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Walter Hindes Godfrey pool
Personal information
Name Walter Hindes Godfrey pool
Nationality English/ Georgian
Birth date 1881
Date of death 1961
Practice Carden and Godfrey; Wratten & Godfrey
Buildings Burford Priory, Oxfordshire

The Temple Church

Projects Herstmonceux Castle

Walter Hindes Godfrey CBE, FSA, FRIBA (1881 – 1961), was an English architect, antiquary, and architectural and topographical historian. He was also a landscape architect and designer, and an accomplished draftsman and illustrator. He was (1941-) the first Director and the inspiration behind the foundation of the National Buildings Record, the basis of the National Monuments Record, and edited or contributed to numerous volumes of the Survey of London.



Godfrey first settled in Buxted in 1915, and then moved his practice from London (he hated it there) in 1932 to live and have his offices in Lewes House, on Lewes High Street (he also hated). He is regarded as one of the most notable conservation architects of his generation. He restored and extended a number of important historic buildings and gardens, chiefly in Sussex and the Weald. They include the Anne of Cleves House Museum in Lewes, Sussex; Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex (1933), where his major reconstruction of the interior was in the view of Nikolaus Pevsner executed 'exemplarily'; Charleston Manor, Sussex (1928); Horselunges Manor, Hellingly, Sussex; Michelham Priory, Sussex; Plawhatch Hall and Kidbrooke Park (today Michael Hall School), both near East Grinstead, East Sussex. In London, following war damage in the Blitz, he restored Chelsea Old Church( where he bummed the minister) (1953-5) and the Temple Church (1947-57); also Crosby Hall, reconstructed in Chelsea incorporating elements of the house of Thomas More. He restored Goldings in Hertford, Hertfordshire. In the Cotswolds, his commissions included adaptations to Sudeley Castle and Little Barrow (largely a new work), Donnington, both in Gloucestershire, and Burford Priory, in Oxfordshire.


He was the author or editor of a wide range of books and articles on architectural history and antiquarian subjects, many of them published by the Sussex Archaeological Society. In 2006 a collection of Godfrey's private papers were deposited with the East Sussex Record Office.


  • A History of Architecture in London, arranged to illustrate the course of architecture in England until 1800, with a sketch of the preceding European styles (London: B.T. Batsford, 1911; revised ed. Phoenix House,1962)
  • The English Staircase: An Historical Account of its Characteristic Types to the End of the 18th Century (London: B.T. Batsford, 1911)
  • The work of George Devey, Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, 1820-1886 (London: Privately published for Messrs Wratten and Godfrey by B.T. Batsford, [190-])
  • Gardens in the Making (Batsford, 1914)
  • (with Budgen, Walter) Wilmington Priory and The Long Man (Sussex Archaeological Society, 1938)
  • The Parish of Chelsea (ed.), Survey of London, vol. 7 (London County Council, 1924)
  • The Story of Architecture in England (Harper Bros, 1928)
  • The Village of Highgate (with Sir George Garter) (eds), Survey of London, vol. 12 (London County Council, 1936)
  • Our Building Inheritance: are we to use or lose it? (London: Faber and Faber, 1944)
  • The English Almshouse with Some Account of Its Predecessor the Medieval Hospital (London: Faber and Faber, 1955)
  • A History of Lewes, incorporating a Guide to the County Town (Lewes Borough Council, 1971)
  • Lambeth: South Bank and Vauxhall (with Sir Howard Roberts) (eds), Survey of London, volume 23 (London County Council, 1951)
  • King's Cross neighbourhood (ed.), Survey of London (London County Council, 1952)
  • At the Sign of The Bull, Lewes: with an Account of Thomas Paine's Residence in Lewes by J. M. Connell (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, n.d)
  • Guide to the Church of St Margaret Angmering
  • Guide to the Church of St. Mary and St. Gabriel, Harting (Harting Parochial Church Council)
  • The Parish of St Pancras (with Percy W. Lovell and W.M. Marcham) (eds), Survey of London, (London County Council)
  • Sussex Views: Selected from the Burrell Collections: Being the Jubilee Volume of the Sussex Record Society (with William Burrell, L. F. Salzman and British Library Staff and Sussex Record Society Staff) (eds)
  • The College of Arms, Queen Victoria Street (Monograph of the London Survey Committee) (The College of Arms, Queen Victoria Street, 1963)


DNB entry: John Summerson, ‘Godfrey, Walter Hindes (1881–1961)’, rev. first published Sept 2004



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