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From the beginning it went well beyond the theoretical. Charles Brooking’s childhood fascination with period detail grew. Eventually, whenever a building was demolished or rebuilt, he was often to be found collecting the minute details, from sash pulleys to doorknobs, that would one day give a record and a reminder.

By 1966, the Collection was becoming significant – and Charles’ parents, as well as his school tutor, supported his ambition to create a unique museum study centre at his home in Guildford, Surrey.

By 1985 The Brooking had grown sufficiently in size to necessitate the creation of a Trust to preserve it for posterity. For 24 years it formed a major study centre at the University of Greenwich, London, where dedicated courses were run for conservators, students and designers. Nowadays it is regularly used by historians, researchers, students and TV companies for documentaries and interest features.                                        

How The Collection began

What is it for? Charles Brooking How it began Courses Videos Venice Biennale

Dapdune Crescent in Guildford, Surrey was demolished in 1972. A wide range of important early Victorian features was recovered from these houses.

Well what do you expect to acquire in Jermyn Street? Doesn’t everyone find 1740’s staircases there?

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