St Brandon's - Brancepeth
A restoration took place in 1850 when the Neville tombs were moved, the pulpit switched from north to south side and pews were put in order. This may
have been carried out by Scott. There is an undated drawing related to this church.
St Cuthbert's - Darlington
After Scott’s report of 1861 was published, the church was restored between 1862-5 at an estimated cost of £6100. Scott had called it ‘one of the most
uniform and most beautiful parish churches he knew’. Scott used his ‘very excellent Clerk of the Works Mr. Clear who … carried out a very similar
work for me on a smaller scale at Darlington Church’, and who then went on to work at St David’s. This included the removal of galleries, repairs and alterations to the roof, new stalls, a pulpit with marble shafting and a reading desk, a new floor `laid down sufficiently low to shew the Base of
the Pillars', the foundations being `placed in a state of security', the west end being secured by additional buttresses, the north aisle wall
in a great part rebuilt, renewed heating and lighting apparatus, and proper drains laid around the church.
Durham Cathedral - Durham
In 1867, Scott in his lectures, described Durham Cathedral as ‘a glorious temple erected by Norman bishops over the shrine of a British saint, St.
Cuthbert', but he does not appear to have seen the cathedral until after 1858. This was the year that one of the brightest and most ambitious
of the young men to enter Scott’s office in the wake of the Government Offices Competition appeared on the scene.
The ambitions of Edward Robert Robson (1835-1917) were fostered and greatly assisted by his father, Robert Robson (1804-1886), who was prominent in
the local government of the City of Durham, as well as owning a large building and joinery business. In 1853 the young Robson was articled to
John Dobson, the well-known architect of Newcastle, whose father-in-law was Sydney Smirke. It could have been Smirke's introduction that
enabled Robson to enter Scott's office in 1857 ‘as an improver’. This meant that he had the run of the office in return for little or no
remuneration, and worked for three years ‘with enthusiasm early and late’. George Gilbert Scott junior had just left Eton and Robson taught him
to trace. But he could not have worked in the office very long, as his sketch books show that 1858 was spent in extensive Continental travel, at
the same time that his father was elected Mayor of Durham.
In the same year young Robson, only twenty-four, not yet fully qualified and with practically no experience was appointed Architect to the Dean and
Chapter of Durham Cathedral. It is not surprising then that the cathedral authorities brought in Scott as a consultant although as Robson was
nominally in Scott's office. It could well be that Robson suggested to his Durham employers that his chief would provide the necessary authority
to their somewhat daring appointment.
Robson's first task was to restore the great tower of the cathedral. This is a mighty structure, 218 feet tall, begun in 1465 on Norman piers and
arches, with a higher stage added between 1483 and 1490. Scott's central tower experience would, if nothing else, be a good reason for his
involvement with this work. There are massive diagonal arches inside the upper stage of the tower, suggesting that the medieval builders intended
to complete the tower with either a spire or an octagon. Scott suggested adding an open-work structure, similar to the crown of St. Nicholas's
Church in Newcastle, but according to Robson’s son Philip, his father prevented Scott from adding a spire to the tower of Durham, for which
obstruction, ‘Scott never quite forgave him’.
The work on the tower took three years, during which time, in 1860, Robson left Scott's office while Scott was in the throes of the Foreign Office and
apparently lost interest in the work. Robson restored the tower and was working on the Galilee Chapel at the west end of the cathedral when in
1864, he was appointed City Architect of Liverpool, and Charles Hodgson Fowler took over as Clerk of Works completing the Galilee to Robson's
‘good antiquarian designs’. Hodgson Fowler was from Scott's office, where presumably he knew Robson, as he had just completed his articles.
It could well have been Scott who suggested that Fowler should move to Durham to take over from Robson. Scott had already helped Robson in
1859 when, with Dobson and Sydney Smirke, he nominated him for election as an Associate of the Institute, and more importantly in 1864, he
supported his application to be the City Architect of Liverpool.
If there was any rift between Robson and Scott it was perhaps due to Robson's involvement with the Pre-Raphaelites and his important role in the origin
of the so-called Queen Anne style, which Scott later called ‘a vexatious disturber of the Gothic Movement’. Scott does not mention Robson in
any part of his writings, even when discussing Durham in his Recollections in 1877, although by that time Robson was very well-known for his
innovative work as the Architect to the London School Board. Scott may have resented the way that Edward, in his short stay in his office, had
used the contacts that he made there to further the Queen Anne style, and particularly how he campaigned for its application to the new secular
board schools of London, with its deliberately unreligious function. The principal men involved in the development of the new style were largely
graduates of the Spring Gardens Academy, and most of them were contempories of Robson. Scott's oldest son played an important role in the Queen
Anne Movement, as did R. J. Johnson, who was there at the time, and J. J. Stevenson, who became Robson's partner. Bodley was also involved, and
although he had left the office, contact was probably maintained through his future partner, Thomas Garner, who was in the office with Robson.
Scott was called back to Durham in 1873 and says that he was ‘only engaged here on internal work in or about the Choir’. He produced a scheme for
rearranging the fittings, followed by a design for repaving the choir in the Italian Cosmati style, with geometric patterns of different coloured
marbles and mosaics. Scott liked this bold style and used it where he thought appropriate, such as here at Durham, with its powerful round-arch
architecture. The work was carried out by Farmer and Brindley in 1874. He brought the seventeenth-century choir stalls back towards the centre
of the cathedral and erected a new screen under the east crossing arch. This is in Scott's High Victorian style and is also by Farmer and
Brindley. He also provided a new metal lectern and matching altar book stand which were made by Skidmore. The refitting of the choir cost
£9,938-8s-0d, and was completed in 1876, but in the following February, Scott, typically, was still bearing a grudge about a criticism of his
design by some of the clergy. He wrote: ‘A stupid idiotic opposition was raised against this work by 2 Canons, who thought to curry favour with
the Bishop, but I believe this challenge of ignorant folly has subsided’.
Scott gives Fowler the credit for the repair of the choir stalls and the design of a new organ case, and when the choir was completed he left
everything in Fowler's hands, although Fowler was not officially appointed the Architect to the Dean and Chapter until 1885. Fowler's move to
Durham, presumably at Scott's suggestion, had become permanent and was the start of a lifetime involvement with the great cathedral. In 1895
he rebuilt the east end of the Chapter House which Wyatt had destroyed in 1796, but he also carried on the Scott tradition of restoring cathedrals
and building or restoring numerous parish churches throughout the country. He became the cathedral architect of Rochester in 1898 and Lincoln
in 1900, and he was also the diocesan architect of York and Durham. His last works included his extension to one of Scott's earliest churches,
St. Nicholas's at Lincoln.
With Durham in safe hands, and perhaps thinking that his critics might reopen the argument over his design, Scott seems to have deferred his request
for fees. It was only after his death that his executors, in June 1878, rendered his account of £566-14s.-0d. and this was not paid until
St Paul's - Jarrow
From his initial report of 1856, Scott went onto restore and refit the church between 1864-6, restoring the chancel, which was formed from the Saxon
church, and also the tower between 1864-5. He built a new nave in 1865-6, replacing the one built in 1782, as well as refitting the church and
removing the transenna of the western window.
St Mary and St Stephen's - Wolsingham
In around 1845, Scott and Moffatt designed the plans for this church which was to be virtually rebuilt. The work was completed by 1848 when the church became known as St Matthew’s.