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Christ Church, St Alban's Road, Chipping Barnet - Barnet - 245

The church, between New Road and St Alban's Road, was designed and built by Scott between 1845-52. It is built of flint, in Early English style, and consists of a chancel, three bay nave, south aisle and south porch, with a turret at the west end containing a bell. The major benefactor was Captain John Trotter of Dyrham Park, South Mimms, and it had sittings for 700 people, with 200 free.


St John the Evangelist's, High Road, Wembley - Brent - 820

St John the Evangelist Church was built by Scott and Moffatt in 1846 when Wembley became a separate parish, largely at the instigation of the Copland sisters, who were influential local benefactors. Anne and Frances Copland, who in 1843 inherited Sudbury Lodge and its estate, offered land nearby for a church to serve the southern part of Harrow parish. In spite of opposition from local farmers, who preferred a site on Lord Northwick's property on Wembley Hill, the sisters' offer was accepted since they would bear all the cost of building. St John the Evangelist’s was built of flint with stone dressings with nave, chancel, north-east chapel and wooden bell turret.

St John the Evangelist's, additions - Brent - 821

In 1859-60, Scott added a new north aisle to the church, with a gallery for the organ and children. Further extensions were carried out in 1900 and 1935.


Old Kelsey Manor House Chapel, Beckenham - Bromley - 822

This was a private chapel built alongside the house, by Scott in 1869, for Mr Peter Richard Hoare, a Hoare Bank partner. With an east apse, it was vaulted with elaborate carved capitals, seated eighty, and was demolished in 1921.

St Mary's, Hayes - Bromley - 823

This church was restored between 1856-62, in conjunction with his son, John Oldrid, for the latter two years. It included a new north aisle and plate tracery and was considered to be a ‘crushing’ restoration (Newman, J., Buildings of England).


St Mary's, repairs - Bromley - 824

Scott continued to reseat and repair the church between 1865-70.


Lincoln's Inn Chambers and Chapel - Camden - 825

As a barrister, Grimthorpe was a senior member of the Society of Lincoln’s Inn in London and it was no doubt due to his influence that Scott was commissioned to design the extension to the library of the Inn in 1871-3. The library had been designed by Thomas Hardwick in 1843, but Grimthorpe was not able to influence the architecture as Scott merely added three bays following Hardwick's original design. However Grimthorpe was delighted and described the enlarged library as ‘the handsomest room of the kind in London’. In 1872 Scott started to rebuild the lawyers’ chambers in Old Square of Lincoln’s Inn. Only one block of buildings was completed in a brick Tudor style before Scott's death in 1878, with second and third blocks by John Oldrid, and Grimthorpe himself building the last block between 1884-7. Scott also prepared a scheme to extend the chapel of the Inn, but this also did not materialise before his death, and Grimthorpe again carried out the work between 1881-4 with the assistance of another architect, Samuel Salter.

Ferriday, P., Lord Grimthorpe 1816-1905 (John Murray, London, 1957), p. 70.
Eastlake, C. L., A History of the Gothic Revival (Longmans, Green and Co., London 1872), p. [71].
Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds), The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), 59 [c].

Christchurch, Hampstead - Camden - 826

Scott was a member of the congregation here, close to his house The Grove. In 1860 he added a timber west gallery to the church. As the Illustrated London News commented, ‘…one of the few instances in which a gallery from its exceeding lightness and beauty has rather improved than marred a church’.

Memorial to Thomas Ainger, St John's, Hampstead - Camden - 827

In 1863 Scott designed a memorial plaque on the west (actually east) wall of the church to the Prebendary Thomas Ainger (1799-1863). It is a portrait set in an alabaster frame inset with coloured stones.

Tomb of John Burlinson, St John's, Hampstead - Camden - 828

Scott may have designed to tomb of John Burlinson, his personal assistant and clerk of works, who died in 1868. It is a coped ledger stone with a cross on the ridge, in the churchyard extension, plot E77.

Organ Factory, New Road, St Pancras - Camden - 829

This was built for Messrs Gray and Davison in 1853 and has been noted as having ‘specially rich sculptured decoration … one of the finest examples of Ruskinian influence in that field’.

Muthesius, S., The High Victorian Movement in Architecture, 1850-70 (Routledge & Kegan Paul Books, London and Boston, 1972), p. 239.

St Pancras Station and Hotel - Camden - 830

Scott's sentiments about the appropriateness of dignity and nobility in his architecture must have already been severely stretched in 1865 when his ‘excellent friend’, Joshia Lewis a director of the Midland Railway, suggested that he might enter a limited competition to design the company's new London passenger terminus. Railway stations were not the type of building that Scott would normally consider; they were commercially motivated, subject to considerable alterations over short periods of time and innately dirty. However railway companies had employed well-known architects to give prestigious facades to their activities, such as Philip Hardwick’s impressive Euston Arch as an entrance to a rather insignificant terminus. Indeed, in July 1872, while work was in progress, Scott stated that he felt that his design ‘is too good’, presumably meaning that its architecture had associations and a dignity inappropriate to the functions of a railway station.

In May 1865, the directors of the Midland Railway Company resolved to hold a limited competition for the design of their London terminus and an accompanying hotel. However on 8 June, Sir Joseph Paxton, who must have been involved with the project, died. Paxton had been a director since 1848 and as he had proclaimed in Parliament during the ‘Memorable debate’ of August 1859, that Scott was ‘at the head of his art in Europe’, and that his Gothic design for the Foreign Office, would produce ‘a beautiful building’, it is clear who would have been his preferred choice of architect.

Perhaps delayed by Paxton's death, the directors eventually decided to send invitations to eleven architects in July 1865. Possibly out of respect to Paxton, one these was to Paxton's son-in-law and architectural collaborator, George Henry Stokes (1826-1874). He had been a pupil of Scott and Moffatt before joining Paxton in 1847 to assist him with his architectural work including Mentmore Towers in Buckinghamshire and Lismore Castle in Ireland. But he was in poor health and retired from practice when Paxton died, withdrawing from the competition. Three of the architects invited had railway experience. The Bristol architect Henry Lloyd (c.1812-1887), was working on St David's Station, Exeter, at the time. The Manchester architect, Edward Walters (1808-1872), who was well-known for some important Manchester buildings, including the Free Trade Hall, was building a string of eight stations for the Midland in Derbyshire. Edward Barry, who after Scott was perhaps the most eminent of the architects invited, had just completed a Renaissance style hotel across the front of Charing Cross Station.

None of the other architects invited at this stage had railway experience. These included Frederick Pepys Cockerell, Edward I'anson (1812-1888), who was a well-known City architect, George Leigh Somers Clarke (1825-1882) and Henry Lockwood of Bradford. The most intriguing selection was that of Thomas Charles Sorby (1836-1924), who has been described as an ‘undistinguished architect’ . In fact Sorby was only twenty-nine years of age and had had an amazing run of competition successes but had built little. As well as Stokes, I'anson also withdrew, so the directors added the names of three more architects to make the list up to the eleven. These were Henry Astley Darbishire (1825-1899), who is well-known for the workers housing schemes that he designed for the wealthy Angela Burdett-Coutts in the east end of London, Thomas Chambers Hine (1813-1899) of Nottingham, who had built Nottingham London Road Station for the Midland in 1857, and Owen Jones (1809-1874) who was in charge of ‘Architectural matters and Decoration of Building’ at the Great Exhibition. After the exhibition closed, with Digby Wyatt, he designed the decorative interiors for the Crystal Palace on its new site at Sydenham.

It is astonishing that the hard-headed and practical businessmen, who comprised the Board of the Midland Railway in the 1860's, should choose such a motley collection of architects for what it intended to be its show-piece in the nation's capital. But from the outset, as later events revealed, it seems that the commission was intended to go to Scott and the competition was little more than an exercise to prove that Scott was the best man for the work.

The Midland Railway Company was founded in 1844 by George Hudson (1800-71), the so-called ‘Railway King’ of York, by amalgamating the various railways emanating from Derby, to obtain a monopoly of the lines serving the rich coal-mining areas of the Midlands and South Yorkshire. However as the company's lines extended no further south than Rugby and Birmingham, it had to use the facilities of the London and Birmingham Railway Company at Euston Station to reach the lucrative London market. In the meantime a project was instigated to construct a new direct line between London and York to the east of the Midland's territory, of which Grimthorpe's father, Edmund Denison, had, ‘by force of character’, become the leader. From the outset this project, which called itself the Great Northern Railway, was intended to undercut the Midland with its own London terminus. The Great Northern reached London in August 1850. It passed under the Regent's Canal, skirted the Imperial Gas Works and finished at a temporary station at Maiden Lane while a permanent terminus was being built to the south at King’s Cross on the junction of Gray's Inn, Pentonville and Euston Roads. This was started early in 1851 to the designs of Lewis Cubitt (1799-1883), the brother of Thomas and William Cubitt and is a plain building with the form of its two train sheds expressed as big semi-circular windows on its facade. It opened on 14 October 1852. Denison declared that he was satisfied with its cheapness and that the company would provide a hotel to serve the station. This was built in 1854 by Lewis Cubitt as an independent structure on the west side of the station in a plain Italianate style.

The Midland meanwhile, in an effort to provide fast passenger trains which would not be held up behind slow-moving coal trains on London and Birmingham tracks, decided to extend its network from Leicester to Hitchin, where it was agreed that a link would be provided to London on the Great Northern's tracks. The first Midland train entered King's Cross on 1 February 1858. But it was not a satisfactory arrangement; congestion ensued and in February 1859 the Midland Board set up an Agar Town Committee for the purpose of obtaining land there to build its own goods station. Agar Town was about three-quarters of a mile north of King's Cross, and close to the old church of St Pancras. Here the Midland could still use the Great Northern tracks, but it could also use the adjacent Regent's Canal, as well as the newly completed North London Railway to the north, which connected with the London and Birmingham.

When the Midland's plans for St Pancras Goods Station became apparent, with the fighting Denisons still in charge of the Great Northern, it was inevitable that there would be a clash over the arrangements at King's Cross. This took place in the summer of 1862 when the International Exhibition at South Kensington attracted such an influx of passengers that the Great Northern could not cope with its own passengers, let alone those of the Midland. In June, the General Manager of the Great Northern wrote to his opposite number at the Midland, saying that he had seen that the Midland's new goods station was about to be completed and requested that the Midland vacate the Great Northern's premises forthwith. The Midland Board had already decided that its goods station at St Pancras, being so far from Euston Road, was unsuitable for passenger traffic and decided that a new terminus fronting onto Euston Road was essential. It did retain the name of St. Pancras for the new building. In the meantime its passengers were forced to use a small station, three hundred yards north of King's Cross, on the banks of the canal and surrounded by the Great Northern's goods sidings.

‘The Terminus of the Midland Railway’

On 14 October 1862 the Midland Board instructed its engineers to draw up plans for Parliamentary approval, showing a new fifty-one mile long line leaving the Leicester and Hitchin branch at Bedford and terminating at Euston Road, where the Metropolitan Railway was providing the world's first underground railway under the road. The Midland was fortunate in retaining William Henry Barlow (1812-1902) as its consulting engineer. An Act of Parliament authorising the Midland's southern extension, based on Barlow's plans, was passed on 22 June 1863. However, various obstructions confronted Barlow as he planned the last mile of the Midland tracks before they could reach Euston Road.

The first of these obstructions was the North London Railway, which Barlow decided to burrow under and provide a steep incline to connect it to his new tracks. He then decided to pass over the Regent's Canal and thus avoid the Great Northern's mistake of tunnelling under it and creating a steep down-hill slope for trains emerging from the terminus. He was then faced with the choice of taking his tracks through a portion of the giant Imperial gas works or shaving-off part of the disused burial ground to the east of St Pancras Church. Unfortunately, as it transpired, he thought that the old graveyard would be the cheaper option, particularly as the tracks were already at a higher level. He then brought them over Pancras Road and into the terminal which, of necessity, would be at a high-level with steps and ramps connecting it to Euston Road, fifteen feet below. This was a masterly decision as its elevated siting would give the Midland's terminus a powerful presence over little King's Cross next door and Barlow was quick to point out, no doubt forestalling any argument over the increased costs arising from this massive basement, that it could be let out for storage to the lucrative beer trade.

In March 1864 the Midland Board set up a special committee to deal with the extension from Bedford. This became known as the Southern Extension Committee, with Lewis among its members, and dealt with all matters concerning the construction of St Pancras. Barlow's plans for the station itself were accepted by the Committee at a series of meetings held in the spring of 1865. His proposal was quite radical and it is not surprising that it took some time for the Committee to assimilate his ideas, but they were a superb solution to the difficult engineering problems that the site had generated. He proposed to construct a huge iron roof spanning 243 feet over the whole station. Nothing like this had ever been attempted before in the world. St Pancras Station was undoubtedly Barlow's finest structure. The big span removed the possibility that foundations to intermediate columns would interfere with a tunnel running under the station which the directors had insisted should connect to the Metropolitan Railway. It also allowed the tracks and platforms to be altered to suit operational requirements and with the tie beams for the roof running under the tracks, the small columns supporting the platforms could be arranged to suit the storage of beer barrels. The roof was not semi-circular like those at King's Cross, but in the shape of a Gothic arch, which Barlow said would give it protection against the lateral action of wind, but it would also improve ‘the architectural effect’.

From the outset the Midland had intended to keep up with its rivals by providing a hotel at St Pancras and during the meetings over his design for the station, Barlow accepted the idea that this would be the work of an architect. On 3 May 1865, the Southern Extension Committee decided to embark on the architectural competition. The Midland was large, wealthy, and well-established. Its directors bitterly resented the efforts of the upstart Great Northern to frustrate their belated scheme to bring their railway to London. Clearly they wanted a spectacular architectural statement to announce the Company's arrival in the capital and to overshadow the prosaic terminus of it’s arch-rival. Paxton's enthusiasm for Scott's Gothic Foreign Office perhaps influenced the thinking of the Board and, in spite of going through the motions of holding a competition, it intended to give the work to Scott. Certainly, as the country's leading architect, Scott's name would give the company a special distinction. Scott recalled that, ‘I was persuaded (after more than once declining) by my excellent friend Mr. Joseph Lewis a leading Director of that Company, to enter into a limited competition for their new terminus’.

It is an indication of the importance that the company attached to Scott taking on the work, that even after he turned it down, Lewis persisted in trying to persuade him to enter the competition. Scott's reluctance was understandable; apart from the commercialism of the project, he was still reeling from his family bereavements and it was only a few weeks after his brother's death that the directors of the Midland finally sent out the invitations. Although Scott was wary of competitions, perhaps he had heard a whisper that he was the man for the job, and by August 1865 he must have agreed to enter when, along with Barry and Cockerell, he successfully applied for a one month extension to prepare his design. Barlow's extraordinary train shed and its elevated position had been agreed. The architects were required to produce a plan which would incorporate a hotel on the station's front to Euston Road, office accommodation so that the Company could move it headquarters from Derby to London and the usual facilities for passengers, such as a booking-office and waiting rooms. The provision of these facilities would have resulted in a warren of rooms; refreshment rooms and toilets for each of the three classes of ticket-holders with separate waiting rooms for gentlemen and ladies.

No sooner had Scott decided to enter the competition, when, in September 1865, his family was ‘threatened with another sorrow’:

We drove down to the Isle of Hayling near Portsmouth to witness the arrival of the French fleet. While there our next Son [after Albert], Alwyne, was suddenly seized with violent feaver. Caught, as we thought, from passing through the hospital of the French Ship Solferino. His attack was tremendous but by Gods mercy he recovered after a stay there of 6 weeks.

