Module: Conservation of Historic Building Interiors: Fixtures, Fittings, Collections

Module details

  • Module code

    4716
  • Module leader

    TBC
  • Module Level

    7
  • Module credits

    15
  • Min study time

    150 hours
  • Contact hrs

    30 hours

Module content

This module explores the design, historical context, chronology and significance of a broad range of historic buildings interiors.

The interior of historic buildings are as informative as the external aspect in capturing and presenting the status and aspirations of the occupants.  Frequently re-modelled within an existing shell, interiors often present a complicated picture of creation, use and re-use of elements which reflect the changing fashions and economic fortunes of their residents. Only by using both interior and exterior knowledge can a full picture of the evolution of a particular building and its occupants be assembled.

Using a range of case studies and field visits this module enables participants to identify the key elements of building interiors including architectural features, fixtures, fittings and associated furniture and collections and be able to describe, record and report on them describe them using appropriate terminology. This field data will enable participants to undertake critical, reasoned analysis of the interiors of historic buildings identifying style(s), materials, construction methods  and sequence of construction or modification.

Interiors may also house extensive collections – some contemporary with the interior, others added later and may have resulted in the remodelling of the spaces. These collections are again a reflection of the history of the interior and the changing fashions, tastes and interests of the occupants.

Attention will therefore be paid to the collections housed in building interiors and the methods for assessing both historical significance and conservation challenges and issues. 

Particular attention will be paid to the assessment of both building and collection condition and the methods which may be used to monitor that condition and, where required, to specify appropriate conservation measures.

By the end participants will be able explore and understand a broad range of historic building interiors and their historic significance.

Module outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a broad based understanding of the design, historical context, chronology and significance of a broad range of historic buildings interiors
  2. Identify the key elements of building interiors including architectural features, fixtures, fittings and associated furniture and collections and be able to describe, record and report on them describe them using appropriate terminology
  3. Deliver a critical, reasoned analysis of the interiors of historic buildings identifying style(s), materials, construction methods and sequence of construction or modification
  4. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the assessment and monitoring of the condition of a building interior and associated collections and be able to identify conservation issues and specify appropriate conservation measures

Assessment

Assessment Description Weighting
Coursework 1 A research record of the interior of a given historic building. (2000 words, excluding figures, tables and appendices). To be based on fieldwork undertaken during the course. 50%
Coursework 2 An analysis of the interior reported above, placed its regional and historical context and significance. (2000 words, excluding figures, tables and appendices). 50%

Assessments may differ in 2020/21 due to adjustments for Covid-19. Please check Gateway for the latest regulations.

Key texts

Essential resources:

  • Hall, L. 2005  Period House Fixtures and Fittings 1300-1900. Countryside Books, 224 pages.
  • Forsyth, M. & White, L. (Editors) (2011) Interior Finishes and Fittings for Historic Building Conservation.   Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Alcock, N. W. & Hall, L.: Fixtures and Fittings in dated houses 1567 – 1763, C.B.A., 1994
  • Ashurst, J: Mortars, Plasters & Renders in Conservation (Second Edition), Ecclesiastical Architects & Surveyors Association, 2002
  • Ayers, J: Domestic Interiors: The British Tradition 1500 – 1850, Yale, 2003
  • Bristow, I.: Architectural Colour in British Interiors, 1615 – 1840, Yale, 1996
  • BSI: BS 7913 (1998). Guide To the Principles Of The Conservation of Historic Buildings, BSI. 1998 (to be revised imminently)
  • Burkinshaw, R. and Parrett, M. (2004) Diagnosing Damp, RICS Business Services.
  • C.I.B.S.E. (2002)  Guide for Building Services for Historic Buildings: Sustainable Services for Traditional Buildings, C.I.B.S.E.,
  • Colston, B. and Watt, D (eds): Conservation of Historic Buildings and their Contents, Routledge, 2003
  • Davies, A. (& others): The Care and Conservation of Georgian Houses: A Maintenance Manual for Edinburgh New Town, Architectural Press, 1995 (4th Edition)
  • Klemisch, J.: Maintenance of Historic Buildings, Routledge ,2011
  • Hughes, H. (ed): Layers of Understanding: Setting Standards for Architectural Paint Research, Routledge 2001
  • SPAB/Faith in Maintenance: The Good Maintenance Guide, SPAB, 2008
  • Stalley, R.: Early Medieval Architecture, Oxford U.P., 1999
  • Stovel, H.: Risk Preparedness: A Management Manual For World Cultural Heritage, ICCROM, 1998
  • Tutton, M. & Hirst, E.(eds): Windows: History, Repair and Conservation, Routledge, 2007
  • (*) Vinas, S. M.: Contemporary Theory of Conservation, Elsevier Butterworth Heinemann, 2005