St Edward the King and Martyr - Cambridge
Scott designed a new east window for St Edward’s Church, just south of St Mary the Great. This was part of a general restoration which commenced in 1858 and
was completed by Raphael Brandon.
St Mary the Great - Cambridge
In 1850-1 Scott rebuilt the western entrance portal, replacing one of 1575, and rebuilt the top of the tower of the university church of St Mary the Great,
replacing early seventeenth century work in gothic style.
St Michael and All Angels, Trinity Street - Cambridge
In 1849-50, Scott’s first work in Cambridge was the restoration of the attractive fourteenth century church of St Michael in Trinity Street, which had been
damaged in a fire. He provided this church with a new north porch and south doorway. His son, George Gilbert Scott, later refitted the church.
St Mary the Less, Trumpington Street - Cambridge
In 1856-7 he restored St Mary the Less, which is an imposing mid-fourteenth century church, providing new roofs and removing the gallery and pews. However,
it has been considerably altered since Scott’s day, particularly after the fall of the tower later in the century and there is now little trace of Scott’s
Cemetery Chapel, Mill Road - Cambridge
Built by Scott in 1856 in Middle Pointed style with a spire.
King's College Chapel - Cambridge
Scott’s first college work came in 1860 when he carried out repairs to King’s College Chapel. This is certainly the finest building in Cambridge. It is an
enormous Perpendicular structure, almost one hundred yards long and one hundred feet tall and it was started by King Henry VI in 1446, although not
completed until 1515. On 10 September 1860 the authorities of King’s College decided to seek ‘the advice of a competent architect upon the state of the
Chapel roof’ and Scott’s reputation as a safe pair of hands ensured that this most important building would be entrusted to him. He produced a report
the following month and work commenced in the spring of 1861. Leadwork and timber was replaced in the roof, iron tie-rods inserted and it was completed
at the end of 1863 at a cost of £2,715. George Gilbert junior helped his father with the work and made a study of the chapel vaulting which he discussed
in his book published in 1881, An Essay on the History of English Church Architecture.
Chetwynd Court, King's College - Cambridge
Scott’s last building in Cambridge was a new set of rooms for King’s College. In 1870, the college bought a house at the south end of its King’s Parade
frontage and Scott was commissioned to extend the frontage as far as King’s Lane. This is three stories high, stone-faced, with a projecting turret
on the corner with King’s Lane and is capped by a version of the crown over the stair turret at Hillesden which he had already reproduced at Bath Abbey.
Scott’s plans, for what became known as the Chetwynd Building, were approved in 1871, the contract let in August and the work completed in 1873 at a cost
of £6,000. His gothic style building carries on the gable end of the Wilkins Building and as Pevsner said, ‘The skill displayed in this will, one day, be
appreciated’. In 1877 Scott produced an ornate design to replace the great open screen which forms the frontage of King’s College onto the King’s Parade,
with ponderous ranges on either side of a central gatehouse. This was submitted in a limited competition with Street and Burges. Waterhouse was also
invited but did not submit, and although Street’s design was selected it was fortunately decided to abandon the scheme which would have ruined the setting
of the famous chapel.
King's College Chapel part 2 - Cambridge
Scott carried out further repairs to the chapel, particularly in
1875 when he painstakingly restored the western portal and repaired pinnacles and battlements. But as with Hillesden and other fine Perpendicular
buildings, his touch was so gentle that it is almost imperceptible.
Old Court, King's College - Cambridge
Soon after starting on the chapel of St John’s, Scott was commissioned by the university to complete the Old Court of King’s College which stands immediately
to the north of King’s Chapel. The university had purchased it from the college in 1829 to use as its administrative centre and it became known as the
Old Schools. The court was started by Henry VI in 1441 but left incomplete after the King was deposed in 1461. Between 1864 and 1867, Scott rebuilt
the south range and a portion of the west range incorporating the fifteenth century gatehouse, work completed by Pearson in 1890. The work was again
carried out by Jackson and Shaw.
Pembroke College Chapel - Cambridge
This was posthumous work carried out by George Gilbert junior in 1880 to his father’s designs when he added a chancel to enlarge Wren’s chapel.
