Postcard collection of Sir Alfred William Clapham

Scope and Content

This small collection contains colour and b/w postcards of historic buildings, mainly of churches and castles. The coverage is predominantly English, but some Welsh, Irish and Scottish buildings are also represented. The postcards are thought to date from the period 1920s-1960s: some have been ink-stamped with the initials 'W.H.G.' Most are blank, but some have been sent through the post.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Alfred William Clapham (1883-1950), Knight, archaeologist and architectural historian, was born in London, and was the son of the Revd. James Ernest Clapham, a Wesleyan minister, and his wife Lucy Elizabeth Hutchinson. He was educated at Dulwich College and then articled to the architect James Weir. He was involved with the Victoria History of the Counties of England for many years, and then started work for the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments (England) (now part of English Heritage) in 1912, staying there until his retirement in 1948. He was a prolific scholar and devoted much of his time to the Society of Antiquaries of London, where he was elected as a fellow in 1913. He was president from 1939-1944 and received the Society's gold medal in 1948. As an architect turned historian, he was able to combine knowledge of documents with a detailed analysis of buildings. His specialism was the period from the late sixth century to the end of the twelfth century. His published works include English Romanesque Architecture before the Conquest (1930), English Romanesque after the Conquest (1934) and Romanesque Architecture in Western Europe (1936). He became a trustee of the British Museum in 1944 and was the first president of the Council for British Archaeology following its foundation in 1944. He was appointed CBE in 1932 was knighted in 1944.


The postcards are arranged according to country, and then alphabetically by county.

Conditions Governing Access

Usual EUL arrangements apply.


Biographical information taken from the Dictionary of National Biography (2004).

Other Finding Aids

Currently unlisted.

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Charlotte Berry, Archivist, 15 April 2005, and encoded into EAD 3 June 2005.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual EUL restrictions apply.

Custodial History

It is presumed that this collection may have been collected by Clapham. The precise date of deposit at the University of Exeter Library is unknown.

Related Material

Papers or photographs taken by Clapham are held at the following repositories: Society of Antiquaries of London; Southampton Central Library; Oxford University: Bodleian Library, Special Collections and Western Manuscripts; and the National Monuments Record.


It is unlikely that this collection has been used as the basis for publication.