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The publisher of a successful website celebrating various styles of modernist architecture in the London suburbs has launched a crowdfunding campaign aimed at raising sufficient funds to publish the information on his website in pocket guide book form.  Among the buildings that the book will cover are the remarkable Piccadilly Line stations in our area, such as Southgate and Arnos Grove.

Help fund publication of the guide and receive "rewards"

modernism in metroland book

Joshua Abbot's Guide to Modernism in Metro-Land will be published by the crowdfunding publisher Unbound.  Before it can be printed and distributed, it requires funding pledges from supporters.  Pledge £15 and you'll receive the book with your name printed in it, pledge more and there are a variety of other "rewards".  But the best reward of all will be knowing that you've helped get this new guidebook into the hands of people curious about the London suburbs.

A Guide to Modernism in Metro-Land will be a pocket guide to the modernist buildings of the suburbs. Covering nine London boroughs and two counties, the book will help you explore the modernist heritage of Metro-Land, with over 100 colour photographs. There will be a short description of each building as well as a map for each area to help you find the buildings you want to see.

Find out how to pledge

The Modernism in Metro-Land website and book are the work of Joshua Abbott. Inspired by John Betjeman's 1973 TV programme Metro-Land and by the architectural books written by Ian Nairn, Joshua set up the website in 2011.  It explores the growth of the suburbs since the 1920s through modernist architectural designs and traces their development throughout the remainder of the century.

Although our part of north London doesn't fall within "Metro-Land" as strictly defined (that's located further west), we certainly have some good examples of modernist architecture. 

Everyone will be familiar with the Charles Holden tube stations built in the 1930s, when the Piccadilly Line was extended from Finsbury Park to Cockfosters.  But the website also lists many other buildings in the present-day boroughs of Enfield and Haringey, including civic buildings (Hornsey Town Hall), churches (Christ the King at Oakwood, the Church in the Orchard and more), cinemas (the former Ritz in Bowes Road) factories (Barretts Chocolate Factory), civic infrastructure (Trent Park water tower) and domestic buildings (art moderne houses in Abbotshall Avenue, Southgate).

houses in abbotshall avenue southgate modernism in metro land websiteModerne-style houses in Abbotshall Avenue N14 (source:

As well as running the website and working on the printed guide, Joshua leads guided tours.  His next tour, on 12 May, is very convenient for PGC readers, as it covers the Piccadilly Line stations between Turnpike Lane and Cockfosters,  he tour on 21st July will take a look at the eastern extension of the Central Line, from Wanstead to Barkingside, will look not just at more celebrated Charles Holden tube stations, but also at a splendid bus station and at Fulwell Cross Library and Leisure Centre in Barkingside.  Unfortunately, both tours are sold out, but you can join the waiting lists and no doubt the tours will be repeated.

st thomas oakwood modernism in metro land websiteSt Thomas' Church, Oakwood - a 1939 church with a 60s spire (source:

To keep up to date with the website and tours, you can subscribe to updates.



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