Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain: 2019 Annual Symposium

Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain: 2019 Annual Symposium

The Georgian Group is pleased to share the following Call for Papers for the SAHGB's 2019 Annual Symposium, which has the theme 'Architecture and Light':




Papers should be 20 minutes, illustrated by PowerPoint, and speakers should expect to take questions following their presentation.
From the glittering windows of Hardwick Hall and the severe shadows of the Trellick Tower, to the poetry of Chandigarh and the brash neon of Las Vegas, light is a defining factor in any form of architectural design.
This symposium will coincide with two exhibitions at Sir John Soane’s Museum: one on ‘Soane and Light’ and another – as yet untitled – with a leading contemporary light artist working in sympathy with the spaces of the Museum. As such the theme of this symposium is ‘architecture and light’ and thereby focuses on the presence, use and meaning of light in architectural design across all periods and styles.
One important starting point will be the notion that, just as light is understood scientifically as a wave-particle duality, in architecture light exists and functions as both a natural and cultural phenomenon. While on the one hand, the way (sun)light falls over a building is arguably architecture at its most elemental, how we view those light effects is always culturally conditioned. The symposium will reflect, develop and challenge this dualism.
We welcome speakers – both established and emerging – considering this subject in all aspects of architectural production. Some of the topics that papers might consider are:

  • Light as a functional element in architecture and its interactions with different materials and construction methodologies.
  • The meaning of light and how this is shaped by different forms, styles and contexts.
  • The ways light is mediated in architecture, physically, such as with glazing and mirrors.
  • The ways in which light is expressed in architectural drawings and other forms of representation.
  • The relationship between natural and artificial light in/on architecture.
  • The impact of developing glazing and lighting technologies upon architecture.
  • The relationship between light and shadow in/on architecture.
  • The politics of light, particularly in an urban setting.
  • The methodological problems of analyzing light – by nature immaterial – in architectural history.
  • What scientific studies of light can bring to our understanding of its effects in architecture.

If you are interested in contributing to the symposium, please submit an abstract of maximum 300 words and a biography of maximum 150 words to by 10am on Monday 7 January 2019.
The SAHGB is not able to reimburse speakers for their travel/accommodation expenses but the symposium registration fee will be waived and speakers will be invited to attend the symposium dinner on Friday 21 June 2019.


The Symposium will take place on Saturday 22 June 2019. For further information, click here

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Georgian Group Northamptonshire Tour

Georgian Group Northamptonshire Tour

Great Country Houses and Gardens in Northamptonshire


The Georgian Group is delighted to share details of its upcoming annual country house tour, which this year will take place in ‘The Rose of the Shires’, Northamptonshire, from Monday 8 – Friday 12 October. Home to some of the most beautiful countryside in England, Northamptonshire provides an idyllic setting for a rich array of country houses containing a treasure trove of fine paintings, exquisite interiors and superb gardens.


The tour will provide the opportunity to explore some of the country’s finest houses, including those not usually open to the public. Highlights will include Boughton House, the home of the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry sometimes known as ‘The English Versailles’, and Easton Neston, Nicholas Hawksmoor’s baroque jewel which Leon Max has generously opened up to us for a rare public tour. The finale of the trip will be a candlelit Gala Dinner at Althorp, home of the Earl Spencer.


The tour will depart from and end in London and accommodation will be provided at Fawlsey Hall, itself a grade I-listed country house hotel set in a ‘Capability’ Brown landscape. All meals will be provided as will travel by private luxury coach.


For a full itinerary, please click here.


Both members and non-members of the Georgian Group are welcome on the tour. For a booking form, please click here.


For further information, please contact the Georgian Group at

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Georgian Group Symposium: The Architecture of James Gibbs

Georgian Group Symposium: The Architecture of James Gibbs

The Georgian Group is pleased to announce its forthcoming symposium on the work of James Gibbs. This one-day symposium, on Saturday 29 September at the Society of Antiquaries, will reassess, and throw new light upon, Gibbs's achievements and their significance for the understanding of Georgian architecture. The symposium will be held from 10 am to 5.15 pm, and will be led by Dr Geoffrey Tyack, editor of the Georgian Group Journal. Speakers will include leading authorities on eighteenth-century British architecture and decorative art - among them Andrew Martindale, Peter Guillery, Richard Hewlings, Charles Hind, Hugh Petter and Alec Cobbe - and younger scholars.

For further information and to book tickets please click here

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Our Aims and Purpose

The Georgian Group is the national charity dedicated to preserving Georgian buildings and gardens. We were founded in 1937.  

We aim to protect historic buildings through providing advice to owners and architects, campaigning, and through our role as statutory consultees in the planning system. Our annual awards promote excellence in design and conservation. In its casework, the Georgian Group advises councils, church bodies, and others on threats to the historic fabric and setting of structures built between 1700 and 1840.

The Group organises lectures and other events aimed at improving the understanding of aspects of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century built heritage.  We also produce technical advice leaflets, and promote the publication of academic research through our journal.