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THE GOTHIC REVIVAL AND ECCLESIASTICAL
The Gothic Revival was an architectural movement
which originated in mid-18th century England. In the nineteenth
century, increasingly serious and learned neo-Gothic styles
sought to revive medieval forms, in distinction to the classical
styles which were prevalent at the time. The Gothic Revival
was paralleled and supported by medievalism, which had its
roots in antiquarian concerns with survivals and curiosities.
The movement had significant influence throughout the United
Kingdom as well as in Europe and North America, and perhaps
more Gothic architecture was built in nineteenth and twentieth
centuries than had originally ever been built.
In English literature, the architectural Gothic Revival and
classical Romanticism gave rise to the Gothic novel genre,
beginning with Castle of Otranto (1764) by Horace Walpole,
4th Earl of Orford, and inspired a 19th century genre of medieval
poetry which stems from the pseudo-bardic poetry of "Ossian."
Poems like "Idylls of the King" by Alfred Tennyson,
1st Baron Tennyson recast specifically modern themes in medieval
settings of Arthurian romance. In German literature, the Gothic
Revival also had a grounding in literary fashions.
Survival and revival
Gothic architecture did not die out completely in the 15th
century, but instead lingered on in on-going cathedral-building
projects and the construction of churches in increasingly
isolated rural districts of England, France, Spain and Germany.
In Bologna, in 1646, the Baroque architect Carlo Rainaldi
constructed Gothic vaults (completed 1658) for the Basilica
of San Petronio which had been under construction since 1390;
there, the Gothic context of the structure overrode considerations
of the current architectural mode. Similarly, Gothic architecture
survived in an urban setting during the later 17th century,
as shown in Oxford and Cambridge, where some additions and
repairs to Gothic buildings were apparently considered to
be more in keeping with the style of the original structures
than contemporary Baroque. Sir Christopher Wren's Tom Tower
for Christ Church College, Oxford University, and, later,
Nicholas Hawksmoor's west towers of Westminster Abbey, blur
the boundaries between what is called "Gothic survival"
and the Gothic revival.
In the mid 18th century, with the rise of Romanticism, an
increased interest and awareness of the Middle Ages among
some influential connoisseurs created a more appreciative
approach to selected medieval arts, beginning with church
architecture, the tomb monuments of royal and noble personages,
stained glass, and late Gothic illuminated manuscripts. Other
Gothic arts continued to be disregarded as barbaric and crude,
however: tapestries and metalwork, as examples. Sentimental
and nationalist associations with historical figures were
as strong in this early revival, as purely aesthetic concerns.
A few Britons, and soon some Germans, began to appreciate
the picturesque character of ruins - "picturesque"
becoming a new aesthetic quality - and those mellowing effects
of time that the Japanese call wabi-sabi and which Horace
Walpole independently admired, mildly tongue-in-cheek, as
"the true rust of the Barons' wars." The "Gothick"
details of Walpole's Twickenham villa, "Strawberry Hill,"
(illustrated, left) appealed to the rococo tastes of the time,
and by the 1770s, thoroughly neoclassical architects such
as Robert Adam and James Wyatt were prepared to provide Gothic
details in drawing-rooms, libraries, and chapels, for a romantic
vision of a Gothic abbey, Fonthill Abbey in Wiltshire. Inveraray
Castle, constructed from 1746 with design input from William
Adam, displays early revival of Gothic features in Scotland.
The "Gothick" style was an architectural manifestation
of the artificial "picturesque" seen elsewhere in
the arts: these ornamental temples and summer-houses ignored
the structural logic of true Gothic buildings and were effectively
Palladian buildings with pointed arches. The eccentric landscape
designer Batty Langley even attempted to "improve"
Gothic forms by giving them classical proportions.
A younger generation who took Gothic architecture more seriously
provided the readership for J. Britten's series of Cathedral
Antiquities, which began appearing in 1814. In 1817, Thomas
Rickman wrote an Attempt
to name and define the sequence
of Gothic styles in English ecclesiastical architecture, "a
text-book for the architectural student". Its long title
is descriptive: Attempt to discriminate the styles of English
architecture from the Conquest to the Reformation; preceded
by a sketch of the Grecian and Roman orders, with notices
of nearly five hundred English buildings. The categories he
used were Norman, Early English, Decorated and Perpendicular.
It went through numerous editions and was still being republished
Romanticism and nationalism
French neo-Gothic had its roots in a minor aspect of Anglomanie,
starting in the late 1780s. In 1816, when French scholar Alexandre
de Laborde said "Gothic architecture has beauties of
its own," the idea was novel to most French readers.
Starting in 1828, Alexandre Brogniart, the director of the
Sèvres porcelain manufactory, produced fired enamel
paintings on large panes of plate glass, for Louis-Philippe's
royal chapel at Dreux. It would be hard to find a large, significant
commission in Gothic taste that preceded this one, save for
some Gothic features in a handful of jardins à l'anglaise.
The French Gothic revival was set on sounder intellectual
footings by a pioneer, Arcisse de Caumont, who founded the
Societé des Antiquaires de Normandy at a time when
antiquaire still meant a connoisseur of antiquities, and who
published his great work on Norman architecture in 1830 (Summerson
1948). The following year Victor Hugo's Nôtre Dame de
Paris appeared, in which the great Gothic cathedral of Paris
was at once a setting and a protagonist in a hugely popular
work of fiction. Hugo intended his book to awaken a concern
for the surviving Gothic architecture, however, rather than
to initiate a craze for neo-Gothic in contemporary life. In
the same year that Nôtre-Dame de Paris appeared, the
new French monarchy established a post of Inspector-General
of Ancient Monuments, a post filled in 1833 by Prosper Merimée,
who became the secretary of a new Commission des Monuments
Historiques in 1837. This was the Commission that instructed
Eugène Viollet-le-Duc to report on the condition of
the abbey of Vézelay in 1840. When France's first prominent
neo-Gothic church was built, the Basilica of Sainte-Clothilde,
Paris, begun in September 1846 and consecrated 30 November
1857, the architect chosen was, significantly, of German extraction,
François-Christian Gau (1790-1853); the design wassignificantly
modified by Gau's assistant, Théodore Ballu, in the
later stages, to produce the pair of flêches that crown
the west end.
Meanwhile, in Germany, interest in the Cologne Cathedral,
which had begun construction in 1248 and was still unfinished
at the time of the revival, began to reappear. The 1820s Romantic
movement brought back interest, and work began once more in
1824, significantly marking a German return of Gothic architecture.
Because of Romantic nationalism in the early 19th century,
the Germans, French and English all claimed the original Gothic
architecture of the 12th century as originating in their own
country. The English boldly coined the term "Early English"
for Gothic, a term that implied Gothic architecture was an
English creation. In his 1832 edition of Notre Dame de Paris
Victor Hugo said "Let us inspire in the nation, if it
is possible, love for the national architecture", implying
that Gothic was France's national heritage. In Germany with
the completion of Cologne Cathedral in the 1880s, at the time
the world's tallest building, the cathedral was seen as the
height of Gothic architecture.
In Florence, the Duomo's temporary façade erected for
the Medici-House of Lorraine nuptials in 1588-1589, was dismantled,
and the west end of the cathedral stood bare again until 1864,
when a competition was held to design a new facade suitable
to Arnolfo di Cambio's structure and the fine campanile next
to it. This competition was won by Emilio De Fabris, and work
on his polychrome design and panels of mosaic was begun in
1876 and completed in 1887.
Pugin, Ruskin and the Gothic as a moral force.
In the late 1820s, A.W.N. Pugin, still a teenager, was working
for two highly visible employers, providing Gothic detailing
for luxury goods. For the Royal furniture makers Morel and
Seddon he provided designs for redecorations for the elderly
George IV at Windsor Castle in a Gothic taste suited to the
setting. For the royal silversmiths Rundell Bridge and Co.,
Pugin provided designs for silver from 1828, using the 14th-century
Anglo-French Gothic vocabulary that he would continue to favour
later in designs for the new Palace of Westminster.
In Contrasts (1836), Pugin expressed his admiration not only
for mediæval art but the whole mediæval ethos,
claiming that Gothic architecture was the product of a purer
society. In The True Principles of Pointed or Christian Architecture
(1841), he suggested that modern craftsmen seeking to emulate
the style of medieval workmanship should also reproduce its
methods. Pugin believed Gothic was true Christian architecture,
boldly saying "The pointed arch was produced by the Catholic
faith". Pugin's most famous building is The Houses of
Parliament in London, which he designed in two campaigns,
1836-1837 and again in 1844 and 1852, with the classicist
Charles Barry as his co-architect. Pugin provided the external
decoration and the interiors, while Barry designed the symmetrical
layout of the building, causing Pugin to remark, "All
Grecian, Sir; Tudor details on a classic body".
John Ruskin supplemented Pugin's ideas in his two hugely influential
theoretical works, The Seven Lamps of Architecture (1849)
and The Stones of Venice (1853). Finding his architectural
ideal in Venice, Ruskin proposed that Gothic buildings excelled
above all other architecture because of the "sacrifice"
of the stone-carvers in intricately decorating every stone.
By declaring the Doge's Palace to be "the central building
of the world", Ruskin argued the case for Gothic government
buildings as Pugin had done for churches, though only in theory.
When his ideas were put into practice, Ruskin despised the
spate of public buildings built with references to the Ducal
Palace, including the University Museum in Oxford.
In England, the Church of England was undergoing a revival
of Anglo-Catholic and ritualist ideology in the form of the
Oxford Movement and it became desirable to build large numbers
of new churches to cater for the growing population. This
found ready exponents in the universities, where the ecclesiological
movement was forming. Its proponents believed that Gothic
was the only style appropriate for a parish church, and favoured
a particular era of Gothic architecture - the "decorated".
The Ecclesiologist, the publication of the Cambridge Camden
Society, was so savagely critical of new church buildings
that were below its exacting standards that a style called
the 'archaeological Gothic' emerged, producing some of the
most convincingly mediæval buildings of the Gothic revival.
However, not every architect or client was swept away by this
tide. Although Gothic Revival succeeded in becoming an increasingly
familiar style of architecture, the attempt to associate it
with superiority of the high church, as advocated by Pugin
and the ecclesiological movement, was anathema to those with
ecumenical or nonconformist principles. They looked to adopt
it solely for its aesthetic romantic qualities, to combine
it with other styles or look to northern Europe for Gothic
of a more plain appearance, and to consciously choose a quite
different style; or in some instances all three of these as
at the ecumenical Abney Park Cemetery for whom the architect
William Hosking FSA was engaged.
Viollet-le-Duc and Iron Gothic
If France had not been quite as early on the neo-Gothic scene,
she produced a giant of the revival in Eugène Viollet-le-Duc.
As well as being a powerful and influential theorist, Viollet-le-Duc
was a leading architect whose genius lay in restoration. He
believed in restoring buildings to a state of completion that
they would not have known even when they were first built,
theories he applied to his restorations of the walled city
of Carcassonne and Notre-Dame and Sainte Chapelle in Paris.
In this respect he differed from his English counterpart Ruskin
as he often replaced the work of mediaeval stonemasons. His
rational approach to Gothic was in stark contrast to the revival's
romanticist origins, and considered by some to be a prelude
to the structural honesty demanded by Modernism.
Throughout his career he remained in a quandary as to whether
iron and masonry should be combined in a building. Iron had
in fact been used in Gothic buildings since the earliest days
of the revival. It was only with Ruskin and the archaeological
Gothic's demand for structural truth that iron, whether it
was visible or not, was deemed improper for a Gothic building.
This argument began to collapse in the mid-19th century as
great prefabricated structures such as the glass and iron
Crystal Palace and the glazed courtyard of the Oxford University
Museum were erected, which appeared to embody Gothic principles
through iron. Between 1863 and 1872 Viollet-le-Duc published
his Entretiens sur l'architecture, a set of daring designs
for buildings that combined iron and masonry. Though these
projects were never realised, they influenced several generations
of designers and architects, notably Antonio Gaudi.
By 1872 the Gothic Revival was mature enough in the United
Kingdom that Charles Locke Eastlake, an influential professor
of design, could produce A History of the Gothic Revival,
but the first extended essay on the movement that was written
within the maturing field of art history was Kenneth Clark,
The Gothic Revival. An Essay, which appeared in 1928.
Gothic Revival in the decorative arts
The revived Gothic style was not limited to architecture.
Whimsical Gothick detailing in English furniture is traceable
as far back at Lady Pomfret's house in Arlington Street, London
(1740s), and gothic fretwork in chairbacks and glazing patterns
of bookcases is a familiar feature of Chippendale's Director
(1754, 1762), where, for example the three-part bookcase employs
gothick details with Rococo profusion, on a symmetrical form.
Sir Walter Scott's Abbotsford exemplifies in its furnishings
the "Regency gothic". By the mid-nineteenth century
Gothic traceries and niches could be inexpensively recreated
in wallpaper, and gothic blind arcading could decorate a ceramic
pitcher. The illustrated catalogue for the Great Exhibition
of 1851 is replete with gothic detail, from lacemaking and
carpet designs to heavy machinery.
The 20th century and beyond
At the turn of the 20th Century, technological developments
such as the light bulb, the elevator, and steel framing caused
many to see architecture that used load-bearing masonry as
obsolete. Steel framing supplanted the non-ornamental functions
of rib vaults and flying buttresses. Some architects used
Neo-Gothic tracery as applied ornament to an iron skeleton
underneath, for example in Cass Gilbert's 1907 Woolworth Building
skyscraper in New York and Raymond Hood's 1922 Tribune Tower
in Chicago. But over the first half of the century, Neo-Gothic
became supplanted by Modernism. Some in the Modern Movement
saw the Gothic tradition of architectural form entirely in
terms of the "honest expression" of the technology
of the day, and saw themselves as the rightful heir to this
tradition, with their rectangular frames and exposed iron
In spite of this, the Gothic revival continued to exert its
influence, simply because many of its more massive projects
were still being built well into the second half of the 20th
century, such as Giles Gilbert Scott's Liverpool Cathedral.
In the USA, James Gamble Rodgers' reconstruction of the campus
of Yale University and Charles Donagh Maginnis's early buildings
at Boston College helped establish the prevalence of Collegiate
Gothic architecture on American university campuses. The Gothic
revival skyscraper on the University of Pittsburgh's campus,
the Cathedral of Learning, for example, used very Gothic stylings
both inside and out, while using modern technologies to make
the building taller. Ralph Adams Cram became a leading force
in American Gothic, with his most ambitious project the Cathedral
of Saint John the Divine in New York (claimed to be the largest
Cathedral in the world), as well as Collegiate Gothic buildings
at Princeton University. Cram said "the style hewn out
and perfected by our ancestors [has] become ours by uncontested
inheritance." In addition to Princeton University, Lehigh
University and Boston College, some of the buildings on West
Chester University's campus are also built in the Collegiate
Gothic style. Indeed, Atlanta's historic Oglethorpe University
continues to build in the Collegiate Gothic style to this
day, with its four newest residence halls mimicking the school's
"Silent Faculty" of academic buildings.
Though the number of new Gothic revival buildings declined
sharply after the 1930s, they continue to be built. The cathedral
of Bury St. Edmunds was constructed between the late 1950s
and 2005. In 2002, Demetri Porphyrios was commissioned to
design a neo-Gothic residential college at Princeton University
to be known as Whitman College. Porphyrios has won several
commissions after votes by student bodies, not university
design committees, confirming what modernist architects have
suspected: that neo-gothic architecture may be more popular
among the public, in spite of resistance to gothic as a "style"
among the architectural establishment, and cost restraints.
GOTHIC REVIVAL ARCHITECTS
William Butterfield (7 September 1814 - 23 February 1900),
born in London, architect of the Gothic revival, and associated
with the Oxford Movement (aka the Tractarian Movement).
William Butterfield was born in London in 1814. His parents
were strict non-conformists and ran a chemist shop in the
Strand. He was one of nine children and was educated at a
local school. At the age of 16, he was apprenticed to a builder
in Pimlico, Thomas Arber, who later became bankrupt. He studied
architecture under E. L. Blackburne (1833-1836). From 1838
to 1839, he was an assistant to Harvey Eginton, an architect
in Worcester, where he became articled. He established his
own architectural practice at Lincoln's Inn Fields in 1840.
From 1842, Butterfield he was involved with the Cambridge
Camden Society, later The Ecclesiological Society. He contributed
designs to the Society's journal, The Ecclesiologist. His
involvement influenced his architectural style. He also drew
religious inspiration from the Oxford Movement and as such,
he was very "High Church", despite his non-conformist
upbringing. He was a Gothic revival architect, and as such
he reinterpreted the original Gothic style in Victorian terms.
Many of his buildings were for religious use, although he
also designed for colleges and schools.
In 1884, Butterfield was the recipient of the RIBA Gold Medal.
In 1900, he died in London.
Frank Heyling Furness (November 12, 1839 - June 27, 1912)
was a noted American architect.