Scott decided to stay with Caroline and Alwyne at ‘a small seaside hotel’, while Alwyne was nursed back to health. However, Scott was incapable of forgetting about work and this enforced stay, in the comparative isolation of Hayling Island, was an ideal opportunity for him to throw himself into designing St Pancras. He said that:

I completely worked out the whole design then making elevations etc to a large scale with details. It was in the same style wh. [sic] I had almost originated several years earlier for the Government offices but divested of the Italian element. The great shed roof had been already designed by the Engineer Mr Barlow & as if by anticipation its section was a pointed arch.

Scott was still sore from the Government Offices affair, and ‘having been disappointed through Lord Palmerston of my ardent hope of carrying out My style in the Government offices’, he was glad to be able ‘to erect one building in that style in London’. In July 1865, Palmerston won another General Election, and Scott may have hoped to confront the old Premier with a building in the style that he had rejected, but as Scott was finalising his design, Palmerston died on 18 October 1865, two days short of his eighty-first birthday.

Scott's isolation at Hayling is convincing evidence that St Pancras was his personal design. It shows a masterly ability to plan a functional building exploiting given restraints for architectural effect. The site was little more than two wedge-shaped spaces at right angles to each other, at the front and side of Barlow's shed, and within these spaces he had to provide the means of raising vehicles and pedestrians fifteen feet from road level on to the raised platform. He decided to hide the great shed behind the main facade of his building, which he set back from Euston Road and in the space between the building and the road he accommodated a system of ramps and roads to provide vehicular access on to the raised platform. At the west end a quadrant-shaped ramp runs up to the departure carriageway arch and then runs as a level road across the front of the building to connect with the arrival arch, where there is a hair-pin bend on to another ramp, which then descends to Euston Road. Scott placed the station offices in the other wedge-shaped space on the west side of the shed, but at the southern end of this block, on Euston Road, he provided the main entrance to the hotel at road level. Here he produced a great architectural display with a portico, turrets and an elaborate stepped gable to off-set the marginal situation of the entrance. This entrance facade is parallel to Euston Road and he linked it to the main facade with a quadrant-shaped range which cunningly disguises the fact that the two facades are not parallel. Where the quadrant-shaped range joins the main facade Scott provided a squat tower over the departure carriageway arch and at the east end of the facade he placed a thinner and taller clock tower to counteract the excess of architectural display at the west end.

The style of architecture that Scott adopted is the High Victorian secular Gothic that he had been perfecting ever since the Hamburg Rathaus competition. The popular story that he reused his rejected Foreign Office design is nonsense; the site, function and materials are completely different, and even his style is much more ornate than that used in his final Gothic Foreign Office design. From the outset it was intended that St Pancras would be built of brick with stone dressings and Scott was able to exploit the contrast between the pale Ketton stone and the hard red Nottinghamshire bricks to the full. Crow stepped gables reappear from Broad Sanctuary, which along with rows of dormers suggest that Scott was again thinking of the Gothic town halls of Belgium. The familiar Scott features are reassembled; the clock tower, the great cornice to unite the facade, the grouped arcades of windows with the alternating voussoirs, the polished granite shafts framing the windows. All the openings were pointed and there is lavish use of decorative carving and ironwork. In fact he seems to have abandoned all restraint and used his whole repertoire to produce a dazzling architectural display which culminates in a fantastic roof-line of turrets, towers, chimneys and pinnacles over an impressive five-storey high facade. The whole composition completely out-classes his earlier picturesque attempts at Kelham and Hafodunos.

The directors of the Midland certainly knew what Scott was capable of creating and he must have completely fulfilled their expectations by producing a design for the competition which would fittingly announce the arrival of Britain's wealthiest railway in the nation's capital and overwhelm the utilitarian structure of its rival next door. All eleven competing architects sent in designs. In December 1865, they were exhibited at the Midland Shareholders Room in Derby and on 31 January 1866, The Builder announced that the awards had been made. Somers Clarke had come second and was awarded a prize of £200, Barry had come third with £100, and Sorby was fourth with £50, while Scott's prize as the winner of the competition was the erection of the building. Each of the competitors, apart from Darbishire, had submitted an estimate of the cost of their building; these varied between Lockwood's £135,792 and Hine's £255,000, except for Scott, who said that his building would cost £316,000, more than twice that of Lockwood. Scott knew exactly what the Midland Board required; cost was not the main consideration, but it wanted an impressive building of the type that he could produce. It is perhaps a measure of Scott's status in the architectural profession at the time that there was not an outcry over the way that the competition had been handled. However, Somers Clarke did write to The Builder on 10 February 1866, saying that the conditions of the competition stated that 150 bedrooms would be required ‘with a proportionate number of servants' and officials' rooms in addition’, and although an exact adherence to the instructions could ‘fetter too much’, in the plan chosen by the Board: ‘It is manifest that the addition of two extra stories of bed-rooms to a building of 600 ft. frontage must necessarily give it a vast advantage in dignity and importance of effect over one of less altitude, providing less accommodation’. But ‘dignity and importance of effect’ was exactly what the Board wanted, and Scott wrote expressing the ‘high sense of honour’ that the Board had given him in accepting his designs, and ‘the importance of the trust committed to him’.

The Construction of St Pancras

The brothers Charles and William Waring were already working on an eight-mile stretch of track for the Midland near Elstree when they were awarded the contract to build the last three-quarters of a mile to Euston Road, which included the walls of the train shed and the foundations and lower walls of the station building. The Waring brother's contract was signed on 12 February 1866 but it did not include the ironwork of Barlow’s great roof. The Butterley Company tendered just under £117,000 to manufacture and erect the roof, but the contract was not awarded until 18 July 1866. This firm was founded in 1791 at Butterley, near Ripley in Derbyshire, and developed into vast industrial complex, with its own company town of Ironville, complete with church and schools and the village of Golden Valley. As a major ironworks, Butterley was an important customer of the Midland, but it also built locomotives for it as well as providing the ironwork for its bridges.

Warings' first task was to demolish the existing buildings on the site. In the middle of this, on Euston Road, was St Luke's Church, which had only been consecrated in 1861. It was carefully dismantled and sold to the Congregationalists who re-erected it at Wanstead in Essex. A new St Luke's was built on railway land at Kentish Town, only about a mile and a half from its old site. Scott's plans for St Pancras were accepted by the Midland Board in April 1866. He also provided a detailed estimate of the work but a financial crisis was looming; railway shares were falling and contractors were finding it difficult to secure the necessary loans to carry out their work. Then on 11 May 1866, ‘Black Friday’, panic seized the money markets following the collapse of the bankers Overend and Gurney and even the great Sir Samuel Morton Peto was a victim of the ensuing crisis. Within a fortnight of accepting Scott's plans, the Midland Board decided to reduce the size of their building by omitting two floors of offices and one from the hotel, thus abandoning the scheme to transfer the company's headquarters from Derby to London and lowering Scott's main facade from five to four stories.

Although nothing was to happen to Scott's proposals for six months Warings were continuing with their contract. By the end of June 1866 the whole of the area required for the extension southwards from the Goods Station to Euston Road had been cleared. The contract stipulated that the main line would be carried on a girder bridge over the disused burial ground of St Pancras, but the branch to the Metropolitan would have to be burrowed beneath the burial ground in order to obtain the correct gradient for its connection with the underground railway. This turned out to be a particularly gruesome operation and, although the Company had made provision for dignified reburials to take place at its own expense, at the start of operations, Warings' men were not particularly careful. A public scandal erupted, involving a question in Parliament, the Bishop of London and the Home Secretary. The Architect to the Bishop, Arthur Blomfield, sent an assistant to supervise this grisly work. This was the young Thomas Hardy and it is not surprising that stress and ill-health led Hardy to leave Blomfield the following summer and to return to his native Dorset.

In July 1866 Warings started to excavate for the station foundations but by the autumn the work seems to have slowed down and in November the Southern Extension Committee requested Scott to prepare ‘alternative plans for the St Pancras Station buildings’. On 5 December he was summoned to a meeting of the Board with his revised plans which, he said, would result in a saving of £20,000 in the cost of his building. The Extension Committee met 19 December 1866 to pursue further economies but Scott was able to make a case for using expensive hard red bricks made by Edward Gripper of Nottingham. He also appointed John Saville as his Clerk of Works, who took up his duties on 1 January 1867, supervising Warings' work on the parts of the station below platform level. But it was only by the following spring that the foundations were sufficiently advanced for the Butterley Company to commence the erection of the iron columns that were to support the station floor.

In May 1867, the Extension Committee met Scott and requested him to limit the work to the basement, ground and first floors east of the carriageway entrance, and to the ‘great gateway’ itself. In other words, the curved front and the hotel would be omitted at this stage and he was to ‘reduce the cost of decoration and especially to dispense with the use of granite columns wherever he could do so without sacrificing the essential nature of the building’. The decision was taken that tenders were to be invited from twelve builders to carry out this programme, which would include a temporary roof, as well as another set of tenders for the building as a whole. Then the Committee drew back from sending out invitations. The crisis that started with the ‘Black Friday’ of May 1866, instead of clearing up, continued to deepen, with the railway companies particularly vulnerable. The London Chatham and Dover Company had failed in 1866 and in the following year the Great Eastern also collapsed. The Midland Board was nervous. It could be a long time before St Pancras would be capable of producing any revenue but the directors were confident of the eventual success of their new station and resolved to weather the financial storm by slowing down the work.

It was not until December 1867 that the Committee felt bold enough to implement its earlier decision to invite tenders from twelve London firms of builders, which included William Cubitt and Company, Trollop and Sons and Jackson and Shaw. Tenders were submitted a fortnight later but the Board was anxious about the shareholders' reaction to such expenditure and decided to postpone the work for at least one year and the tenders were left unopened in Scott's office. Only the train shed, and the branch to the Metropolitan under it, were allowed to proceed as the quickest way of producing some income from the project.

The General Manager wrote to the Metropolitan Railway Company to say that the Midland's work on the branch would be completed on 1 January 1868. But the Metropolitan was not ready to make the connection with its line and it was another seven months before the first passenger train passed through the tunnel. Meanwhile, in March 1868, Butterley had installed a second great scaffold to speed the work on the roof of the shed and, perhaps encouraged by this progress, the Board decided not to wait any longer, collected the tenders from Scott's office and awarded the contract for the first stage of his building to Jackson and Shaw of Earl Street, Westminster.

Charles Wakefield Jackson was probably a clerk in Myers’ office before entering into partnership with George Shaw. Their first work for Scott was alterations to Bayliff's Hospice in Dean's Yard, Westminster in about 1856. They became one of Scott’s favourite contractors and by 1868 they were building the new chapel at St John's College, Cambridge, for him. Their tender figure for the first stage of St. Pancras was £37,580, which was £500 less than Scott's estimate, and the contract was signed on 31 March 1868. After considerably problems, Butterley began to make real progress on the train shed. The final arch was erected in mid-September and the Board decided to open the station for passenger traffic on 1 October 1868, although there was little of Scott's building above platform level. Early in the morning of 1 October 1868, the Midland booking clerks left the uncongenial environment of King's Cross and transferred their stores and equipment to temporary accommodation at St Pancras. The first passenger train left the new station at ten o'clock, for Manchester. Two days later The Builder reported that the ‘station is already roofed, or nearly so, but the frontage is not yet raised much above the hoarding’.

Progress continued to be very slow on the hotel and station buildings, partly, as Saville reported, because of the acute shortage of Gripper's bricks. However the booking office was completed early in January 1869 and Skidmore, through Scott, was commissioned to provide the gas lighting for the station. The directors, it seems, were now anxious to proceed with the rest of the work, but so nervous about the total cost that they decided to proceed only with the authority of a series of special meetings of shareholders at various stages of the work. At one of these meetings, held at Derby on 31 August 1869, they discussed a proposal which been made by Scott on 15 June, that Jackson and Shaw should carry out the next stage of the work, which he estimated would cost over £59,000, using the scale of prices contained in their original tender. The shareholders agreed to Scott's proposal and work began on the next stage almost at once. But progress was still slow and by September 1871, three and a half years after work had begun, Jackson and Shaw had only just started the tower over the departure gateway while the western part of the hotel was not even started. Scott must have wondered, particularly after a heart attack in 1870, if he would ever live to see his great palace completed, when in August 1872, the Midland Board was forced to change its policy.

For some time the Board had been considering the appointment of a manager for the Midland Grand Hotel, as the hotel was to be called. After interviewing several candidates, the Board decided to send for Robert Etzensberger who was the manager of the Grand Hotel Victoria on the Lido at Venice, which provided ‘service on the Swiss system’. Etzensberger would give the hotel the European status that the Board desired but he made it clear that he would not accept the post unless the hotel was completed to its original design. Consequently, the chairman, William Hutchinson, at the half-yearly meeting of the Company in August 1872, told shareholders that although it had not been the practice of the Company ‘to lavish much of its money on works of art’, there were many arguments in favour of completing the building in accordance with its original design and render it ‘worthy of the great artist whose work it is, and of the great company whose name it bears’. About £122,000 had already been expended and a further outlay of £90,000 to £110,000 was necessary to conform to Etzensberger's ultimatum to finish the building. The shareholders agreed to leave the rest of the work in the hands of the Board, which would push on with it as quickly as possible. Etzensberger was duly appointed and on 1 October 1872 was asked to prepare for opening the first part of the hotel in five months time. In the event, the first guests arrived on 5 May 1873 but it was to be another four years before they could be accommodated in a fully completed hotel.

Scott was again able to nominate some of his trusted sub-contractors, such as Skidmore to provide the gas fittings for the hotel, and Farmer and Brindley to carry out the carving. But the Extension Committee told him that when it came to inviting tenders for the grates and mantlepieces, it would like ‘to have an opportunity of stating the names of some firms who are good customers to the Midland Railway’. Scott suggested to the Committee that Clayton and Bell should design the decorations to the west wing but was told that the Company would appoint its own decorators. Scott was badly upset with this rebuff but perhaps the Committee was becoming cautious of Scott's nominees. Indeed, there were complaints over Skidmore's slowness which led, in January 1874, to him being hauled before the Committee, when it expressed its ‘dissatisfaction at the slow manner in which his contract was being proceeded with’.

Frederick Sang, an architect known for his interior designs, carried out the decorations but Scott himself, according to The Building News, designed ‘the coloured ceiling decorations to some of the best bedrooms’ and four easy chairs for the coffee room. In 1873 the Board was again getting nervous about costs and ordered Scott to cease his work on the internal decorations and it turned to the well-known firm of furniture makers and interior designers, Gillow and Company of Lancaster. In April 1874, a large party of members of The Architectural Association were shown around ‘the monster hotel’ by Saville and, although they generally liked what they saw, The Building News reported that they found Sang's decorations in the coffee room and elsewhere too ‘loud’, and ‘exception was taken to the rather “overdone” toilet services of the best bed-rooms, said to have cost 30 guineas per set’. In 1877, perhaps conscious of the criticism of Sang’s work, Gillows employed Scott’s friend Edward William Godwin to carry out the decorations over the main staircase.

In May 1874, The Building News hoped, presumably in view of the reservations it had expressed earlier, that ‘the directors will see the propriety of keeping the decorations under the control of the architect as much as possible, to preserve unity’. The sub-contractors, who relieved Scott of much of the specialist hotel work, included Haden and Sons of Trowbridge, who installed the heating apparatus, Jeakes and Company of Great Russell Street, who designed and fitted out the kitchens and extensive laundries, and Sir W. G. Armstrong and Company, who provided two mechanical lifts.

