of London in 1666, and which were scheduled for demolition as part of the city's urban redevelopment measures at the end of the 19th century. It was important to choose a photographic technique that would last for generations.

In 1870, the pigment printing process was invented. Society member Henry Dixon mastered the process, and the photographic images are still of excellent technical quality today. The group continued to document the old buildings of London threatened with demolition until its dissolution in 1886.

List of photographEdit

The 120 photographs published by the group over its lifetime were titled:[2]

  1. Entrance of the 'Oxford Arms' Inn
  2. 'Oxford Arms' Inn
  3. Entrance of the 'Oxford Arms' Inn
  4. Upper Gallery of the 'Oxford Arms' Inn
  5. One of the staircases at the 'Oxford Arms' Inn
  6. General view of the galleries at the 'Oxford Arms' Inn (originally issued 1875)
  7. Old houses in Wych Street
  8. Old houses in Wych Street
  9. Old houses in Drury Lane
  10. Old houses in Drury Lane
  11. Lincoln's Inn Gate House
  12. Lincoln's Inn: Old Square (originally issued 1876)
  13. Churchyard of St Bartholomew, Smithfield, London
  14. Churchyard of St Bartholomew, Smithfield
  15. Green Churchyard, St Bartholomew, Smithfield
  16. Window at the east end of St Bartholomew, Smithfield
  17. North side and 'Poors Churchyard' at St Bartholomew, Smithfield
  18. North side and 'Poors Churchyard' at St Bartholomew, Smithfield (originally issued 1877)
  19. Temple Bar
  20. 102 Leadenhall Street
  21. Old houses in Gray's Inn Road
  22. Shop in Brewer Street, Soho
  23. The Sir Paul Pindar, Bishopsgate Street
  24. Old house in Holborn / Staple Inn, Holborn front (originally issued 1878)
  25. Canonbury Tower
  26. Canonbury Tower
  27. Barnard's Inn
  28. Barnard's Inn
  29. Barnard's Inn
  30. Old houses in Aldergate Street
  31. Old houses in Aldergate Street
  32. Shaftesbury House, Aldersgate Street
  33. Christ's Hospital
  34. Christ's Hospital
  35. Churchyard of St.Lawrence Pountney
  36. Old houses in Great Queen Street (originally issued 1879)
  37. General view from Charterhouse Square
  38. Charterhouse: Washhouse Court
  39. Charterhouse: Washhouse Court
  40. Charterhouse: The Cloisters
  41. Charterhouse: The Great Hall
  42. Charterhouse: The Great Hall
  43. Charterhouse: The Great Hall
  44. Charterhouse: The Great Hall
  45. Charterhouse: The Grand Staircase
  46. Charterhouse: The Governor's Room
  47. Charterhouse: Entrance to the Chapel
  48. Charterhouse: Founder's Tomb (originally issued 1880)
  49. King's Head Inn yard
  50. King's Head Inn yard
  51. White Hart Inn yard
  52. White Hart Inn yard
  53. George Inn yard
  54. Queen's Head Inn yard
  55. Queen's Head Inn yard
  56. Old houses in Borough High Street, Southwark
  57. St Mary Overy's Dock
  58. Old houses in Bermondsey Street
  59. Sion College, London Wall
  60. Oxford Market (originally issued 1881)
  61. Little Dean's Yard
  62. Ashburnham House: Exterior
  63. Ashburnham House: The Staircase
  64. Ashburnham House: The Staircase
  65. Ashburnham House: The Ante-room
  66. Ashburnham House: The Dining Room
  67. Ashburnham House: The Garden
  68. Banqueting House, Whitehall
  69. The Water Gate of York House
  70. Lincoln's Inn Fields
  71. Lincoln's Inn Fields
  72. Lincoln's Inn Fields (originally issued 1882)
  73. Lambeth Palace: The Gate House
  74. Lambeth Palace: The Great Hall
  75. Lambeth Palace: The Lollards' Tower
  76. Old House, Palace Yard, Lambeth
  77. Old houses, Aldgate
  78. Old houses, Aldgate
  79. 'The Golden Axe', St Mary Axe
  80. No.37 Cheapside
  81. No.73 Cheapside
  82. Old house, Great Ormond Street
  83. Old house, Queen Square, Bloomsbury
  84. Shop, Macclesfield Street, Soho (originally issued 1883)
  85. Old houses, Fleet Street
  86. The 'Old Bell', Holborn
  87. The 'Old Bell', Holborn
  88. St Giles, Cripplegate
  89. Old house, Fore Street
  90. Old house, Great Winchester Street
  91. Austin Friars
  92. Staircase of Austin-Friars
  93. Doorways, Laurence Pountney Hill
  94. College Street
  95. Innholders' Hall
  96. Doorway, College Hill (issued 1884)
  97. Inner Temple
  98. Inner Temple
  99. Inner Temple
  100. Middle Temple
  101. Middle Temple
  102. Middle Temple
  103. Gray's Inn
  104. Gray's Inn
  105. Clement's Inn: Garden House
  106. Clifford's Inn
  107. Staple Inn Hall
  108. Six small subjects (originally issued 1885)
  109. St John's Gate, Clerkenwell
  110. Old houses in The Strand
  111. Great St Helen's, Bishopsgate Street
  112. Tennis Court, James Street, Haymarket
  113. Emanuel Hospital, Westminster
  114. Queen Anne's Gate
  115. Chimney-piece, Sessions House, Clerkenwell
  116. Chimney-piece, Court House, St Andrew's, Holborn
  117. Chimney-piece, Tallow Chandler's Hall
  118. Court room, New River Company
  119. Three doorways
  120. Five small subjects (missing) (issued 1886)



  1. ^ "Photographs of old London". British Library. UK. Archived from the original on 10 April 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Society for Photographing Relics of Old London". Bishopsgate Institute. Archived from the original on 10 April 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  3. ^ Kim, Betsy (6 June 2016). "Photographs reveal 'Relics of Old London'". Yale News. Archived from the original on 10 April 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  4. ^ Bush, Graham William Arthur; Dixon, Henry; Bool, Alfred; Bool, John; Society for Photographing Relics of Old London (1975). Old London: photographed by Henry Dixon and Alfred & John Bool for the Society for Photographing Relics of Old London. London; New York: Academy Editions ; St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0856701505.
  5. ^ "Society for Photographing Relics of Old London".

External linksEdit