10 DECEMBER 1937, Page 44


Now that the Historical Monuments Commission has improved the pro- duction of its reports while also cheapen- ing them, it is immune from criticism. Its eighteenth volume, on Middlesex (H.M. Stationery Office, 25s.), is a sheer delight. The 184 photographic plates and the many plans illustrate the concise descriptions most satisfactorily. Hamp- ton Court is of course the county's chief pre-Georgian monument, and is de- scribed at length, with some sixty photographs, a folding plan of the great palace and a diagram of the maze. We are reminded by the plan that Wren's charming additions fronting the park and the river are small as compared with Wolsey's and Henry VIII's spacious buildings. Of other Tudor houses, Syon House at Isleworth and Bruce Castle, Tottenham, are the most notable, though both have been much altered. The three important Jacobean houses are Swakeleys at Ickenham, Forty Hall at Enfield, and Cromwell House, High- gate, and these have suffered little. The Middlesex churches have for the most part been rebuilt in modern times, but they are rich in the Renaissance monuments that are now at last attracting expert attention. A judicious note on Grim's Dyke, at Pinner, suggests that this curious 'earthwork was a Saxon boundary, not earlier than the fifth century and probably later.