Furness was born in Philadelphia. His father, William Furness,
was a prominent Unitarian minister, and his brother, Horace
Furness, was an outstanding Shakespeare scholar; Furness,
however, did not attend a university and apparently did not
travel to Europe. He is remembered for his eclectic, often
idiosyncratically scaled buildings and for his influence on
Louis Sullivan and the acclaimed 20th theater designer William
Harold Lee. Although much of Furness' architectural designs
were uniquely his own creation, Gothic Revival was a prevailing
Furness began his architectural training in the office of
John Fraser, Philadelphia, in the 1850s. He participated in
the Beaux-Arts-inspired atelier of Richard Morris Hunt, New
York, from 1859 to 1861 and again in 1865. During the Civil
War he served as Captain and commander of Company F, 6th Pennsylvania
Volunteer Cavalry ("Rush's Lancers"), receiving
a Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery at the Battle
of Trevilian Station, Virginia, on June 12, 1864-the only
American architect to receive this honor.
Furness considered himself Hunt's apprentice and was influenced
by Hunt's dynamic personality and accomplished, elegant buildings.
He was also influenced by the architectural concepts of Viollet-le-Duc
and John Ruskin. Louis Sullivan worked briefly as a draftsman
in Furness's office, and his use of decorative organic motifs
can be traced, at least in part, to Furness.
During his career, Furness designed over four hundred buildings
including banks, churches, synagogues, railway stations for
the Pennsylvania and Baltimore & Ohio railroads, and numerous
stone mansions in Philadelphia and along Philadelphia's Main
Line, as well as a handful of commissioned houses at the New
Jersey seashore, Washington, D.C., New York state, and Chicago,
Furness died on June 27, 1912, and is buried in Laurel Hill
Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Following decades of neglect, in which many of his most important
buildings were destroyed, there was a revival of interest
in Furness's work in mid-twentieth century. Robert Venturi
in Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture wrote, not
unadmiringly, of the Philadelphia Clearing House: "...
it is an almost insane short story of a castle on a city street."
A fictional desk built by Furness was featured in the John
Bellairs novel The Mansion in the Mist.
COPE AND STEWARDSON
Cope & Stewardson (1885-1912) were an architecture firm
best known for their academic building and campus designs.
They are often regarded as Masters of the Collegiate Gothic
style. Walter Cope and John Stewardson established the firm
in 1885, and were later joined by Emlyn Stewardson in 1887.
The firm went on to became one of the most influential and
prolific Philadelphia firms to span from the nineteenth to
the twentieth centuries. Between 1886 and 1904 they made formative
additions to the campuses of Princeton University and the
University of Pennsylvania.
Although Walter Cope and John Stewardson were major exponents
and purveyors of the Collegiate Gothic architectual style
which swept campuses across the country in the latter part
of the nineteenth century and early twentieth centuries, they
were equally adept at other styles and other building types.
Their earliest important commission was Radnor Hall at Bryn
Mawr College (1886), when, ironically, they replaced Cope's
mentor Addison Hutton as campus architects. Commissions shortly
followed for buildings on the campuses of the University of
Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Washington University
in St. Louis (which were part of buildings designed for the
1904 St. Louis World's Fair). Although these academic buildings
were their hallmark, other projects included residential,
commercial, institution, and industrial buildings.
As important as their contribution to the architecture of
Philadelphia and its environs is the role which Cope &
Stewardson played in architectural education. Great numbers
of young apprentices and would-be architects passed their
days of training in the office, making it a general stopping
place for many architects who would later become famous in
their own right. In 1923 the annual T-Square club exhibition
catalog published a photograph of the Cope & Stewardson
office from about 1899. Included in the number of partners
and younger architects are: Walter Cope; John A. MacMahon;
James O. Betelle (later of Newark, NJ); Emlyn Stewardson;
S. A. Cloud; Wetherill P. Trout; Herbert C. Wise; James P.
Jamieson; Eugene S. Powers; E. Perot Bissell; Louise Stavely;
Charles H. Bauer (later in Newark, NJ); William Woodburn Potter;
John Molitor, Camillo Porecca; and C. Wharton Churchman.
Walter Cope (1860-1902)
In 1860, Walter Cope was born and Christened in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania to Thomas P. Cope and Elizabeth Waln Stokes Cope.
After graduating from the Germantown Friends School, he attended
classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1883.
A year later, he traveled to England and France and in 1885
the firm of Cope and Stewardson was established.
Cope was a founding member of the T-Square Club in 1883 and
later served as vice-president, secretary, treasurer, president,
and as a member of the executive committee. He was also a
Professor of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania
from 1892 to 1902. After teaching at Penn, he became a Professor
at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
Cope was also part of the investigating committee appointed
to study conditions governing the new State Capitol Building
competition in 1901. From 1896 to 1898 he was chairman of
the committee on the restoration of Independence Hall.
John Stewardson (1858-1896)
John Stewardson, son of Thomas and Margaret Haines Stewardson,
was born in 1858. His early education had been in private
Christian schools in the Philadelphia area. He continued his
studies at Adams Academy in Quincy, Massachusetts from 1873
to 1877. After graduation, he entered Harvard College, but
left in 1878. He briefly continued he studies at the University
of Pennsylvania and than joined the Atelier Pascal in Paris,
France. In 1882 he returned to Philadelphia, working first
in T. P. Chandler's office and then in the office of Frank
In 1884 he returned to Europe to travel through Italy and
Belgium. A year later, he joined in personal practice with
Walter Cope. They were joined in 1887 by John's younger brother
Emlyn L. Stewardson, who had recently graduated from the University
of Pennsylvania with a degree in civil engineering.
In 1892, Stewardson joined the University of Pennsylvania
as staff lecturer in their new School of Architecture. He
was also one of the founding members of the T-Square Club,
serving in 1885 and 1891 as president of that organization.
He also served as treasurer of the Philadelphia Chapter of
the AIA in 1886.
He is credited with the taste for English Gothic Revival which
Cope & Stewardson used in their collegiate buildings.
Talbot Hamlin, in his biographical description, for the Dictionary
of American Biography notes that, following Stewardson's trip
to England in 1894, the buildings at the University of Pennsylvania,
which were on the boards at the time, changed from stone structures
to brick with stone trim.
Stewardson's career was abruptly halted in 1896 when he died
following a skating accident on the Schuylkill River, where
he had gone for an afternoon's outing with his friend Wilson
RALPH ADAMS CRAM
Ralph Adams Cram, (December 16, 1863 - September 22, 1942),
was an American architect of collegiate and ecclesiastical
buildings, often in the gothic style. His work is represented
on a number of campuses, including Cornell University, Sweet
Briar College, University of Richmond, Williams College, Rice
University, Wheaton College in Massachusetts, the United States
Military Academy, and St. George's School, but he is most
closely associated with Princeton, where he served as Consulting
Architect from 1907 to 1929.
From 1898 to 1914 he was in partnership with Bertram Grosvenor
Goodhue in the Boston firm then known as Cram, Goodhue and
Born into a Unitarian clerical family, as a young man Cram
considered himself an agnostic. But after a dramatic conversion
during Christmas Eve mass in Rome in 1887, he became and remained
a fervent Anglo-Catholic. As author and lecturer as well as
architect, he propounded an aesthetique holding that the Renaissance
was in part an unfortunate dead-end detour for western culture:
authentic development could come only by picking up where
it had left off, i.e. by taking inspiration from Gothic.
ALEXANDER JACKSON DAVIES
Alexander Jackson Davis (A.J. Davis) (New York City July 24,
1803 - January 14, 1892) was the most successful and influential
American architect of his generation.
He studied at the American Academy of Fine Arts, the New-York
Drawing Association, and from the Antique casts of the National
Academy of Design. Dropping out of school he became a respectable
lithographer and from 1826 worked as a draftsman for Josiah
R. Brady, a New York architect who was an early exponent of
the Gothic revival: Brady's Gothic 1824 St Luke's Episcopal
Church is the oldest surviving structure in Rochester, New
Davis made a first independent career as an architectural
illustrator in the 1820s, but his friends, especially painter
John Trumbull, convinced him to turn his hand to designing
buildings. Picturesque siting, massing and contrasts remained
essential to his work, even when he was building in a Classical
style. In 1826, Davis went to work in the office of Ithiel
Town and Martin E. Thompson, the most prestigious architectural
firm of the Greek Revival; in the office Davis had access
to the best architectural library in the country, in a congenial
atmosphere where he gained a thorough grounding.
From 1829, in partnership with Town, Davis formed the first
recognizably modern architectural office and designed many
late classical buildings, including some of public prominence.
In Washington, Davis designed the Executive Department offices
and the first Patent Office building (1834), and the Custom
House of New York City (1833 - 42, illustration,above right).
A series of consultations over state capitols followed, none
apparently built entirely as Davis planned: the Indiana State
House, Indianapolis (1831 - 35) elicited calls for his advice
and designs in building other state capitols in the 1830s:
North Carolina's (1833 - 40, with local architect David Paton),
the Illinois State Capitol, often attributed entirely to the
Springfield, Illinois architect John Rague, who was at work
on the Iowa State Capitol at the same time, and in 1839 the
committee responsible for commissioning a design for the Ohio
Statehouse asked his advice. The resulting capitol in Columbus,
Ohio, often attributed to the Hudson River Valley painter
Henry Cole consulting with Davis and Ithiel Town, has a stark
Greek Doric colonnade across a recessed entrance, flanked
by recessed window bays that continue the rhythm of the central
portico, all under a unique drum capped by a low saucer dome.
With Town's partner James Dakin he designed the noble colossal
Corinthian order of "Colonnade Row" on New York's
Lafayette Street, the very first apartments designed for the
prosperous American middle class (1833, half still standing).
He continued in partnership with Town until shortly before
Town's death in 1844.
In 1831 he was elected an associate member of the National
Academy. Davis was one of three architects who established
the American Institute of Architects in May, 1837; in his
retirement years he resigned, because he believed the A.I.A.
had strayed from its original purpose.
From 1835, Davis began work on his own on Rural Residences,
his only publication, the first pattern book for picturesque
residences in a domesticated Gothic Revival taste, which could
be executed in carpentry, and also containing the first of
the "Tuscan" villas, flat-roofed with wide overhanging
eaves and picturesque corner towers. Unfortunately the Panic
of 1837 cut short his plans for a series of like volumes,
but Davis soon formed a partnership with Andrew Jackson Downing,
illustrating his widely-read books.
house. Many of his villas were built in the scenic Hudson
River Valley- where his style informed the vernacular Hudson
River Bracketed that gave Edith Wharton a title for a novel
- but Davis sent plans and specifications to clients as far
afield as Indiana, with the understanding that construction
would be undertaken by local builders. This practice put Davis's
personal stamp on the practical builders' vernacular throughout
the Eastern United States as far south as North Carolina,
where he designed Blandwood, the 1846 home of Governor John
Motley Morehead that stands as America's earliest Tuscan Villa.
Innovative interior features, including his designs for mantels
and sideboards, were also widely imitated in the trade. Other
influential interior details include pocket shutters at windows,
bay windows, and mirrored surfaces to reflect natural light.
In the late 1850s, Davis worked with the entrepreneur Llewellyn
S. Haskell to create Llewellyn Park in West Orange, New Jersey,
a garden suburb that was one of the first planned residential
communities in the United States.
Davis designed buildings for the University of Michigan in
1838, and in the 1840s he designed buildings for the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
At Virginia Military Institute, Jackson's designs from 1848
through the 1850s created the first entirely Gothic revival
college campus, built in brick and stuccoed to imitate stone.
Davis's plan for the Barracks quadrangle was interrupted by
the Civil War; it was sympathetically completed to designs
of Bertram Goodhue in the early 20th century.
With the onset of Civil War in 1861, patronage in house building
dried up, and after the war, new styles unsympathetic to Davis's
nature, were in vogue. He built little in the last thirty
years of his life, but spent his easy retirement in West Orange
drawing plans for grandiose schemes that he never expected
to build, and selecting and ordering his designs and papers,
by which he determined to be remembered. They are shared by
four New York institutions: the Avery Architectural and Fine
Arts Library at Columbia University, the New York Public Library,
the New-York Historical Society, and the Metropolitan Museum
of Art. A further collection of Davis material has been assembled
at the Henry Francis DuPont Winterthur Museum library.
Contemporary interest in Davis was spurred by a retrospective
exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in 1992.
ANDREW JACKSON DOWNING
Andrew Jackson Downing (born October 30, 1815 - died July
28, 1852) was an American landscape designer and writer, a
prominent advocate of the Gothic Revival style in the United
States, and editor and publisher of The Horticulturist magazine
Downing was born in Newburgh, New York, United States, to
Samuel Downing (a nurseryman) and Becky Crandall. After finishing
his schooling at 16, he worked in his father's nursery and
gradually became interested in landscape gardening and architecture.
He began writing on botany and landscape gardening and then
undertook to educate himself thoroughly in these subjects.
In 1841 his first book, A Treatise on the Theory and Practice
of Landscape Gardening, Adapted to North America, was published
to a great success.
In 1842 Downing collaborated with Alexander Jackson Davis
on the book Cottage Residences, a highly influential pattern
book of houses that mixed romantic architecture with the English
countryside's pastoral picturesque, derived in large part
from the writings of John Claudius Loudon. The book was widely
read and consulted, doing much to spread the so-called "Carpenter
Gothic" and Hudson River Bracketed architectural styles
among Victorian builders, both commercial and private.
With his brother, Charles, he wrote Fruits and Fruit Trees
of America (1845), long a standard work. This was followed
by The Architecture of Country Houses (1850), another influential
In 1850, as Downing traveled in Europe, an exhibition of continental
landscape watercolors by Englishman Calvert Vaux captured
his attention. He encouraged Vaux to emigrate to the United
States, and opened what was to be a thriving practice in Newburgh.
Frederick Clarke Withers (1828-1901) joined the firm during
its second year. Downing and Vaux worked together for two
years, and during those two years, he made Vaux a partner.
Together they designed many significant projects, including
the grounds in the White House and the Smithsonian Institute
in Washington D.C. Vaux's work on the Smithsonian inspired
an article he wrote for The Horticulturist, in which he stated
his view that it was time the government should recognize
and support the arts.
Shortly afterwards in 1852, Downing died during a fire in
a steamboat accident. A boiler explosion quickly spread flames
across the wooden vessel and Downing was consumed in a bath
of fiery death. A few ashen remains and his clothes were rescued
days later. His remains were interred in Cedar Hill Cemetery,
in his birthplace of Newburgh, New York. Withers and Vaux
took over Downing's architectural practice.
Downing influenced not only Vaux but also landscape architect
Frederick Law Olmsted; the two men met at Downing's home in
Newburgh. In 1858, their joint design--the Greensward Plan--was
selected in a design competition for the new Central Park
in New York City. In 1860, Olmsted and Vaux proposed that
a bust of Downing be placed in the new park as an "appropriate
acknowledgment of the public indebtedness to the labors of
the late A. J. Downing, of which we feel the Park itself is
one of the direct results." The monument was never built
in the park, but a memorial honoring Downing stands near the
Smithsonian main building in Washington, D.C. Botanist John
Torrey named the genus Downingia after Downing.
Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue (April 28, 1869-April 23, 1924)
was a renowned American architect celebrated for his work
in neo-gothic design. He also designed notable typefaces,
including Cheltenham and Merrymount for the Merrymount Press.
Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue was born in Pomfret, Connecticut
to Charles Wells Goodhue and his second wife, Helen (Eldredge)
Grosvenor Goodhue. Due to financial constraints he was educated
at home by his mother until, at age 11 years, he was sent
to Russell's Collegiate and Military Institute. Finances prevented
him from attending university, but he received an honorary
degree from Trinity College in 1911. In lieu of formal training
he moved to New York in 1884 to apprentice at the architectural
firm of Renwick, Aspinwall and Russell (one of its principals,
James Renwick, Jr., was the architect of Grace Church and
St. Patrick's Cathedral, both in New York City). Goodhue's
apprenticeship ended in 1891 when he won a design competition
for St. Matthew's in Dallas.
After completing his apprenticeship, Goodhue moved to Boston,
where he was befriended by a group of young, artistic intellectuals
involved in the founding of the Society of Arts and Crafts,
Boston in 1897. This circle included Charles Eliot Norton
of Harvard University and Ernest Fenellosa of the Boston Museum
of Fine Arts. It was also through this group that Goodhue
met Ralph Adams Cram, who would be his business partner for
almost 25 years. Cram and Goodhue were members of several
societies, including the "Pewter Mugs" and the "Visionists".
In 1892-1893 they published a quarterly art magazine called
The Knight Errant. The multitalented Goodhue was also a student
of book design and type design. In 1896, he created the Cheltenham
typeface for use by a New York printer, Cheltenham Press.
This typeface came to be used as the headline type for The
New York Times.