The building was finished by July 1876, apart from the staircase decorations, and Scott's final accounts were settled in the September. The total cost of the hotel was £436,000, which when added to the cost of the station, would have cost the Midland shareholders nearly one million pounds. Apart from the reduction of one storey, which enhanced the verticality of the two towers, the external design is remarkably unaltered from that produced by Scott at Hayling Island nearly eleven years earlier. Round-arched openings replaced the pointed arches on the ground floor and the only figure to escape an embargo of external sculpture by the Committee was that of Britannia, who stands on the easternmost gable surveying puny little King's Cross below her.

It was the ability of Scott's design to overwhelm King's Cross which particularly appealed to the Midland Board and probably led to his exterior remaining substantially unaltered throughout the long construction period. The greatest changes to his ideas took place in the interiors. The Grand Staircase is typical of his work, with exposed iron beams with metallic decorations, as at the Foreign Office and Glasgow University. However, a magnificent perspective that Jackson produced of the curved Coffee Room shows it with a completely different interior to that shown in a photograph taken soon after the hotel was opened. This shows that Scott's favourite geometric patterning on the ceiling has been replaced by plain surfaces and the beams seem to have had their metallic decorations replaced by moulded plasterwork. Nevertheless, it must have given Scott considerable satisfaction to be able to see St Pancras completed, and in use, after so many delays. Inevitably there were critics and Scott, as usual, took criticism badly.

The St Pancras Aftermath

Scott was particularly upset when he was charged with bowing to the pressure of commercialism at St Pancras. The Quarterly Review of April 1872 published the first of three anonymous articles, which also appeared in 1874 and 1894, vigorously attacking the Gothic Revival in general and the architectural profession and Scott and Street in particular. These were the work of a retired architect and critic, John T. Emmett, and his attack on St Pancras was particularly savage:

The Midland front is inconsistent in its style, and meretricious in detail, a piece of common art manufacture that makes the Great Northern front appear by contrast positively charming. There is no relief or quiet in any part of the work; the eye is constantly troubled and tormented, and the mechanical patterns follow one another with such rapidity and perseverance, that the mind becomes irritated where it ought to be gratified, and goaded to criticism where it should be led calmly to approve. There is here a complete travesty of noble associations, and not the slightest care to save these from a sordid contact; an elaboration that might be suitable for a Chapter-house, or a Cathedral choir, is used as an "advertising medium" for bagmen's bedrooms and the costly discomforts of a terminus hotel; and the architect is thus a mere expensive rival of the company's head cook, in catering for the low enjoyments of the travelling crowd.

Scott read this onslaught but he had no idea who was the author and, three months later in his Recollections, says that St. Pancras: ‘has been spoken of by one of the revilers of my profession with abject contempt but I have set off against this the too excessive praise I receive of it from other quarters it being often spoken of to me as the finest building in London.’ Although referring to the author of The Quarterly Review article as ‘one of the revilers’ of his profession, it does seem strange that, according to Jackson, Scott then decided that he was the author. Even Scott could hardly have thought that an architect such as Jackson would write such a withering attack on his own profession, while his magnificent perspective of the Coffee Room proves that Jackson was a faithful interpreter of Scott's personal style.

Architectural fashions change rapidly; the style of St Pancras was already outdated when it was started in 1868 and it was positively old-fashioned when it was completed eight years later. But what is surprising is the praise that it received from the architectural press. There was considerable affection and respect for Scott, so perhaps it was the tone of Emmett's article which united architectural journalists behind him. The Architect called the anonymous author ‘an able wordmonger’, and suggested that he might try his hand at designing a building himself to find out what difficulties the operation involved. The Building News, in May 1874, published an enthusiastic description of the Midland Grand Hotel, which it said was ‘a highly successful work architecturally, and bears favourable comparison with other large structures of the class, as that of Charing-cross’.

No doubt the Midland Board would have been particularly pleased with the acclaim that the building also received from the general press. It had chosen Scott because of his wide popularity and now that choice was amply justified. Even The Times observed that, ‘the architect of a railway station does not generally aim very high, but Sir Gilbert Scott certainly produced in the Midland station at St Pancras the most beautiful terminus in London, remarkable alike for its convenience and its inspiring effect’. Edward Walford, a journalist, exclaimed in 1897 that St Pancras ‘stands without rival . . . for palatial beauty, comfort and convenience’, while John O' Connor's famous painting of 1884 of ‘St. Pancras Hotel and Station from the Pentonville Road’, captures the magical quality of the skyline of the building which completely overshadows the little shed of Kings Cross.

George Gilbert Scott junior died at the hotel on 6 May 1897, without properly fulfilling his early promise. He was declared insane, deprived of his property, estranged from his family and had taken to excessive drinking. It is singularly poignant that Scott's eldest son should die in such pathetic circumstances in the building which today seems to represent the complete fulfilment of his father's architectural ideals and was the last big building to be built in his personal style, particularly as Scott had immersed himself in the activity of producing the mighty design to cope with family grief.

Inevitably admiration for the great building faded and reached its lowest ebb between the First and Second World Wars. The hotel closed in 1935, when the idea of merging the station's traffic with that of Euston was being discussed, but the war intervened and nothing became of that merger proposal. In 1966 there was another proposal to merge St. Pancras and Kings Cross, with only the train shed and fragments of Scott's building retained. This was condemned by Pevsner, but it was not until 1977 that British Rail accepted the idea that St. Pancras could not be demolished. In 1884 the Midland's Hotel, Refreshment Room and Restaurant Car Department had moved from Derby into the building, and after the hotel closed it stayed on, eventually to become the headquarters of British Transport Hotels with the beer cellars being put to good use. In 1983 this usage also ceased. Between 1991 and 1995 the exterior was cleaned and repaired, and more recently it has been restored and brought back to life as a terminus for Cross-channel rail services and as a hotel and restaurant.

Scott’s Recollections, III 96, 231-3, 234, 235. Scott’s ‘excellent friend’ was clearly Joshia Lewis of Edge Hill, Derby, who died 11 June 1869 (Derby Mercury 16 June 1869, p. 5, col. 2). In his Recollections, Scott refers to ‘Joseph Lewis’. There was no director of this name on the Midland board at that time. High Victorian secular Gothic was a style Scott had already used for Preston Town Hall, Kelham and Beckett’s Bank.

Fawcett, J. (ed.), Seven Victorian Architects (Thames and Hudson, London, 1976), p. 151.
The often quoted phrase that St Pancras is ‘possibly too good for its purpose’, was an elaboration by George Gilbert junior in the published Recollections - Scott, G. G., Scott, G. (ed.), Personal and Professional Recollections (Sampson Low, Murston, Searle & Rivington, London, 1879), p. 271.
Simmons, J., St. Pancras Station (Allen and Unwin, London, 1968) pp. 21, 30-4, 35-6, 38-42, 45-8, n.9, 52-7, 59-61, 93, 95, 101, 103.
Chadwick, G. F., The Works of Sir Joseph Paxton 1803-1865 (Architectural Press, London, 1961), pp. 188, 192, 240.
Building News, XIII, 12 January 1866, p. 30.
Pevsner, N., London except the Cities of London and Westminster, Buildings of England (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1952), p. 368.
Directory of British Architects 1834-1914, 2 volumes (Continium, London, 2001), pp. 233, 449.
Biddle, G., and Nock, O. S., The Railway Heritage of Britain (Sheldrake Press, 1983), pp. 62, 74.
http://sarahjyoung.com/site/2011/05/25/crystal-palace-guidebooks-and-descriptions/ and see the Illustrated Exhibitor.
Grinling, C. H., The History of the Great Northern Railway (Allen and Unwin, 1966), pp. 9, 17, 20, 90, 124.
Dixon, R., and Muthesius, S., Victorian Architecture (Thames and Hudson, London, 1978), p. 256
Pevsner, N., and Cherry, B., London 4: North (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1998), pp. 97, 253, 362-4.
Barnes, E. G., The Rise of the Midland Railway, 1844-1874 (Allen and Unwin, 1966), pp. 30-1, 141, 144, 164, 171, 185, 193-4, 202, 205, 233, 255-6, 258, 265.
Denford, S. L. J., Agar Town, The Life and Death of a Victorian ‘Slum’ (Camden History Society, London, 1995), pp. 14, 16, 23-24.
Hunter, M., and Thonne, R., (eds), Change at King’s Cross: From 1800 to the Present (Historical Publications, London, 1990), pp. 60, 66, 82-3.
Ridley, J., Lord Palmerston (Constable, London, 1970), pp. 779, 782.
Muthesius, S., The High Victorian Movement in Architecture, 1850-70 (Routledge & Kegan Paul Books, London and Boston, 1972), p. 179.
Building News, 12 February 1869, LXVI, p. 141.
Summerson, J., Victorian Architecture, Four Studies in Evaluation (Columbia University, New York and London, 1970), p. 42.
Physick, J., and Darby, M., ‘Marble Halls’, Drawings and Models for Victorian Secular Buildings (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1973), p. 182.
The Builder, XXIII, 16 February 1865, p. 896.
The Builder, XXIV, 13 January 1866, pp. 33, 68.
The Builder, XXIV, 10 February 1866, p. 105.
Darley, G., Villages of Vison (Granada, 1978), p. 280.
Beatty, C. J. P., Thomas Hardy’s Career in Architecture (1856-1872) (Dorchester, 1978), p. 6.
Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds), The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), 24 [a], 61 [a].
Spencer-Silver, P., Pugin's Builder: The Life and Work of George Myers (University of Hull Press, Hull, 1993), pp. 14, 83.
The Builder, XXVI, 3 October 1868, p. 738.
The Builder, XXX, 31 August 1872, p. 682.
Murray’s Handbook Advertiser (May 1875), p. 61.
The Builder, XXX, 21 August 1872, p. 682.
Building News, XXVI, 17 April 1874, p. 437.
S. W. Soros (ed.), E. W. Godwin, Aesthetic Movement Architect and Designer (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1999), p. 205.
Building News, XXVI, 22 May 1874, pp. 558-9.
Houghton, W. E. (ed.), The Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, 1824-1900 (Toronto and London), vol. I, pp. 700, 888, vol. IV, p. 628.
Emmett, J. T., Six Essays on ... architecture ... urban leaseholds ... religious art (Unwin, London, 1891), p. 10.
Jackson, Sir T. G., Bt. R. A., Recollections, The Life and Travels of a Victorian Architect (Unicorn Press, London, 2003), p. 153.
Building News, XXXI, 22 May 1874, p. 554.
Jackson, A.A., London’s Termini (David and Charles, 1985), p. 69.

Sorby’s successes included Bromley Town Hall to the south of London, which was being built at the time of the St Pancras competition. He was a pupil of Charles Reeves, and when Reeves retired in 1867, he succeeded to Reeves's various surveyor ships including that of the Metropolitan Police building the Police Station at Islington and a magistrates' court at Lambeth. But in the light of a letter that he wrote to the directors of the Midland, he seems to have had a prickly nature and, presumably frustrated that his early successes had not brought him the recognition that he felt he deserved, he resigned from the Institute in 1872, and in 1883, moved to Canada. See Harper, R. H., Victorian Architectural Competitions, An Index to British and Irish Architectural Competitions in The Builder 1843-1900 (Mansell, London, 1983), p. 296; Pevsner, N., and Cherry, B., London 4: North (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1998), p. xiv; Simmons, J., St. Pancras Station (Allen and Unwin, London, 1968) p. 49; Directory of British Architects 1834-1914, 2 volumes (Continium, London, 2001), p. 861.

James Allport (1811-1892).

Wanstead Congregational Church, founded in 1864, bought St Luke's, Euston Road and re-erected it, with a shortened nave, at Grosvenor Road, Wanstead. The church opened in 1867. See Victoria County History for Essex, VI (1973), p. 335. Also Survey of London, Parish of St Pancras, volume XXIX, part IV, (London, 1952), p. 143.

Waring and Company of Lancaster became Waring and Gillow in 1903. See Banham, J., (ed.), Encyclopaedia of Interior Design (London & Chicago, 1997, I) pp. 501-4.

John T. Emmett seems to have been the shadowy John Thomas Emmett (1828-98) who built churches in London and Glasgow, including the impressive Bath Street Chapel in Glasgow in 1849, but his best-known work was a Congregational College in London, which he won in a competition in 1849. Scott must have known of this building, if not its architect, as it was at Swiss Cottage, only a short walk north from his house in Avenue Road. The Builder, VII, p. 370 (4 August 1849), IX, p. 781 (13 December 1851); Glasgow, in Buildings of Scotland (1990) pp. 204, 295; Directory of British Architects 1834-1914, 2 volumes (Continium, London, 2001), p. 292; Harper, R. H., Victorian Architectural Competitions, An Index to British and Irish Architectural Competitions in The Builder 1843-1900 (Mansell, London, 1983), p. 217; Spencer-Silver, P., Pugin's Builder: The Life and Work of George Myers (University of Hull Press, Hull, 1993), p. 264.

St John the Baptist, Church Street - Croydon - 831

Scott rebuilt this church, after it was destroyed by a fire, between 1867-70, essentially using the previous design of a large early perpendicular building. However he lengthened the building eastwards, included a new vestry and provided a new pulpit, reredos and font, the latter two in alabaster, the reredos carved by Farmer and Brindley. The contractor was the Dove Brothers and the total cost was £35000, including Scott’s commission of £1200.

St John the Evangelist, Shirley - Croydon - 832

This church was built by Scott in 1856, from flint and stone, and has a bell turret with a spire.

St Peter's, St Peter's Road - Croydon - 833

This was a Commissioner’s Church built between 1849-52, at a cost of £6600. It had 293 pews and 493 free sittings. It is built in Middle pointed Decorative style from flint and Tonbridge stone with a tower and spire 146 feet high, which were not completed until 1859-64. It then burnt down so had to be rebuilt in 1865. Critics vary as to whether it is ‘dull though competent’ (Pevsner) or ‘ornate and pretty throughout’ (Betjeman).


Christ Church and vicarage, Broadway - Ealing - 834

In 1850-2, Scott built the grand Christ Church, Ealing, now called Christ the Saviour, from Kentish Ray with Bath stone dressings, for Miss Rosa Lewis, as a memorial to her father. It is built in the later, more ornate, style of the early fourteenth century. Externally, its grandest feature is the west tower, which is modelled on that at Bloxham in Oxfordshire. This starts off as a square but rises into an octagon to accommodate the base of the spire, with large pinnacles filling the four corners. Internally there is much naturalistic stone carving as would have befitted this prosperous new suburb of London. He also designed the associated vicarage which was demolished in 1930.

St Mary's, Hanwell - Ealing - 835

This church was built with Moffatt in 1840-2, in ‘Commissioner’s Style’, of flint with London stock brick dressings and stone dressings to the windows. It was built on the site of the former church. It has a broach spire with dark brick panels and a minor transept with a restrained interior. It lacked a chancel and has galleries in the nave aisles.


Workhouse, Edmonton - Enfield - 836

Built with Moffatt between 1839-41, to a standard plan to accommodate 500 inmates, at a cost of £15819, this workhouse was completed to open in January 1842. It became part of the North Middlesex Hospital site, with most of the original workhouse buildings now demolished.

