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Architectural historians find out about buildings; who built them and when; what they were for; how they have been altered and take the form they do now; what people and events have been associated with them. 'D' for date, 'A' for architect, 'M' for materials and so on.
The primacy given to date was preceded in later years only by a 'B' for a brief description of what sort of building the list description covered.
Although published some 20 years ago, J T Smith's guide (1992), has an excellent discussion of the difficulties which many buildings present; from the antiquarian copyist who makes his building look older than it is, to the enthusiastic revealer of the timber frame who removes most of the physical evidence of his building's history by stripping it back to the original.
Historians always like to confirm a date suggested by the physical evidence against any available documentary sources.
There are later biographical dictionaries but (except for a notable local attempt in Suffolk) none provide such comprehensive lists of works.
Colvin, of course, includes only buildings known to have been designed by architects. The Builder, now Building, established in 1843, is one of many architectural periodicals that deal with buildings of a later date than those covered by Colvin.
The style of buildings and their details provide vital clues to their age and much more besides.
Style tells us about the mind-set of the people who commissioned and designed the building, and their resources. We can usually be pretty clear about the date that a particular style evolved or arrived in a particular country.Is it a practical vernacular building, erected without the aid of an architect? And what does that aesthetic tell us about the age from which it sprang, and the patrons who bankrolled it? But the point at which styles stopped being used is altogether vaguer, if it exists at all.This brief guide to the styles of British and Irish architecture holds some clues. Old-fashioned provincial builders would go on using styles, sometimes for centuries after our standard works on architectural history tell us they were out of date.As the listing criteria set out in Government guidance PPG15 show, the older a building is, the more likely it is to be listed.Date is inevitably crucial to any understanding of a listed building.The great advantage of documentary research is that it gives more than a date: it provides information about the building process; how the design evolved; how the building has changed since first built and for architectural history on a wider front, how the building was used and by whom.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating