English Counties and Public Building, 1650-1830

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A&C Black, 1998 - Political Science - 242 pages
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Before the modern growth of centralised government, the most important unit of administration was the county. Counties were run by Justices of the Peace sitting together at Quarter Sessions where, as well as trying criminal cases, they dealt with all county business. In the years between 1650 and 1830 a increasing proportion of their time and resources was taken up in erecting public buildings. Building by counties, taken together, represents a substantial and previously little noticed programme of public works. Unlike most other building works in this period, where the details of planning, building, execution and cost are lost, county building is well documented, allowing us to follow clearly the stages of erection.

The county building programme reflected changes in society and in the economy, apart from being itself an indication of the growing wealth of the period. A sizeable part of county budgets was spent on bridges. A series of increasingly elaborate bridewells and gaols reflected concerns over employment and crime, also reflected in the erection of judges' lodgings and court houses; the latter being often incorporated in shire halls. Rising humanitarian alarm about mental illness led to the building of pauper lunatic asylums after 1800. English Counties and Public Building, 1650-1830 is an original and important contribution to both administrative and architectural history.
Before the modern growth of centralised government, the most important unit of administration was the county. Counties were run by Justices of the Peace sitting together at Quarter Sessions where, as well as trying criminal cases, they dealt with all county business. In the years between 1650 and 1830 a increasing proportion of their time and resources was taken up in erecting public buildings. Building by counties, taken together, represents a substantial and previously little noticed programme of public works. Unlike most other building works in this period, where the details of planning, building, execution and cost are lost, county building is well documented, allowing us to follow clearly the stages of erection.

The county building programme reflected changes in society and in the economy, apart from being itself an indication of the growing wealth of the period. A sizeable part of county budgets was spent on bridges. A series of increasingly elaborate bridewells and gaols reflected concerns over employment and crime, also reflected in the erection of judges' lodgings and court houses; the latter being often incorporated in shire halls. Rising humanitarian alarm about mental illness led to the building of pauper lunatic asylums after 1800. English Counties and Public Building, 1650-1830 is an original and important contribution to both administrative and architectural history.
  

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Contents

Bridewells in England 17611830
192
A Note on Sources
211

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