Christchurch, Southgate - Enfield - 837

The possibility of a new church was discussed in 1859 and by 1861 Scott had been commissioned to design it. The church was built of Kentish Rag with Bathstone dressings and slate roofs, the money raised by public subscription and with the help of the Walker family of Arnos Grove. It has a large chancel integrated with the nave by a high chancel arch in Decorated style. The church was constructed in just over a year costing £11,689, the old Weld Chapel being demolished in 1863. The church includes Pre-Raphaelite stained glass windows by Morris and Co., with designs by William Morris, Burne Jones and Rossetti, as well as stained glass by Clayton and Bell.


Christchurch reredos - Enfield - 838

A reredos was designed by Scott with Salviati mosaic, in 1868-9, for Christchurch.

St Paul's, High Road, Woodland Road, New Southgate - Enfield - 839

This church was built by Scott in 1873 from Rag stone in Early English style. It has aisles and a south-east bell turret. In 1950 it was repaired after damage sustained during World War II.

St Michael-at-Bowes, Palmerston Road, Southgate - Enfield - 840

This cruciform church was built by Scott in 1874, with aisles, a south porch and a stone bell turret with spire. It was in Early English style with a four-bay nave with octagonal piers but was replaced by a new church in the 1970s.

St Barnabas, Rochester Way, Woolwich - Greenwich - 841

This was built as the Naval Dockyard church in 1857-9 from brick with stone dressings. It was asymmetrical with a turret. It was moved to its present site in 1933, damaged in World War II, and restored and remodelled in neo-Regency style in 1956-7.

St Mary, New Church and vicarage, Stoke Newington - Hackney - 842

This church was built by Scott between 1854-8, in a transitional style from First and Second Pointed to Middle Pointed, of Kentish Rag with Bath stone dressings. It has a strong north-east French influence and is a hall church with apse, west tower, short transept and gabled aisles. Scott also designed an octagonal pulpit in a ‘riot’ of marbles and a font with angels carved by the younger Westmancott. At the same time, he designed the associated vicarage with gables and an angular oriel above a Gothic door. The spire was added by John Oldrid in 1890. It has been called ‘perhaps the noblest and most graceful conception of Sir Gilbert Scott’.

Bumpus, T. F., London Churches: Ancient and Modern (T. Werner Laurie, London, 1883), pp. 229-37, 245.

St Matthias's pulpit, Stoke Newington - Hackney - 843

Scott designed the pulpit here in 1866.

St Michael-at-Bowes and All Angels, High Rd - Haringey - 844

This church was built by Scott and Moffatt in 1843-4, with Jay as the builder. It was closed in the 1850s due to subsidence and rebuilt from 1865 by Curzon, the chancel and tower added in 1874.


Christchurch, Roxeth - Harrow - 845

This church was built by Scott, in flint and stone, in 1862-4. It has a nave, chancel, transepts, north aisle and tower with a small spire and could accommodate 350.


Christchurch additions - Harrow - 846

Scott added the south aisle to the church in 1866.

St Mary's - Harrow - 847

The first time that Scott was able to reproduce a building based on the Saint-Chapelle arose from his Evangelical connections. In August 1847, the Reverend John William Cunningham (1780-1861), the Vicar of Harrow, commissioned him to refit, restore and structurally secure his church, St Mary’s, on top of Harrow Hill. Cunningham was a well-known Evangelical preacher and was at Cambridge at the same time as his father. Scott had just completed another work in Cunningham's parish. This was the chapel of St John at Wembley, which was built in 1846 at the expense of the Misses Copland of neighbouring Crabs House.

Bearing in mind Scott's extensive travels at the time and the various other works that he had in hand, it is easy to understand why his efforts were so unsatisfactory at St Mary’s. He strengthened the Norman tower, rearranged the seating by taking the galleries out of the north transept and the chancel, replaced the north porch, added a north chapel, and virtually rebuilt the chancel in the Decorated style. Externally, all the tracery was renewed, battlements were added to the nave and aisle roof parapets and the whole church, apart from the tower, was faced with shiny flints with Bath stone dressings.

The founder of Harrow School, John Lyon, is buried in the church and until 1838, when Cockerell built it a separate chapel, it had been used by the School for its services. No doubt ample funds were available, which meant that, in spite of the wholesale nature of the work, everything was completed by 1849. This seems to confirm that the speed at which Scott's restorations were carried out was often reflected in the quality of the finished work. Slow-moving works, usually because of fund-raising problems, seem to have produced better restorations, perhaps not surprisingly, than those carried out quickly.

Pevsner, N., and Cherry, B., London 3: North West, Buildings of England (Penguin Books, London, 1991), p. 142.
Watkin, D., The Life and Work of C. R. Cockerell (Zwemmer, London, 1974), p. 135.

Harrow School Chapel - Harrow - 848

Cockerell's Tudor style school chapel was remarkably short-lived. The headmaster, Dr. Charles John Vaughan (1816-97), was rapidly expanding the school and a larger chapel was needed. He must have liked Scott’s work at St. Mary’s and as he was paying for the work himself, he appointed Scott to design a new chapel on the site of Cockerell's building. Work started in 1854. It is a version of the Sainte-Chapelle complete with crypt and a tall apsidal east end where the ground falls away. Like St. Mary’s, the whole building is covered in dark shiny flints contrasting with pale stone dressings. But as soon as the chapel was completed in 1855, it was decided to extend it with a large south aisle to commemorate the old Harrovians who had fallen in the Crimean War, thus removing the simplicity of the basic Sainte-Chapelle form. The foundation stone for the extension was laid in 1856, and it was dedicated by Vaughan in 1858.

Harrow School Chapel additions - Harrow - 849

Scott added a fleche over the west end of Harrow School Chapel in 1865 but it is an ungainly looking building, particularly where the west end abuts the street.

Memorial to John Godley, Harrow School Chapel - Harrow - 850

In 1861, Scott designed a memorial brass to John Godley, the Under Secretary of War, which is inscribed with the names of various contributors including Gladstone and was placed in the Harrow School Chapel.

Memorial to E. H. Vaughan, Harrow School Chapel - Harrow - 851

Scott designed a memorial in 1868 to E. H. Vaughan, the brother of Dr Vaughan, the headmaster between 1844-59, in the north aisle of Harrow School Chapel, of linked arches.

Vaughan Library, Harrow School - Harrow - 852

Having transformed his school, Charles Vaughan inexplicably resigned as Headmaster of Harrow in 1859, at the age of forty-three. He became the Vicar of Doncaster and it was proposed to build a new library at Harrow to commemorate Vaughan’s headmastership. Beresford Hope was a pupil at Harrow School between 1833 and 1837 and subsequently took an active interest in its affairs. He probably played a part in the choice of Scott as the architect for a new library and he certainly would have approved of the design that Scott produced. It was one of the first opportunities that Scott had to produce a non-domestic building in the rejected Gothic style. However, it was another old-Harrovian, Lord Palmerston, who by a surprising twist, took a leading role in promoting Scott's first public building in his High Victorian style.
During the great debate in the House of Commons on 8 July 1861 on Scott's classical Foreign Office, Buxton chided Palmerston for going to Harrow ‘to lay the foundation stone of a Gothic building’. Palmerston, in winding-up the debate, said:

I am not fond of the Gothic, but, having been applied to lay the stone of a Gothic library, the plan of which was approved by the proper authorities, which was in harmony with a Gothic chapel close to which it was to be placed, and also in keeping with old John Lyon's school-house, I waived my objection to the Gothic style in attending on that occasion.

Palmerston's loyalty to his old school was paramount. On 4 July 1861, the seventy-six year old Prime Minister rode the ten miles from London to Harrow, laid the foundation stone of the Vaughan Library and returned, all in pouring rain ‘without changing his wet clothes or eating his lunch’. He knew that Scott was intending to build ‘a Gothic library’, but it is not clear if he realised that it would be in the style that he had rejected for the Foreign Office. In fact the only concession that Scott made to ‘old John Lyon's school-house’, which was built in the early seventeenth century, was to use red bricks. But Scott was well established at Harrow and the work that he had already carried out there, was clearly liked.
The site is next to Scott’s chapel and characteristically he seized the opportunities presented by the site to expose the side of his chapel and make it part of a memorable High Victorian group with the library as a spectacular memorial to Vaughan’s achievement in turning Harrow into one of the leading English public schools. The main entrance is very formal with a central path of harsh multi-coloured tiles leading into a cavernous porch. Inside, opposite the entrance, is a large transomed bay window extending upwards through the whole height of the library, with a magnificent view across London. The only asymmetrical feature is a small staircase turret, with a conical roof, to the left of the rear elevation, which leads down basement classrooms. The whole building is richly decorated with shiny granite columns with foliated capitals, patterned brickwork within blank arcading and patterned roof tiles. The whole vocabulary of Scott's High Victorian Gothic style is here including, of course, the alternating voussoirs around all the pointed arches. The builder of the Vaughan Library was Richard Chapman of Harrow, and it was completed in 1863 at a cost of about £12,000. Scott's friend William Burges called it ‘the best building in Harrow’. It was the first non-domestic application of his ideas for secular architecture and in that location could be seen by many highly influential potential clients.

During the debates in Parliament on the question of style, part of the problem was that it was not possible for M.P.s to look at real buildings in Scott's High Victorian Gothic style, and it is ironic that by 1862, just as the classical Foreign Office was starting to be built, Scott was at last able to produce several actual buildings in his rejected style. The Vaughan Library, perhaps thanks to Hope, was a major statement in the new style.

Crook, J. M. (ed.), The Strange Genius of William Burges, ‘Art Architect’, 1827-1881 (National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, 1981), p. 245.
Hansard, 8 July 1861, column 517.
Hansard, 8 July 1861, column 540.
Ridley, J., Lord Palmerston (Constable, London, 1970), p. 683.
J. G. C. Minchie, Old Harrow Boys, cited, Chaplin, E., The Book of Harrow (Staples Press, London, 1948), p. 71.
Pevsner, N., and Cherry, B., London 3: North West, Buildings of England (Penguin Books, London, 1991), p. 266.

Housing - Harrow - 853

Scott designed a pair of semi-detached houses for W. Winkley, as illustrated in his drawings collection.

Scott's Drawing Collection, RIBA, p. 59 (b).

St Mary's - Hillingdon - 854

In 1873, Scott restored St Mary’s Church, carrying out general repairs and restorations as well as removing the box pews. During the course of the restorations, wall paintings of St Christopher and a checker board pattern were revealed. Scott’s fees of £91 were paid in 1883, after his death.

St John the Baptist's, Uxbridge Road - Hillingdon - 855

This church was restored by Scott in 1847-9. In 1846, his report recommended pulling down the existing chancel and extending the church eastwards, as well as adding north and south transepts. This work was carried out by Messrs James Fassnidge of Uxbridge in 1847-9 and the present east end, including the chancel with flanking chapels, was built.


St Andrew's, High Street - Hillingdon - 856

Built by Scott between 1863-7, from Cowley bricks forming red and yellow polychrome work, this church has been described by Pevsner as ‘one of his stogier efforts in the Early Gothic style’. Infact the vicar, the Rev. Richard Croft, had asked Scott for a design ‘without unnecessary ornament’. It has a chancel, nave, south porch, vestry and south-east tower, with a slightly later broach spire. Some of the carving on the west end remains unfinished. The builder was William Fassnidge of Uxbridge and the total cost was around £12000.


St Andrew's memorial screen - Hillingdon - 857

In 1876, Scott designed a memorial screen to go in the church, his fees coming to £230.

St Andrew's reredos - Hillingdon - 858

In 1868, Scott designed the reredos of the Last Supper, carved in stone by Farmer and Brindley, for the church.

St Martin's, High Street, Ruislip - Hillingdon - 859

Scott restored this church in 1869-70 having sketched it in 1868 (Drawings Collection, RIBA, p. 82 [b]). This included removing the dormers to the nave and reseating it, with Ewan Christian restoring the chancel at the same time. There are also later Victorian restorations to the church.


St Martin's, West Drayton - Hillingdon - 860

Scott is said to have ‘extensively’ restored this church in 1850.

Royal Commission for Historic Monuments, Middlesex, p. 13.

St Matthew's, Yiewsley - Hillingdon - 861

This church was built by Scott in 1858-9, mainly from yellow brick with red brick diapers and dressings, and a little carved stone. It has an apse, bellcote over the chancel arch, north vestry, with four pairs of lancets with round openings over on the north wall, each pair under gables. The west window has round plate tracery over triple lancets. Only part of Scott’s original church now remains, as the north aisle to the later church by Nicolson and Corlette in 1898.


Christchurch, Turnham Green, Chiswick - Hounslow - 862

Throughout Scott's career, many of his buildings had a picturesque relationship with their surrounding landscape. The fact that this happens so often seems to indicate that he deliberately attempted to integrate the design of the buildings with their setting. The three early London churches, are all attractively sited, particularly the last one, Christ Church, Turnham Green, which forms a major landmark in the middle of the central green of Chiswick. The old village of Chiswick, with its medieval parish church, is on the north bank of the Thames, half- a-mile south of Turnham Green. In the 1840's, this was a rapidly growing out-post of Chiswick from which it was separated by Chiswick House and its grounds. The church cost £6,900, towards which, the Commissioners contributed grant of £500 and the contractor was Bird of Hammersmith. It contained 930 seats and was consecrated by the Bishop of London in July 1843. It is built of flint with stone dressings and, like Shaftesbury, it has short transepts, aisles and a west tower. However, it has no clerestory and the tower, although a similar design, is capped by a flint stone broach spire, the second in the London area. The small octagonal chancel, containing only the communion table, was replaced by a full-scale Victorian chancel in 1887. The architectural style is again the ubiquitous Early English lancet style, which, according to Pevsner, shows Scott as ‘already a competent if uninspired performer’. Writing more than twenty years after he had built his first seven churches, Scott is anxious to disown these seemingly successful early essays:

the cheap-church rage over-came me, and as I had not then awakened to the viciousness of shams, I was unconscious of the abyss into which I had fallen. These days of abject degradation only lasted for about two years or little more, but alas what a mass of horrors was perpetuated during that short interval!!

Clunn, H., The Face of the Home Counties etc. (Simpkin Marshall, London, 1936), p. 428.
Port, M. H., Six Hundred New Churches, A Study of the Church Building Commission, 1818-1856 and its Church Building Activities ( S.P.C.K., London, 1961), p. 157.
Pevsner, N., and Cherry, B., London 3: North West in the Buildings of England (Penguin Books, London, 1991), p. 392.
Scott’s Recollections, I 298.

St Clement's - Islington - 863

This church was built by Scott in 1863-5, at the sole expense of G. Cubitt, M.P., later Lord Ashcombe, from stock brick with three red brick portals, a bellcote and a six bay nave. It cost around £6000 and the builders were the Dove Brothers. It has now been converted to flats.

St Matthew's, City Road - Islington - 864

Scott built this church between 1847-8, in Early Pointed style, with a steeple modelled on St Mary’s, Sutton, Lincolnshire. There are five lancets at the east end suggested by Chetwode, and a tower at the east end of the south aisle designed by G. E. Street, who was then Scott’s assistant. Street carried out further additions to the church in 1866. The church was destroyed during the Second World War.

St Mary Abbots, High Street, Kensington - Kensington and Chelsea - 865

In May 1867 a committee was set up under the chairmanship of the Vicar of Kensington, Archdeacon John Sinclair, to investigate how the seventeenth century church of St Mary Abbots could be replaced. The old church was totally inadequate for such a large and expanding parish and it was already showing serious structural faults. The committee had already been promised over £7,000 towards reconstruction when, in April 1868, it unanimously appointed Scott to carry out the work. The minutes state that ‘Mr. Scott’s European reputation renders it altogether unnecessary on the part of the Committee to enter on any justification of their choice’.

