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”

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?”

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)”

Joseph Clarke (1819/20-1888): an unexpectedly deft safe pair of hands

Today’s post forms something of a pendant to the preceding post on Henry Woodyer, not least because it takes in the remarkable church of SS Peter and Paul in Foxearth, Essex. It deals with an architect who, like Woodyer, was active chiefly in the Home Counties. Again like Woodyer, he specialised in ecclesiastical work –Continue reading “Joseph Clarke (1819/20-1888): an unexpectedly deft safe pair of hands”

An obscure figure finally gets his due

I am delighted to announce that I am the winner of this year’s annual Stephen Croad Essay Prize of the Ancient Monuments Society. My entry, ‘From Georgian antiquarian to Victorian rogue’, was an account of the life and work of the architect Edward Lushington Blackburne (1803-1888). It is, to the best of my knowledge, theContinue reading “An obscure figure finally gets his due”

William Eden Nesfield (1835–1888)

The subject of my first post is someone who, if not exactly obscure, nonetheless is very much a connoisseur’s architect. W. Eden Nesfield (as he tended to call himself) was born into an affluent old Durham family. His father, William Andrews Nesfield (1793-1881), was a veteran of the Peninsula War who subsequently became a waterContinue reading “William Eden Nesfield (1835–1888)”