Examples of provincial civic design in Britain, c. 1880-1914
This study consists of an examination of examples of civic design in Britain occurring within a number of large sized provincial settlements from about 1880 to 1914. The work also identifies the design and planning principles that appeared to govern civic design as well as investigating its features as it appeared in practice by analysing structural and technical design components, internal arrangements and the surroundings of public buildings erected at that time. In addition, this work provides an opportunity for the consideration of the influences upon the built environment during a time when a greater control of the urban environment was exercised by public authority, legislation relating to slum clearances was passed, municipal governments continued to develop, modern design cultures, such as the Baroque revival, emerged and imperial sentiments filtered into national and local affairs. The work endeavours to not only investigate the extent and features of civic design occurring in large English, Scottish and Welsh urban settlements during the late- Victorian and Edwardian period, but to also comprehend what civic design was understood to mean in terms of both its theory and practice at a time when formative town planning emerged, as well as identifying the professionals who undertook civic design from the end of the nineteenth century. Many of the influences upon civic design both in terms of local and national practice are noted and discussed within the course of the project, particularly matters such as the evolution of the system of local government, the growing expectation of public authorities to play a notable role in the process of urban improvement, the influence of philanthropists, the empire and foreign developments, such as the American City Beautiful movement. In so doing this thesis enriches existing literature on architectural design and urban planning, implicitly contributing to the history of British urban development, architectural and planning practice.