In 1891, Cram and Goodhue formed the architectural firm of
Cram, Wentworth, and Goodhue, renamed Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson
in 1898. The firm was a leader in neo-gothic architecture,
with significant commissions from ecclesiastical, academic,
and institutional clients. When Goodhue left to begin his
own practice in 1914, Cram had already earned his dream Gothic
commission at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and Goodhue
had successfully experimented with Byzantine style at the
conspicuously-sited St. Bartholomew's Church on Park Avenue
in New York City (built on the new platform just above the
Grand Central Terminal railyards). Goodhue had an eye for
ornament and was not above introducing contemporary images
into the carved reredos. In 1915, Goodhue re-interpreted a
masterful Spanish Gothic style for the signature buildings
on the toylike avenue, El Prado, in Balboa Park for the 1915
Panama-California Exposition, for which he was the lead designer.
Eventually, Goodhue's architectural creations became freed
of detail and more Romanesque, finally arriving at modern
interpretations of gothic design. His work evidences his personal
style, and his innovations paved the way for others to transition
to modern architectural idioms. He is sometimes credited with
the transition to art deco, as in his design for the Nebraska
State Capitol building, by dint of which he may be classified
as an American Modernist.
Over the course of his career, Goodhue relied on frequent
collaborations with several significant artists and artisans.
These included sculptor Lee Lawrie and mosaicist and muralist
Hildreth Meiere. Their work is central to the aesthetic power
and social messages implicit in Goodhue's best work, creating
evocative examples of American architecture parlante that
suggest a future that never was. Lawrie worked with Cram and
Goodhue for the Chapel at West Point, Church of St. Vincent
Ferrer, St. Bartholomew's, and the reredos at Church of St.
Thomas, and then after Goodhue's independence in 1914, on
the Nebraska State Capitol, the Los Angeles Public Library,
the Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago, the National
Academy of Sciences Building in Washington, D.C., and Christ
Church Cranbrook, in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, the latter
after Goodhue's death. Lawrie, Meiere, and "thematic
consultant" Hartley Burr Alexander reassembled, in a
way, for Rockefeller Center under architect Raymond Hood,
who had also worked in Goodhue's office.
Goodhue was neurasthenic (plagued with fatigue and worry)
and prone to extreme mood swings. His biographer Richard Oliver
reports that he worried about money his whole life, even after
achieving success. Goodhue died in New York City and, at his
request, was buried at the building he considered his finest,
the Church of the Intercession. There, Lawrie created for
him a Gothic styled tomb, featuring Goodhue recumbent, crowned
by a halo of carvings of some of his buildings. After Goodhue's
death, many of his designs and projects were completed by
a successor firm, Mayers Murray & Phillip. A significant
archive of Goodhue's correspondence, architectural drawings,
and professional papers is held by the Avery Architectural
and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University.
Francis Goodwin (23 May 1784 - 30 August 1835) was an English
architect, best known for his many provincial churches in
the Gothic revival style, civic buildings such as the first
Manchester Town Hall (1819-1834) and Macclesfield town hall
(1823), plus country houses such as Lissadell House, County
Goodwin was born at King's Lynn, Norfolk, and became a pupil
of J. Coxedge of Kensington. He exhibited in the Royal Academy
in 1806 an Internal View of St. Nicholas' Chapel, Lynn.
He was also remembered for his allegedly aggressive business
methods, particularly in respect of commissions for the so-called
"Waterloo churches", constructed after British victory
in the Battle of Waterloo, which effectively ended the Napoleonic
Wars in 1815; Parliament voted one million pounds to the Church
of England to show their gratitude for victory.
CHARLES DONAGH MAGINNIS
Considered the father of American Gothic architecture, Charles
Donagh Maginnis was born in Londonderry, Northern Ireland
on January 7, 1867. He emigrated to Boston at age 18 and got
his first job apprenticing for architect Edmund Wheelwright
as a draftsman. In 1900 he became a member of the Boston Society
of Architects, serving as its president from 1924 to 1926.
Though he worked in a number of styles, Maginnis became a
distinguished proponent of Gothic architecture and an articulate
writer and orator on the role of architecture in society.
His pioneering work both influenced and was influenced by
fellow Gothicist Ralph Adams Cram.
With Timothy Walsh, he formed what would become one of the
leading architectural firms in the first half of the twentieth
century. In 1909, Maginnis & Walsh won the competition
to build the new campus of Boston College in Chestnut Hill,
Massachusetts. The collegiate Gothic design was deemed "the
most beautiful campus in America" by The American Architect
magazine and established the firm's reputation in collegiate
and ecclesiastical architecture. Maginnis & Walsh went
on to design buildings at over twenty-five colleges and universities
around the country, including the main buildings at Emmanuel
College, the chapel at Trinity College and the law school
at the University of Notre Dame. Moreover, the design of Gasson
Tower at Boston College is considered a predecessor of the
dominant towers of collegiate Gothic campuses such as Harkness
Tower at Yale University and the chapel tower at Duke University
by Horace Trumbauer of 1930-35.
In the Boston area, he also built the church of St. Catherine
of Genoa in Somerville, Massachusetts and St. Aidan's Church
in Brookline, Massachusetts where he was a parishioner along
with the Kennedy family and other prominent Irish-Americans.
St. Aidan's, the location of the christening of John F. Kennedy,
has since been closed and converted into housing. Among his
other designs are the chancel at Trinity Church in Boston's
Copley Square and the high altar at St. Patrick's Cathedral
in New York City.
From 1937 to 1939 Maginnis held the office of President of
the American Institute of Architects. In 1948 the Institute
presented him with the Gold Medal for "outstanding service
to American architecture," the highest award in the profession.
He received honorary degrees from, among others, Boston College,
Harvard, Holy Cross, Notre Dame and Tufts. He died in Brookline,
Massachusetts in 1955.
The Charles D. Maginnis archives and the Maginnis & Walsh
archives are housed at the Burns Library of Rare Books and
Special Collections at Boston College. The Maginnis &
Walsh collection at the Boston Public Library contains work
of the architectural firm from 1913 to 1952.
Benjamin Woolfield Mountfort (13 March 1825-15 March 1898)
was an English emigrant to New Zealand, where he became one
of that country's most prominent 19th century architects.
He was instrumental in shaping the city of Christchurch. He
was appointed the first official Provincial Architect of the
developing province of Canterbury. Heavily influenced by the
Anglo-Catholic philosophy behind early Victorian architecture
he is credited with importing the Gothic revival style to
New Zealand. His Gothic designs constructed in both wood and
stone in the province are considered unique to New Zealand.
Today he is considered the founding architect of the province
Mountfort was born in Birmingham, an industrial city in the
Midlands of England, the son of perfume manufacturer Thomas
Mountfort and his wife Susanna (née Woolfield). As
a young adult he moved to London, where he studied architecture
under the Anglo-Catholic architect Richard Cromwell Carpenter,
whose medieval Gothic style of design was to have a lifelong
influence on Mountfort. After completion of his training,
Mountfort practised architecture in London. Following his
1849 marriage to Emily Elizabeth Newman, the couple emigrated
in 1850 as some of the first settlers to the province of Canterbury,
arriving on one of the famed "first four ships",
the Charlotte-Jane. These first settlers, known as "The
Pilgrims", have their names engraved on marble plaques
in Cathedral Square, Christchurch, in front of the cathedral
that Mountfort helped to design.
In 1850 New Zealand was a new country. The British government
actively encouraged emigration to the colonies, and Mountfort
arrived in Canterbury full of ambition and drive to begin
designing in the new colony. With him and his wife from England
came also his brother Charles, his sister Susannah, and Charles'
wife, all five of them aged between 21 and 26. Life in New
Zealand at first was hard and disappointing: Mountfort found
that there was little call for architects. Christchurch was
little more than a large village of basic wooden huts on a
windswept plain. The new emigré's architectural life
in New Zealand had a disastrous beginning. His first commission
in New Zealand was the Church of the Most Holy Trinity in
Lyttelton, which collapsed in high winds shortly after completion.
This calamity was attributed to the use of unseasoned wood
and his lack of knowledge of the local building materials.
Whatever the cause, the result was a crushing blow to his
reputation. A local newspaper called him:
a half-educated architect whose buildings
given anything but satisfaction, he being evidently deficient
in all knowledge of the principles of construction, though
a clever draughtsman and a man of some taste.
Consequently, Mountfort left architecture and ran a bookshop
while giving drawing lessons until 1857. It was during this
period in the architectural wilderness that he developed a
lifelong interest in photography and supplemented his meagre
income by taking photographic portraits of his neighbours.
Mountfort was a Freemason and an early member of the Lodge
of Unanimity, and the only building he designed during this
period of his life, in 1851, was its lodge. This was the first
Masonic lodge in the South Island.
Return to architecture
In 1857 he returned to architecture and entered into a business
partnership with his sister Susannah's new husband, Isaac
Luck. Christchurch, which was given city status in July 1856
and was the administrative capital of the province of Canterbury,
was heavily developed during this period. The rapid development
in the new city created a large scope for Mountfort and his
new partner. In 1858 they received the commission to design
the new Canterbury Provincial Council Buildings, a stone building
today regarded as one of Mountfort's most important works.
The building's planning stage began in 1861, when the Provincial
Council had grown to include 35 members and consequently the
former wooden chamber was felt to be too small.
The new grandiose plans for the stone building included not
only the necessary offices for the execution of council business
but also dining rooms and recreational facilities. From the
exterior, the building appears austere, as was much of Mountfort's
early work: a central tower dominates two flanking gabled
wings in the Gothic revival style. However the interior was
a riot of colour and medievalism as perceived through Victorian
eyes; it included stained glass windows, and a large double-faced
clock, thought to be one of only five around the globe. The
chamber is decorated in a rich, almost Ruskinesque style,
with carvings by a local sculptor William Brassington. Included
in the carvings are representations of indigenous New Zealand
This high-profile commission may seem surprising, bearing
in mind Mountfort's history of design in New Zealand. However,
the smaller buildings he and Luck had erected the previous
year had impressed the city administrators and there was a
dearth of available architects. The resultant acclaim of the
building's architecture marked the beginning of Mountfort's
Mountfort's Gothic architecture
The Gothic revival style of architecture began to gain in
popularity from the late 18th century as a romantic backlash
against the more classical and formal styles which had predominated
the previous two centuries. At the age of 16, Mountfort acquired
two books written by the Gothic revivalist Augustus Pugin:
The True Principles of Christian or Pointed Architecture and
An Apology for the Revival of Christian Architecture. From
this time onwards, Mountfort was a disciple of Pugin's strong
Anglo-Catholic architectural values. These values were further
cemented in 1846, at the age of 21, Mountfort became a pupil
of Richard Cromwell Carpenter.
Carpenter was, like Mountfort, a devout Anglo-Catholic and
subscribed to the theories of Tractarianism, and thus to the
Oxford and Cambridge Movements. These conservative theological
movements taught that true spirituality and concentration
in prayer was influenced by the physical surroundings, and
that the medieval church had been more spiritual than that
of the early 19th century. As a result of this theology, medieval
architecture was declared to be of greater spiritual value
than the classical Palladian-based styles of the 18th and
early 19th centuries. Augustus Pugin even pronounced that
medieval architecture was the only form suitable for a church
and that Palladianism was almost heretical. Such theory was
not confined to architects, and continued well into the 20th
century. This school of thought led intellectuals such as
the English poet Ezra Pound, author of The Cantos, to prefer
Romanesque buildings to Baroque on the grounds that the latter
represented an abandonment of the world of intellectual clarity
and light for a set of values that centred around hell and
the increasing dominance of society by bankers, a breed to
Whatever the philosophy behind the Gothic revival, in London
the 19th-century rulers of the British Empire felt that Gothic
architecture was suitable for the colonies because of its
then strong Anglican connotations, representing hard work,
morality and conversion of native peoples. The irony of this
was that many of Mountfort's churches were for Roman Catholics,
as so many of the new immigrants were of Irish origin. To
the many middle-class English empire builders, Gothic represented
a nostalgic reminder of the parishes left behind in Britain
with their true medieval architecture; these were the patrons
who chose the architects and designs.
Mountfort's early Gothic work in New Zealand was of the more
severe Anglican variety as practised by Carpenter, with tall
lancet windows and many gables. As his career progressed,
and he had proved himself to the employing authorities, his
designs developed into a more European form, with towers,
turrets and high ornamental roof lines in the French manner,
a style which was in no way peculiar to Mountfort but was
endorsed by such architects as Alfred Waterhouse in Britain.
On the other hand, the French chateaux style was always more
popular in the colonies than in Britain, where such monumental
buildings as the Natural History Museum and St Pancras Station
were subject to popular criticism. In the United States, however,
it was adopted with huge enthusiasm, with families such as
the Vanderbilts lining 5th Avenue in New York City with many
Gothic chateaux and palaces.
Mountfort's skill as an architect lay in adapting these flamboyant
styles to suit the limited materials available in New Zealand.
While wooden churches are plentiful in certain parts of the
USA, they are generally of a simple classic design, whereas
Mountfort's wooden churches in New Zealand are as much ornate
Gothic fantasies as those he designed in stone. Perhaps the
flamboyance of his work can be explained in a statement of
principles he and his partner Luck wrote when bidding to win
the commission to design Government House, Auckland in 1857:
...Accordingly, we see in Nature's buildings, the mountains
and hills; not regularity of outline but diversity; buttresses,
walls and turrets as unlike each other as possible, yet producing
a graduation of effect not to be approached by any work, moulded
to regularity of outline. The simple study of an oak or an
elm tree would suffice to confute the regularity theory.
This seems to be the principle of design that Mountfort practised
throughout his life.
enlarged several times until it was renamed a cathedral. It
was eventually replaced in 1901 by the Cathedral of the Blessed
Sacrament, a more permanent stone building by the architect
Frank Petre. Mountfort often worked in wood, a material he
in no way regarded as an impediment to the Gothic style. It
is in this way that many of his buildings have given New Zealand
its unique Gothic style. Between 1869 and 1882 he designed
the Canterbury Museum and subsequently Canterbury College
and its clock tower in 1877.
Construction on the buildings for the Canterbury College,
which later became the University of Canterbury, began with
the construction of the clock tower block. This edifice, which
opened in 1877, was the first purpose built university in
New Zealand. The College was completed in two subsequent stages
in Mountfort's usual Gothic style. The completed complex was
very much, as intended, an architectural rival to the expansions
of the Oxbridge Colleges simultaneously being built in England.
Built around stone courtyards, the high Victorian collegiate
design is apparent. Gothic motifs are evident in every facade,
including the diagonally rising great staircase window inspired
by the medieval chateau at Blois. The completed composition
of Canterbury College is very reminiscent of Pugin's convent
of "Our Lady of Mercy" in Mountfort's home town
of Birmingham, completed circa 1843, a design that Mountfort
would probably have been familiar with as a boy. It is through
the College buildings, and Mountfort's other works, that Canterbury
is unique in New Zealand for its many civic and public buildings
in the Gothic style.
George Gilbert Scott, the architect of Christchurch Cathedral,
and an empathiser of Mountfort's teacher and mentor Carpenter,
wished Mountfort to be the clerk of works and supervising
architect of the new cathedral project. This proposal was
originally vetoed by the Cathedral Commission. Nevertheless,
following delays in the building work attributed to financial
problems, the position of supervising architect was finally
given to Mountfort in 1873. Mountfort was responsible for
several alterations to the absentee main architect's design,
most obviously the tower and the west porch. He also designed
the font, the Harper Memorial, and the north porch. The cathedral
was however not finally completed until 1904, six years after
Mountfort's death. The cathedral is very much in the European
decorated Gothic style with an attached campanile tower beside
the body of the cathedral, rather than towering directly above
it in the more English tradition. In 1872 Mountfort became
a founding member of the Canterbury Association of Architects,
a body which was responsible for all subsequent development
of the new city. Mountfort was now at the pinnacle of his
By the 1880s, Mountfort was hailed as New Zealand's premier
ecclesiastical architect, with over forty churches to his
credit. In 1888, he designed St John's Cathedral in Napier.
This brick construction was demolished in the disastrous 1931
earthquake that destroyed much of Napier. Between 1886 and
1897, Mountfort worked on one of his largest churches, the
wooden St Mary's, the cathedral church of Auckland. Covering
9000 square feet (800 m²), St Mary's is the largest wooden
Gothic church in the world. The custodians of this white-painted
many-gabled church today claim it to be one of the most beautiful
buildings in New Zealand. In 1982 the entire church, complete
with its stained glass windows, was transported to a new site,
across the road from its former position where a new cathedral
was to be built. St Mary's church was consecrated in 1898,
one of Mountfort's final grand works.
Outside of his career, Mountfort was keenly interested in
the arts and a talented artist, although his artistic work
appears to have been confined to art pertaining to architecture,
his first love. He was a devout member of the Church of England
and a member of many Anglican church councils and diocese
committees. Mountfort's later years were blighted by professional
jealousies, as his position as the province's first architect
was assailed by new and younger men influenced by new orders
of architecture. Benjamin Mountfort died in 1898, aged 73.
He was buried in the cemetery of Holy Trinity, Avonside, the
church which he had extended in 1876.
