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”

Dandified Gothic: the architecture of Henry Woodyer (1816-1896)

This blog does not deal primarily with lost heritage, but recently a long-vanished building was brought to my attention which is simply too good not to feature here. The most grievous losses suffered by 19th and early 20th century architectural heritage as a result of accident, war damage, changes of fashion and redevelopment are wellContinue reading “Dandified Gothic: the architecture of Henry Woodyer (1816-1896)”

The Gothic horrors of a Victorian worthy – Charles Buxton and Foxwarren

The roots of the Gothic Revival extend as far into literature as they do into archaeology. The endeavours of one of its key progenitors, Horace Walpole (1717-1797), to recreate the Middle Ages in brick, wood, plaster and stone through his remodelling of Strawberry Hill were inextricably bound up with his evocations of the Middle AgesContinue reading “The Gothic horrors of a Victorian worthy – Charles Buxton and Foxwarren”

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”