Chapel and Master's Lodge, St John's - Cambridge
On 28 May 1861 the Fellows of St John’s agreed to mark the seven hundredth jubilee of their college by building a new chapel and on 27 January 1862 Scott was
appointed to carry out the work. As at Exeter College, Oxford, the large increase in student numbers meant that the old chapel was completely inadequate
but Scott was reluctant to destroy the old chapel and suggested that it should be retained as an aisle to the new building. A previous Master, Dr James
Wood, had bequeathed the huge sum of £20,000 towards providing a new chapel so there was enormous pressure for a new building. At a meeting on 2 May 1862,
where Scott presented his enlargement scheme as well as an alternative design for an entirely new chapel, The Fellows chose the new chapel which they said
should not cost more than £40,000.
The intention was that the new chapel would be built behind the north range of the first court which contained the chapel and when the work was completed, the
range would be swept away revealing Scott’s chapel as the new north side of an enlarged court with the hall on the west side extended up to it. The
problem was that the north range contained the entrance to the combination rooms and the staircase and vestibule of the Master’s Lodgings which stretched
westwards along the upper floor of the second court. Scott’s first proposal showed the Master housed in a new building projecting at right-angles from the
rear of the second court but it was later decide that it should be a free-standing house with its own entrance in Bridge Street to the north of the
College. Scott presented his final plans and a report on 24 November 1862 and on 5 December the college authorities agreed that they should be adopted
provided that the cost limit of £40,000 was not exceeded. They seem to have failed to notice that Scott had already estimated that the chapel would cost
£36,000, the Master’s Lodge £7,500 and that the extension to the hall would cost another £3,000.
Scott’s chapel is unusual for Cambridge with its wide ante-chapel across the western end forming transept-like projections on the north and south sides. The
chapels of seven Oxford colleges have this arrangement, including Merton and New College, but Scott in his report is anxious to disclaim any intention
that he is introducing the Oxford model into Cambridge and proposes this arrangement ‘because it happens to be particularly well suited to the position’.
As with most of his chapels, Scott considered the Sainte Chapelle the basis of his design, and although St John’s chapel has tall windows filling each
bay and a high roof, it possesses none of the soaring verticality of the French chapel. It is a long seven-bay building with blank arcading below
Geometric windows and Scott had intended that there should be a fleche over the crossing between the ante-chapel and the chapel. Jackson and Shaw
submitted a tender to build the chapel in Ancaster stone on 1 June 1863, for £34,586 and the Master’s Lodge for £7,200. This was accepted by the college
three days later and the work started in the summer with W. M. Cooper as the Clerk of Works. His first weekly report on 7 September 1863 stated that the
concrete foundations were then being laid but bad weather and industrial disputes slowed the work and only sixteen courses of masonry were in place by 6 May
1864 which was the date chosen for a great foundation-stone laying ceremony.
The foundation-stone was to have been laid by the Earl of Powis, the High Steward of the University and for who, Scott had designed a memorial to the Earl’s
father in Welshpool Church near Powis Castle in 1852. The Earl was a student at St John’s and became an early member of the Cambridge Camden Society and
Vice-President in 1857. It is possible that he was behind Scott’s appointment and he certainly would have approved of Scott’s proposal to ‘adopt the best
variety of pointed architecture … which belongs to the latter half of the thirteenth century’. On the day of the stone-laying ceremony, Scott must have
been disappointed that his patron, the Earl, was ill and his place was taken by Henry Hoare a former scholar of the college. However, this change turned
out to be extremely fortunate for Scott.
