1st Edition

Ordering Law
The Architectural and Social History of the English Law Court to 1914

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ISBN 9780754607878
Published August 28, 2003 by Routledge
519 Pages

USD $160.00

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Book Description

Over the last thirty years, historical studies of building types have become something of a growth area. As well as such general surveys as Nikolaus Pevsner's History of Building Types, there are growing numbers of studies of individual types, of which the most distinguished perhaps remain Mark Girouard's Life in the English Country House and Robin Evan's study of prisons, The Fabrication of Virtue. This growth is not surprising, because the subject lends itself to the 'New Art History', and to our increasing desire to set buildings within their social and cultural contexts, as well as their stylistic and cultural ones. This book by Dr Graham is a comprehensive study of a type of building - the law court - which has, to date, remained largely unexplored. Ordering Law establishes when, why and how the trial came to be housed in purpose-built accommodation in England, and what was architecturally distinctive about that accommodation in the period leading up to 1914. The main text concentrates on examining in depth a series of well-documented individual buildings and groups of buildings, using a wide range of contemporary sources to illuminate the way in which they were designed and used. Other information gleaned about court buildings nationwide is placed in an appendix, in gazetteer form; originally drawn from the 200 or so examples listed in the Buildings of England guides, this has expanded to include over 800 entries. As a piece of scholarly research, this work draws on several disciplines and will be of interest to those studying social and legal history, as well as those with a broader interest in architectural history.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: In the beginning: rituals, traditions and the law; From castle to sessions house; Questions of type, function and timing; Pressure and change; Police courts; County courts; Coroners' courts; Symbolic courts; Conclusion; Appendices; Index.

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'... the balance of architectural history with the social and legal developments ... makes this an outstanding book.' Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain Newsletter 'Lawyers interested in their workplaces will find the book rewarding.' Corner Stone Magazine '... an impressive achievement.' Northern History 'Ordering Law is a fascinating book, made stronger by the fact it takes a little effort to read and to draw the various linkages and threads out of the plethora of material... the principal message that will remain with me from this book is the one that reinforces the often unrecognised, but profound, role of architecture as the medium through which the spaces of life and action are given formal order and meaning. In this, the law court is a powerful example. Accepting that through law, order is imposed on society, this book illustrates that it is through architecture that a spatial order is imposed on the processes and ceremonies of law.' arq 'Ordering Law is a signal accomplishment that should be the leading authority on the subject for many years to come.' Albion 'Ordering Law is a fascinating book, made stronger by the fact it takes a little effort to read and to draw the various linkages and threads out of the plethora of material.' Architectural Research Quarterly