By Richard Barras
This two-volume booklet explores how the nice structures of britain endure witness to 1000 years of the nation’s background. In all ages, funding in iconic structures reaches a climax whilst the existing mode of construction is working so much successfully, surplus wealth is such a lot considerable, and the dominant type principles perfect. in the course of such classes of balance and prosperity, the call for for brand spanking new constructions is robust, structural and stylistic thoughts abound, and there's fierce pageant to construct for lasting status. each one such climax produces a distinct classic of hegemonic structures which are monuments to the wealth and gear of these who governed their global.
this primary quantity presents an creation to the examine of wealth accumulation over the last millennium. There persist with 3 case stories of iconic construction funding from the 11th to the 17th century. in the course of the 11th and 12th centuries the conquering Norman kings and barons erected castles through the nation to cement their feudal strength. in the course of the 13th and fourteenth centuries the good wealth of the ecclesiastical estates funded the lavish development of Gothic cathedrals and abbeys. throughout the 16th and early 17th centuries Tudor and Jacobean magnates vied to construct the main extraordinary palaces and prodigy homes. The English Revolution introduced this period to a close.
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Additional info for A Wealth of Buildings: Marking the Rhythm of English History: Volume I: 1066–1688
Investing the Surplus The multi-functionality of buildings affords them a unique status within the economic system. They play an important role in each of the four main spheres of economic activity: production, consumption, distribu- 1 Of Works and Monuments 11 tion, and exchange. The functions of buildings as means of production and consumption have already been discussed. Through their function as store of wealth, buildings also act as means of distribution and exchange; they crystallize the distribution of wealth and act as collateral in the sphere of exchange.
Under industrial capitalism, profits were accumulated by industrialists through the difference between the value of the goods produced by their workers and the value of the wages they are paid. Under financial capitalism, surpluses are accumulated by financiers from the charges they levy on monetary transactions and the profits they generate through market trading. 12 A Wealth of Buildings: Marking the Rhythm of English History The working majority consume their portion of the national product in the form of subsistence goods; they can afford to invest little or nothing.
Thus the Industrial Revolution transformed the manner in which manufacturing and transport functions were conducted within the urban economy. The result was a massive wave of investment in mills and factories to house the new manufacturing processes, and in railways to transport raw materials and finished products in and out of the new industrial towns. Today’s urban landscape is composed of buildings which have accumulated over a long period of time. Their appearance expresses the changing aesthetic norms of society, their materials and mode of construction reflect different stages of technological development, their disposition indicates the spatial pattern of urban growth.
A Wealth of Buildings: Marking the Rhythm of English History: Volume I: 1066–1688 by Richard Barras