urban landscapes

The final photographer of Victorian London’s urban landscape I want to draw attention to is Willam Strudwick. Like Dixon, Strudwick photographed both the old before it disappeared and the new whilst in the process of being created. Not a great deal is known about him (though interestingly, he is recorded as being a Photographic Store Keeper at the South Kensington Museum in 1860), but his distinctive style means that surviving examples of his work can usually be attributed with a fair degree of confidence.

There is a copy of a letter to Strudwick, dated 1868, from Henry Cole, the then Director of the South Kensington Museum, in which he lists the photographs he wished to purchase from the photographer for the museum’s collection. This includes a wide variety of subjects all over London, but perhaps the most significant body of work by Strudwick is a large group of pictures taken in Lambeth shortly before the building of the Albert Embankment in 1866-9.

A set of 76 prints was acquired by Lambeth Archives in 1910, the same year that Strudwick was admitted as a pauper to the Croydon workhouse. So, even in those days there was precious little money to be made from taking urban landscape photographs!

Mike Seaborne

January 2005



Mike Seaborne

page 1   Talbot, Fenton and Flather

page 2   Dixon and Bools

page 3   Strudwick

William Strudwick: riverside view of houses in Fore Street, Lambeth, before the building of the Albert Embankment, c.1865

William Strudwick: Prince’s Street, Lambeth, c.1865


Essays on Urban Landscape Photography