The Hoare family are wealthy city bankers and Scott had already carried out work in Devon for Henry Hoare’s brother-in-law, Peter Richard Hoare, when in 1862
he built a chapel close to Hoare’s house, Luscombe Castle. It is a typical Scott single-cell lancet design with a high pitched roof and an apsidal east
end. But a year after completing the chapel, Peter Hoare’s wife died and Scott designed him a highly ornate screen to surround what became the family
burial place in nearby Dawlish churchyard. Peter Hoare also owned Kelsey Manor in Beckenham which has since disappeared under the sprawl of south London
suburbia but in 1869 Scott was to design him another chapel adjacent to his house there. This was demolished in 1921 but seems to have been very similar
Clearly Henry Hoare would have known about the work that Scott had carried out for Peter and three months after laying the foundation stone at St John’s, Henry
offered to erect a stone tower in place of the fleche. He said that he would pay for this by a series of annual contributions of £1,000 throughout his
lifetime. Scott produced three alternative schemes and the college accepted the most expensive option which was for a 163 feet tall tower. Six months
later Jackson and Shaw priced the additional work at £6,100. Scott must have been delighted with the college’s decision to proceed with the tower as it
gave him the opportunity to provide a great focal point to the college buildings as well as enhancing the famous skyline of the university from The Backs.
It is said that his design for the tower was based on the fine Decorated tower of Pershore Abbey in Worcestershire where, between 1862-4, Scott was
carrying out a general restoration.
The tower had not risen much above the adjacent roofs when Henry Hoare died on 16 April 1866 having paid only £2,000 of the £6,100 promised. The college failed
to secure any claim on Hoare’s estate and his son Henry Hoare, although a recent graduate of the college had no such generous feelings towards his old
college. He went to see Scott and told him that he would only pay for the completion of the tower if the college handed over to him the living of the
parish of Staplehurst in Kent, which it owned and where his family lived. He could then appoint his brother, the Reverend Walter Marsham Hoare, to be the
Rector. That the young Hoare should have dropped his bombshell on poor Scott rather that the Master of the college, perhaps indicated Scott’s more kindly
nature. So it was left to Scott to act as a go-between in an affair which was beyond his control. In the end the college had to pay for the completion of
the tower but it retained the living of Staplehurst, enabling the Senior Bursar, Dr George Fearns Reyner, to retire there.
The tower was completed in December 1867 and it was decided that the chapel should be consecrated in May 1869. This provoked a great frenzy of activity in an
attempt to get the interior completed by that date. The existing stalls were taken out of the old chapel and fitted into the eastern part of the new
chapel by Rattee and Kett and at the same time Clayton and Bell were installing stained glass windows and painting the ceiling with an elaborate scheme of
old Johnians from the past. Some old monuments were transferred into the new chapel but the old chapel was still standing in front of Scott’s new building
when the consecration took place on 12 May 1869. The most famous living Johnian, Bishop Selwyn, preached the sermon but Grimthorpe, who was not a
Johnian, managed to be invited and, as to be expected, was not impressed with what he saw. He wrote that he thought the chapel had ‘bad proportions and
bits of mongrel Gothic’. He later said that it would have been ‘better for Scott’s fame if Hoare had never offered the tower’.
The old chapel was finally demolished on 18 September 1869, revealing Scott’s new building in all its incongruous glory, as well as a large gap between the
north end of the entrance range and the apse of Scott’s chapel. He partly filled this gap in 1871 with an elaborate iron screen made by Potter of South
Molton Street, while the rest of the gap was filled by a new two storied extension, containing lecture rooms, on the end of the entrance range. On the
opposite side of the court, Scott carried out a thirty-foot extension to the hall between 1864 and 1868, in a style and materials to match the old college
buildings but destroying a combination room dating from 1511-16. This extension became possible after the Master had moved into the new house that Scott
had designed for him on land to the north west of the chapel. The Master’s House was carried out by Jackson and Shaw at the same time that they were
building the chapel. Here Scott again acknowledges the old college buildings with its battlements and diaper brickwork but, compared with the Rector’s
House at Exeter, he takes advantage of its more isolated position to enable the house to have a dignity appropriate to the station of its occupant.
The building is particularly interesting as a miniature version of Scott’s grand country house style. It incorporates both its weaknesses, such as the
poorly sited front doors and the long dark central corridors of Kelham and Hafodunos, as well as its benefits, such as the careful planning of the interior
to suit the status and life-style of the occupant, and the informal placing of doors and windows on the exterior to reflect internal arrangements.
