Prefabricated corrugated-iron buildings have been manufactured in Britain since the middle of the nineteenth century. Structures ranging from humble cottages to substantial churches, and from halls to hospitals and hotels, have since then been produced, packed and consigned to destinations at home and abroad. Though often regarded as cheap and temporary, these buildings are an expression of a progressive and vital chapter in the history of Britain's construction industry.
First used in 1829, corrugated-iron has become a familiar element in vernacular architecture and construction, bringing its particular character and colour to landscapes both rural and urban. The author draws on a wide range of research to highlight the significance, in Britain and across the world, of these oft-overlooked structures.