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”

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”

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”

French Architecture for Armchair Travellers – the éolienne Bollée and Clovis Normand

Tracing and unravelling all the routes by which France exerted an influence on Victorian architecture is such an enormous task that it would more than suffice to keep an architectural historian busy for the whole of an academic career. Some of the influence is very obvious, such as the enormous interest excited by the restorationContinue reading “French Architecture for Armchair Travellers – the éolienne Bollée and Clovis Normand”

A glimpse of Arcadia in Central Wales

Thomas Henry Wyatt (1807-1880) and David Brandon (1813-1897) have a reputation of being among the also-rans of Victorian architecture. In the earlier part of their careers, the two architects had a professional partnership which lasted from 1838 until 1851, whereupon they went their separate ways. They were commercially successful, taking on the full range ofContinue reading “A glimpse of Arcadia in Central Wales”