Scott produced a design for a large town church in his favourite late Early English style, with aisles, transepts, a north-eastern tower and spire and a timber vaulted chancel. It is a grand and dignified design with no expense spared. Dove Brothers were appointed contractors and they carried out the work in stages, which resulted in a total expenditure of £20,000 without fittings or Scott’s fees of £850. Although Dove Brothers were one of the largest builders in London, the head of the firm Benjamin Dixon Dove, unlike grandees such as Kelk, lived at their yard in Studd Street, Islington, where he employed 210 men and 11 boys. Their work was almost always confined to churches and they had already built St Clement’s, Islington, for Scott in 1863 and St Jude’s, Croydon, in 1867. The reliable Joseph Sheffield, whose work on the Foreign Office had been completed and had yet to start on the Home and Colonial Offices, was appointed Clerk of Works.

Work commenced in 1869 and the church was consecrated at a grand ceremony on 14 May 1872. Again Scott’s favourite craftsmen reappear: almost all the stained glass is by Clayton and Bell; the tile paving by Godwin of Lugwardine; and the large marble bowl font, similar to that at Flaxley, was carved by Farmer and Brindley. After his move to Courtfield House, Scott would have been able to keep in close touch with the work at St Mary Abbots, but it was left to John Oldrid, after Scott’s death, to design the seats and stalls and to provide a magnificent Gothic covered walkway between the church and the High Street.

Barney, M., The Archdeacon and the Architect (Privately published, 1972), pp. 5, 7.
Summerson, J., The Unromantic Castle and other Essays (Thames and Hudson, London, 1990), pp. 180. 183.
Toplis, I., The Foreign Office, an Architectural History (Mansell Publishing, London and New York, 1987), p. 189.
Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds), The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), 52, 93.
Pevsner, N., and Cherry, B., London 3: North West, Buildings of England (Penguin Books, London, 1991), p. 460.
Rowles, R., St Mary Abbots: The Parish Church of Kensington (Pitkin Pictorials, Andover, 1992), pp. 5, 8.

St Mary Abbots tower and spire - Kensington and Chelsea - 866

Work on the tower and spire started in 1876 and was completed in November 1879, after Scott's death, when Sinclair’s successor, amidst much celebration and anxiety, climbed 278 feet to lay the final stone at the top of the spire.

Rowles, R., St Mary Abbots: The Parish Church of Kensington (Pitkin Pictorials, Andover, 1992), p. 5.

St Peter's, London and Cambridge Roads, Norbiton - Kingston-upon-Thames - 867

Scott and Moffatt built this Commissioner’s Church between 1840-2, after winning a competition. It cost around £4443 and had 386 pews and 358 free seats. It is in Norman style with a minor transept, built in yellow and white brick with stone dressings. The chancel and baptistery were added later.


Kingston Literary and Scientific Instititute - Kingston-upon-Thames - 868

This was built with Moffatt in 1841, as a two-bay wide, three-storey property with stone dressings, at 7, Thames Street. It is now much altered with the loss of original first floor level windows.

Immanuel Parish Schools, Streatham High Road - Lambeth - 869

Scott built the school in 1861, although it was extended by George and Peto in 1874.

St Stephen's, High Street - Lewisham - 870

Scott built this church between 1863-5, in Early English style, at a cost of £16500 and at the sole expense of the Rev. S. Russell Davies. It is built from Kentish Rag with Bath stone dressings and was intended to have a tower, although this was never built due to lack of funds. The reredos was by Charles Buckeridge, Scott’s assistant, and the stained glass by Clayton and Bell.


Christchurch, Lee Park - Lewisham - 871

This was a Commissioners Church, built 1853-4 with a £5000 grant, in Gothic style with gabled aisles, a steeple added in 1877. It was badly damaged during World War II and subsequently demolished.

Monument to N. Scott, St Botolph's, Aldgate - City of London - 872

In 1841, a monument to Nathaniel Gilbert Scott (1815-31) was erected in St Botolph's, designed by his older brother George and using an inscription which Scott said that his father had given him some years earlier.

St Alban's, Wood Street - City of London - 873

Scott restored this seventeenth century church adding a new apse in 1856-9.

St Alban's, Wood Street, refitting - City of London - 874

Scott refitted the interior of this church in 1867. The church was bombed during World War II leaving only the tower standing, the rest demolished.

St Michael's, Cornhill - City of London - 875

At St. Michael's, Cornhill, between 1857 and 1860, Scott, in collaboration with the Surveyor to the Parish, Herbert Williams (1812/13-1873), carried out a refurbishment of the church, which is in the heart of the banking area of the City of London. Again, subsequent changes have made it difficult to assess the extent of Scott’s work. It was one of the fifty-two City churches which Wren rebuilt after the Great Fire of London in 1666, although its medieval tower survived the fire, and perhaps because of this, Wren rebuilt the church in his own version of Gothic. Scott and Williams refitted the interior, altered and formed new windows, and with William Andrew Mason, constructed a new north-west porch. This is entirely in Scott's version of Gothic and has a fine tympanum carved by Philip. Scott fitted simple Florentine tracery to the aisle windows but inserted heavy Gothic tracery into Wren's circular clerestory windows. The interior was decorated extensively with stencil patterns by Clayton and Bell with a painted ceiling by Stacy Marks. All the decorations have since disappeared, as has the light-inhibiting clerestory tracery, but the fittings still remain, including Scott's reredos, which is in a round-arch Gothic style as well as the iron Gothic altar rails, pulpit and carved choir stalls, the font given a new stem. The whole ensemble seems to have been very successful. The Ecclesiologist says that Scott, ‘fuses the vaulting into something transitional between Pointed and Italian. And he inserts tracery into all the round-headed windows, and the great ugly stable-like circles of the clerestory become roses under his plastic hand’. With praise like this, from where he most wanted it, it is not surprising that Scott turned to St. Michael's, Cornhill, as a possible solution to his problems over a style for the Foreign Office.

Colvin, H., A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1995), p. 710.
Read, B., Victorian Sculpture (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1984), p. 267.
Clarke, B. F. L., Church Builders of the Nineteenth Century, A Study of the Gothic Revival in England (David and Charles, Newton Abbot, 1969), p. 244.

St Olave's, Hart Street - City of London - 876

Scott restored and repaired the fifteenth century church in 1863, removing galleries and rebuilding the east window. His font was given to St Olaves in Toronto in 1937. The church was badly bombed in World War II and restored once more in the 1950s.

Fishmonger's Hall, London Bridge - City of London - 877

Scott was introduced to Henry Roberts, who had been a pupil of Charles Fowler, through his work on Hungerford Market. The old livery hall of the Fishmonger's Company, which was built after the Great Fire, had to be demolished to make way for the new approaches to London Bridge, and in September 1831, one month after the new bridge had been opened, the City of London Corporation announced that an architectural competition would be held for the design of the new hall. The first prize was awarded, in March 1832, to the twenty-nine year-old Henry Roberts (1803-76). Roberts was a Londoner, who in 1825 became an assistant to the renowned Sir Robert Smirke with whom he stayed for four years, but had so far built nothing of importance by himself. Smirke had a reputation for sound construction using concrete foundations, and he repaired Laing's ill-fated Custom House after its collapse. Much of the detail of Roberts' Fishmonger's Hall resembles Smirke's classical detailing, particularly the use of Smirke's favourite Ionic order.

Soon after the announcement of his success in March 1832, Roberts single-handedly set to work to produce all the detailed constructional drawings required to enable the builders to tender precisely for the cost of the building. This mode of procedure, which was comparatively new at the time, had great advantages for the prospective building owner compared with the old system where individual tradesmen quoted only for their part of the work and overall co-ordination, as such, was in the hands of a Clerk of Works. The new system not only let the owner know exactly how much the final expenditure would be, but by inviting tenders from various builders, he could be sure that he was getting it at the lowest cost, and by inserting a completion date in the contract, he knew when he could get his building. This arrangement was only made possible by the emergence of the large general contractors, such as Grissell and Peto, who were capable of producing every part of a building, from brickwork to joinery. But it did give the architect the task of producing all the drawings and specifications for the entire project, before tenders could be invited. But by May he was reported as being ill ‘from the effects of over exertion in preparing the Drawings’, so it must have been soon after, that he invited Scott to join him at his office in Suffolk Street, just off the Haymarket. The young Scott’s detailed examination of his drawings and specifications must have impressed Fowler, who probably recommended him for the work.

As is often the case with difficult sites, the foundation contract was let in advance of the main contract and Scott, as well as working on the contract drawings, had to go down to the City to inspect the work in progress. By June, it had been cleared, and he saw it as ‘a bed of muddy peat’ with many Tudor oak piles revealed but Roberts ordered the whole site to be covered with a concrete raft. The contract drawings were completed by mid-July and fourteen general contractors were invited to tender by 15 August . These included Grissell and Peto, but it was William and Lewis Cubitt who submitted the lowest price of £27,750, which was accepted. The contract was signed on 24 August 1832, and presumably work began on the superstructure soon afterwards. The work lasted two years, which Scott recalls as an ‘almost a blank in my memory’.

Hyde, R., Fisher, J., and Sato, T. (eds.), Getting London into Perspective (Barbican Art Gallery, London, 1984), pp. 46-7.
Metcalf, P., The Halls of the Fishmonger’s Company, an Architectural History of a Riverside Site (Phillimore, Chichester and London, 1977), pp. 134, 139, 141-2.
Colvin, H., A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1995), pp. 593, 876.
Scott’s Recollections, I 257.

St Mary's, Wimbledon - Merton - 878

This church was rebuilt with Moffatt in 1843, of knapped flint and limestone, on the site of an older church and using the old structure where possible. It cost around £4000 and they extended the nave and built a new tower and spire.


St Mary's, Wimbledon, rebuilding - Merton - 879

Scott returned to the church to rebuild the chancel in 1860.

Emmanuel Church, Upton Lane, Forest Gate - Newham - 880

This was a Commissioners Church built in 1850-2, of Kentish ragstone, in fourteenth century style, at the cost of £3500, the rest of the expense borne by the Rev T. Cornthwaite. It had 187 pews and 253 free seats.


All Saints, Church Street, West Ham - Newham - 881

In 1847–9 the church was restored by George Dyson and Scott. Box pews were removed to provide more free sittings and the windows were altered.

All Saints, Church Street, second restoration - Newham - 882

In 1865–9 there was a general restoration of the church under the direction of Scott. The west gallery was removed and new windows were inserted. At the same time he designed a new reredos.

Christ Church, High Street, Wanstead - Redbridge - 883

This church was built by Scott between 1859-63, from Kentish Ragstone. Originally, it was a chancel, with the north aisle and a nave of four bays. In 1867 Daniel Cobbett added a south aisle and lengthened the church by a bay. A tower and spire were then added in 1869 and vestries in 1889.


Infant Orphan Asylum, Wanstead - Redbridge - 884

Scott and Moffatt’s first major success in institutional competitions came early in 1841, with a competition for the Infant Orphan Asylum in Wanstead, for Dr. Andrew Reed (1787-1862), a well-known philanthropist and independent minister, who had already founded other similar institutions in London. Scott said, ‘Nothing could exceed the energy with which Moffatt threw himself into this competition, the most important by far which we had then entered’. It is a very big H plan building, picturesquely situated by the East Pond on the edge of Epping Forest. Scott designed the Elizabethan elevations, with turrets, curved gables and stone mullioned windows. It has an open loggia across the front, like Hatfield House, interrupted by an imposing three story central entrance tower. It is all in white stone with yellow stone dressings and looks like a great white palace in a romantic lakeside setting. Prince Albert laid the foundation stone ‘in great state’, on 24 July 1841, and the contractor, the big London firm of Jay Moffatt, ‘carried out the work, for it was mainly committed to him, with great ability and success’. The building was opened by King Leopold of Belgium, Queen Victoria's uncle, in 1843. It is now Snaresbrook Crown Court. Two drawings of it were exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1842.

It was with this building that The Builder first mentioned Scott and Moffatt in its columns. This magazine was founded in 1843 and became the most influential architectural periodical throughout the nineteenth century, with Scott’s work always very well covered, starting with the Wanstead Asylum in its issue of 28 October 1843. This carried the comment that Scott and Moffatt would be well-known to professional and builder readers, but less so to non-professional readers.

Scott’s Recollections, I 309-10.
Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds), The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), 17 b.

St Mary the Virgin, Barnes - Richmond-upon-Thames - 885

An unexecuted and undated design for the rebuilding of this church exists in the drawing collection (RIBA, Scott's Drawings, p. 17 (a)), with Moffatt, so probably dating from the early 1840s.

St Matthias, Friars Stile Road - Richmond-upon-Thames - 886

This church was built in stone by Scott, between 1857-62, as a chapel of ease to the parish church, in First Pointed style. It has geometric tracery, a lancet clerestory, a semi-circular apse and a tower with a 200 foot spire.


Gravestone, St Peter's Church, Petersham - Richmond-upon-Thames - 887

In 1864, Scott designed the gravestone for his son Albert Henry, which was placed in the graveyard here. It is a red granite slab with an incised cross and inscriptions on a grey granite base.

St Giles's, Church Street, Camberwell - Southwark - 888

The opportunity to design a spectacular new church came on 7 February 1841, when the old parish church of St. Giles, at Camberwell in south London, burnt down. The vestry decided to hold a competition for the design of a new church, and appointed Edward Blore (1787-1878) to act as assessor. Blore was by now one of the most distinguished members of his profession, having been appointed in 1831 ‘special architect’ to King William IV, to complete Buckingham Palace. However, it was as a topographical draughtsman that he had built up a considerable knowledge of Gothic architecture. The Camberwell vestry clearly wanted a Gothic design for their new church, so Scott competed and Blore chose him for the work.

This was the last of a trio of major competition victories which came in quick succession, the Martyrs' Memorial in March 1840, the Wanstead School in early 1841, and now the Camberwell Church, later on in the same year. They combined to establish the partnership as among the leading architects of the day. ‘Moffatt's head was turned’ according to Scott, by his Wanstead success, but Scott probably viewed St. Giles with even greater satisfaction. This was to be a large parish church, within a few miles of the centre of London, serving a large and growing population, including many families of the status of the Ruskins, who lived a mile-and-a-quarter away, at Herne Hill. John Ruskin himself, although still at Oxford, was already establishing himself as a critic and would certainly have known about Scott and Moffatt from the Martyrs' Memorial.

This was the largest church that Scott had designed so far, with a nave, transepts, a long ecclesiologically correct chancel and a central tower with a thin broach spire nearly two hundred feet high. The late Early English style used, as Pevsner states, ‘is rather raw ... not yet as refined and competent as Scott was to be later’. The church was built of Sneaton stone from north Yorkshire with Caen stone dressings. Scott remarks that ‘Our great mistake in the church was the use [of] Caen Stone an error fallen into by many at that time & later’. This pale grey stone, which is easily worked, was very fashionable in the 1840's and 1850's as a substitute to the Portland Stone used on so many, by then, discredited Georgian buildings. In fact Caen Stone had appalling weathering properties and when Blore used it on the new east facade of Buckingham Palace in 1850, it started dropping off only three years later, causing considerable alarm. Scott originally chose terracotta for the vaulting of St. Giles, probably because of its light weight, but it was eventually omitted in an effort to reduce costs and Scott never seems to have specified it again, even though it became fashionable in the 1870's.

Scott ‘greatly admired’ the incumbent, the Reverend J. G. Storie, ‘and, to a certain extent respected while I feared him for he was a man whose very look would almost make one tremble when his wrath was stirred. He was determined to have a good church.’ It was little wonder that poor Scott found his attendances at the committee meetings terrifying experiences.

