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25 February 2021An Age of Contrast and Conflict: Architectural Changes in Great Britain in the 19th Century

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An Age of Contrast and Conflict: Architectural Changes in Great Britain in the 19th Century Christopher Rogers Thursday 25 February 2021

Session 1

A clash of styles. What style of building should a civilized society adopt? The Greek Revival was popular as it reflected a lost world of democratic values and a sophisticated society to which modern Britons should aspire. The burning of the Houses of Parliament changed that. Should we rebuild in a 'national style’ and what would that be? Sir Charles Barry, classicist and Edward Pugin, architects of the new House of Parliament reflect the tension that existed between the two styles, the Classical and the emergent Gothic.

 Session 2

In search of Godliness. The religious revival of the mid-19th century was a huge catalyst to architectural development, both religious and secular. Furthermore the industrial revolution and the growth of Empire injected huge wealth into the nation; wealth that was often poured into new buildings. It was an age of church building, led by Pugin, Scott and Burges, as well as a rich diversity of public buildings, schools and country houses.

 Session 3

Home Sweet Home. The last quarter of the 19th century is associated with a renewed  interest in the vernacular architecture of Great Britain as well as the architecture of the Golden Age; late 17th century England, the age of Christopher Wren. At the same time there was revived interest in authenticity, of crafted rather than machine made objects. Richard Norman Shaw, William Morris and Philip Webb created a whole new world of buildings, culminating in the work of Detmar Blow in Wiltshire, and Edwin Lutyens in Surrey.