Jackson and Shawl finished the house in 1864. It cost £8,991, which was an addition of £1,791 to the original contract price. As at the chapel, the
stone carving was carried out by Farmer and Brindley.
The final cost of the chapel was £51,369, which added to the cost of the Master’s House and Scott’s other work, including his fees of £1,753 and Cooper’s wages
of £1,060, produced a grand total of £78,319. The tower debacle obviously added to this cost but the almost doubling of the final figure over the £40,000
repeatedly emphasized by the college authorities as their maximum outlay, can only be explained by the college introducing new requirements during the
course of the work, perhaps in response to various benefactions.
Scott’s work at St John’s is undoubtedly one of his finest achievements but it was carried out in the face of an awkward and demanding client. Dr Reyner,
the Senior Bursar, chided Scott when extras occurred without his consent, was furious at late deliveries and dealt directly with tradesmen and craftsmen.
Cooper was reporting directly to him and Scott must have wondered who was in charge of the work. On hearing of Copper’s death in 1882, Reyner haughtily
remarked that Cooper ‘never struck me as being a specially good man’. It is not surprising that the work cost so much more than Scott’s initial estimates.
Cathedral - Ely
Scott was ‘thankful that I escaped in time’ from his partnership with Moffatt, and he congratulated himself that, at the age of thirty-five, he had now begun
to thrive. His pride at his own achievements was well-justified. He was the first British architect to win a major international competition and was
now very well-known as a church architect. Although the Ecclesiologists had reservations, his work was generally liked and in the following year this
feeling of elation must have been given a further boost with his ‘appointment as architect to the refitting &c of Ely Cathedral’ in 1847. This ‘opened
out a new field before me’, with the restoration of the great medieval cathedrals becoming a major preoccupation.
He heard the news of his appointment while on holiday in the Lake District with Caroline, where he took her after returning from his sixth trip to Germany
in 1847. Scott must have been delighted with the Ely commission and desperate to return. He obviously knew the cathedral after his visit with his oldest
brother while he was still at Edmeston's. Like St. Nicholas, the work was to last for the rest of his life. His appointment probably came through his
cousin, John Scott of Hull, who had graduated from Trinity College in 1832, where one of his tutors had been Dr. George Peacock (1791-1858), who in 1839
was appointed Dean of Ely. Peacock was a remarkable man; as well as being a cleric, he was a distinguished philosophical mathematician and astronomer,
having worked which such luminaries as Herschel and Babbage. He was interested in classical architecture, but, according to Lord Grimthorpe, who was also
one of his students, it was only after he moved to Ely that he was converted to Gothic architecture.
Soon after his appointment Peacock persuaded the Chapter to embark on the restoration of the cathedral. Work was commenced in 1843 under the direct supervision
of Peacock himself, who was assisted ‘from time to time by Professor Willis’. Scott admired Willis's scholarship and says in his lectures at the Royal
Academy that his ‘marvellous perception of antiquarian evidence enables him to describe, almost with precision, buildings of which the common observer
would conclude that no relic or evidence exists’, and he urges his students to ‘let Professor Willis take a leading place as your instructor’. Scott
says that his work on Ely at the start was ‘partial though it increased’ as it went on. His ‘special work’ was the rearrangement of the choir. Scott
moved everything to the west forming a two-bay ambulatory behind a new altar. He provided a screen at the west end of the choir, where it opened into the
octagonal crossing space, and hung the organ on the north wall of the chancel above the choir stalls. He claimed that ‘the whole space would still, to the
eye, be one; indeed the perspective would be lengthened by the intervening object.’ This object was the screen installed in 1851 which he said was ‘the
first case in which an open screen had been used in our cathedrals’ and he ‘devoted infinite pains to its design’. Moving the stalls brought about a
massive upheaval, including changing floor levels, and set in train a complicated programme involving many of the craftsmen and specialists whom Scott was
to employ on many of his later works, including John Birnie, Philip and James Rattee.