Work did not start until late 1842, when the foundation stone was laid. Cox, who had carved the Martyrs' Memorial, carried out the work, which according to Eastlake, was ‘better in design than execution, being coursely cut in parts’, and Scott thought that the human heads were ‘detestable’. Consecration took place on 21 November 1844, and the building received widespread publicity, with an illustration in the Illustrated London News and notices in The Gentleman's Magazine and The Ecclesiologist. Scott had sent a lithograph to the latter and must have been delighted when it described St. Giles as ‘On the whole a magnificent work’, while Ruskin called it ‘a pretty church’. If, according to Scott, ‘no one had an idea whose our plans were’ when they were submitted in the competition for St. Giles in 1841, they certainly would have known who Scott and Moffatt were when the building was consecrated three years later.

Colvin, H., A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1995), p. 81.
Scott’s Recollections, I 309, 311, 313-15, II 282.
Pevsner, N., and Cherry, B., London 2: South, Buildings of England (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1983), pp. 169, 614.
Eastlake, C. L., A History of the Gothic Revival (Longmans, Green and Co., London 1872), pp. 221, 707.
Hobhouse, H., Thomas Cubitt, Master Builder (Management Books, Didcot, 2000), p. 401.
Crook, J. Mordaunt, and Port, M. H., The History of the King’s Works, Volume VI 1782-1851 (Her Majesty’s Stationary Office, London, 1973), p. 292.

Camden Church, Peckham Road, Camberwell - Southwark - 889

The Camden District Church in Camberwell, London, a few hundred yards from St. Giles, was originally built in 1795 as a chapel for the Countess of Huntingdon's Connection, but by 1843 when Ruskin and his parents first attended, it had become an evangelical Church of England church. In 1854, Scott added a new apse to the church which accorded with Ruskin's taste for Venetian architecture. Although it is not certain if he had any role in the design, Ruskin was enthusiastic over Scott’s little apse, describing it as ‘faultless and exceedingly beautiful’. The church was bombed in the Second World War and demolished in the 1950's, but from an illustration which appeared in The Builder in 1854, it appears to have been a lavish display of constructive polychromy. The Camden Church is noteworthy because of Ruskin’s praise but it was very unusual for Scott at that time. The great bulk of his work continued with variations of the architecture that flourished in England on either side of the start of the fourteenth century; the so-called Middle Pointed.

Pevsner, N., London except the Cities of London and Westminster, Buildings of England (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1952), p. 76.
Ruskin, J., Praeterita (Everyman, London, 2005), p. 353.
Brooks, M. W., John Ruskin and Victorian Architecture (Thames and Hudson, London, 1989), pp. 55-60.
The Builder, 1854, p. 363.
Muthesius, S., The High Victorian Movement in Architecture, 1850-70 (Routledge & Kegan Paul Books, London and Boston, 1972), p. 170.

The Collegiate School, Camberwell - Southwark - 890

In spring 1834, Henry Roberts appointed Scott Clerk of Works to The Collegiate School in Camberwell Grove, an arrangement which, he joked, ‘was much more beneficial to myself than to the building’. This was a small Tudor Gothic building which was completed by the autumn, about the time that Scott seems to have left Roberts. It was demolished in 1867.

Scott’s Recollections, I 262
Colvin, H., A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1995), p. 505.
Curl, J. S., The Life and Works of Henry Roberts, 1803-76, Architect (Phillimore & Co Ltd, 1983), p. 16.

Christ Church Parsonage, Camberwell - Southwark - 891

This may have been built by Scott, from brick and stone.

Thompson, P., William Butterfield, Victorian Architect (Routledge and Keegan Paul, London, 1971), plate 297, p. 328.

Westminster Abbey - City of Westminster - 892

Scott’s ability to retain a lasting friendship with numerous people that he encountered during his professional career gives an indication of his personality, in that others valued his friendship and it also provided Scott with some useful contacts as they themselves advanced in their careers. One such contact was Henry Arthur Hunt (1810-89), who Scott probably first met when they were working as young men on Hungerford Market. After the completion of Hungerford Market in 1836, Hunt carried out a detailed estimate of the cost of the Houses of Parliament for Sir Charles Barry, the architect, and in April 1841, on Barry's recommendation Hunt was appointed Surveyor to the Dean and Chapter of Westminster Abbey. Although he was a quantity surveyor, in his new post he would be responsible for the Abbey's large estate, which in those days included most of the land between Downing Street, in the north, and Great Peter Street in the south. The buildings of the Abbey itself were under the care of the Surveyor to the Fabric, who, since 1827, had been Edward Blore.

Blore decided to retire from general practice in 1849, at the age of sixty-two, and again he might have suggested Scott as his successor as Surveyor. However, the most important person in choosing Blore's successor would have been the Dean of Westminster, who, in 1849, was the Dr. Buckland who had so upset Scott over the stone for the Martyrs' Memorial. This was, it seems, just another example of Scott's hypersensitivity. As events were to prove, he liked Scott and appreciated his work.

So with these men in influential positions and with his work on Ely as an example of what he could do, it is quite astonishing that he should write in his Recollections, ‘In 1849 I was wholly unexpectedly, appointed architect to Westminster Abbey; the appointment having just been resigned by Mr. Blore’. The only possible motive for this feigned surprise is that Scott had been lobbying behind the scenes for the appointment. This was probably through Hunt, who even in the Government Offices affair some ten years later, is not given any proper acknowledgement by Scott for considerable part that he played in advancing Scott's claim for the work. The Ecclesiologist reacted to Scott's appointment with the wish ‘that the change had taken placed much sooner’, and although he was an obvious improvement on Blore, his religious outlook was not at all in line with its High Church views. However, his broad Anglicanism could well have been seen as an appropriate background for the Surveyor to the Abbey.

Scott’s appointment ‘was a great & lasting source of delight. I at once commenced a careful investigation of its antiquities wh_ I have followed up ever since’. Like Hamburg and Ely it was to occupy him, and to provide him with a continuous income, for the rest of his life. But unlike Hamburg, it did not involve arduous and time-consuming journeys as it was only a short walk from Spring Gardens. In 1872 he was able to write that this appointment ‘has afforded me more pleasure than any other which I have had’. In addition, unlike most of Scott's other works, there was no urgent structural work and even the refitting of the choir had just been completed by Blore. But soon after his appointment he carried out some minor works:

I restored to its place the beautiful iron grille to Queen Eleanor's Monument, wh_[sic] had been removed in 1823. I also restored the grille of the tomb of King Henry V which had been broken up into a thousand pieces & lay scattered in "the old Revestry".

In 1861, Gleanings from Westminster Abbey was published by Parker with Scott as main contributor. Here he states that both grilles were removed for the coronation of King George IV, but his date is wrong as this event took place on 19 July 1821, and what he calls "the old Revestry" is today known as the chapel of St. Faith, which fills the awkward space between the Chapter House and the south transept. He describes it as a beautiful vaulted room, but little known to visitors.

Scott seems to have found the various buildings, which over the centuries had grown up around the church, almost as interesting as the Abbey itself. This was probably because he was able to find among them traces of Edward the Confessor's work, which he became very excited about and described his discoveries in the Gleanings. He does refer to manuscripts but his account is largely based on his own physical surveys of the buildings and the conclusions that he draws from them. He attempts to use his experience as a practical architect to put himself in the position of a medieval mason who had problems to solve within the constraints of his own time. For instance, he tries to determine the size and scale of Edward the Confessor's Abbey, by looking at extant structures which were built to accommodate earlier portions of building.

The Gleanings reveals the difference in approach between Scott and the academic scholars who contributed to the work. Willis's translation and explanation of the Fabric Roll of 1253, which contains the building accounts for that year, is a masterly explanation of the results of his detailed and painstaking study of the Roll. For any detailed research, Scott used his friend, the archaeologist, Joseph Burtt (1818-76), who worked with the records in the Chapter House, and in 1851 was promoted to the post of Assistant Keeper of the Records. Scott also relied heavily on publications, particularly a work which he refers to as ‘Neale’. This is, in fact, The History of Westminster Abbey by Edward Wedlake Brayley (1773-1854), with plates by John Preston Neale (1780-1847), a well-known architectural draughtsman, published in 1818.

It was the Chapter House which particularly attracted Scott's attention. He recalled in 1872:

I had almost immediately after my appointment as architect to the Abbey devoted a great amount of time to investigating & making measured sketches of the Chapter House then occupied as a Record office.

This was quite irregular. Scott was employed by the Dean and Chapter to look after their buildings, which did not include the Chapter House and the adjacent Pyx Chapel. These are the property of the Government and in those days they were administered by the Office of Works as relics from the Middle Ages, when the buildings of the King's Palace of Westminster extended as far west as the Abbey. An early photograph, taken from the newly completed Victoria Tower of the Houses of Parliament, shows the sorry state of the Chapter House before Scott restored it. It looks like an octagonal shed, of no particular architectural interest, imbedded in a mass of Abbey buildings and hardly visible at all to the general public.

Scott was obviously fascinated with this building and was anxious to investigate its original form regardless of the fact that it was not his responsibility and that he would not be paid for his work. ‘I may truly say it was a labour of love & that not a point was missed which would enable me to ascertain the actual design of any part’. The proximity of Spring Gardens seems to have given him the time to pursue this particular investigation personally.

The Chapter House was built by King Henry III between 1248 and 1253, as part of his reconstruction of Edward the Confessor's Romanesque Abbey. Almost from the outset it seems to have been used for secular assemblies, the first recorded being in 1257, and it is likely that it was here that the first parliament of Simon de Montfort met. The Commons continued to meet in the Chapter House until they were ejected by the monks of the Abbey in 1395 and it was then used for ecclesiastical councils. It seems that, in spite of its name, the Chapter of the Abbey never met in it. After the dissolution of the monastery in 1540, the building was not demolished as it was found to be useful for storing royal records and its walls were lined with large presses to accommodate parchment rolls, most of which came from the Exchequer. Over the centuries the capacity of the building was extended to take more records and although Wren, in the early eighteenth century, refused to tamper with the vaulted ceiling or insert a new floor, his successors in the Office of Works had little regard for the old architecture and the history of the building. The great windows were walled up, with pairs of small round-headed Georgian windows replacing them, and a new door was cut through from the north side. Internally, it was completely Georgianised with a gallery inserted at first floor level. In 1744, the great stone vault was considered to be dangerous and was removed to be replaced by a lower structure resting on the central pillar.

It was in this state when Scott first examined the building. He said, ‘Its beauties, however, are unhappily now for the most part to be judged rather by imagination than by sight, for seldom do we see a noble work of art reduced to such a wreck!’ He described his method of hands-on investigation in the Gleanings:

I was one day on the top of one of these presses, and on venturing to pull away an arris fillet which closed the crevice between it and the wall, I perceived the top of an arched recess in the wall behind the press, and on looking down into it I saw some round object of stone in the recess below. My curiosity being excited, I let down into it by a string a small bull's-eye lantern, when, to my extreme delight, I saw that the mysterious object was the head of a beautiful full-sized statue in a niche. Permission was speedily obtained for the removal of the press.

To look at the details of the doorway of the Chapter House, he had to:

creep on to a mass of parchments and dust ten feet deep, and, after taking out the boarding at the back of the cases, to examine and draw, by the help of the little bull's-eye lantern before mentioned; a most laborious operation, and giving one more the look of a master chimney-sweeper than an architect.

Scott then produced perspective views of the interior of the Chapter House and its approaches, showing it as a magnificent medieval monument. He exhibited a view at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition of 1850, and five views were later reproduced in the Gleanings when it was published over ten years later.

There has never been any doubt about Scott's unbounded energy and his enthusiasm for investigating medieval buildings, but the tremendous physical exertion that he put into this work is quite amazing, considering that he was not being paid and, at the time, there was little prospect of the restoration ever being carried out. Perhaps his improved financial position meant that at last he could indulge in work that personally excited him, regardless of monetary rewards. However, it was obvious that the public records had to be given better accommodation and, almost simultaneously with Scott's investigations, a new Public Record Office was being built in Chancery Lane. This was completed in 1858 and the records were moved out of the old Chapter House.

The appointment in 1856 of Henry Hunt to the post of Surveyor of the Works in the Office of Works may well have helped to ensure that Scott would ultimately receive the commission, but it was not until 1866 that he was able to start the work, which lasted until 1872. It is often said that this was the best of all Scott's numerous restorations and even his severest critic at the time, the Reverend William John Loftie (1839-1911), grudgingly admitted that he ‘must approve the greater part of the work carried out’. It was for his roof design that Scott received his greatest criticism. Here he found evidence of iron tie rods which, if he had re-instated them, would have obstructed the view of his new vaulting from below, so he abandoned the medieval construction and instead hung the vaulting from the great Victorian iron trusses that supported his new high-pitched roof.

In the Abbey itself, Scott was apparently delighted to be working for Buckland, whom he now considered ‘was excessively jovial & amusing’, but thought he was wearing himself out with his mind giving way. Buckland is considered to have been one of the leading geologists of his time, having carried out numerous investigations into minerals, particularly coal. He at first upheld the view that glacial deposits were the result of the biblical Flood, which according to Scott's Bible, occurred in 2348 B.C., or 1656 years after the Creation in 4004 B.C., but Buckland later conceded that they were the result of glacial movement in the Ice Age, which ended 10,000 years ago. It may have been that Buckland's mental breakdown arose from his inability to reconcile the geological time-scale with his religious beliefs, as much as his demanding life-style. To Scott, The Bible was ‘The Word’ and he would not have appreciated that there was any possibility that Buckland's scientific discoveries could have created a conflict in Buckland's mind.

Although he seems to make much of it, Scott's association with Buckland at the Abbey probably only lasted a few months, before Buckland's illness forced him to abandon both his geological studies and his duties as Dean. Scott tells us that he gave his last sermon at the service of thanksgiving for the cessation of cholera. This presumably was at the end of the 1849 epidemic. Buckland died in 1856, and during his illness, Lord John Thynne (1798-1881), the Sub-dean and son of the Marquis of Bath, took over. Scott said:

My communications with Lord John Thynne have always been of the most agreeable kind, and I believe I may number him among my best friends. Through him I have had works placed in my hands by the Duke of Buccleuch, & The Earls of Cawdor & Harewood besides others.

Scott tries to make something of these aristocratic connections, but in reality the work stemming from these noblemen seems rather meagre in relation to his massive practice. Having been brought up in the shadow of the Ducal power-base of Stowe, Scott, in spite of occasional radical-sounding comments probably stemming from his evangelical background, fully appreciated the importance of the nobility in the fabric of his own society.

Thynne’s sister was married to the Duke of Buccleuch who was patron of the living of Barnwell in Northamptonshire. In Scotland, the Duke commissioned him to build a new Episcopal church at Hawick in 1855 and he also carried out some work for the Duke at Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfries. Scott also restored and refitted Kilkhampton Church in north Cornwall in 1860, where Thynne as also the patron, and his brother, the Reverend Arthur Christopher Thynne, the rector, for whom Scott built a large new rectory.

