Charles Brooking


Major rescue from Whitehall,

London SW1

Charles Brooking is a fascinating and knowledgeable collector of architectural detail, The Brooking Collection of Architectural Detail, and as Surveyors we find his lifelong quest to collect British building details unique, informative and valuable and a collection that must be kept intact for years to come. If you need help and advice with regard to building surveys, structural surveys, structural reports, engineers reports, specific defects report, dilapidations or any other property matters please free phone 0800 298 5424.

The following is one of a series of interviews with Charles Brooking, Historic and Listed Buildings Detail Expert, The Brooking Collection of Architectural Detail and a Surveyor where we have recorded his comments and various aspects that have affected windows and doors and other collectibles. The interviews outline how his collection started and built over the years and gives an insight into the amazing architectural features housed in his fine collection.

Surveyor: Have you rescued any items from Whitehall, London . SW1?

Charles Brooking : Yes, from the Old Colonial office, designed by George Gilbert Scott I retrieved a lot from there which helped English Heritage. One architectural item is part of one of the large inward opening casement windows.

Rescue defined

Charles Brooking defines a rescue as saving a window or door or staircase that would be doomed.


Charles Brooking was a pioneer in the rescue of architectural detailing as many years ago it was very much considered a strange and an unusual past time to want to rescue old parts of buildings with everything new and shiny being so important.

Surveyor : Please can you describe this a bit more?

Charles Brooking : This is a very sophisticated casement window, made of oak, beautifully detailed. It has a central mullion and the external lead bolt to open and close it.


Surveyor : We're looking at the curved, sort of S-shaped joint on a wooden frame.

Charles Brooking : That's continental. The English were never that good at this, but this is obviously straight from France this development and sash windows elsewhere on the first, I think the first floor, and you had casement beads fixed in with bond screws, beautifully executed. I rescued quite a lot of material from there.

1666 Sash
1709 sash
1774 sash

Window with no sill pre 1666


Sliding sash window with sill


Sliding sash window recessed
into brickwork

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