Undoubtedly the most distinguished craftsman that Scott used at Ely was Henri Gérente (1814-49) of Paris, who between 1848 and 1849 filled four large Norman
windows on the south side of the south transept with excellent stained glass based on thirteenth-century models. Sadly his contact with Scott was all too
brief, as he caught cholera and died in 1849. He was succeeded by his younger brother, Alfred Gérente (1821-68), who, Scott says, had been ‘educated as a
sculptor - who - has fallen with considerable success his elder brothers grove [sic]’. Alfred continued the work at Ely, with three windows in the south
aisle of the nave, two of which he displayed at the Great Exhibition of 1851 and were awarded a Prize Medal. He also carried out other work on Scott's
buildings, particularly the west window of St. Mary’s, Stafford, in 1855.
From 1853 to 1858, Rattee, and eventually Kett, carved the highly ornate reredos for Scott with five compartments filled with alabaster figures by Philip.
Scott also designed the Early English style font in the south-west transept in 1853, and the pulpit in the choir which was carved by Rattee's successors
in 1866. In 1853 he designed a monument to Dr Mill, Benjamin’s Webb’s father-in-law, with a copper effigy. Scott re-paved the nave floor, and in 1858 its
open timber roof was provided with a ceiling, following the form of the underside of the scissors trusses. Scott says that ‘Under my suggestion & with my
cooperation’ it was painted by Henry Styleman Le Strange (1815-62), and he ‘suggested to him that of St Michaels at Hildesheim as a model’ for the design
even though the Hildesheim ceiling is flat. Le Strange, who had already painted the ceiling of the western tower, had completed half the nave ceiling by
1861, when he stopped off to do other work, and suddenly died in July 1862. The Dean and Chapter then approached his friend from their school-days at
Eton, Thomas Gambier Parry (1816-88), who had just published his investigations into the technique of ‘spirit fresco’ painting. Scott first met Gambier
Parry in Venice in 1851, and early in 1863 Parry started work on the ceiling of Ely, using his ‘spirit fresco’ system. He completed it in the following
year, and today his work on the eastern portion shows a marked improvement, both in the quality of the painting and its state of preservation, over that
of Le Strange to the west. At this stage Scott regarded Parry as one of his ‘valuable acquaintances’.
Dean Peacock had died in 1858, and in 1859 Scott was commissioned to restore the great lantern over the crossing as a memorial to him. Subscriptions totalling
£10,000 were raised and the work was carried out between 1861 and 1866. Using old engravings as his authority, Scott reshaped the windows, replaced the
pointed pinnacles on top with little battlemented shafts and added flying buttresses. In 1876 work started on the addition of large pinnacles at the lower
level and this was still in progress when Scott died in 1878. In 1874 Gambier Parry was invited to decorate the interior of Scott's new lantern. In the
meantime he had painted a chapel at Gloucester Cathedral and had reported on a scheme for decorating the choir vaulting while Scott was carrying out his
restoration there. Scott did not think that Parry's proposal for Gloucester was at all suitable, and said so, so when Parry returned to Ely in 1874, he
completely shunned Scott and recommended that the Dean and Chapter should follow suite, which, much to Scott’s satisfaction, they refused to do.
Scott spent over thirty years working on Ely. It was his longest cathedral restoration, and perhaps one of his most successful. Certainly the lantern was
literally his crowning glory; and other parts, particularly the interior, are unquestionably better today, than they were before Scott appeared on the
scene. His painstaking approach contrasts, perhaps, with some of his later cathedral restorations, where he possibly had less sympathetic clients and more
crumbling buildings, but the pattern that he set at Ely was followed in most of the medieval cathedrals of England and Wales. Liturgical reorganisation
was often required by the clergy to make the church conform to the Victorian ideals of Anglican worship. For the first time at Ely, Scott used an almost
transparent choir screen to produce a visual unity between the choir and the nave, and between the worshippers and the clergy, and yet to retain a small
element of mystery. He repeated this feature on most of his later cathedral restorations, with varying degrees of success. Some are still in position,
while others have gone completely, either irretrievably lost, or preserved in museums as example of fine Victorian craftsmanship.