Evaluation of Mountfort's work
available in Europe were conspicuous by their absence. When
available they were often of inferior quality, as Mountfort
discovered with the unseasoned wood in his first disastrous
project. His first buildings in his new homeland were often
too tall, or steeply pitched, failing to take account of the
non-European climate and landscape. However, he soon adapted,
and developed his skill in working with crude and unrefined
Christchurch and its surrounding areas are unique in New Zealand
for their particular style of Gothic architecture, something
that can be directly attributed to Benjamin Mountfort. While
Mountfort did accept small private domestic commissions, he
is today better known for the designs executed for public,
civic bodies, and the church. His monumental Gothic stone
civic buildings in Christchurch, which would not be out of
place in Oxford or Cambridge, are an amazing achievement over
adversity of materials. His hallmark wooden Gothic churches
today epitomise the 19th-century province of Canterbury. They
are accepted, and indeed appear as part of the landscape.
In this way, Benjamin Mountfort's achievement was to make
his favoured style of architecture synonymous with the identity
of the province of Canterbury. Following his death, one of
his seven children, Cyril, continued to work in his father's
Gothic style well into the 20th century. Cyril Mountfort was
responsible for the church of "St. Luke's in the City"
which was an unexecuted design of his father's. In this way,
and through the daily public use of his many buildings, Mountfort's
legacy lives on. He ranks today with his contemporary R A
Lawson as one of New Zealand's greatest 19th century architects.
GEORGE FELLOWES PRYNNE
George Halford Fellowes Prynne was born on April 2, 1853 at
Wyndham Square, Plymouth, Devon. He died on May 7, 1927.
He was the designer of many parish churches in England, mostly
in the southeast and southwest, and almost always on a grand
scale of high-church Gothic revival. He also did much restoration
work, and in all is said to have been involved in over 200
Prynne was the second son of the Reverend George Rundle Prynne
and Emily Fellowes. He studied at St. Mary's College, Harlow.
He went on to Chardstock College, and thence to Eastman's
Royal Naval academy at Southsea. He was student at the Royal
Academy in 1876 and 77-78.
He was particularly noted for his screen work. Examples of
his screens can be found at the following churches.
AUGUSTUS WELBY NORTHMORE PUGIN
Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (March 1, 1812-September 14,
1852) was an English-born architect, designer and theorist
of design now best remembered for his work on churches and
on the Houses of Parliament. He was the son of a French draughtsman,
Augustus Charles Pugin, who trained him to draw Gothic buildings
for use as illustrations in his books. This was the key to
his work as a leader of the Gothic revival movement in architecture.
Pugin became an advocate of Gothic architecture, which he
believed to be the true Christian form of architecture. He
attacked the influence of 'pagan' Classical architecture in
his book "Contrasts", in which he set up medieval
society as an ideal, in contrast to modern secular culture.
A fine example of his work in this regard is the church of
St Giles in Cheadle, Staffordshire.
After the burning of the Palace of Westminster in 1834, Pugin
was employed by Sir Charles Barry to work on the new Parliament
buildings in London. He converted to Roman Catholicism, but
also designed and refurbished Anglican as well as Roman Catholic
churches throughout the country and abroad. His views, as
expressed in works such as True Principles of Christian Architecture
(1841) were highly influential.
Other works include the interior of St Chad's Cathedral and
Oscott College, both in Birmingham.
Pugin produced a "mediæval court" at the Great
Exhibition of 1851, but died suddenly after a mental collapse.
Slightly less grand than the above - are the railway cottages
at Windermere Station in Cumbria. Believed to date from 1849,
and probably some of the first houses to be built in Windermere,
the terrace of cottages was built for railway executives.
One of the fireplaces is a copy of one of his in the Palace
of Westminster. He was the father of E.W. Pugin and Peter
Paul Pugin, who continued their father's architectural firm
as Pugin and Pugin, including several buildings in Australasia.
Augustus Northmore Welby Pugin was the son of an émigré
French architect who came to England to escape the Revolution.
His father, Augustin Pugin (originally de Pugin), a French
Protestant of good family, worked in the fashionable "gothick"
taste of the late eighteenth century. In England he got work
as designer and illustrator of books on Gothic architecture
and decoration compiled by the architect John Nash. He also
kept a number of pupils whom he trained, together with his
son, in architectural drawing. Every summer this little school
went on trips to sketch Gothic remains here and in France.
In this way the younger Pugin accumulated a wealth of detailed
knowledge about the Gothic style from an early age. At his
father's death in 1832 Pugin was able to carry on the illustrated
series that his father had begun.
The young Pugin received his elementary education as a day-boy
at Christ's Hospital, better known as the Blue-coat School.
Pugin had shown a precocious talent for design and at the
age of 15 went to work for the London furniture-makers Morel
& Seddon, designing furniture in "gothick" style
for Windsor Castle. At the same time he was involved, as a
freelance designer, in making drawings of furniture and metalwork
for other London firms. At 17 Pugin set up his own small business,
supplying furniture and ornamental carved work for houses
throughout the United Kingdom. After an initial success the
business failed in 1831. During this period Pugin was also
designing for Covent Garden Theatre, notably the staging for
Sir Walter Scott's "Kenilworth" adapted as a ballet.
In 1833 he was working with Sir Charles Barry on designs for
King Edward's School, Birmingham. This collaboration was followed
in 1835-6 by detailed designs for Barry's entries in the competition
to build the new Houses of Parliament. 1835 was a major turning
point in Pugin's career. His book "Gothic Furniture in
the Style of the fifteenth Century" was published, showing
a new understanding of medieval techniques of construction.
In the same year he built his first house, St. Marie's Grange,
Salisbury, and most importantly, converted to Catholicism.
While still a delicate youth he became intensely fond of the
sea, had a smack of his own, did some small trading in carrying
woodcarvings from Flanders, and was shipwrecked off Leith
in 1830. This love of the sea was strong in him to the end
of his life.
Marriage and conversion
In 1831 he married Ann Garnett, and shortly afterwards was
imprisoned for non-payment of rent. He then opened a shop
in Hart Street, Covent Garden, for the supply of architects'
drawings and architectural accessories. The venture, however,
did not succeed. His wife died in childbirth 27 May 1832.
In 1833 he married Louisa Burton who bore him six children,
among whom were the two who successively carried on his business,
the eldest, Edward (1834-1875), (E.W. Pugin) and the youngest,
Peter Paul (1851-1904). Both received from the pope the decoration
of the Order of St. Sylvester. After his second marriage he
took up his residence at Salisbury, and in 1834 embraced the
Catholic faith, his wife following his example in 1839. Of
his conversion he tells us that the study of ancient ecclesiastical
architecture was the primary cause of the change in his sentiments,
by inducing him to pursue a course of study, terminating in
complete conversion. He never swerved in his fidelity to the
Church, notwithstanding the bitter trials he experienced.
In 1835 he bought a small plot of ground at Laverstock, near
Salisbury, on which he built for himself a quaint fifteenth-century-style
house, St. Marie's Grange.
Pugin the man
Pugin was somewhat below the middle stature and rather thick-set,
with long dark hair and grey eyes that seemed to take in everything.
He usually wore a sailor's jacket, loose pilot trousers, a
low-crowned hat, a black silk handkerchief thrown negligently
round his neck, and shapeless footwear carelessly tied. His
form and attire suggested the seaman rather than a man of
art. A voluble talker both at work and at table, he possessed
a fund of anecdote and a great power of dramatic presentation;
and when in good health overflowed with energy and good humour.
And if sometimes his language was vigorous or personal, he
was generous and never vindictive. Inured to industry from
childhood, as a man he would work from sunrise to midnight
with extraordinary ease and rapidity. His short thick hands,
his stumpy tapering fingers, with the aid of a short pencil,
a paid of compasses and a carpenter's rule, performed their
delicate work even under such unfavourable circumstances as
sailing his lugger off the South Coast. Most of his architectural
work he entrusted to an enthusiastic builder whom he had known
as a workingman at Beverley. He trained the workmen he employed,
and was in turn idolized by them. In his home at Ramsgate
he lived with the regularity and abstemiousness of a monk,
and the intellectual eagerness of a student. His benevolence
made him everywhere the father of the poor.
Architecture did not take up his entire attention at The Grange;
from the tower of the house Pugin would watch for ships aground
off the Goodwin Sands. He would put out in his wrecker, The
Caroline, to rescue the ships and cargo. The salvage money
he gained from these rescues brought him a tidy supplement
to his income from architecture.
By 1836 Pugin had formulated his ideas on architecture, and
in that year he published "Contrasts", which was
virtually his manifesto as a Catholic, Gothic, architect.
In it he set out to prove that "the degraded state of
the arts in this country is purely owing to the absence of
Catholic feeling", and that the Gothic style of architecture
was the only one appropriate for a Christian country to adopt.
Classical architecture, he argued, was irredeemably pagan
and unsuited to express christian social values. "Contrasts"
brought Pugin's ideas to a wide audience, and as the new champion
of Catholic architecture he was rapidly taken up by Catholic
patrons including Charles Scarisbrick. In 1836 he designed
the roofed stone garden seat at the north side of Scarisbrick
Hall, and also the fireplace in the Great Hall. On 24 April
1837 he noted in his diary "Began Mr. Scarisbrick's house."
Pugin began work on Thomas Rickman's existing west wing, to
which he added the library bay window, the garden porch and
north west turret, as well as external and internal decoration.
Also in 1837 he designed the south front of the Hall; although
this was further embellished when built.
The problems of planning the building were considerable, as
it was the client's wish to preserve the old part of the Hall,
and any new work had to take this into account. Pugin's solution
was to provide a north-south and east-west corridor connecting
the old and new parts of the Hall on both ground and first
floors. The problem of lighting these corridors was solved
with masterly ingenuity; Pugin put skylights over the east-west
corridor and a glazed turret over the point where the corridors
crossed. He then made the upper corridor floor half the width
of the one beneath and introduced superbly carved bracket
supports between which light could fall into the lower corridor.
True to his own code, he had made an awkward problem into
a feature of the building.
In 1838 Pugin proceeded to design the north elevation and
this was followed by the Clock Tower in 1839. This has since
been replaced with a more spectacular tower by E.W. Pugin
(his son), but the original appears in the carved view of
the Hall on the main staircase at Scarisbrick. It apparently
had a steeply pitched roof over the clock stage, and was the
proto-type for the clock-tower of the Houses of Parliament.
Drawings of 1840 show Pugin working on the windows of the
Great Hall, and designing the series of attractive and humorous
carvings that ornament the bosses on its exterior. This vast
room was planned as a Banqueting Hall, and so the bosses all
show scenes concerned with eating and drinking. In the same
year Pugin made designs for the main staircase and staircase
roof. The previous lack of this apparently vital feature would
not have disturbed Charles Scarisbrick's comfort, as there
are two spiral staircases leading from the Oak Room and the
north Library in the West Wing to his bedroom suite above.
In 1841 Pugin was engaged in designing the leaded windows
of the Library. There are a range of very attractive geometric
patterns in the leading of casements at Scarisbrick. The original
effect must have been rich, as they were finished with gilding.
After this there comes a gap in the dated drawings. Pugin's
work was in demand from other clients, and although he continued
to work at Scarisbrick until at least 1845, the first impetus
was gone and Charles Scarisbrick's generosity seems to have
been wearing thin. From 1844 onwards Pugin was involved in
the tremendous task of designing the interior decoration and
furniture for the new Houses of Parliament. He was also keeping
up his own busy architectural practice and finding time to
write more books. Once asked why he kept no clerk to help
him, Pugin replied: "Clerk, my dear sir, clerk, I never
employ one. I should kill him in a week." Instead, Pugin
wore himself out, and died in 1852.
In such a short life it is remarkable that Pugin had managed
to influence the course of architecture and design so strongly.
Through his writings he could justly claim that he had "revolutionised
the taste of England." At Scarisbrick Hall he had been
given his first real opportunity to put his ideas into practice,
and the result must have justified Charles Scarisbrick's expectations
St. Mary's College, Oscott
In 1837 he made the acquaintance of the authorities of St.
Mary's College, Oscott, where his fame as a writer had preceded
him. He found there men in sympathy with his ideas about art
and religion. The president, Rev. Henry Weedall, was so impressed
by him, that he accepted his services for the completion of
the new chapel and for the decorations of the new college,
which was opened in 1838. He designed the apse with its effective
groinings, the stained glass of the chancel windows, the decorated
ceiling, the stone pulpit, and the splendid Gothic vestments.
He constructed the reredos of old wood-carvings brought from
the Continent, he placed the Limoges enamels on the front
of the super-altar, he provided the seventeenth-century confessional,
altar rails, and stalls, the carved pulpit (from St. Gertrude's,
Louvain), the finest in England, as well as the ambries and
chests of the sacristy (see "The Oscotian", July,
1905). He built both lodges and added the turret called "Pugin's
night-cap" to the tower. Above all he inspired superiors
and students with an ardent enthusiasm for his ideals in Gothic
art, liturgy, and the sacred chant. Tradition points out the
room in which on Saturday afternoons he used to instruct the
workmen from Hardman's, Birmingham, in the spirit and technic
of their craft. The president appointed him professor of ecclesiastical
antiquities (1838-44). While at the "Old College"
he gave his lectures in what is now the orphans' dining-room,
and at the new college in a room which still bears in the
inscription "Architectura". This association with
one of the leading Catholic colleges in England afforded him
valuable opportunities for the advancement of his views.
Palace of Westminster
Much discussion has arisen concerning the claims of Pugin
to the credit of having designed the Houses of Parliament
at Westminster. The old Palace of Westminster had been destroyed
by fire in 1834; plans for the new buildings were invited,
and those of Charles Barry (afterwards Sir Charles) received
the approval of the Commissioners from among some eighty-four
competitors. The first stone of the new erection was laid
in 1840 and Queen Victoria formally opened the two houses
in 1852. At the outset Barry called in Pugin (1836-37) to
complete his half-drawn plans, and he further entrusted to
him the working plans and the entire decoration (1837-52).
Pugin's own statement on the subject is decisive: Barry's
great work, he said, was immeasurably superior to any that
I could at the time have produced, and had it been otherwise,
the commissioners would have killed me in a twelve-month (i.e.
by their opposition and interference).
The influence he wielded must be ascribed as much to his vigorous
writings and exquisite designs as to any particular edifice
which he erected. His Contrasts (1836) placed him at once
ahead of the pioneers of the day. His "Glossary"
(1844), so brilliant a revival in form and colour, produced
nothing short of a revolution in church decoration. Scarcely
less important were his designs for Furniture (1835), for
Iron and Brass Work (1836), and for Gold and Silver-Smiths
(1836) to which should be added his Ancient Timber Houses
of the XVth and XVIth Centuries (1836), and his latest architectural
work on Chancel Screens and Rood Lofts (1851).
Besides the above elaborately illustrated productions, many
other explanatory and apologetic writings, especially his
lectures delivered at Oscott (see Catholic Magazine, 1838,
April and foll.) gave powerful expression to the message he
had to deliver. As closely allied with his idea of the restoration
of constructive and decorative art, he brought out a pamphlet
on the chant: An Earnest Appeal for the Revival of the Ancient
Plain Song (1850). It is worthy of mention that some of his
earliest drawing appears in the volumes published by his father
(Examples of Gothic Architecture, 1821, 226 plates; Architectural
Antiquities of Normandy, 1828, 80 plates; Gothic Ornaments,
England and France, 1831, 91 plates).
In knowledge of medieval architecture and in his insight into
its spirit and form, he stood above all his contemporaries.
As a draughtsman he was without a rival. The success of his
career is to be sought not so much in the buildings he erected,
which, being mostly for the Catholic body, were nearly always
shorn of their chief splendour by the poverty of his patrons.
He invented now new forms of design, though he freely used
the old; his instinct led him to Art as such, but to the Gothic
embodiment of Art, which seemed to him the only true form
of Christian architecture. He lacked the patience and breadth
of the truly great mind, yet he may justly claim to rank as
the architectural genius of the century. His unquestioned
merit is the restoration of architecture in England and the
revival of the forms of medieval England, which since his
day have covered the land. Queen Victoria granted his widow
a pension of 100 pounds a year, and a committee of all parties
founded the Pugin Travelling Scholarship (controlled by the
Royal Institute of British Architects) as the most appropriate
memorial of his work and a partial realization of the project
which he had brought forward in his "Apology for the
Revival of Christian Architecture in England" (1843),
Pugin and the Earl of Shrewsbury
Pugin had a longterm professional relationship with John Talbot,
the sixteenth Earl of Shrewsbury. It was an interesting combination
of minds for both architect and patron were Roman Catholic
converts: Pugin, a wealthy gentleman architect from the upper
middle class, and Talbot, the richest noble in the land. It
was, to all intents and purposes, a business partnership made
in heaven for the furtherance of God's kingdom here on earth.
Pugin's God-given genius fused with the Catholic fervour and
finance of the Talbots peppered Staffordshire with churches,
convents and schools of medieval splendour and magnificence.