Scott’s work at Westminster Abbey, during the six years that Tynne was in charge, included:

the new choir-pulpit, the enclosure of the choir from the transepts, wh_ [sic] had been left open when the choir was refitted under Blore. The iron sanctuary screen & altar-rail, some ameliorations in the lantern above, the stained-glass in the South clerestory of the choir & in the north transept …

Although the Chapter House and the Pyx Chamber were not Scott's responsibility, the approaches to the Chapter House from the Cloisters certainly were. A staircase had been inserted into the Outer Vestibule to gain access to the library above, and this was divided from the entrance by a brick wall, which completely spoilt the appearance of the vaulting above. Buckland gave Scott permission to investigate the chamber immediately to the south of the Vestibule which, to his delight, he found had been the old access to the library so he was able to restore the Vestibule to its original glory by returning the library stair to its old position. When he had first entered the chamber he discovered that he was standing on a large heap of parchment rolls. He was, apparently, so excited by this discovery, that he describes in the Gleanings, how his resulting carelessness led to an unfortunate incident and an official censure:

I happened suddenly to be called for a few minutes from this newly-discovered record office, and forgetting to lock the door, a party of Westminster school-boys got in, and, ... made free with the parchments. A little disturbance ensued, a fresh padlock was shortly afterwards put to the door, and I have been excluded for ten long years from my treasury…

With this great Gothic building now in his care, it seems that Scott would seize every opportunity to leave the office and go down to the Abbey. Not only did he make the theoretical reconstruction of the Chapter House, he also carried out similar exercises on the Abbey itself, by using his knowledge of medieval architecture, structure and materials, which with his imagination he combined to reproduce the forms of the past. How he thought these detailed studies would help him to design better modern buildings is not clear. It is perhaps significant that no important new commissions came into the office in 1850, and yet he seems to have been too busy to go to Hamburg that year and was apparently spending most of his spare daylight hours at the Abbey.

In the summer of 1850 he had ‘been constantly giving snatches of time’ to the ‘most careful study’ of the tomb of Queen Philippa of Hainault, the wife of Edward III, who died in 1369 and was buried in the Confessor's Chapel at the Abbey. From the information that he and Samuel Cundy, the Abbey mason, obtained on the monument, Cundy, ‘mainly at his own cost’, made a six feet by four feet alabaster and marble reproduction of one end of the monument, complete with figures by Philip and coloured decorations by Thomas Willement (1786-1871), a well-known heraldic painter and stained glass artist. It was exhibited at the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park in 1851 and at the Architectural Exhibition in the following year. It is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

During ‘the long period of the poor Dean's illness’, Scott also embarked on a programme of indurating the Royal Tombs with a solution of ‘Shellac and spirits of wine’ which ‘promises to stereotype the work in its present condition for an indefinite time’. The surfaces were often so tender that:

we cannot venture to touch it before the operation is performed. We therefore merely blow away the dust with a pair of bellows, with a long flexible tube and nozzle, and inject the solution with a syringe perforated with a number of small holes, so as not to disturb the crumbling surface, which, after the operation, becomes quite hard and rigid.

He regarded this process as ‘most satisfactory’ and went on to liberally squirt the solution on many other interior surfaces of the Abbey, including the wall arcading and the triforium. But he also applied it to the grand carved tympanum in the cloisters, over the entrance to the Chapter House. Here the semi-external conditions led him to express doubts about the effectiveness of the treatment in this type of position. Certainly today the whole thing is badly decayed and there is no indication that it was ‘exquisitely decorated with scroll-work’ as he describes in the Gleanings. The effect of Scott's application of this wonder-potion was to give everything a rather unpleasantly hard varnished appearance, which probably in the long-run accelerated the deterioration of the stone rather than preserved it. He fortunately does not appear to have used it on any of the other buildings entrusted to his care.

When Buckland eventually died in 1856, Richard Chenevix Trench (1807-86) was appointed Dean, with Thynne remaining as Sub-Dean and retaining ‘a general directing power’ of the restoration work. Scott had some dealings with Dean Trench, but he was succeeded on 9 January 1864 by Arthur Penrhyn Stanley (1815-81), who took an ‘infinite interest in the works’. Stanley had been Professor of Ecclesiastical History and a Canon of Christchurch Cathedral at Oxford, and had attempted to steer the middle course between the evangelicals and the high churchmen. Throughout his life he travelled extensively and, in February 1862, he was considered to be a suitable companion for the twenty-year-old Prince of Wales to tour the Holy Land. It was no doubt these royal connections, as well as his broad church views, that brought him to Westminster.

The restoration of the reredos and its surrounding pavement was the most important work completed by Scott during Stanley's reign at Westminster, although Thynne was still directly responsible for all the work. Scott says:

The mosaic pavement has been restored where it had been shortened eastward the old matrices having been found and refilled … The Reredos which I found in plaster has been restored in alabaster & marble with great care & precision. The 5 central canopies were found to be modern & to occupy the space of a recess intended no doubt for a rich retabulum. This has been restored.

Scott's work was carried out in 1867, with the large mosaic panel, or retabulum, over the altar designed by Clayton and Bell and made by Salviati, representing The Last Supper. All the figures were added later by Henry Hugh Armstead.

Scott, for obvious reasons, disliked the huge classical monuments which had begun to appear inside the Abbey in the early years of the eighteenth century and by his time provided a distraction to the character of the fine Gothic building. He proposed that a special building could house those monuments worth preserving and provide space for future memorials. In 1863, he produced an ambitious plan for ‘a great sepulchral cloister on South side along College Gardens’, but nine years later he saw ‘no prospect of its being carried into execution’. In fact Stanley was keen to have such a building and, a year after his gloomy prediction, Scott produced a set of drawings showing a building stretching along Abingdon Street, opposite the Houses of Parliament, and turning westwards with its main entrance in a porch facing the south side of Henry VII's Chapel.

The proposed building incorporated twenty-two smaller versions of the Chapter House windows along the street and would have required the removal of all the old houses along the west side. These have all disappeared since then but, perhaps thankfully, Scott's dull building did not materialise. After Scott's death interest in the scheme persisted, and in 1890 a Royal Commission was set up to examine the whole question. This resulted in a number of schemes being produced, the most spectacular of which, by J. P. Seddon, used Scott's site but incorporated an enormous tower, rising to a height of 550 feet, completely dwarfing the Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. Scott's scheme certainly lacked grandeur, but this one was ridiculous.

The last major work that Scott carried out at the Abbey was the start of the reconstruction of the north front of the north transept. This had always been the most used entrance to the Abbey and particularly when it formed the south termination of King Street, but the laying out of Parliament Square and the disappearance of King Street under government offices has meant that the transept front is now seen in a wider context. Scott wrote in July 1872, that ‘I am now planning the restoration of the northern portals’, but within a month, he was able to write that he was ‘now engaged in restoring one of the portals … May I be spared to see them all perfected!’ Poor Scott, however, was not spared, and he only saw the completion of the easternmost portal. J. L. Pearson succeeded him as Surveyor to the Fabric in 1879, although John Oldrid was allowed to take over his father's work, completing the portals in 1885.

In 1935 Scott's choir pulpit was sent to Bendigo Cathedral in Australia and replaced by the orginal of 1781, whilst his sanctuary screen was sent to Victoria Cathedral in British Columbia. Similar fates also attended some of Scott's later works in the Abbey. The marble pulpit carved by Harry Hems, which was installed in the nave from ‘funds mainly provided by Sir Walter James’, was removed for King Edward VII's coronation and presented to St. Ann's Cathedral Belfast, and the brass altar rails that he designed for Henry VII's Chapel were given to Street's newly completed West Malvern Church in Worcestershire, by the Abbey as the church's patron, in 1870. He also designed a frame for the portrait of Richard II in 1872, made by Clayton and Bell, and a brass to Robert Stephenson in 1859 with Hardman, showing a figure in modern dress on a diapered Purbeck marble background.

Toplis, I., The Foreign Office, an Architectural History (Mansell Publishing, London and New York, 1987), p. 24.
Colvin, H., A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1995), pp. 79, 756.
Scott’s Recollections, II 34, 95-102, 104, 136, III 282, 285-9, IV 36, 41-2.
Cole, D., The Work of Sir Gilbert Scott (The Architectural Press, London, 1980), pp. 50, 191.
Scott, G. G., Gleanings from Westminster Abbey (John Henry and James Parker, London and Oxford, 1863, 2nd edition), pp. 1-15, 39, 41-5, 47, 49, 51, 67.
Rigold, S. E., The Chapter House and Pyx Chamber, Westminster Abbey (Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England, London, 1985), pp. 6, 8-9.
Briggs, M. S., Goths and Vandals, A study of the destruction, neglect and preservation of historical buildings in England (Constable, London, 1952), p. 185.
Scott’s Bible, I.
Tarn, J. N., Working-class Housing in 19th-century Britain (Lund Humphries, London, 1971), p. 7.
Strang, C. A., Borders and Berwick, An Illustrated Architectural Guide to the Scottish Borders and the Tweed Valley (The Rutland Press, Edinburgh, 1994), p. 138.
Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds), The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), 61 b & c, 84 [c], fig. 14.
Clarke, B. F. L., Anglican Cathedrals Outside the British Isles (SPCK, London, 1958), p. 101.
Brett, C., Buildings of Belfast 1700-1914 (Littlehampton Book Services, Littlehampton, 1967), p. 57.
Bury, S., and Physick, J., Victorian Church Art (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1971), pp. 62, 57.
Stanley, A. P., Historical Memorials of Westminster Abbey (John Murray, London, 1869), pp. xv, xviii; n. 2.
Pevsner, N., London I, The Cities of London and Westminster, Buildings of England (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1957), pp. 362-3.
Physick, J., and Darby, M., ‘Marble Halls’, Drawings and Models for Victorian Secular Buildings (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1973), p. 51.
Hyde, R., Fisher, J., and Sato, T. (eds.), Getting London into Perspective (Barbican Art Gallery, London, 1984), p. 90.

Broad Sanctuary Houses - City of Westminster - 893

The fact that London, up until the last third of the twentieth century, was largely a Victorian city, demonstrates the intense building activity which took place in the capital over nearly the whole of the nineteenth century. The great metropolitan improvements carried out by Nash, now so widely acclaimed, were only the start of a series of upheavals which were to afflict many of the older areas of central London for nearly a century. It was clearly intolerable that squalid and insanitary rookeries and poor communications should be a major feature of the heart of the largest and most prosperous empire of all time. This meant, in the nineteenth century, that London's biggest industry was not commerce, administration or any other activity necessary for the smooth running of the British Empire, but, as Summerson notes, building. The noise, mud and disruption caused by large scale building developments were an everyday experience of most Londoners at the time. Scott would have to pick his way around the works in Trafalgar Square when he went to the Royal Academy, or on his frequent visits to the Abbey, he could either walk down Whitehall into narrow King Street, at the bottom of which he would have to negotiate his way round the clearances going on to form Parliament Square, or alternatively, walk down New Street into St. James's Park, out into Princes Street in the south-east corner of the park, where, a few yards before he reached the west front of the Abbey, he would see an enormous reconstruction scheme taking place to his right. Although Westminster Abbey is built on the slight mound of Thorney Island, the land immediately to its west was so low-lying that it was often below the level of the Thames at high-water. In medieval times an open space, the Broad Sanctuary, was in front of the Abbey and along its west side ran the city wall and ditch with a gateway opposite the Abbey. Outside the city gate on the low-lying area along the line of Tothill Street, houses were built, which, because of their central position, became over the centuries the nucleus of some very close-packed development.

The area was so cramped that by the early years of the nineteenth century it had become one of the most squalid and overcrowded rookeries of London, including ‘several sinks of iniquity and vice’. The most notorious of these, around the Pye Street area, was known locally as ‘The Devil's Acre’. Such conditions could clearly not be tolerated under Victorian standards of public heath and particularly in the heart of the capital of the empire.

A vast tract of some 400 acres, containing between 3,000 and 4,000 houses was to be swept away and the ground level raised, in some places as much as seven feet, so that proper drains and sewers could be provided. In 1845, the first of a series of Acts of Parliament was passed, setting up Commissioners for the Westminster Improvements and empowering them to carry out the necessary works. The Commissioners employed James Pennethorne who, as well as being the Government architect, was also John Nash's professional successor. But unlike Nash, who was primarily concerned with improving communications in the metropolis by the formation of grand routes and open spaces, Pennethorne's first consideration seems to have been the elimination of slum property, with the provision of new roads used as an additional justification for his schemes. He proposed that an entirely new street, Victoria Street, one thousand yards long and eighty feet wide, should provide a new route from the Abbey to the developments which were taking place close to Buckingham Palace, and that it should slice through the Devil's Acre on its way. The resulting new buildings, which were almost uniformly in a debased classical style, were largely the work of Henry Ashton (1801-72), who had been a pupil of Smirke and who probably knew Scott, if not through Henry Roberts then certainly through the Institute, where Ashton was a senior member when Scott joined.

About the only concession to the vista-planning that John Nash had used so effectively, was the proposal to terminate the eastern part of Victoria Street on the front of Westminster Abbey. However, to enable this view to be obtained and a proper access to Victoria Street formed, the obstructing buildings and a small court at the entrance to Dean's Yard, would have to be removed. As the land was owned by the Dean and Chapter, Blore prepared a scheme in 1847 but retired before it could be implemented. Scott was then commissioned to produce a new design for a range of buildings along the south side of the Broad Sanctuary incorporating an entrance to Dean's Yard. This was to be Scott’s main contribution to the vast Westminster improvement scheme.

This was the most prominently sited secular building that Scott had so far designed, forming a flank to the west front of the Abbey. There was no question that it would not be in the Gothic style. Scott also had to provide a building which was of a sufficient height that it would not appear to be overwhelmed firstly by the two 225 feet high west towers of the Abbey designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor's own version of Gothic and built after 1734, or secondly the great new blocks of Victoria Street on the other side. It therefore had to be at least four stories high, but the only trouble was that there was no such thing as four-storey town-houses with attics and basements at the end of the thirteenth century. Scott consequently seems to have abandoned any attempt to reproduce the scale and form of a secular Gothic building and confined his knowledge of medieval architecture to the more detailed parts. He had always said, since his conversion to Middle Pointed, that it was so adaptable that it could be used as a starting point for a new modern architecture and now he had to put this theory into practice.

The building consists of two terraces of four houses, either side of the gatehouse which gives access to Dean's Yard behind. The entrance appears to be in the centre of the block, but its actual position was dictated by the layout of the buildings in Dean's Yard. Scott attempted to overcome any impression of symmetry by giving the gatehouse an entrance appendage on its east side and by treating the two terraces of four-storied houses entirely differently. On the west side of the gateway the attic windows are set in crow-stepped gables, while those to the east are lit by dormer windows behind a battlemented parapet. The asymmetry is further emphasised by different window treatments on either side and an attractive two-storied projecting oriel window at the western end of the facade, which provides a sort of hinge for the different alignment of the facades of Victoria Street. The work was started in 1852 and completed in 1854.

It is a lavish building with a considerable amount of decorative carving, as befits its site rather than its function as a row of houses, with the appropriate Middle Pointed details, except for the crow-stepped gables. Although a feature of Scottish medieval architecture, they are rarely seen in England. However, they are quite common on old secular buildings in parts of Germany and in Belgium and Scott was possibly remembering the old houses that he had sketched in Ghent when he used this feature. He must have been very pleased with these gables as he used them again, more elaborately, on the St. Pancras Hotel and, of course, on Glasgow University. The front of the building is faced with smooth-worked stone, while the rear, which is a conspicuous feature of Dean's Yard, is in yellow London Stock bricks with stone dressings and some decorative carving. Generally the lack of ornamentation makes it seem much lighter and more attractive than its oppressively gloomy north side.

