Nick Thomson
Shire Books, £6.99

Corrugated iron may not be seen as a glamorous building material today, but it was once so fashionable that Prince Albert commissioned a metal ballroom for Balmoral Castle. In CWA 28 we explored how this lightweight but durable material evolved to meet the demands of the Industrial Revolution, roofing warehouses, railway stations, and factories. Here, architect Nick Thomson takes up the story, enthusiastically describing the versatile material’s history, used to build hospitals, houses, and churches worldwide. In 1878, Oban in Scotland built a corrugated iron cathedral; and by 1902, the Co. Durham workers’ village of Birchinlee had a metal pub, school, and shops. This is a lively and surprising volume, with a list of places to visit for those inspired to find out more.


This article is an extract from the full article published in World Archaeology Issue 51. Click here to subscribe