Charles Brooking

Late 1970's Charles Brooking goes

full time

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: When did you start collecting/ rescuing full time?

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.


Charles Brooking: I left the Ironbridge Gorge Museums, where I worked from 1978 to 1979 as a consultant on the museum finding material for the Museum of Iron.

The Ironbridge Gorge Museums

The Ironbridge Gorge Museums are in Coalbrookdale, Telford and are a series of museums along the valley next to the River Severn spanned by the world's first Iron Bridge . The museums celebrate the birthplace of industry where visitors can learn about the Industrial Revolution with demonstrations from fashioning china and glass to tile decorating.

Surveyor: Did you have your museum running then at this point?

Charles Brooking: It was still very much home spun in two display sheds in Guildford . I was trying to get support. I had Dan Cruickshank on my side by that time in 1978.


Surveyor: Dan Cruickshank?

Charles Brooking: He is one of the leading architectural historians in the country now, but back then he worked for the Architects Journal in London .

He met John Betjeman, who founded the Spitalfields Trust, or was one of the major founding members.

Surveyor: Can you recall what his book was called?


Charles Brooking: The Art of Georgian Building - it's a sort of Bible really for anyone involved and interested in that sort of thing.

The Art of Georgian Building

The Art of Georgian Building by Dan Cruickshank is a study of London 's town houses from 1700 to 1821, which is said to be the greatest period of British architecture and is published by The Architectural Press.

Surveyor: Anything more from the Lloyds building?

Charles Brooking: The Lloyds building was a long, massive rescue. I turning point, because I'd broken the, moved forward in my period of coverage.

The Lloyds Building

The Lloyds Building, which stands today, was designed by internationally renowned architect Richard Rogers taking eight years in construction with its stainless steel and glass construction a stunning and unusual building on London 's skyline.

The current Lloyds Building replaced a more modest 17 th century coffee house building the Edward Lloyd coffee house on Tower Street which became noted as a place for obtaining marine insurance. Later the insurance underwriters moved to Lombard Street in 1691and then in 1774 premises in Cornhill. The Royal Exchange building was destroyed by fire in 1838 with Lloyd's moving to South Sea House before returning to the newly rebuilt Royal Exchange in 1844.

The next move was in 1929 when the society moved to 12 Leadenhall Street, EC3 then finally to Lime Street in 1958. The Lime Street site was then demolished for the new Richard Rogers Lloyds Building, which was opened officially in November 1986 by HRH Elizabeth II.

If you found this article on The Brooking Collection of Architectural Detail interesting you may also be interested in the following articles on our website:

Rescuing a window is easier said than done!

The Woking rescues and The Brooking Collection

Flat Roofs

Fascia and Soffit Board Problems

Dampness Problems


Independent Surveyors

If you truly do want an independent expert opinion from a surveyor with regard to building surveys, structural surveys, structural reports, engineers reports, specific defects report, dilapidations or any other property matters please contact 0800 298 5424 for a surveyor to give you a call back.

Commercial Property Surveyors

If you have a commercial property, be it leasehold or freehold, then you may wish to look at our Dilapidations Website at and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site

We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).

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