Pugin, the medieval dreamer and set designer of Victorian
Gothic found in John Talbot not only a friend but also a collaborator.
The building programme was certainly led by Talbot as patron,
with Pugin as his master-craftsman. Indeed, it has overtones
of the rapport between Edward III and Henry Yevele, born in
Staffordshire, in the fourteenth century and of Henry VII
and his master builder, John Wastell of Bury St Edmunds, in
the fifteenth century.
The list of buildings erected by the Talbot-Pugin partnership
in Staffordshire during the twelve years between 1836 and
1848 is formidable: St Mary's, Uttoxeter; the Hospital of
St John, Alton Castle and Alton Towers; St Giles' Church,
School and Presbytery, Cheadle; St Joseph's Convent, also
in Cheadle; St Wilfrid's, Cotton; St Mary's, Brewood. Fourteen
buildings in all.
Pugin and Australia
The first Catholic bishop of New South Wales, Australia, John
Bede Polding, met Pugin and was present when St Chad's Cathedral
in Birmingham and St Giles Church, Cheadle were officially
opened. Polding persuaded Pugin to design a series of churches
for him. Although a number of churches do not survive, in
particular none in Sydney, St Francis Xavier's in Berrima,
New South Wales is regarded as a fine example of a Pugin church.
Pugin's legacy in Australia, is particularly of the idea of
what a church should look like:
Pugin's notion was that Gothic was Christian and Christian
was Gothic, ... It became the way people built churches and
perceived churches should be. Even today if you ask someone
what a church should look like, they'll describe a Gothic
building with pointed windows and arches. Right across Australia,
from outback towns with tiny churches made out of corrugated
iron with a little pointed door and pointed windows, to our
very greatest cathedrals, you have buildings which are directly
related to Pugin's ideas.
After his death A.W.Pugin's two sons; E.W. Pugin and Peter
Paul Pugin, continued operating their father's architectural
firm under the name Pugin and Pugin. This work includes most
of the "Pugin" buildings in Australia and New Zealand.
During this period he did much of his best work in writing,
teaching, and structural design. Although at different times
he had visited France and the Netherlands either alone, or
in the company of the Earl of Shrewsbury, he did not visit
the great cities of Italy until 1847. The ecclesiastical buildings
of Rome sorely disappointed him; but he had his compensation
in the gift from Pius IX of a splendid gold medal as a token
of approval, which gratified Pugin more than any event in
his life. His second wife having died in 1844, he married
in 1848 Jane, daughter of Thomas Knill of Typtree Hall, Herefordshire,
by whom he had two children. In the meantime he had removed
from Laverstock, and after a temporary residence at Cheyne
Walk, Chelsea (1841), he took up his residence at Ramsgate,
living first with his aunt, Miss Selina Welby, who made him
her heir, and then in the house called St. Augustine's Grange,
which, together with a church, he had built for himself. Of
these he said that they were the only buildings in which his
designs had not been curtailed by financial conditions.
Under a presentiment of approaching death, of which he had
an unusual fear, he went into retreat in 1851, and prepared
himself by prayer and self-denial for the end. At the close
of the year his mind became affected and early in 1852 he
was placed in the asylum commonly called Bedlam, in St. George's
Fields, Lambeth. At the urgent request of his wife and in
opposition to the wishes of the rest of his friends, he was
removed from the asylum, first to the Grove, Hammersmith,
where after six weeks' care his condition had improved to
such an extent that it was possible for him to return to Ramsgate;
but two days after he reached home he had a fatal stroke.
A.W.N. Pugin died, at the age of 40, on 14 September 1852
as a result, not of insanity, but probably of the effects
of mercury poisoning. (cf. Rosemary Hill)
Pugin's legacy extends far beyond his own architectural designs.
He was responsible for popularizing a style and philosophy
of architecture that reached into every corner of Victorian
life. He influence writers like John Ruskin, and designers
like William Morris. His ideas were expressed in private and
public architecture and art throughout Great Britain and beyond.
GEORGE GILBERT SCOTT
Sir George Gilbert Scott (July 13, 1811 - March 27, 1878)
was an English architect of the Victorian Age, chiefly associated
with the design, building and renovation of churches, cathedrals
Born in Gawcott, Buckinghamshire, Scott was the son of a clergyman.
He studied architecture as a pupil of James Edmeston and from
1832 to 1834, worked as an assistant to Henry Roberts. He
also worked as an assistant for his friend Sampson Kempthorne.
In about 1835, Scott took on William Bonython Moffatt as his
assistant and later (1838-1845) as partner. Over the next
10 years Scott and Moffatt designed over 40 workhouses.
Meanwhile, he was inspired by Augustus Pugin to join the Gothic
revival of the Victorian era, his first notable work in this
style being the Martyrs' Memorial on St Giles in Oxford (1841).
Later, Scott went beyond copying mediaeval English gothic
for his Victorian Gothic or Gothic Revival buildings, and
began to introduce features from other styles and European
countries as evidenced in his glorious Midland red-brick constriction,
the 'Midland Grand Hotel' at London's St Pancras Station,
from which approach Scott believed a new style might emerge.
Scott was awarded the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 1859. Knighted
in 1872, he died in 1878 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
His sons George Gilbert Scott Junior and John Oldrid Scott
and grandson, Giles Gilbert Scott, were also prominent architects.
GEORGE EDMUND STREET
George Edmund Street (20 June 1824 - 18 December 1881), English
architect, was born at Woodford in Essex. He was the third
son of Thomas Street, solicitor, by his second wife, Mary
Anne Millington. George went to school at Mitcham in about
1830, and later to the Camberwell collegiate school, which
he left in 1839. For a few months he was in his father's business
in Philpot Lane, but on his father's death he went to live
with his mother and sister at Exeter. There his thoughts first
turned to architecture, and in 1841 his mother obtained a
place for him as pupil in the office of Mr Owen Carter at
Winchester. Afterwards he worked for five years as an improver
with Sir George Gilbert Scott in London.
At an early age Street became deeply interested in the principles
of Gothic architecture, and devoted an unsparing amount of
time and labor to studying and sketching the finest examples
of medieval buildings in England and on the Continent. His
first commission was for the designing of Biscovey Church,
Cornwall. In 1849 he took an office of his own. He was a draughtsman
of a very high order; his sketches are masterpieces of spirit
and brilliant touch. In 1855 he published a very careful and
well illustrated work on The Brick and Marble Architecture
of Northern Italy, and in 1865 a book on The Gothic Architecture
of Spain, with very beautiful drawings by his own hand. In
1856/7 Philip Webb was Street's senior clerk and the young
William Morris one of his apprentices. These two designers
worked together on Red House (London) that became an iconic
memorial to William Morris's design principles and includes
work by many of his now-famous friends.
Street's personal taste led him in most cases to select for
his design the 13th century Gothic of England or France, his
knowledge of which was very great, especially in the skillful
use of rich mouldings. By far the majority of the buildings
erected by him were for ecclesiastical uses, the chief being
the convent of East Grinstead, the theological college at
Cuddesden and a very large number of churches, such as St
Philip and St James's at Oxford, St John's at Torquay, All
Saints at Clifton, St Saviour's at Eastbourne, St Margaret's
at Liverpool and St Mary Magdalene, Paddington. His largest
works were the nave of Bristol Cathedral, the choir of the
cathedral of Christ Church in Dublin, and, above all, the
new Royal Courts of Justice in London. The competition for
this was prolonged and much diversity of opinion was expressed.
Thus, the judges wanted Street to make the exterior arrangements
and Charles Barry the interior, while a special committee
of lawyers recommended the designs of Alfred Waterhouse. In
June 1868, however, Street was appointed sole architect; but
the building was not complete at the time of his death in
Street was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1866,
and a fellow in 1871; at the time of his death he was professor
of architecture to the Royal Academy, where he had delivered
a very interesting course of lectures on the development of
medieval architecture. He was also president of the Royal
Institute of British Architects. He was a member of the Royal
Academy of Vienna, and in 1878, in reward for drawings sent
to the Paris Exhibition, he was made a knight of the Legion
of Honour. Street was twice married, first on 17 June 1852
to Mariquita, second daughter of Robert Proctor, who died
in 1874, and secondly on 11 January 1876 to Jessie, second
daughter of William Holland, who died in the same year. The
architect's own death, on 18 December 1881, was hastened by
overwork and professional worries connected with the erection
of the law courts. He was buried on 29 December 1881 in the
nave of Westminster Abbey.
William Strickland (1788 - April 6, 1854) was a noted architect
in 19th century Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is noted as
one of the founders of the Gothic revival movement when in
1823 he built Saint Stephen's Church in Philadelphia. Other
notable architectural works are the Second Bank of the United
States (Philadelphia) and the restoration of the tower of
Independence Hall (Philadelphia). He was primarily a Greek
Revival architect, using the plates of The Antiquities of
Athens for his inspiration, but stylistically he was a revivalist,
using Gothic, Egyptian, Saracenic and Italianate. Strickland
was also a civil engineer and one of the first to advocate
the use of steam locomotives on railways. In his youth he
was a landscape painter, illustrator for periodicals, theatrical
scene painter, engraver, and pioneer aquatintist. He later
moved to Nashville, Tennessee where his Egyptian-influenced
design of the First Presbyterian Church (now the Downtown
Presbyterian Church) was controversial but today is widely
recognized as a masterpiece. He is buried within the walls
of his final, arguably greatest, work, the Tennessee State
Strickland's design for the Second Bank of the U.S. in Philadelphia
(1819-1824) beat out the design of Strickland's teacher, Benjamin
Latrobe. Although Strickland was still copying classical prototypes
at this point, the Second Bank is an ambitious copy of the
greatest greek design: The Parthenon of Athens. The competition
had called for "chaste" Greek style: Strickland's
elegant Greek temple design is a fitting result.
Comparison of the Second Bank of the U.S. with the later Merchant's
Exchange (1836), also in Philadelphia, reveals the growth
of Strickland's talent and confidence as an architect. With
the Merchant Exchange, Strickland still had a classical example
in mind (the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates), but created
a unique building, specifically styled to fit the siting.
The Merchant's Exchange was to be placed in a slightly awkward
location, at the intersection of two major thoroughfares,
in between the waterfront and the business district. The elegant
curved façade reflects the carriage and foot traffic
that would have been circulating in front of the building.
This elevation, which faces toward the waterfront, is unique,
Greek Revival, but modern, while the more formal elevation
can be found on the opposite side of the building, facing
the rest of Philadelphia. Strickland's maturity as an architect
is demonstrated in this building, showing that America's architects
were truly innovating, rather than copying old European classics.
EUGENE EMMANUEL VIOLLET-LE-DUC
Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc (January 27, 1814 -
September 17, 1879) was a French architect and theorist, famous
for his restorations of medieval buildings. Born in Paris,
he was as central a figure in the Gothic Revival in France
as he was in the public discourse on "honesty" in
architecture, which eventually transcended all revival styles,
to inform the moving spirit of Modernism. Sir John Summerson
considered that "there have been two supremely eminent
theorists in the history of European architecture-Leon Battista
Alberti and Eugène Viollet-le-Duc" (Summerson
Viollet-le-Duc's father was a civil servant in Paris who collected
books; his mother's Friday salons drew Stendhal and Sainte-Beuve.
Her brother, Eugène Délécluze, "a
painter in the mornings, a scholar in the evenings" (Summerson),
was largely in charge of the young man's education. Viollet-le-Duc
showed a lively intellect: republican, anti-clerical, rebellious,
he built a barricade in the July Revolution of 1830 and refused
to enter the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.
As an Architectural Restorer
In the early 1830s, the beginnings of a movement for the restoration
of medieval buildings appeared in France. Viollet-le-Duc,
returning in 1835 from a study trip to Italy, was ordered
by Prosper Merimée to restore the Romanesque abbey
of Vézelay. This work marked the beginning of a long
series of restorations; Viollet-le-Duc's restorations at Notre
Dame de Paris brought him into national attention.
Viollet-le-Duc applied the lessons he had derived from Gothic
architecture, seeing beneath the atmospheric allure that drew
his British contemporaries to especially what he conceived
of its rational structural systems, to modern building materials
such as cast iron. He practiced as archaeologically precise
(for his time) a style of restoration as he could manage,
but his own designs were remarkably innovative. His approach
to both medieval and modern architecture was severely rational,
in keeping with his own unsentimental appreciation of the
At the same time, in the cultural atmosphere of the Second
Empire theory necessarily became diluted in practice, and
messages were mixed: Viollet-le-Duc provided a Gothic reliquary
for the relic of the Crown of Thorns at Notre-Dame in 1862,
and yet Napoleon III also commissioned designs for a luxuriously
appointed railway carriage from Viollet-le-Duc, in 14th-century
Gothic style (Exhibition 1965).
Among his restorations were:
Notre-Dame de Paris
Saint Denis Basilica, near Paris
Saint-Louis, in Poissy, France
Saint-Nazaire, in Carcassonne, France
Saint-Sernin, in Toulouse, France
Notre-Dame de Lausanne, Switzerland
Town Halls :
Fortified city of Carcassonne
Château de Coucy
Restoration of the Château of Pierrefonds, reinterpreted
by Viollet-le-Duc for Napoleon III, was interrupted by the
departure of the Emperor in 1870.
Some of his restorations, such as that of the castle of Pierrefonds,
were highly controversial because they did not aim so much
at accurately recreating a historical situation as much as
at creating a "perfect building" of medieval style.
Modern conservation practice finds Viollet-le-Duc's restorations
too free, too personal, too interpretive, but many of the
monuments he restored would have otherwise been lost.
The famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí was strongly
influenced by the Gothic architecture revival of Viollet-le-Duc.
An exhibition, Eugène Viollet-le-Duc 1814-1879 was
presented in Paris, 1965.
Throughout his career Viollet-le-Duc made notes and drawings,
not only for the buildings he was working on, but also on
Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance buildings that were to
be soon demolished. His notes were helpful in his published
works. His study of medieval and Renaissance periods was not
limited to architecture, but extended to furniture, clothing,
musical instruments, armament and so forth.
All this work was published, first in serial, and then as
full-scale books, as:
Dictionary of French Architecture from 11th to 16th Century
(1854-1868) (Dictionnaire raisonné de l'architecture
française du XIe au XVe siècle) - Original (French)
language edition, including numerous illustrations.
Dictionary of French Furnishings (1858-1870)
(Dictionnaire raisonné du mobilier français
de l'époque Carolingienne à la Renaissance.)
Entretiens sur l'architecture (in 2 volumes,
1858-72), in which Viollet-le-Duc systematized his approach
to architecture and architectural education, in a system radically
opposed to that of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, which he had
avoided in his youth and despised. In Henry Van Brunt's translation,
the "Discourses on Architecture" was published in
1875, making it available to an American audience little more
than a decade after its initial publication in France.
Military career and influence
Viollet-le-Duc had a second career in the military, primarily
in the defence of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1).
He was so influenced by the conflict that during his later
years he was moved to describe the idealised defence of France
through the analogy of the military history of Le Roche-Pont,
an imaginary castle, in his work Histoire d'une Forteresse
(Annals of a Fortress, twice translated into English). Accessible
and well researched, it bridges the line between novel and
Annals of a Fortress strongly influenced French military defensive
thinking. Le-Duc's critique of the effect of artillery (applying
his practical knowledge from the 1870-1 war) is so complete
that it accurately describes the principles applied to the
defence of France up to World War II. The physical results
of his theories are seen in the fortification of Verdun prior
to The First World War and the Maginot Line prior to WWII.
In more depth his theories are reflected by the French military
theory of "Deliberate Advance", where the artillery
and a strong shield of fortresses in the rear of an army are
William Wilkinson Wardell (3 March 1824 -
19 November 1899) was an architect , notable not only for
his work in Australia, the country to which he emigrated in
1858, but also for having s successful career as an ecclesiastical
architect in England before his departure. In Australia he
designed many public buildings. Most notably St Patrick's
Cathedral, in Melbourne, Government House, and St Mary's Cathedral,
Sydney. He worked in both the Gothic and classical styles.
Wardell not only constructed major works in the public sector
he also maintained a large private practice building houses
and business premises for private individuals. He was Director-General
of public works in Melbourne from 1861 until 1878. As an architect
he is often compared with his friend and English counterpart
Early life in London
A a young man he studied under the Gothic architect Augustus
Pugin, Pugin became his friend and mentor, and was to inspire
him not only in architecture but also in his religious convictions.
Mixed in the artistic and literary circles of London he fell
in with the philosophies of the Oxford and Cambridge movement,
which taught amongst other things that Gothic architecture,
as symbolized by the great medieval cathedrals of England
was the only form of architecture, not only worthy of God,
but provided fostered a spirituality that mad it easier to
communicate with God. In 1843 Wardell made the then conventionally
unusual decision to convert from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism,
adopting the motto "Inveni Quod Quaesivi"( "I
have found that which I sought"). This would have been
a very difficult decision to make at the time, while Catholics
were not actively persecuted in Britain at the time, there
was still open discrimination against the faith in certain
political and business quarters. The leader of the Oxford
movement John Henry Newman did not himself make the leap of
faith until 1845.
