Listed on November 20, 2014 in Blogs!

Sir Nikolaus Pevsner (1902-83) is perhaps most well-known for his architectural guides published between1951 and 1974. Entitled ‘The Buildings of England’, these were published on a county basis and the Somerset edition originally came out in 1958. In recent years a project has been undertaken to review, revise and expand on Pevsner’s initial assessment and so there are now emerging new editions, the current batch under the Yale University Press imprint.

Last night saw the launch of the new Somerset: South and West edition by Julian Orbach – and Nikolaus Pevsner, of course. It was jolly event in the big room upstairs at Waterstone’s in Taunton with a great throng of architectural enthusiasts and a few archaeologists thrown into the mix as well. The small-format book running to about 750 pages costs a hefty £35 – quite a bit cheaper on Amazon – and our entry can be found on pages 254 to 256.  It is quite a bit expanded from the original and obviously includes a glowing description of The Hyde – ‘the best recent building in the region’. Interestingly, the Pheasantry – now the offices – are described as ‘a late 18th century lofted cartshed with dove holes.’ What isn’t included are the descriptions of the gardens but those are considered by Professor Tim Mowl and Marion Mako in their Historic Gardens of Somerset published in 2010.

So, more plaudits for The Hyde. Getting the building up as Lehman Brothers were going down was both terrible and perfect timing but as Pevsner would have agreed, ‘life is short but art is long’.