Scott in carrying out the essential work of re-ordering and securing these buildings and fitting them with the latest conveniences, like central heating,
inevitably produced hard shiny floors and crisp stonework, but the tidying-up process sometimes went beyond reasonable reinstatement, as illustrated by
Scott's desire to make the west front of Ely symmetrical in accordance with the medieval precedent. The success of Ely, compared with his later cathedral
restorations, can also be associated with Scott's personal circumstances. His practice was still relatively small at the start of the work, and he had
the time and the energy to devote to its supervision. The railway had arrived at Ely in 1847, so travel was easy, particularly as it was en route for
Boston, and possibly Hamburg via Hull. It also helped that he got on well with Peacock, to whom he dedicated his first book , published in 1850. Ely
was very important to Scott. It established his claim as a leading church restorer of his time, a field that he was anxious to develop, and his contact
with Peacock in 1847 opened up a whole new area of architecture to him.
St Mary Magdalene - Guyhirne
Built between 1877-8 for Canon Scott of Wisbech, Scott’s older brother John, this is a small church, the contract worth £3104. It was constructed of gault
brick with stone dressings, a timber porch, lancet windows, western bell cote and wheel windows over three lancets at the east end. It is described as
‘not typical Scott’ by Pevsner and ‘a commendable effort’ in Betjeman’s 1958 Guide.
St Andrew's - Histon
Restoration of the transepts, crossing, and chancel was undertaken in this church from 1871 to 1875. Scott treated the transepts gently but the chancel was heavily restored.
He rebuilt the east bay in its original position, incorporating stonework recovered from Madingley Hall in 1874, which was presumed to have been taken
there from St. Etheldreda's, a once neighbouring church that had been demolished in the eighteenth century.
St George's - Thriplow
By the 1860s, the church walls were bulging, the roofs decaying, and the window tracery was in bad condition, that of the 13th-century east window having been
replaced with wood. The south side of the chancel had already been buttressed, but the north vestry, which had also supported it, had collapsed, as had
part of the south transept. By 1873 the tower and transepts had been repaired but the chancel was still very dilapidated. In 1875 it had to be partitioned
off and it remained unusable until 1877 when Peterhouse College, who had been granted the church during the medieval period, employed Scott to
restore it and to rebuild the porch and vestry. However, this work is not evident in his office ledger where fees of £97 are noted for a survey and report
St Giles - Tydd St Giles
The restoration of the church was instigated by Scott’s older brother John, who was the rector until he was appointed to Wisbech in 1867. It was planned by
Scott but actually carried out between 1868-9 by George Gilbert junior, his son, and John’s successor as rector. The whole church was refloored and
re-seated, the nave re-roofed, screens provided for the vestries, and the musicians' gallery at the west end taken down. The eighteenth century chancel
was removed and a new geometric east window installed.
Rectory - Tydd St Giles
In 1868, at the same time as working on the church, Scott also designed a rectory for his brother, in a gothic style, constructed from red brick with a slate
School - Tydd St Giles
The school building, the first built in the village, was erected opposite the church in 1866 at the instance of Canon John Scott who collected monies
for the purpose and himself contributed £150; the National Society made a grant of £70. It was designed by Scott and when it opened, educated over a
St Mary's - Whittlesey
Between 1861-2, Scott restored and refitted the church, including renewing window tracery, reconstructing the east end of the chapels and refacing the porch,
at a cost of £3,000. The refitting included prayer desk, lectern, pulpit, vestry and organ screen, nave seats, book stands for the choir and altar stools,
with 11 drawings carried out by Scott for the work.
St Peter's - Wilburton
Scott ‘carefully’ restored this church in 1868 including a new transept and organ chamber, with repairs to the vestry. The builders were Shaw and Jackson and
John Burlinson visited the church on Scott’s behalf. The nave seating and pulpit were probably carried out by his son, George Gilbert.
Clarkson Memorial - Wisbech
A statue of Thomas Clarkson (1760-1846), an anti-slave campaigner, was proposed in 1875 and designed by Scott. It was erected between 1880-1, facing the river
opposite St Mary’s Church next to the house where Clarkson lived. Seventy feet high, it is a canopied statue and its erection was supervised by John
Oldrid in continuance of Scott’s practice.