Teaching idea/enquiry: Are there examples of Georgian architecture and investment of wealth in your local environment?
Georgian architectural styles were typical in England during the main period of the transatlantic slave trade. 10 Downing Street is a Georgian building, so is Blenheim Palace outside Oxford. Many of the crescents and terraced streets in the City of London and towns such as Bath and Bristol date from this time. See: Georgian lifestyle Background Information.
Pupils should have some knowledge of chronology and where the Georgian period comes, and some awareness of different architectural styles of building.
Suggested Teacher Led Activities (starter):
- Look for examples of Georgian architecture in your local area (you could take pupils on a walk, take digital pictures or get images from local record offices or libraries).
- As a whole class list the key features of Georgian buildings.
- What can pupils infer from the architecture?
- What don't the buildings tell you?
- What questions do pupils have?
Suggested Pupil Activities (main):
Use this link to the Arcaid picture website to look at more Georgian buildings and Georgian housing.
- Add more architectural features to the initial list.
- Use a selection of the images and design a poster or advert for a Georgian destination (town or specific building).
- Discuss whether the links to the slave trade should be explicit in the poster (this leads on to 'hidden histories' covered in Invisible presence: memorials)
- Find the 2,778 listed Georgian buildings in England by going to:
Images Of England and quick search 'Georgian'.
- Discuss in small groups why buildings are listed and what it means.
- Are any of these listed buildings in your local area?
- Which areas seem to have a lot of listed Georgian buildings?
- What links did these areas have with the slave trade?
- Georgian style architecture was also used in British buildings in the Caribbean.
Support pupils by giving them a case study of one example of a Georgian house linked to the transatlantic slave trade eg Bristol Council search Georgian (Pinney and his servant Pero). See also Sites of Memory.
Ask pupils to prepare a summary of the information with bullet points highlighting key features of the Georgian house and its links to slavery
Suggested Discussion (plenary):
- Discuss in small groups, or write in bullet point form, the similarities and differences between Georgian buildings and new designs today.
- Are there parallels with wealth generation and the housing boom today?
- Can pupils find examples of Georgian style architecture in modern day buildings (‘mock’ Georgian windows, columns etc.)?
- How do we know what is old and what is new?
All pupils must: identify differences between buildings; recognise old buildings and new.
Most pupils should: recognise that buildings in their local area have different styles and date from different periods in the past; know the term Georgian; describe some characteristics of Georgian architecture; have ideas about why there were so many houses built in Georgian times, particularly terraces; make links to the wealth generated at the time of the slave trade; suggest similarities between Georgian architecture and modern housing today.
Some pupils could: know that the Georgian period was roughly the 18th century; identify key features of Georgian architecture; link areas of urban growth and Georgian housing to the history of the slave trade; understand why buildings are listed.