Eleanor Gawne, November 2015

Bedford Lemere first established a photography company in 1861, joined by his son Harry Bedford Lemere in 1881. It became a very successful commercial firm for over fifty years, photographing a variety of contemporary and historical buildings for a range of different clients. Bedford Lemere was connected with the Royal Architectural Museum which the AA once owned (see volume of photographs of the Museum’s collections, taken by the firm of Bedford Lemere & Co.  in AA Archives). The Archives also holds an original G.E. Street’s competition design for the Law Courts (not as built).

The Library also holds material relating to Bedford Lemere including photographs of drawings that originally were part of a volume entitled ‘Law Courts, London: photographs of competition designs’ by Bedford Lemere & Co., c1867. They are mounted on board and rather faded but with the Bedford Lemere & Co. name and the title ‘Architectural photographers to the Queen’. They show some of the competition designs for the Law Courts including designs by J.P. Seddon, Alfred Waterhouse, George Gilbert Scott, H.J. Lockwood, William Burges, and Raphael Brandon. There are a wide range of exterior and interior views and some have figures such as barristers and postboys in them. The Law courts competition was prolonged but was finally won by G.E. Street who was appointed sole architect in 1868.

The last two pages of the album (all the pages are now loose) are perhaps the most intriguing. Labelled ‘Public buildings / Bombay’ they show several photographs of drawings of buildings in Mumbai (Bombay) including Elphinstone High School, General Post Office and the Victoria and Albert Museum (now called the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum). The sheets have the name ‘J B Bunyard & Co. London’, printed on the bottom edge. Bunyard was a publisher and manufacturer of photographic albums, based in High Holborn in 1870. Architects names are printed on the right or above each drawing; they  include F.W. Stevens, J. Trubshaw & W. Panis, G.T. Molecey, Scott McClleland & Co., Colonel  J.A. Fuller, N.D. Mirza, and G.G. Scott.



Images: Top – ‘Public buildings / Bombay’. Photographs of drawings of several buildings in Mumbai (Bombay) including Public Works Offices, University Library and High and Small Cause Courts.

Images: Bottom – Competition design for Law Courts, London, by William Burges. Strand front. Photograph of drawing.