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”

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)”

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”

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”

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”

Multum in parvo – John Middleton and Llangynllo

There won’t be all that many posts on this blog devoted to individual buildings, but this one is so extraordinary that I have to make an exception. We first encountered Sir Thomas Lloyd (1820-1877) in connection with St Dogfael’s Church in Meline, featured in last week’s post on R.J. Withers. Though Gothic Revival, that isContinue reading “Multum in parvo – John Middleton and Llangynllo”

Minor architect, major works?

The subject of today’s post is the sort of architect whose biography explains at a quick glance why he has been largely overlooked by architectural historians. My hope is that a quick glance at his delightful and engaging work will be enough to show why that neglect is undeserved. Robert Jewell Withers (1824-1894) built noContinue reading “Minor architect, major works?”

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”

John Croft: the most mysterious rogue of all?

If one were to single out a figure who embodies all the tantalising yet exasperating complexities and lacunae of the byways of 19th century architecture, it might well be John Croft. Two works have come down to us which demonstrate an impressively fertile architectural imagination. Even by the standards of the 1860s – the high-waterContinue reading “John Croft: the most mysterious rogue of all?”