Recusancy in Dorset and the ‘other tradition’ of Catholic church-building

It is inevitable that A.W.N. Pugin looms large in histories of Roman Catholic church-building in the 19th century. Yet in some ways he was as notable for the adopting the faith that he served through his architecture as he was for the buildings that he designed. Would Pugin be viewed in quite the same wayContinue reading “Recusancy in Dorset and the ‘other tradition’ of Catholic church-building”

Prolific inimitability: getting to grips with S.S. Teulon (1812-1873)

For many of the architects featured in this blog, single posts running to something in the region of 15 pages of copy is sufficient to give a reasonably comprehensive account of their careers. Further research might bring to light previously unknown works and thereby flesh out the picture, but is unlikely to yield anything thatContinue reading “Prolific inimitability: getting to grips with S.S. Teulon (1812-1873)”

High Victorianism for the Kent Coast: the architecture of Wheeler and Hooker

The three series of Six English Towns that Alec Clifton-Taylor made for the BBC in the 1970s-1980s are an excellent introduction to some of the most attractive, best preserved and architecturally most rewarding historic places in the country. All 18 subjects were well chosen and all of them will repay handsomely the time and effortContinue reading “High Victorianism for the Kent Coast: the architecture of Wheeler and Hooker”

From the picturesque to the sublime: Henry Darbishire and the architecture of philanthropy

The name of the architect may not stick in the memory; his greatest work most certainly will. Like many people, I learned about the Columbia Market in Bethnal Green and its tragic fate thanks to Hermione Hobhouse’s Lost London. Somewhere in my mid-teens, I discovered the book in the reference room of Kingston-upon-Thames public libraryContinue reading “From the picturesque to the sublime: Henry Darbishire and the architecture of philanthropy”

One good turn deserves another: into the RIBA Journal thanks to Arthur Beresford Pite

In the days before so much human interaction took place virtually, the circumstances in which one struck up a lasting acquaintance tended to stick in one’s mind. When it begins on-line, they can be a lot harder to pinpoint. I think – although I can’t now be entirely sure – that I got to knowContinue reading “One good turn deserves another: into the RIBA Journal thanks to Arthur Beresford Pite”

H.S. Goodhart-Rendel and the 20th century Victorians

Harry Stuart Goodhart-Rendel (1887-1959) is someone who has loomed very large in this blog. I’m aware that I’ve quoted him extensively without fully explaining who he was and why he matters so much to any student of Victorian architecture. It is now time to bring him centre-stage, even if that means straying outside the chronologicalContinue reading “H.S. Goodhart-Rendel and the 20th century Victorians”

Joseph Peacock – Rogue to the family business

This is a figure who deserves a long and detailed write-up. That he is not going to get one in this post is the result of a happy circumstance, which is that this blog is about to be supplanted – and on this occasion, by its own author. Last week I received the news fromContinue reading “Joseph Peacock – Rogue to the family business”

Robert Lewis Roumieu: progressive or prankster?

One is the former London office of a firm that produced vinegar and fortified wines. The other is a speculative development of townhouses aimed at the affluent middle classes. Fairly mundane projects typical of the 19th century, one might think; typical, indeed, of hundreds such up and down the country, brought into being by theContinue reading “Robert Lewis Roumieu: progressive or prankster?”

Introducing C.H. Driver (1832-1900), Architect to the Steam Age

It is a measure of the prominence which civil engineering assumed in the 19th century that members of the profession achieved the status of household names. Indeed, they not merely achieved, but also retained it – witness, for instance, Isambard Kingdom Brunel polling second place in the 100 Greatest Britons television series of 2002, nearlyContinue reading “Introducing C.H. Driver (1832-1900), Architect to the Steam Age”

Architect of a lost London: Thomas Edward Knightley (1823-1905)

To a greater or lesser degree, lasting success in any profession comes down to luck and architecture is no exception. Success has to be measured not only in terms of what an architect gets to build in his or her lifetime, but also of the subsequent fate of these achievements. Many posthumous reputations which deservedContinue reading “Architect of a lost London: Thomas Edward Knightley (1823-1905)”