Collection: Gerald Sanville

1908 - 1966
Collection containing Photographic material
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The collection contains good quality photographic coverage of a wide range of ecclesiastical and secular buildings taken by Gerald Sanville. A slightly larger percentage (55%) is of ecclesiastical sites, including churches, chapels, cathedrals and ruinous abbeys. Of these 70% are interiors, particularly woodwork. In his secular photography Sanville concentrated on urban streets and buildings, such as private houses, university colleges, schools, town halls, banks, clubs and inns.

Sanville lived and worked in Manchester, therefore there is an emphasis on sites in Greater Manchester (22%) and Cheshire(18%), but he was an enthusiastic amateur photographer and travelled widely throughout England.

The date range of the collection is wide, from 1908 to 1966, but shows a significant drop in the number of photographs taken during the First and Second World Wars and towards the end of his life.

Archival History

Gerald Sanville was born in Manchester in 1883 and followed his father into a career as an architect, later becoming a partner in a Manchester based practice. He was an enthusiastic amatuer photographer before the First World War and travelled the country by train and on bicycle to record buildings of interest. During the Second World War he was employed by the Ministry of Works to photograph historic buildings in Cheshire, during which time he also started providing images to the National Buildings Record. In the later stages of his career he worked for the Council for the Care of Churches.

The collection was received via Gerald Sanville's son in October 1996, who donated his father's remaining negatives to the National Monuments Record. The Red Box collection at the National Monuments Record contains the additional material provided by Gerald Sanville to the National Buildings Record during and after the Second World War.

The collection was catalogued in March 1998.


This Collection is divided into 999 Child Records
This Collection contains the following materials:
Photograph (Negative): 924
Photograph (Negative): 74
Photograph (Print): 931


© Historic England Archive

People & Organisations

Photographer: Sanville, Gerald

Creator of Archive: Sanville, Gerald