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)”

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?”

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”

A house and a manifesto: E.B. Lamb’s Fawkham Manor

Word reached me at the end of last month of an exciting new addition to the National Heritage List, Historic England’s register of all the listed sites nationwide. On 26th November 2020, Fawkham Manor of 1866-1867 near Brands Hatch in northwest Kent became a Grade II-listed building. Far more than the date makes it ofContinue reading “A house and a manifesto: E.B. Lamb’s Fawkham Manor”

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”

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”

Fabulous folk art in Leeds (no, not that one)

Fascinating though Victorian ecclesiastical heritage can be, I’m concerned that this blog shouldn’t get too church-heavy, so here is something completely different – a building that is every bit as colourful and exuberant as architecture already featured here, but apparently off everyone’s radar. Leeds Castle is one of Kent’s big tourist attractions – or atContinue reading “Fabulous folk art in Leeds (no, not that one)”

A newly discovered work by George Gilbert Scott Junior

George Gilbert Scott Junior (1839-1897) is not an overlooked architect. At any rate, he shouldn’t be. He was recognised in his time as a hugely talented designer, yet never received his posthumous due for a number of reasons. One, inevitably, was that he was overshadowed by his more famous namesake father, but his breakdown, relativelyContinue reading “A newly discovered work by George Gilbert Scott Junior”