The New Pevsner's Somerset, with Julian Orbach

Julian has criss-crossed the county south of the Mendips, looking at every thing that might loosely be called architecture, gathering together all the strange and wonderful buildings this county has to offer


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Julian has just published his Buildings of South and West Somerset, in Sir Nikolaus Pevsner’s Buildings of Britain series, originally published in 1958. He has criss-crossed the county south of the Mendips, looking at every thing that might loosely be called architecture, gathering together all the strange and wonderful buildings this county has to offer.

Sir Nikolaus Pevsner completed his great work on Somerset in just one summer. Five and a half years after he set out, watched over by the spirit of the great Pevsner, Julian has finally returned. On his last visit to the Ebenezer, a couple of year ago, Julian attempted to explain why it was taking him so long. Now he returns to offer more excuses and to celebrate the county that has occupied him so completely for such a time.

Now, having just been posted to Wiltshire, he is able to offer an overview of the special nature of the buildings of Somerset & highlight many delights and major achievements.

His illustrated talk will range from the prehistoric to the modern, from Ham Hill to Hauser & Wirth, by way of Hinkley Point, with many little known gems as well as the more famous buildings of our great county. Ebenezer eagerly anticipates many revelations!


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Julian Orbach

Julian has had a long and noteworthy career in historic buildings. He was Architectural Advisor to the Victorian Society, during which period he worked with Pevsner in the last years of Pevsner's career.

Julian has compiled lists of historic buildings in England and Wales. He wrote the Blue Guide to Victorian Architecture in Britain. He has been co-author on the three western volumes of the Buildings of Wales, covering Pembrokeshire to Anglesey. While doing this he founded an ecological commune in the Preseli Hills and learnt Welsh.

He is a member of the Royal Society of Architects in Wales. Julian has an unfinished thesis on 'The Palazzo Revival in British Nineteenth Century Architecture' for which he learnt Italian and went on a course with Anthony Blunt. In 2015 he moved to Bradford on Avon to start the revision of Pevsner's Wiltshire volume. He may be there for some time.

'The old one, by Pevsner alone, was somewhat skimpy; Julian Orbach's revisit is huge, reflecting the architectural riches of the area, and there is wealth within - informative and scholarly text, handsome photographs.'-Penelope Lively, The Guardian -- Penelope Lively The Guardian




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2015Martin Keeley