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”

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)”

J.P. Seddon at Birchington-on-Sea: from ‘Vigour and Go’ to Sweetness and Light

The subject of this post is a particular favourite of mine. Over the course of his long life, he was hugely industrious, not just in architecture but also in the applied arts – furniture, ceramics, stained glass, wall and ceiling painting, textiles and metalwork. Active as an author, polemicist and lecturer, he wrote almost prolificallyContinue reading “J.P. Seddon at Birchington-on-Sea: from ‘Vigour and Go’ to Sweetness and Light”

Bristly, stripy and muscly – the architecture of Poundley and Walker

Several of the architects featured so far in this blog were, for all the distinctiveness of their architecture, specialists in a particular building type, be it churches, country houses or non-conformist chapels. Where 19th century architects were professionally more omnivorous, they tended to cut their stylistic cloth according to the commission. Though we think ofContinue reading “Bristly, stripy and muscly – the architecture of Poundley and Walker”

Ghastly good taste in the Weald

Again rural Kent and again a residential property – very different in scale and style to the cottages in Leeds featured a few weeks ago, but, like them inasmuch as it is the sort of architecture that slips below the radar of historians because it is neither ‘properly’ vernacular nor (at any rate, as farContinue reading “Ghastly good taste in the Weald”