Wardell's conversion to the Roman catholic faith was the result
of a period of deep internal reflection. This affiliation
to a more high church ritual was manifested in his architectural
interests which concentrated on the more Gothic designs of
England's medieval architecture. For the remainder of his
life he saw architecture as a means of praising God. He always
had a room in his home set aside as a chapel for personal
devotion which he visited several times during the course
of a day . Dominating this room was an ancient carved wooden
French cross, now belonging to the Melbourne Diocesan Historical
Commission, who also own several other mementos of his persona
devotion. Wardell also wrote, in particular two prayers devoted
to the Virgin Mary, who he seems to have regarded as his especial
saint. It is known that he frequently prayed for help and
guidance when working on plans of church buildings.
On 7 October 1847 Wardell married Lucy Ann Butler, the daughter
of William henry Butler, a wine merchant and one time Mayor
of Oxford. The couple married at St Mary's Catholic Church,
Moorfields and are known to have had at leat two two sons
and one daughter.
By the time of his marriage aged 23, he was already a successful
architect. Between 1846 and 1858 he designed over 30 churches
in England, at the rate of over two a year this a a phenomenal
output. As this was an era of massive church restoration (Nikolaus
Pevsner has said many churches were "over-restored"
during this time) it is possible that this high figure may
include churches Wardell only redesigned or restored. Whatever
the true number of churches he designed in England, this was
a period not only of church restoration but also building
of many new Roman Catholic Churches. Wardell and John newman
were by no means the only converts to Catholicism, a large
number of notable intellectuals too changed their faith, this
coupled with the greater freedom Catholics obtained by the
Catholic Emancipation Act which restored the hierarchy and
removed some of the prohibitions on Catholics which had prevailed
since the time of the reformation led to the Catholic Church
having a revival in Britain. Thus the newly converted Pugin
and his protegè Wardell were well placed to receive
the numerous commissions which came flooding in.
By 1858, aged 35 Wardell was in poor health, and felt that
the warmer climate of Australia would be more beneficial to
his health. Obtaining the position of "Government Architect"
to the city of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia, Wardell and
his family emigrated.
Of Wardell's prolific work in London, several notable churches,
St Birinus, Bridge End, Dorchester-on-Thames which was begun
in 1846, and completed by 1849. This church, in Oxfordshire
was one of the first Roman Catholic churches built following
the passing of the 1839 Catholic Emancipation Act. The small
and simple building is an almost exact replica of a 14th century
Gothic chapel. It is constructed of Littlemore stone with
a Caen stone porch. The interior has rectangular nave leading
in the traditional fashion through a rood screen to a smaller
and lower ceilinged chancel. The nave has a vaulted ceiling
supported by wooden strapwork. Lit by stain glass windows,
the whole structure hardly differs from the design of Anglican
churches constructed in the same period. The expected paraphernalia
of the more ritualistic Catholic worship is absent, side chapels
and numerous secondary altars are conspicuous by their absence.
The only contemporary jarring feature not found in an English
country church is the set of late Byzantine style gilt chandeliers.
Another church from this period was Our Lady Star of the Sea,
Greenwich, a Gothic church begun in 1856 and completed circa
1851, is surmounted by a tower completed by an ornate spire
which in turn is complemented by the smaller spire of the
adjacent stair turret. The church has remarkable architectural
similarities to Wardell's later and largest work St Patrick's
cathedral in Melbourne.Our Lady of Victories, Clapham completed
between 1849-1851, Our Immaculate Lady of Victories (also
known as St Mary's) situated in Clapham Park Road, Clapham,
London SW4 was built between 1848 and 1851, the same year
that Wardell completed Holy Trinity, Hammersmith.
Melbourne in the early 1850s was a rough a primitive place
with potholed roads. Robbery was commonplace, and the poverty
caused by the soaring inflation, and streets that were in
1854 described as open sewers ensured that disease was rife.
It was into this environment came men seeking fortunes digging
for gold. Within ten years the gold rush had transformed Melbourne
from a provincial outpost of the British Empire to a wealthy
and rapidly expanding city. Between 1853 and 1854 Melbourne
doubled in size, however many of its new and expanding population
lived in tented villages within the city. This need for building,
coupled with available funding drew aspiring young architects
from around the world among them John James Clark, Peter Kerr
and in William Wilkinson Wardell.
As the newly arrived and appointed Government Architect Wardell
immediately began work on St Patrick's Cathedral, a task which
was to occupy him for much of his life. In 1867 the Wardell
Family moved into a large new house known as Ardoch, at 226
Dandenong Road, St Kilda at the time one of the smartest and
most expensive residential area of Melbourne. The 13 roomed
two storied house in an Italianate style was built for £225
in 1864. The wardell family purchased it in 1867 and moved
from their previous home in Powlett Street . East Melbourne.
In 1859 Wardell had designed both the Catholic churches dedicated
to St Mary in St. Kilda where he personally worshipped. The
first in 1859 and it's larger replacement in 1897.
In Melbourne Wardell was not only the state employed Government
Architect, but also had a flourishing private practice as
well, building houses, shops, and business premises for all
who could afford him. He did nor work in any one exclusive
style, and could design in any architectural form his patron's
required - Palladian, Neoclassical plus the various forms
of Gothic, including notably at the ANZ Bank the floral Venetian
In 1877 Sir Graham Berry became the premier of Victoria. His
mission, considered radically left wing at the time, was to
redistribute the grazing land of Victoria; and introduce a
bill providing for the payment of members of the Assembly,
which would enable working class candidates could to be be
elected. When his aims were rejected by the council, he embarked
on a public campaign of "coercion". "We coerce
madmen," he said, "We put them into lunatic asylums,
and never was anything more the act of madmen than the rejection
of the Appropriation Bill.". On 8 January 1878 known
after "Black Wednesday" his "coercing"
began using the reasoning that without his bill civil servants
could not be paid Berry began to dismiss public servants,
starting with police and judges. Wardell's was one of the
many heads which fell - dismissed from office he left Melbourne
to seek employment in Sydney.
During his time in Melbourne Wardell designed numerous buildings,
including 14 parish churches in both the private and public
sectors, while St Patrick's Cathedral is the largest and best
known other notable buildings include the following below.
St Patrick's Cathedral
This Melbourne Cathedral is the largest Church to have been
commenced and brought to near completion, anywhere in the
world in the 19th century. Construction of a church on the
site had begun in 1850 by Bishop Alipius Goold. Building was
delayed by the fror of the Gold rush. Then in 1858 Goold laid
the foundation stone for a second, but larger,church on the
site. After only eight months of construction, work on the
2nd church ceased. Goold then instructed the newly arrived
Wardell to design a cathedral on the site, and just a month
later in December 1858 the new plans were accepted and work
Contrary to common belief Wardell was not however uniquely
responsible for the design, he was instructed by his patron,
Bishop Goold, to incorporate into the design as much as could
be saved of the previous church on the site. Thus he was forced
retain the existing floor level, rather than raising it five
metres which would have kept it on a level the nearby street
rather than below it.
Wardell's overall design was in Gothic Revival style, paying
tribute to the mediaeval cathedrals of Europe. The nave being
in Early English in style, while the remainder of the building
is in the Decorated gothic style, a somewhat later Gothic
St Patrick's Cathedral became Wardell's life's work and most
notable commission. The original plans which remained unaltered
during construction. The nave and its aisles were completed
just ten years later. The building was finally consecrated
for use in 1897. At the time of his death in 1899, Wardell
was still working on designs for the minor altars and fixtures
and fittings. The spires which today adorn the building, are
not by Wardell, and are felt by some to be out of proportion
to the design.
Wardell's ANZ Bank, Collins Street Melbourne is often considered
the finest Gothic revival building in Australia. Designed
to accommodate to the new English, Scottish and Australian
bank. The manager George Verdon was housed in an apartment
above the bank. The massive banking hall was supported by
iron columns with gilded heraldic motifs. The bank at 386-388
Collins Street was built in 1883 and is of Venetian Gothic
Revival style. With loggias and small balconies in a style
known as Venetian floral gothic.
Government House in Melbourne is an example of the period
in Wardell's career when he found his "newly discovered
love for Italianate, Palladian and Venetian architecture".
Designed to be the official residence of the Governor General
of Australia in what is commonly described today as the Italianate
style, cream coloured Government House- except for its machiolated
signorial tower that Wardell crowned with a belvedere- would
not be out of place among the unified streets and squares
in Thomas Cubitt's Belgravia, London. One of the best-known
buildings in this style and the possible inspiration was Queen
Victoria's summer residence Osborne House on the Isle of Wight,
England. Osborne was built between 1845 and 1851, based loosely
on the palazzi of the Italian Renaissance. As the serving
Inspector General of the Public Works Department, Wardell
was the obvious choice of architect; work commenced in 1871
and lasted for five years.
Wardell's plan included the three-storey principal block containing
the state rooms for official entertaining, and the secondary
two-story wing to the north intended to contain the private
apartments of the vice-regal family . The facade of the
principal block or corps de logis is of six bays, the pedimented
windows of the first and central floor being larger than those
below and above thus indicating the piano nobile. The hipped
roof is concealed by a balustraded parapet. The principal
block is flanked by two lower asymmetrical secondary wings
that contribute picturesque massing, best appreciated from
an angled view. The larger of these being divided from the
principal block by the belvedere tower. The smaller, the ballroom
block, is entered through a columned porte-cochere designed
as a single storey prostyle portico. The ballroom is said
to have been the largest in the British Empire.
The interior of the house was in contrast to the classical
interior. Fireplaces of Carrara and black Belgian marble were
inset with Minton tiles in the Victorian style, while the
elaborate plaster ceilings have deep recessed panels and moulded
cornices at odds with the classicism of the design of the
mansion. However, despite is heavy handed interiors the state
rooms adequately fulfilled their purpose. Government house
was declare open at a ball attended by 1400 people in 1876.
Wardell arrived in Sydney in 1878. He designed many buildings
the most notable being St Mary's Cathedral. This Cathedral
is slightly larger than St Patrick's' Cathedral, and is the
largest Roman catholic church in Australia. Wardell designed
the cathedral in the Gothic style, work began in 1868 while
Wardell was still based in Melbourne. Work continued throughout
Wardell's lifetime, the cathedral finally being completed
in 1928. In 2000 the spires Wardell had intended, a scheme
abandoned due to lack if finance, were finally constructed.
The ASN Co Building (see illustration at top of page) is a
large warehouse at 1-5 Hickson Road, The Rocks, Sydney. Designed
by Wardell for the Australasian Steam Navigation Co Building
in 1884. It had distinctive Flemish gables and a bell tower,
which has ensured it has "long been regarded as a significant
Wardell died at his home, Upton Grange, North Sydney on the
19th November 1899 of heart failure and pleurisy. He is buried
in the Catholic section of Gore Hill cemetery. He did not
live long enough to see the final finishing touches to St
Patrick's cathedral, and St Mary's cathedral was far from
finished. His legacy to Australia has been to give that country
two cathedrals which rank among the finest modern examples
of gothic. St Patrick's Cathedral is considered one of the
few Australian buildings to be of world significance. However,
Wardell's work was more than the design of two cathedrals,
his work was versatile and skilful in both the Gothic and
classical styles and has given both Sydney and Melbourne some
of their most distinguished 19th century buildings.
Alfred Waterhouse (July 19, 1830 - August 22, 1905) was an
English architect, particularly associated with the Victorian
Gothic revival. He is perhaps best known for his design for
the Natural History Museum in London, although he also built
a wide variety of other buildings throughout the country.
Financially speaking, Waterhouse was probably the most successful
of all Victorian architects. Though expert within Gothic and
Renaissance styles, Waterhouse never limited himself to a
single architectural style.
Waterhouse was born on the 19th July 1830 in Aigburth, Liverpool,
the son of wealthy mill-owning Quaker parents. He was educated
at the Quaker run Grove School in Tottenham near London. He
studied architecture under Richard Lane in Manchester, and
spent much of his youth travelling in Europe and studying
in France, Italy and Germany. Upon his return to England,
Alfred set up his own architectural practice in Manchester.
Waterhouse continued to practice in Manchester for 12 years,
until moving his practice to London in 1865. Waterhouse's
earliest commissions were for domestic buildings, but his
success as a designer of public buildings was assured in 1859
when he won the open competition for the Manchester Assize
Courts. This work not only showed his ability to plan a complicated
building on a large scale, but also marked him out as a champion
of the Gothic cause.
In 1865, Waterhouse was one of the architects selected to
compete for the Royal Courts of Justice. The new University
Club was undertaken in 1866. In 1868 and nine years after
his work on the Manchester Assize Courts, another competition
secured for Waterhouse the design of Manchester Town Hall,
where he was able to show a firmer and more original handling
of the Gothic style. The same year he was involved in rebuilding
part of Caius College, Cambridge; this was not his first university
work, for he had already worked on Balliol College, Oxford
in 1867, and the new buildings of the Cambridge Union Society,
At Caius, out of deference to the Renaissance treatment of
the older parts of the college, ths Gothic element was intentionally
mingled with classic detail, while Balliol and Pembroke College,
Cambridge, which followed in 1871, are typical of the style
of his mid career with Gothic tradition tempered by individual
taste and by adaptation to modern needs. Girton College, Cambridge,
a building of simpler type, dates originally from the same
period (1870), but has been periodically enlarged by further
buildings. Two important domestic works were undertaken in
1870 and 1871 respectively - Eaton Hall in Cheshire for the
Duke of Westminster, and Heythrop Hall, Oxfordshire, the latter
a restoration of a fairly strict classic type.
Waterhouse received, without competition, the commission to
build the Natural History Museum in South Kensington (1873-1881),
a design which marks an epoch in the modern use of architectural
terracotta and which was to become his best known work. Waterhouse's
other works in London included the National Liberal Club (a
study in Renaissance composition), University College Hospital,
the Surveyors' Institution in London's Great George Street
(1896), and the Jenner Institute of Preventive Medicine in
From the late 1860s, Waterhouse lived in the Reading area
and was responsible for several significant buildings there.
These included his own residences of Foxhill House (1868)
and Yattendon Court (1877), together with Reading Town Hall
(1875) and Reading School (1870). Foxhill House is still in
use by the University of Reading, as are his Whiteknights
House (built for his father) and East Thorpe House (built
in 1880 for Alfred Palmer).
For the Prudential Assurance Company, Waterhouse designed
many offices, including their Holborn Bars head office in
Holborn and branch offices in Southampton, Nottingham and
Leeds. He also designed offices for the National Provincial
Bank in Piccadilly (1892) and in Manchester. The Liverpool
Infirmary was Waterhouse's largest hospital; and St. Mary's
Hospital in Manchester, the Alexandra Hospital in Rhyl, and
extensive additions at the Nottingham General Hospital, also
involved him. He was involved in a series of works for the
Victoria University, of which he was made LL.D. in 1895.
Other educational buildings designed by Waterhouse include
Yorkshire College, Leeds (1878), the Victoria Building for
the Liverpool University College (now University of Liverpool)
(1885), St Paul's School in Hammersmith (1881); and the Central
Technical College in London's Exhibition Road (1881).
Among works not already mentioned are the Cambridge Union
building and subsequently a similar building for the Oxford
Union; Strangeways Prison; St Margaret's School in Bushey;
the Metropole Hotel in Brighton; Hove Town Hall; Knutsford
town hall; Alloa Town Hall; St. Elisabeth's church in Reddish;
Darlington town clock, covered market hall and Backhouse's
Bank (now Barclay's Bank); the Weigh House chapel in Mayfair,
Twyford St. Mary's Parish Church (opened 1878) in Hampshire
(which shows interestingly similar patterning to the Natural
History Museum) and Hutton Hall in Yorkshire.
Waterhouse became a fellow of the Royal Institute of British
Architects in 1861, and was President from 1888 to 1891. He
obtained a grand prix for architecture at the Paris Exposition
of 1867, and a "Rappel" in 1878. In the same year
he received the Royal Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of
British Architects, and was made an associate of the Royal
Academy, of which body he became a full member in 1885 and
treasurer in 1898. He was also a member of the academies of
Vienna (1869), Brussels (1886), Antwerp (1887), Milan (1888)
and Berlin (1889), and a corresponding member of the Institut
de France (1893). After 1886 he was constantly called upon
to act as assessor in architectural competitions, and was
a member of the international jury appointed to adjudicate
on the designs for the west front of Milan Cathedral in 1887.
In 1890 he served as architectural member of the Royal Commission
on the proposed enlargement of Westminster Abbey as a place
Waterhouse retired from architecture in 1902, having practiced
in partnership with his son, Paul Waterhouse, from 1891. He
died at Yattendon Court on the 22nd August 1905.
William White, F.S.A. (1825 - 1900) was an architect, famous
for his part in the 19th Century Gothic revival. A pupil of
Sir George Gilbert Scott.
