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Celebrating 175 years of Batsford

2018 marks the 175th anniversary of Batsford, publisher of books on art, textiles, design and heritage, and today an imprint of Pavilion Books. To celebrate, we will post 175 images from the Batsford archive on Batsford’s social media feeds throughout the year.

The story of Batsford began when Bradley Thomas Batsford opened the doors to his bookshop on High Holborn, London in 1843. In the years and decades that followed, Bradley Thomas together with his three sons built up a reputation for B. T. Batsford as a specialist bookseller, and later publisher of books on science and the arts.

The premises at 94 High Holborn, where the business moved to in 1893, a little further up the road from the original shop. From ‘A Batsford Century’, Batsford 1943.

Throughout the years, Batsford has published thousands of books and it would be an impossible task for us to give them all the recognition they deserve in our anniversary project. But one series of books that is synonymous with Batsford’s publishing history is the Batsford Heritage Series, which was first launched in the 1930s. These vintage book-collector favourites still capture the imagination of the reader today, with their rural Britain subject matter and vivid book jackets illustrated by Brian Cook, the great grandson of Bradley Thomas Batsford.

Expect to see some of Brian Cook’s colourful creations as we go on our journey to celebrate 175 years of Batsford, alongside other vintage gems, antique treasures and some more recent favourites.

We’ll be posting a few Batsford 175 images a week on Instagram and Twitter, with less frequent roundups to follow on FacebookWe also invite you to post images of your own Batsford favourites, whether they’re from this year, a decade ago, or 100 years ago. Simply tag your picture with #Batsford175 to join in. We’ll pick one post a month to award with a prize, consisting of a set of Brian Cook notecards and notebook.

a batsford century

First up in our showcase is A Batsford Century, edited by Hector Bolitho, which was published to coincide with the company’s centenary in 1943. Make sure to follow us on @BatsfordBooks to stay up to date on our anniversary journey throughout the year!

The Batsford Team


Top image: The village of Kersey in Suffolk by Brian Cook. This appeared on the first book jacket designed by Brian Cook, for The Villages of England by A.K. Wickham, published 1932. As featured in Brian Cook’s Landscapes of Britain – a collection of Brian Cook’s illustrations from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.