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An exhibition of drawings and watercolours commissioned to record the landscape of Britain at the outbreak of the Second World War.
The Recording Britain collection, owned by the Victoria and Albert Museum, was the result of a unique project to capture images of vulnerable buildings, landscapes and lifestyles at a time of immense change.
Initiated by Sir Kenneth Clark and funded by the Pilgrim Trust, the collection was compiled as the country faced not only the potentially devastating impact of the war but also the often equally damaging effects of progress and development.
The 1,500 works produced feature quiet villages, bustling market towns, ancient parish churches, fairgrounds, follies, country inns and vanishing rural industries, which all seem to embody the ideals Britain was fighting for.
Some pictures show places at immediate risk, such as historic buildings due for demolition, areas of countryside such as the South Downs, which were threatened by housing and a new road, and an entire Derbyshire village which was about to be submerged by a new reservoir.
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DH1 5TU 54.784492, -1.581093
Enquiries: 0191 3842214
→ Durham 8 min walk