H.S. Goodhart-Rendel and the 20th century Victorians

Harry Stuart Goodhart-Rendel (1887-1959) is someone who has loomed very large in this blog. I’m aware that I’ve quoted him extensively without fully explaining who he was and why he matters so much to any student of Victorian architecture. It is now time to bring him centre-stage, even if that means straying outside the chronologicalContinue reading “H.S. Goodhart-Rendel and the 20th century Victorians”

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”

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”

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”

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?”

Amateur extravagance in the Welsh Marches

I have long fancied that one of the principal drivers of architectural development in Victorian England was boredom. Young men who had come into contact with the ideas of, say, Ruskin or the Tractarian Movement while up at Oxbridge or in the capital then found themselves out in the sticks on inheriting the family estateContinue reading “Amateur extravagance in the Welsh Marches”