Detail of the painting St Paul's from Blackfriar's Bridge by Clive Head

Discover the buildings of London and you'll discover London.

Information at a Glance

  • Evening Class
  • Wednesdays 18:00 - 20:00
  • 10 weeks: May to July
  • 2 hours weekly taught time
  • Tutor: Michael Paraskos, assisted by Richard Barnes
  • In person course
Booking link

A Thursday morning version of this class is also available

On this course we are going to discover some aspects of the history of British architecture from the twelfth century until (more or less) now, using London as our guide. In London there are examples of different British architectural styles from almost all periods, and especially from the middle ages to the present day.

On this 10-week course we will visit different places around London, looking at the architectural history and styles of different buildings, how they relate to each other and to wider historical architectural, social and cultural movements.

These visits will also allow us to learn the language and terminology of architectural history and practice, but the overall approach is to be informative, educational and entertaining. It is an opportunity to discover something of the astonishing developments in British architecture over a period of a thousand years, gain an understanding of the history of buildings in London in particular.

This is an evening session and so access to the interior of buildings will be limited.

No previous knowledge of art history, architecture or history is necessary.

Class Format

Each week we will meet at a different location in London and look at the buildings in that area. Classes will involve informal talks on the buildings and area from the tutor, and discussion with the whole class on the things we see.

You do not need to have any previous experience of art history, architecture or history to enjoy and learn a great deal from this course, which is aimed at complete beginners and novices.

 

Course Information

Course Programme

PROGRAMME (may be subject to alteration)

1. Introducing Architectural History - St James's Square

2. The Early Medieval(ish) - Westminster

3. Temple

4. Greenwich - The (Classical) eagle has landed

5. Wren and the New City

6. Dodgy Restoration Builders? Covent Garden

7. Somerset House and “Good Taste”

9. Albertopolis - South Kensington

10. The start of something new and the end of the course

 

Additional Reading

There is no requirement to undertake specific reading for this course, but if you would like to look in greater depth at the subject the following books are recommended:

  • Nikolaos Pevsner, Pevsner's Architectural Glossary
  • Chris Rogers, How to Read London

No academic credits are available for this course. An attendance certificate is issued only to those who attend at least 80% of the taught sessions.

About Your Tutors


Photograph of Michael ParaskosDr Michael Paraskos is a very experienced adult education tutor, having taught for over twenty-five years. He holds a Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and also teaches art history to students at the City and Guilds of London Art School. 
He is a writer of both fiction and non-fiction and has published very widely on art of this period, as well as reviewing exhibitions and novels for BBC Radio 4’s Front Row and The Spectator magazine. His first novel In Search of Sixpence was published in 2016 and his second, called Rabbitman, was published in 2017

 

Photograph of Richard BarnesRichard Barnes is a sculptor, stone carver and letter cutter who trained at the City and Guilds of London Art School. He has worked on the architectural sculpture at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, and is the recipient of the Brian Till Prize for Art History Writing and the annual award of the Honorable Knights of the Round Table for his carving. His most recent writing includes 'Footfalls on the boundary of another world' published in the anthology, Othello's Island 1 in 2019 and the book Mnemosyne, published 2021

Course Fees and Rate Categories

HoursWeeksStandard RateInternal RateAssociate Rate
20  10  £210 £125 £165
All fee rates quoted are for the whole course     Please note there is no early-bird discount available for the April intake courses

Rate Categories and Discounts

Standard Rate

  • Applicable to all except those who fall under the Internal Rate or Associate Rate category, respectively.

Internal Rate

  • Applies to current Imperial College students and staff (incl. Imperial NHS Trust, Imperial Innovations, ancillary & service staff employed on long-term contracts at Imperial College by third-party contractors).
  • Current Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication (CLCC) staff, current CLCC PhD students, Science Communication (Sci Comm) postgraduate students, and students enrolled on an Imperial College 'Language for Science' degree programme should email eveningclass@imperial.ac.uk before completing the online enrolment form.

Associate Rate

  • Students (non-Imperial College)
  • Alumni of Imperial College and predecessor colleges and institutes
  • City & Guilds College Association members
  • Cooperative College members
  • Members of the Friends of Imperial College
  • Francis Crick Institute staff, researchers and students
  • Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council staff
  • Harrods staff
  • Historic Royal Palaces staff
  • Natural History Museum staff
  • Science Museum staff
  • South London Botanical Institute Members
  • Victoria and Albert Museum staff
  • Royal Geographical Society staff
  • Royal College of Art and Royal College of Music tutors and other staff
  • Austrian Cultural Forum staff
  • Staff of Exhibition Road Cultural Group (Discover South Kensington) organisations
  • Lycee Charles de Gaulle staff
  • Tutors and other staff of other universities and higher education institutions
  • Tutors and other staff of institution members of the Association of Colleges
  • Residents of postcodes SW3, SW5, SW7, SW10 and W8
  • Members of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
  • Members of the South London Botanical Institute (SLBI)
  • Members of the London Zoological Society
  • Members of the Kennel Club

Late enrolment

It is possible to enrol on many CLCC Evening Class and Lunchtime Learning programmes after the course has started. For non-language courses this is subject entirely to agreement by the tutor. For language courses it is subject to agreement by the language Coordinator conducting level assessment. If you want to join a course late do bear in mind there might be work you will need to catch up on, particularly in language courses.

Applicable terms & conditions

Please read the Terms and Conditions [pdf] before enrolling on any course.

Term Dates

Term starts Monday 2 May and ends Friday 9 July 2022 (10 weeks)

 

Certificate of Attendance

Our adult education evening and daytime classes do not offer academic credits, but we do offer an attendance certificate to those learners who attend at least 80% of the taught sessions. Eligible learners receive their certificate by email after the end of the course.

Enrolment Process

Enrolment and payment run through the Imperial College eStore. Please click on the blue booking link on the relevant course page noting below instructions:

  • Our rate categories are explained on the course page and your applicable rate category must be selected on the eStore
  • First-time eStore users please create an account by entering an email address and password. These credentials should also be used for future bookings. Imperial College users please note the eStore is not a single-signon College system
  • The booking process involves entering payment details before your course choice and applicant details are queried on an in-built questionnnaire which completes the process
  • The following email notifications are sent
What is sentWhen is it sentWhat does it contain
1. Payment confirmation Instantaneously following submission of your online application
  • Confirms payment, payment date, order number and course title
  • Should not be treated as a course-enrolment confirmation which is only sent later
2. Enrolment confirmation Sent in due course but likely not before the end of March. Please treat your payment confirmation as confirmation that your applicant details and payment have been received
  • Re-onfirms your course choice
  • Shows your course's term dates
  • Confirms your course' day of the week & time
3. Programme information Usually sent Friday late afternoon the week before term starts
  • Contains further course details incl. classroom location and teacher contact information
  • Provides further general programme details
If you need further help with the above information please ring 020 7594 8756

Any Questions?

Questions regarding the content and teaching of the above course should be sent to the course tutor, Dr Michael Paraskos at m.paraskos@imperial.ac.uk

If you have enjoyed this course, why not look at other arts and humanities evening class courses at Imperial College. This includes courses on the history of western art from ancient Greece to the nineteenth century, Understanding Modern and Design, the history of film and cinema and Greek and Roman mythology in art. We also run practical courses in art and photography and creative writing classes, and a growing programme of science based evening classes.