He was the son of a clergyman and great nephew of the writer
and naturalist, Gilbert White of Selborne.
His style was close to that of William Butterfield. He built
William Pitt (1855-1918) was an architect
and politician working in Melbourne, Australia in the later
part of the nineteenth and early twentieth century.
Pitt's roots were in the suburb of St Kilda, he lived and
was educated there for some time and one of his finest contributions
and surviving architectural works, the St Kilda Town Hall
is one of the landmarks of the area.
He began his architectural practice in 1879 and he became
highly sought after during the land boom in Melbourne, particularly
for his theatres.
Although many of his buildings have since been demolished,
including one of his earliest and grandest buildings, the
Melbourne Coffee Palace (1879) which was once located on Bourke
Street between Swanton and Russell. Despite this, many of
his buildings remain today.
The distinctive castellated design of the Victoria Brewery
(1882) in Collingwood was also one of his early works. The
heritage registered building, unused for many years was sympathetically
converted into apartments in 2004, and its mansard roof re-instated.
His fashionable Gordon House apartments (1884) in Little Bourke
Street continued to show the influence of this style.
Pitt's extensive work in gothic revival featured some surviving
examples in the Venetian gothic idiom. The Olderfleet (1888)
and Rialto Buildings (1889) in Collins Street are on the Victorian
Heritage Register. Although only retaining the front 10 metres,
they with the neighbouring South Australian Insurance Building
and Charles D'Ebro's Winfield Building make up Melbourne's,
and one of the world's, finest intact Victorian streetscapes.
Also in the Venetian Gothic style are the Old Stock Exchange
(1888) and Old Safe Deposit Building (1890).
Pitt was possibly best known for his theatre design, particular
the spectacular interior design. Few of Pitt's theatres remain.
His greatest, the Princess Theatre (1886) in the Second Empire
style, in Spring Street has survived. Unique in its time in
having a sliding roof it fell into disrepair and was nearly
demolished. The theatre received a lavish renovation in the
The pinnacle of Pitt's career was the Federal Coffee Palace
constructed on the south-west corner of King and Collins Streets
in 1888. This extraordinary building more than any other epitomised
the speculative land boom which was 'Marvellous Melbourne'
of the 1880s. A massive and outlandish building with references
to numerous architectural styles it grew from the temperance
movement of the day which also produced many Coffee Palaces,
including the equally large but somewhat more restrained Grand
Hotel, now the Windsor Hotel, in Spring Street. The temperence
movement fell out of favour in the 1890s and the Federal Coffee
Palace became the Federal Hotel. The hotel was ultimately
demolished in 1973 in an era when many Victorian buildings
were lost in a wave of 'modernisation'.
After the coffee palace boom, Pitt began to specialise in
warehouses. His polychromatic design of the 3 storey Denton
Hat Mills (1888) in Abbotsford, Victoria began this trend.
The buildings were sympathetically converted into apartments
in the 1990s. Tower House (1891), a fanciful combination of
Tudor, Queen Anne and Mannerist styles was once a landmark
on the corners of Spring and Flinders Streets. It was demolished
in 1957 and is now the site of Harry Seidler's Shell House.
Partly due to a Cultural cringe, the contribution of Pitt's
work to Australian architecture was very late to be recognised.
Politics & Architecture
Pitt continued to work into the twentieth century while also
pursuing a political career. He was mayor of the City of Collingwood
and also a member of the Victorian legislative council, and
was a staunch advocate of the Federation of Australia.
Most notable of his later architecture work was the Empire
Works (later Bryant and May factory) (1909) in inner suburban
Richmond. At the end of his architectural career he also designed
the Victorian Racing Club (1910) on Collins Street which has
since been demolished and Sir Charles Hotham Hotel, which
survives on the corner of Spencer and Flinders Streets as
a backpacker hostel.
GUILBERT AND BETELLE
Guilbert and Betelle was an architecture firm that was a prolific
designer of schools and architectural buildings throughout
the East Coast of the United States, notable for its adaptation
of diverse styles to create a new American "Collegiate
Gothic" style of school architecture. The firm was a
partnership of Ernest F. Guilbert and James Oscar Betelle.
After Guilbert's death in 1916, Betelle became the owner of
the firm. He was architect for hundreds of schools in five
different states and a consultant on many more. Two of these
schools, Greenwich High School in Greenwich, Connecticut and
the Radburn School in Fair Lawn, New Jersey are listed on
the National Register of Historic Places. Betelle's organization
was architect for such buildings as the Essex County Hall
of Records, Newark, New Jersey, Hotels Robert Treat and Alexander
Hamilton, Chamber of Commerce Building, Essex Club (now the
New Jersey Historical Society) and a half dozen banks, also
in Newark, New Jersey.
RICHARD NORMAN SHAW
Richard Norman Shaw (Edinburgh May 7, 1831
London November 17, 1912), was the most influential
British architect from the 1870s to the 1900s, known for his
country houses and for commercial buildings.
He trained in the London office of William
Burn and with George Edmund Street and attended the Royal
Academy classes, receiving a thorough grounding in classicism
and met William Eden Nesfield, with whom he was briefly in
partnership. In 1854 1856 he travelled with a Royal
Academy scholarship, collecting sketches that were published
as Architectural Sketches from the Continent, 1858.
In 1863, after sixteen years of training,
he opened a practise, for a short time with Nesfield. In 1872,
Shaw was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy, and a
full member in 1877.
He worked, among others, for the artist, John
Callcott Horsley, and the industrialist, Lord Armstrong. He
designed large houses such as Cragside and Grim's Dyke, as
well as a series of commercial buildings in a wide range of
Shaw was elected to the Royal Academy in 1877,
and co-edited the 1892 collection of essays, Architecture,
a profession or an Art? He firmly believed it was an art.
In later years, Shaw moved to a heavier classical style which
influenced the emerging Edwardian Classicism of the early
20th century. Shaw died in London, where he had designed residential
buildings in areas such as Pont Street, and public buildings
such as Scotland Yard.
Besides the large country houses he is associated
with, he also built and restored several churches, the best
known of which are St. John's Church, Leeds; St. Margaret's,
Ilkley, and All Saints, Leek.
His picturesque early country houses avoided
the current Neo-Gothic and the academic styles, reviving vernacular
materials like half timber and hanging tiles, with projecting
gables and tall massive chimneys with "inglenooks"
for warm seating. The result was free and fresh, not slavishly
imitating his Jacobean and vernacular models, yet warmly familiar,
a parallel to the Arts and Crafts movement. Richard Norman
Shaw's houses soon attracted the misnomer the "Queen
Anne style". As his powers developed, he dropped some
of the mannered detailing, his buildings gained in dignity,
and had acquired an air of serenity and a quiet homely charm
which were less conspicuous in his earlier works; half timber
construction was more sparingly used, and finally disappeared
His work is characterised by ingenious open
planning, the Great Hall or "sitting hall," with
a staircase running up the side that became familiar in mass-producing
housing of the 1890s.
THE PALACE OF WESTMINSTER
The Palace of Westminster, also known as the
Houses of Parliament, in London, England is where the two
Houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (the House
of Lords and the House of Commons) meet to conduct their business.
The Palace lies on the north bank of the River Thames in the
London borough of the City of Westminster, close by other
government buildings in Whitehall. Coordinates: 51°29'58
N, 0°07'29 W
The oldest part of the Palace still in existence, Westminster
Hall, dates from 1097. The palace originally served as a royal
residence but no monarch has lived in it since the 16th century.
Most of the present structure dates from the 19th century,
when the Palace was rebuilt after it was almost entirely destroyed
by a fire in 1834. The architect responsible for rebuilding
the Palace was Sir Charles Barry with Augustus Welby Pugin.
The building is an example of Gothic revival. One of the Palace's
most famous features is the clock tower, a tourist attraction
that houses the famous bell Big Ben. The latter name is often
used, erroneously, for the clock itself, which is actually
part of St Stephen's Tower.
The Palace contains over 1,000 rooms, the most important of
which are the Chambers of the House of Lords and of the House
of Commons. The Palace also includes committee rooms, libraries,
lobbies, dining-rooms, bars and gymnasiums. It is the site
of important state ceremonies, most notably the State Opening
of Parliament. The Palace is very closely associated with
the two Houses, as shown by the use of the word "Westminster"
to refer to "Parliament". Parliamentary offices
overspill into nearby buildings such as Portcullis House,
and Norman Shaw Buildings.
The Palace of Westminster was strategically important during
the Middle Ages, as it was located on the banks of the River
Thames. Buildings have occupied the site since at least Saxon
times. Known in mediæval times as Thorney Island, the
site may have been first used for a royal residence by Canute
the Great (reigned 1016 to 1035). The penultimate Saxon monarch
of England, St Edward the Confessor, built a royal palace
in Thorney Island just west of the City of London at about
the same time as he built Westminster Abbey (1045 to 1050).
Thorney Island and the surrounding area soon became known
as Westminster (a contraction of the words "West Monastery").
After the Norman Conquest (1066) King William I established
himself at the Tower of London, but later moved to Westminster.
Neither the buildings used by the Saxons nor those used by
William I survive. The oldest existing parts of the Palace
(Westminster Hall and the Great Hall) date from the reign
of William I's successor, King William II.
The Palace of Westminster was the monarch's principal residence
in the late Mediaeval period. The predecessor of Parliament,
the Curia Regis (Royal Council), met in Westminster Hall (though
it followed the King when he moved to other palaces). The
Model Parliament, the first official Parliament of England,
met in the Palace in 1295. Since then, almost all Parliaments
have met in the Palace. However, some Parliaments have met
in other locations.
Westminster remained the monarch's chief London
residence until a fire destroyed part of the structure in
1529. In 1530 King Henry VIII acquired York Palace from Thomas
Cardinal Wolsey, a powerful minister who had lost the King's
favour. Renaming it the Palace of Whitehall, Henry VIII used
it as his principal residence. Although Westminster officially
remained a royal palace, it was used by the two Houses of
Parliament and as a law court.
Because it was originally a royal residence, the Palace did
not include any purpose-built chambers for the two Houses.
Important state ceremonies, including the State Opening of
Parliament, were held in the Painted Chamber. The House of
Lords usually met in the White Chamber. The House of Commons,
however, did not have a chamber of its own; it sometimes held
its debates in the Chapter House of Westminster Abbey. The
Commons acquired a permanent home in the Palace-St Stephen's
Chapel, a former royal chapel, but only during the reign of
Henry VIII's successor, King Edward VI. The Chantries Act
1547 (passed as a part of the Protestant Reformation) dissolved
the religious order of the Canons of St Stephen's (among other
institutions); thus the Chapel was left for the Commons' use.
Alterations were made to St Stephen's Chapel for the convenience
of the lower House.
On 16 October 1834, most of the Palace was destroyed by fire.
Only Westminster Hall, the Jewel Tower, the crypt of St Stephen's
Chapel and the cloisters survived. A Royal Commission was
appointed to study the rebuilding of the Palace and decided
that it should be rebuilt on the same site, and that its style
should be either Gothic or Elizabethan. A heated public debate
over the proposed styles ensued. In 1836, after studying 97
rival proposals, the Royal Commission chose Charles Barry's
plan for a Gothic style palace. The foundation stone was laid
in 1840; the Lords' Chamber was completed in 1847, and the
Commons' Chamber in 1852 (at which point Barry received a
knighthood). Although most of the work had been carried out
by 1860, construction was not finished until a decade afterwards.
The Palace of Westminster continued to function normally until
1940. In 1941, the Commons' Chamber was destroyed by German
bombs in the course of the Second World War. Sir Giles Gilbert
Scott was commissioned as architect for the rebuilding of
the Chamber; he chose to preserve the essential features of
Sir Charles Barry's design. Work on the Commons' Chamber was
completed by 1950.
Sir Charles Barry's design for the Palace of Westminster uses
the Perpendicular Gothic style, which was popular during the
15th century and returned during the Gothic revival of the
19th century. Barry was himself a classical architect, but
he was aided by the Gothic architect Augustus Pugin. Westminster
Hall, which was built in the 11th century and survived the
fire of 1834, was incorporated in Barry's design. Pugin was
displeased with the result of the work, especially with the
symmetrical layout designed by Barry; he famously remarked,
"All Grecian, sir; Tudor details on a classic body."
The stonework of the building was originally Anston, a sand-coloured
magnesian limestone quarried in the village of Anston in South
Yorkshire. The stone, however, soon began to decay due to
pollution. Although such defects were clear as early as 1849,
nothing was done for the remainder of the 19th century. During
the 1910s, however, it became clear that some of the stonework
had to be replaced.
In 1928 it was deemed necessary to use Clipsham Stone, a honey-coloured
limestone from Rutland, to replace the decayed Anston. The
project began in the 1930s but was halted due to the Second
World War, and completed only during the 1950s. By the 1960s
pollution had once again begun to take its toll. A stone conservation
and restoration programme began in 1981, and ended in 1994.
Sir Charles Barry's Palace of Westminster includes several
towers. The tallest is the 98 m (323 ft) Victoria Tower, a
square tower at the south-western end of the Palace. The tower
was named after the reigning monarch at the time of the reconstruction
of the Palace, Queen Victoria. The tower is home to the House
of Lords' Record Office, which, despite its name, has custody
of the records of both Houses of Parliament. Atop the Victoria
Tower is an iron flagstaff, from which the Royal Standard
(if the Sovereign is present in the Palace) or the Union Flag
is flown. At the base of the Victoria Tower is the Sovereign's
Entrance to the Palace. The monarch uses this entrance whenever
entering the Palace of Westminster for the State Opening of
Parliament or for any other official ceremony.
Over the middle of the Palace lies the Central Tower. The
Central Tower is 91 m (300 ft) tall, making it the shortest
of the three principal towers of the Palace. Unlike the other
towers, the Central Tower possesses a spire. It stands immediately
above the Central Lobby, and is octagonally shaped. Its function
was originally as a high-level air intake.
A small tower is positioned at the front of the Palace, between
Westminster Hall and Old Palace Yard, and contains the main
entrance to the House of Commons at its base, known as St.
At the north-western end of the Palace is the most famous
of the towers, St Stephen's Tower, the Clock Tower (often
referred to as Big Ben) which is 96 m (316 ft) tall. The Clock
Tower houses a large clock known as the Great Clock of Westminster.
On each of the four sides of the tower is a large clock face.
The tower also houses five bells, which strike the Westminster
Chimes every quarter hour. The largest and most famous of
the bells is Big Ben (officially, the Great Bell of Westminster),
which strikes the hour. This is the third heaviest bell in
England, weighing 13 tons 10 cwt 99 lb (about 13.8 t). Although
the term "Big Ben" properly refers only to the bell,
it is often colloquially applied to the whole tower.
There are a number of small gardens surrounding the Palace
of Westminster. Victoria Tower Gardens is open as a public
park along the side of the river south of the palace. Black
Rod's Garden (named after the office of Gentleman Usher of
the Black Rod) is closed to the public and is used as a private
entrance. Old Palace Yard, in front of the Palace, is paved
over and covered in concrete security blocks (see security
below). Cromwell Green (also on the frontage, and in 2006
enclosed by hoardings for the construction of a new visitor
centre), New Palace Yard (on the north side) and Speaker's
Green (directly north of the Palace) are all private and closed
to the public. College Green, opposite the House of Lords,
is a small triangular green used for television interviews
The Palace of Westminster includes approximately 1,100 rooms,
100 staircases, and 3 miles (5 km) of passageways. The building
includes four floors; the ground floor includes offices, dining
rooms, and bars. The 'first floor' (known as the principal
floor) houses the main rooms of the Palace, including the
Chambers, the lobbies, and the libraries. The Robing Room,
the Royal Gallery, the Prince's Chamber, the Lords' Chamber,
the Peers' Lobby, the Central Lobby, the Members' Lobby, and
the Commons' Chamber all lie in a straight line on this floor,
from south to north, in the order noted. (Westminster Hall
lies to a side at the Commons end of the Palace.) The top
two floors are used for committee rooms and offices.
Formerly, the Palace was controlled by the Lord Great Chamberlain,
as it was (and formally remains) a royal residence. In 1965,
however, it was decided that each House should control its
own rooms. The Speaker and Lord Chancellor exercise control
on behalf of their respective Houses. The Lord Great Chamberlain
retains custody of certain ceremonial rooms.
Lords Chamber and Canopy are located at one end of the chamber.
The Chamber of the House of Lords is located in the southern
part of the Palace of Westminster. The lavishly decorated
room measures 14 by 24 m (45 by 80 ft). The benches in the
Chamber, as well as other furnishings in the Lords' side of
the Palace, are coloured red. The upper part of the Chamber
is decorated by stained glass windows and by six allegorical
frescoes representing religion, chivalry and law. The upper
part, or the viewing gallery, features a small curtain, around
ten inches high. This was constructed in the 1920s to hide
the ankles and lower legs of viewing women; fashion was becoming
increasingly promiscuous, as they saw it, and the sight of
bare legs was deemed unsuitable for Lords.
At one end of the Chamber are the ornate gold Canopy and Throne;
although the Sovereign may theoretically occupy the Throne
during any sitting, he or she attends only the State Opening
of Parliament. Other members of the Royal Family who attend
the State Opening use Chairs of State next to the Throne.
In front of the Throne is the Woolsack, a backless and armless
red cushion stuffed with wool, representing the historical
importance of the wool trade. The Woolsack is used by the
officer presiding over the House (the Lord Speaker since 2006,
but historically the Lord Chancellor or a deputy). The House's
mace, which represents royal authority, is placed on the back
of the Woolsack. In front of the Woolsack are the Judges'
Woolsack (a larger red cushion occupied by the Law Lords during
the State Opening) and the Table of the House (at which the
Members of the House occupy red benches on three sides of
the Chamber. The benches on the Lord Chancellor's right form
the Spiritual Side and those to his left form the Temporal
Side. The Lords Spiritual (archbishops and bishops of the
established Church of England) all occupy the Spiritual Side.
The Lords Temporal (nobles) sit according to party affiliation:
members of the Government party sit on the Spiritual Side,
whilst those of the Opposition sit on the Temporal Side. Some
peers, who have no party affiliation, sit on the benches in
the middle of the House opposite the Woolsack; they are accordingly
known as cross-benchers.
The Lords' Chamber is the site of important ceremonies, the
most important of which is the State Opening of Parliament,
which occurs at the beginning of each annual parliamentary
session. The Sovereign, seated on the Throne, delivers the
Speech from the Throne, outlining the Government's legislative
agenda for the forthcoming parliamentary session. The Commons
do not enter the Chamber; instead, they watch the proceedings
from the Bar of the House, just inside the Chamber. A similar
ceremony is held at the end of a parliamentary session; the
Sovereign, however, does not normally attend, and is instead
represented by a group of Lords Commissioners.
The Chamber of the House of Commons, which was opened in 1950
after the Victorian chamber had been destroyed in 1941 (architect:
Giles Gilbert Scott) is at the northern end of the Palace
of Westminster. The Chamber measures 14 by 21 m (46 by 68
ft). It is far more austere than the grand Lords' Chamber;
the benches, as well as other furnishings in the Commons side
of the Palace, are coloured green. It is illegal for a member
of the public to sit on the green benches. Other parliaments
in Commonwealth nations have copied the colour scheme under
which the Lower House is associated with green, and the Upper
House with red.
At one end of the Chamber is the Speaker's Chair, a present
to Parliament from Australia. In front of the Speaker's Chair
is the Table of the House, at which the clerks sit, and on
which is placed the Commons' ceremonial mace. The dispatch
boxes, which front bench MPs often lean on or rest notes on
during Questions and speeches, are a gift from New Zealand.
There are green benches on either side of the house; members
of the Government party occupy benches on the Speaker's right,
whilst those of the Opposition occupy benches on the Speaker's
left. There are no cross-benches as in the House of Lords.
The Chamber is relatively small, and can accommodate only
427 of the 646 Members of Parliament. During Prime Minister's
Questions and in major debates Members of Parliament stand
at either end of the House.
By tradition, the British Sovereign does not enter the Chamber
of the House of Commons. The last monarch to enter the Chamber
was King Charles I (in 1642); he sought to arrest five Members
of Parliament on charges of high treason. When the King asked
the Speaker, William Lenthall, if he had any knowledge of
the whereabouts of these individuals, Lenthall famously replied:
"May it please your Majesty, I have neither eyes to see
nor tongue to speak in this place but as the House is pleased
to direct me, whose servant I am here."
The two red lines on the floor of the House of Commons are,
by (probably apocryphal) tradition, two sword lengths and
one foot (0.3 m) apart. Protocol dictates that MPs may not
cross these lines when speaking. Historically, this was to
prevent disputes in the house from devolving into duels.
Westminster Hall, the oldest existing part of the Palace of
Westminster, was erected in 1097. The roof was originally
supported by pillars but, during the reign of King Richard
II, it was replaced by a hammerbeam roof designed by Henry
Yevele and Hugh Herland. Westminster Hall is one of the largest
halls in Europe with an unsupported roof; it measures 21 by
73 m (68 by 240 ft). An Essex legend has it that the oak timber
came from woods in Thundersley, Essex.
Westminster Hall has served numerous functions. It was primarily
used for judicial purposes, housing three of the most important
courts in the land: the Court of King's Bench, the Court of
Common Pleas, and the Court of Chancery. In 1873, these courts
were amalgamated into the High Court of Justice, which continued
to meet in Westminster Hall until it moved to the Royal Courts
of Justice in 1882. In addition to regular courts, Westminster
Hall also housed important state trials, including impeachment
trials and the trial of King Charles I at the end of the English
Westminster Hall has also served ceremonial functions. From
the twelfth century to the nineteenth, coronation banquets
honouring new monarchs were held here. The last coronation
banquet was that of King George IV (1821); his successor,
William IV, abandoned the idea because he deemed it too expensive.
Westminster Hall has also been used for lyings-in-state during
state funerals and ceremonial funerals. Such an honour is
usually reserved for the Sovereign and for their consorts;
the only non-royals to receive it in the twentieth century
were Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts (1914) and
Sir Winston Churchill (1965). The most recent lying-in-state
was that of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in 2002.
In 1999 and 2003, the staff of the Palace were given special
permission to return the Hall to its original purpose, by
the holding of two Grand Parties there.
The two Houses have presented ceremonial Addresses to the
Crown in Westminster Hall on important public occasions. For
example, Addresses have been presented at Elizabeth II's Silver
Jubilee (1977) and Golden Jubilee (2002), the 300th anniversary
of the Glorious Revolution (1988), and the fiftieth anniversary
of the end of the Second World War (1995).
Under reforms made in 1999, the House of Commons uses a specially
converted room next to Westminster Hall (not the main hall)
as an additional debating chamber. (Usually, however, the
room is spoken of as a part of Westminster Hall.) The room
is shaped like an elongated horseshoe; it stands in contrast
with the main Chamber, in which the benches are placed opposite
each other. This pattern is meant to reflect the non-partisan
nature of the debates held in Westminster Hall. Westminster
Hall sittings occur thrice each week; important or controversial
matters are not usually discussed.
There are several other important rooms that lie on the first
floor of the Palace. At the extreme southern end of the Palace
is the Robing Room, the room in which the Sovereign prepares
for the State Opening of Parliament by donning official robes
and wearing the Imperial State Crown. Paintings by William
Dyce in the Robing Room depict scenes from the legend of King
Arthur. Immediately next to the Robing Room is the Royal Gallery,
which is sometimes used by foreign dignitaries who wish to
address both Houses. The walls are decorated by two enormous
paintings by Daniel Maclise: "The Death of Nelson"
(depicting Lord Nelson's demise at the Battle of Trafalgar)
and "The Meeting of Wellington and Blücher"
(showing the Duke of Wellington meeting Gebhard Leberecht
von Blücher at the Battle of Waterloo).
To the immediate south of the Lords Chamber is the Prince's
Chamber, a small ante-room used by Members of the Lords. The
Prince's Chamber is decorated with paintings of members of
the Tudor dynasty. To the immediate north of the Lord's Chamber
is the Peers' Lobby, where Lords informally discuss or negotiate
matters during sittings of the House.
The centrepiece of the Palace of Westminster is the octagonal
Central Lobby, which lies immediately beyond the Peers' Lobby.
The lobby, which lies immediately below the Central Tower,
is adorned with statues of statesmen and with mosaics representing
the United Kingdom's constituent nations' patron saints: St
George for England, St Andrew for Scotland, St David for Wales,
and St Patrick for Ireland (these predate the secession of
the Republic). Constituents may meet their Members of Parliament
in the Central Lobby. Beyond the Central Lobby, next to the
Commons Chamber, lies the Members' Lobby, in which Members
of Parliament hold discussions or negotiations. The Members'
Lobby contains statues of several former Prime Ministers,
including David Lloyd George, Sir Winston Churchill, and Clement
There are two suites of libraries on the Principal Floor,
overlooking the river, for the House of Lords and House of
The Palace of Westminster also includes state apartments for
the presiding officers of the two Houses. The official residence
of the Speaker stands at the northern end of the Palace, whilst
the Lord Chancellor's apartments are at the southern end.
Each day, the Speaker and Lord Chancellor take part in formal
processions from their apartments to their respective Chambers.
THE ROYAL COURTS OF JUSTICE
The Royal Courts of Justice, commonly called
the Law Courts, is a building in London that houses the Court
of Appeal and the High Court of Justice of England and Wales.
Courts within the building are open to the public although
there may be some restrictions depending upon the nature of
the cases being held.
The building is a large grey stone edifice
in the Victorian Gothic style and was designed by George Edmund
Street, a solicitor turned architect, and built in the 1870s.
The Royal Courts of Justice was opened by Queen Victoria in
December 1882 and became the permanent home of the Supreme
Court. It is on The Strand, in the City of Westminster, near
the border with the City of London and the London Borough
of Camden. It is surrounded by the four Inns of Court. The
nearest tube stations are Chancery Lane and Temple.
Those who do not have legal representation
may receive some assistance within the court building. The
Citizens Advice Bureau has a small office in the main entrance
hall where lawyers provide free advice. There is usually a
queue for this service. There is also a Personal Support Unit
where litigants in person can get emotional support and practical
information about what happens in court. The main criminal
court (Crown Court), housed separately, is the Central Criminal
Court, popularly known as the Old Bailey.
History and Architecture
The eleven architects competing for the contract for the Law
Courts each submitted alternative designs with the view of
the possible placing of the building on the Thames Embankment.
The present site was chosen only after much debate.
In 1868 it was finally decided that George
Edmund Street, R.A. was to be appointed the sole architect
for the Royal Courts of Justice and it was he who designed
the whole building from foundation to varied carvings and
spires. Building was started in 1873 by Messrs. Bull &
Sons of Southampton.
There was a serious strike of masons at an
early stage which threatened to extend to the other trades
and caused a temporary stoppage of the works. In consequence,
foreign workmen were brought in mostly Germans. This
aroused bitter hostility on the part of the men on strike
and the newcomers had to be housed and fed in the building.
However, these disputes were eventually settled and the building
took eight years to complete and was officially opened by
Queen Victoria on the 4th December, 1882. Sadly, Street died
before the building was opened.
Parliament paid £1,453.000 for the 6
acre site upon which 450 houses had to be demolished. The
building was paid for by cash accumulated in court from the
estates of the intestate to the sum of £700,000. Oak
work and fittings in the court cost a further £70,000
and with decoration and furnishing the total cost for the
building came to under a million pound.
The dimensions of the building (in round figures)
are: 470 feet from east to west; 460 feet from north to south;
245 feet from the Strand level to the tip of the fleche.
Entering through the main gates in the Strand
one passes under two elaborately carved porches fitted with
iron gates. The carving over the outer porch consists of heads
of the most eminent Judges and Lawyers. Over the highest point
of the upper arch is a figure of the Saviour; to the left
and right at a lower level are figures of Solomon and Alfred;
that of Moses is at the northern front of the building. Also
at the northern front, over the Judges entrance are a stone
cat and dog representing fighting litigants in court.
On either side are gateways leading to different
Courts and Jury and Witness Rooms from which separate staircases
are provided for them to reach their boxes in Court. During
the 1960s, jury rooms in the basement area were converted
to courtrooms. At either end of the hall are handsome marble
galleries from which the entire Main Hall can be viewed.
The walls and ceilings (of the older, original
Courts) are panelled in oak which in many cases is elaborately
carved. In Court 4, the Lord Chief Justices court, there
is an elaborately carved wooden Royal Coat of Arms. Each court
has an interior unique to itself; they were each designed
by different architects.
There are, in addition to the Waiting Rooms,
several Arbitration and Consultation Chambers together with
Robing Rooms for the member of the bar.
Extensions to the building
The first extension was the West Green building for which
plans were drawn in 1910 and this was to house extra divorce
courts. They were the first to have modern air conditioning
and tape recoding in their original design.
The next new building was the Queens
Building opened in 1968 providing a further twelve courts.
This building also contains cells in the basement.
With an ever increasing workload the eleven
storey Thomas More Building was built to house the Bankruptcy
and Companies Courts and yet more offices. A grand view can
be had from the top looking over to St. Pauls Cathedral
and the Central Criminal Courts in the City of London.
Finally, it was necessary to build an additional
twelve courts for the Chancery Division named the Thomas More
Courts, which opened in January 1990. all this has meant there
is little room left for further extension on the site should
it be necessary in the future. However, an extensive refurbishment
of the East Block took place during 1994-95 which provided
14 extra courts for the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal
and 2 extra large courts which are unassigned and will be
used for cases where there are several parties involved or
there are an unusually large amount of documents and books.
It should also be remembered that there are
further courts at St. Dunstans House, which come under
the wing of the Law Courts and are within short walking distance.
Vestments are liturgical garments and articles
associated primarily with the Christian religions, especially
the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran and Anglican Churches.
Many other Protestant groups also make use of vestments, but
this was a point of controversy in the Protestant Reformation
and sometimes since - notably during the Ritualist controversies
in England in the 19th century.
For other garments worn by clergy, see also Clerical clothing.
Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Protestant vestments
For the Eucharist, each vestment symbolizes a spiritual dimension
of the priesthood, with roots in the very origins of the Church.
In some measure these vestments harken to the Roman roots
of the See of Peter.
Use of the following vestments varies. Some are used by all
Western Christians in liturgical traditions. Many are used
only in the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, and there
is much variation within each of those churches.
Used by Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, and some Protestants
A decorative white tunic worn over the cassock.
A long, narrow strip of cloth draped around
the neck, a vestment of distinction, a symbol of ordination.
Deacons wear it draped across the left shoulder diagonally
across the body to the right hip. Corresponds to the Orthodox
orarion and epitrachelion (see below).
The common garment of all ministers at the
eucharist, worn over street clothes or a cassock. Most closely
corresponds to the Orthodox sticharion (see below). Symbolizes
baptismal garmet. See also Cassock-alb.
Used by Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, and some Methodists
The outermost sacramental garment of priests
and bishops, often quite decorated. Corresponds to the Orthodox
phelonion (see below). See also chasuble-alb.
The outermost garment of deacons.
a cloth around the neck used to cover the
collar of street attire.
or Girdle. Corresponds to the Orthodox zone.
Used by Roman Catholics and some Anglicans and Lutherans
The outermost garment of subdeacons.
A circular cape reaching to the ankle, used
by bishops, priests and deacons.
A liturgical handkerchief bound about the
wrist. According to some authorities, this corresponds to
the Orthodox epigonation (see below). Modern usage of the
maniple in either church is rare. It is only used in the Roman
Catholic Church when celebrating Mass according to the Tridentine
Rite and some Anglo-Catholic parishes.
Long cloth rectangle draped around the shoulders
and used to cover the hands when carrying a monstrance.
Surplice with narrower sleeves.
Skull cap, similar to the yarmulke
Worn by Bishops and abbots. Despite the having
the same name, this does not really correspond with the Eastern
mitre (see below), which has a distinct history and which
was adopted much later.
May be worn by clergy of all ranks except
the Pope; color signifies rank.
Used only by Roman Catholics
A narrow band of lamb's wool decorated with
six black crosses, worn about the neck with short pendants
front and back, worn by the Pope and bestowed by him on Metropolitans
and Archbishops. Corresponds to the Orthodox omophorion (see
An episcopal humeral worn over the chasuble.
It is only used by the Bishops of Eichstätt, Paderborn,
Toul, and Kraków.
A double-layered mozzetta, now only occasionally
worn by the Pope during solemn
Pontifical High Mass.
Formerly worn by the Pope at his coronation;
it has fallen out of use but may be revived at any time when
the reigning Pontiff of Rome wishes. This is strictly speaking
not a vestment but an item of regalia since it was never worn
within liturgical services with the exception of the blessing
Urbi et Orbi.
Used only by Anglicans
(or Preaching Scarf). Black scarf worn by
bishop, priests and deacons at choir offices and other non-sacramental
Red or black outer garment of bishops.
Academic hood is sometimes worn by Anglican
clergy at choir offices. It is also sometimes worn by Methodists
and Reformed clergy with an Academic Gown ("Geneva Gown"),
though this is fairly rare.
A short cassock reaching just above the knee,
worn by archdeacons (for whom it is black) and bishops (for
whom it is purple). Now largely obsolete.
Worn by archdeacons and bishops with the apron.
Black, buttoned up the sides, and worn to just below the knee.
A thurible is a metal censer suspended from
chains, in which incense is burned during Mass. It is used
in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Old Catholic
and other churches. In Catholic and Anglican churches, the
altar server who carries the thurible is called the thurifer.
The workings of a thurible are quite simple. Heated charcoal
is inside the actual metal censer. Incense, sometimes of many
different varieties is placed upon the charcoal by the priest.
This may be done several times during the service as the incense
burns quite quickly. Once the incense has been placed on the
charcoal the thurible is then closed and handed to the priest
or deacon for censing.
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