Summerson, J., The Unromantic Castle and other Essays (Thames and Hudson, London, 1990), p. 180.
Clunn, H., The Face of the Home Counties etc. (Simpkin Marshall, London, 1936), pp. 210, 214-15.
Dyos, H. J. and Wolff, M. (eds.), The Victorian City, Image and Realities (Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1973), vol. II, pp. 317, 365.
Pevsner, N., and Bradley, S., London 6: Westminster, Buildings of England (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2003), p. 277 note.

Deanery and houses - City of Westminster - 894

Scott also completed drawings for the Receiver General’s House in the Little Cloister (62a), the houses on the west side of the Dean’s Yard in 1864 (53b) along with the restoration of the Deanery (62a).

Scott's Drawing Collection, RIBA

1 and 3 Dean's Yard - City of Westminster - 895

Scott built 1 Dean’s Yard in 1862, in neo-gothic style, with 3-3a Dean’s Yard in neo-early Tudor style, at the same time.

St Matthew's, Great Peter Street - City of Westminster - 896

As part of the complete redevelopment of the area, apart from Victoria Street itself, six other new streets were constructed and a massive rehousing scheme undertaken, with of course, a new church, on the site of the Devil's Acre. This was St. Matthew's, Great Peter Street, which presumably, because it was intended to cater for the spiritual needs of the re-housed poor, attracted a grant of £2,000 from the Commissioners and provided over 1,200 seats. Scott and Moffatt had produced a preliminary scheme, but it was not until 8 November 1849 that the foundation stone was laid. Myers was the contractor, the total cost was £7,347, and it was completed by 1851. The base of the tower serves as the entrance porch, one of Scott’s favourite devices, but its upper parts, including a spire, were never built.

Port, M. H., Six Hundred New Churches, A Study of the Church Building Commission, 1818-1856 and its Church Building Activities ( S.P.C.K., London, 1961), p. 157.
Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds), The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), 17.

St Andrew's, Ashley Place - City of Westminster - 897

The third commission which Scott obtained, as a result of this massive redevelopment, was at the other end of Victoria Street. This was St. Andrew's, Ashley Place, which also received a grant of £2,000 from the Commissioners. The cost of the building at £7,158, was very similar to that of St. Matthew's, and again the contractor was George Myers. It would have 500 pews and 600 free seats. The foundation stone was laid on 26 May 1854 and the consecration took place on 12 June 1855, with an illustration in the Illustrated London News on 18 November 1854. As before, it was in the Middle Pointed style but, unlike St. Matthew's, it was a hall-church without a clerestory but with small gables over each of the large aisle windows. Neither was there a tower but instead a fleche over the crossing and it also had a three-sided apse. It was clearly inspired by Scott's continental travels and was considered to have been a very good design. In fact, John Oldrid Scott said that he knew of ‘no church of its size built by my father more striking in its internal effect’. When the great Roman Catholic cathedral was constructed between 1895 and 1903, it completely overpowered Scott's little church and it was demolished in 1953 and replaced by an office block.

Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds), The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), 52 (a).
Cole, D., The Work of Sir Gilbert Scott (The Architectural Press, London, 1980), p. 58.
Bumpus, T. F., London Churches: Ancient and Modern (T. Werner Laurie, London, 1908), pp. 227-9.
Pevsner, N., and Bradley, S., London 6: Westminster, Buildings of England (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2003), p. 420.

Crimean War Memorial, Broad Sanctuary - City of Westminster - 898

Scott’s next commission in the Westminster area is only too conspicuous today. This is the Westminster School Crimean War Memorial, which he designed in 1858 and was erected in 1860, in front of Westminster Abbey. It is a single red granite shaft capped by a foliated capital supporting a lantern containing figures by J. B. Philip, topped by St. George and the Dragon by John Richard Clayton. It was praised at the time as a ‘pleasing innovation’ to the usual classical arrangement with Scott apparently remembering the columnar monuments of Venice and Verona.

The Builder, 1858, p. 694.
Companion to the Almanac or Year Book of General Information of 1861 (Knight and Co., London, 1861), p. 225.
Pevsner, N., and Bradley, S., London 6: Westminster, Buildings of England (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2003), p. 277.

St Margaret's School - City of Westminster - 899

The last commission that Scott obtained, as a result of the Westminster Improvements, was in 1861, for a school to serve the parish of St. Margaret, Westminster. This was in what is now Dean Farrer Street, close to the Abbey end of Victoria Street, and was an irregular design in yellow brick with little ornament but with ‘spacious high’ school rooms. Like St. Andrew's, it was a casualty in the later improvements to the area.

Companion to the Almanac or Year Book of General Information of 1862 (Knight and Co., London, 1862), p. 271.

King's College Chapel, Strand - City of Westminster - 900

Scott remodelled the chapel, originally designed by Smirke in 1830-1, in Normano-Byzantine style in 1861-77. He raised the clerestory and added an apse, the total cost of the work coming to around £7000. Scott’s fees for the work were not settled until 1877-8.


Foreign Office, Whitehall - City of Westminster - 901

Throughout Scott’s entire residence at The Grove, his professional activities were dominated by the Government Offices affair. It was certainly the most important project that he had carried out to date and the degree of his personal involvement was quite extraordinary for his practice at that time. It is tempting to speculate that some of the unfortunate decisions that he made during the affair could have been quite different if the more business-like Caroline, who had helped him so much with Moffatt, had been closer for him to confide in.

Scott’s involvement in the Government Offices affair was probably instigated by his old friend Henry Hunt and in September 1860, when Hunt urged him to accept Palmerston's conditions for the sake of his family, he touched a raw nerve in Scott with the most vulnerable members of the family about to leave him for St. Leonards. In 1856, Hunt had been appointed Surveyor of the Works and Public Buildings and became involved in all the work of the Office immediately under its political head, Sir Benjamin Hall (1802-67), the First Commissioner. A grand scheme to rebuild the whole area around Downing Street had been drawn up by James Pennethorne, the Architect to the Board of Works. On taking office, Hall ignored Pennethorne's efforts and decided that all new government buildings should be the subject of architectural competitions. Pennethorne, as the government architect, was naturally furious at losing his main source of income. As Hall's decision took place very soon after Hunt's arrival in the Office of Works, it is tempting to think that the competition idea for the Downing Street site came from Hunt, with his friend Scott in mind.

A Select Committee of the House of Commons was set up in April 1856 to which Hunt proposed a site between Downing Street and Parliament Square, flanked by the river to the east and St. James's Park to the west, with a road running through the middle, connecting Whitehall with the Abbey. The Committee reported in July 1856 and recommended that an international competition should be held to obtain designs for Hunt’s site. The Government decided that the departments with the most urgent need for new buildings were the Foreign Office and the War Office. Consequently Hall told Hunt that the competition would consist of proposals for a block plan for the whole area, detailed designs for the two offices, and that separate prizes would be awarded for each of the three parts. He also instructed Hunt to draw up the accommodation requirements for each part of the competition.

It is quite likely that Scott had been made fully aware of what was happening through Hunt, but the first time that he became formally involved was when he was invited, with other architects, to Hall's office, on 25 August 1856, to discuss the proposed competition. The architects stated that the division into three parts was a mistake and they were amazed when it emerged that Hall would only consider appointing the judges after the designs were sent in. They also thought that the proposed submission date of 1 February 1857 was too soon and it was eventually altered to 20 March 1857.

The competition was an ideal opportunity for Scott to put into practise the ideas that he had been working on for secular buildings, and particularly as they would be prominent buildings of national importance.

The great competition, then, found me rather in a prepared state of mind. I was not however content with this but, long before the programme came out I set to work to put myself systematically through my facings. My family being as was usual in the latter part of summer in the Isle of Wight I retired to great extent from active engagements & set myself to design the elements which I thought best suited to a public building I designed windows suited to all positions & of all varieties of size form & grouping, doorways cornices parapets & imaginary combinations of all these carefully studying to make them all thoroughly by practical & suited to the class of building I did not aim at making my style ‘Italian Gothic’ my ideas ran much more upon the French to which for some years I had devoted my chief study.

And he was given the opportunity to try-out these ideas when Akroyd commissioned the design for Halifax Town Hall.

The Office of Works advertised the competition in various newspapers on 20 September and invited the world's architects to apply for conditions, which would be available from 30 September. These stated that three cash prizes would be awarded for the block plan and seven for each of the two offices. The offices were to be sited at the north end of the site adjacent to Downing Street, with the War Office overlooking King Street and the Foreign Office next to St. James's Park. The north side of Downing Street, including Number 10, was omitted from the site.

The two office schedules aimed to provide amazingly lavish accommodation for the workers at all levels in the office hierarchy. Even the humble Lamplighter of the Foreign Office was to be provided with a suite of four rooms, each of which measured sixteen by sixteen feet. There was to be living accommodation for resident clerks and their servants and housekeepers, while the Foreign Secretary's residence had ‘the requirements of a Nobleman's Town House’, with twelve to fourteen bedrooms, a dining room to seat fifty and a reception suite to accommodate 1,500 guests.

Scott's determination to make a success of this competition can be seen from the effort that he put into it. He entered all three parts and produced a total of thirty-two drawings, ‘many of them elaborate, and to a large scale, and which included several well-executed perspective views’. He said that ‘the set of drawings was, perhaps the best ever sent in to a competition or thereabouts’. The competitors were also required to submit a report and, typically, Scott produced a thirty-page printed booklet. Not content with this huge effort, Scott also gave the judges two different layouts for the offices. His War Office designs are completely symmetrical but the Foreign Office has a different window design at the north end of the park front, expressing the Foreign Secretary's residence. The ends of the side wings are capped with very steep French-style roofs, like squat spires. An article appeared in the Saturday, presumably written by Beresford Hope, when Scott's drawings were put on show, describing his design as in the ‘modern palatial Gothic’ style with a façade which ‘is grave, measured, and regular’.

The drawings were duly delivered on 20 March 1857 to Westminster Hall. There were 218 submissions. Scott was one of only fifty-three who entered all three parts of the competition. Most of the entries were block plans, as they necessitated the least amount of work. As was required, the competitors attached mottoes or symbols to their designs to provide anonymity for their work although the work of well-known competitors could be readily indentified. Scott's motto, which was the longest of all entrants, was a Latin quotation from Horace's Ars Poetica, ‘Nec minimum meruere decus, vestiga Graeca Ausi deserere, et celebrae domestica facta’, which has been translated as ‘nor has least honour been earned when they have dared to leave the footsteps of the Greeks and sing of deeds at home’. This was an obvious reference to Scott’s basic argument that Gothic was more appropriate to Britain than the classical styles which originated in Greece.

Hall said that his intention was to allow the public to see the designs before he appointed the judges. These were what he called a ‘mixed commission’ or, in other words, a mixture of gentlemen not involved in architecture or engineering and some professionals. However, as Scott remarked, they ‘knew amazing little about their subject’. Seven judges were eventually appointed, each representing an interested body, with enlightened amateurs completely outweighing the professionals. The Duke of Buccleuch represented the House of Lords, William Stirling, the M.P. for Perthshire, was the House of Commons representative, as was Viscount Eversley, who had just retired as Speaker, along with Earl Stanhope, the President of the Society of Antiquaries, and David Roberts representing the Royal Academy. The two professionals were William Burn (1785-1870), representing the Institute of Architects, and Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-59), from the Institute of Civil Engineers.

Scott had met Roberts in Venice but apart from a ‘cursory introduction years before’, he had not met Burn, who was from Edinburgh although he had an office in London. The surprising inclusion in this otherwise dull assortment is, of course, Brunel. There are two possible reasons why the brilliant engineer should have been drawn into this affair, which he would have seen, was doomed by its conditions. Firstly, he could have been persuaded to become involved by his friend and brother-in-law, Sir Benjamin Hawes, who had drawn-up the War Office schedule, and secondly, he lived in Duke Street adjacent to the site. The public were admitted to the exhibition on Monday 4 May 1857, and that week The Builder commented:

we may safely say that nothing so remarkable as the scene of Westminster-Hall during the first three days of this week, had been ever known of by architects. On Monday last, when the designs were first displayed to the public, it is believed that 10,000 persons visited the exhibition . . . The body of London architects seemed each day transported en masse to Westminster.

By June 1857, The House of Commons was pressing Hall for the result of the competition, so the Judges, in contrast to their earlier mood, met every day between 22 and 26 June, but for various reasons their numbers rapidly dwindled. In the end their report, which came out on 27 June 1857, was entirely the work of Stirling, Burn and Brunel. Scott felt that the judges:

were not Gothicly disposed & though they awarded premiums to all the best Gothic designs they took care not to put any of them high enough to have much chance. First for the Foreign Office was a flash affair by my old pupil Coe - the first for the War Office not a bad one by any means by Garling Barry & Banks came second for the F.O. & I third. Barrys far from very good as I think.

The Barry that Scott refers to here was Sir Charles Barry's eldest son, also Charles Barry (1823-1900), who had been in partnership with Robert Richardson Banks (1813-72) since 1847. The Gothic designs did amazingly well. There were eighteen submissions described as Gothic, of which the Saturday thought that only four were good enough to be deemed proper Gothic. These four were by Scott, Street, Deane and Woodward, and Prichard and Seddon. There was also another Gothic scheme by an amateur architect and M. P., Charles Buxton which, for no apparent reason, was also awarded a prize. The judges clearly liked the French Renaissance style of the Second Empire, as out of the fourteen awards they made for the office designs, half, including the two winners, were in this style. Coe and Hofland's winning Foreign Office, which Scott dismisses as ‘a flash affair’, was also hardly liked by anybody else and the probable reason for its success was that Hofland, who planned it, was scrupulous in his adherence to the conditions, although Coe's superb draughtsmanship could well have helped. Garling's winning War Office, which owed much to the Hotel de Ville in Paris, was considered to be a much better design than Coe's effort, but Banks and Barry's second placed Foreign Office evoked little enthusiasm. Scott claims that ‘I did not fret myself at the disappointment’, and went on the trip to Manchester and returned via Lichfield.

In February 1858, William Tite, who was now the M.P. for Bath and the only professional architect in the House, asked for the correspondence between Sir Benjamin Hall and the Treasury about the competition to be published. When the papers appeared, they revealed, as Scott said:

that Lord Palmerston had coolly set aside the entire results of the competition & was about to appoint Pennethorne, a non-competitor, - I thought myself at liberty to stir. A meeting took place Mr. Beresford Hope at which Charles Barry, myself, & Digby Wyatt were present & if I remember rightly, it was agreed to stir up the Institute. To the best of my memory the Government had just changed & Lord John Manners had taken the Office of Works when a deputation from the Institute laid the matter before him.

What made Scott think that he was ‘at liberty to stir’ is not clear, as he was unlikely to have obtained the work even if the new Government had reverted to the competition. Although his was the highest placed of the Gothic entries, he was only third on the Foreign Office list, and there were four other schemes, including Barry's, better placed than his.

Scott's account of these events is quite dramatic, but it hardly gives a true picture of what actually occurred and it is perhaps significant that he twice questions his memory of these events. While it is correct that Palmerston was about to appoint a non-competitor, by the time Scott discovered this, Palmerston’s Liberal Government had fallen and he was not in a position to appoint anyone. It does seem that Hope, who was an honorary member of the Institute as well as being an M.P., played an important role in this affair. He would have been the first member of the Institute to see the correspondence and therefore invited Scott, the Senior Vice-President, along with the Secretary of the Institute, Digby Wyatt, and another aggrieved competitor, Barry, to meet at his house near Marble Arch, to decide what to do. The Council of the Institute then resolved to send a strongly worded memorial to Lord John Manners, the new First Commissioner of Works, and other Government ministers, and this was followed up by a deputation, which met Manners on 29 March.

Scott, of course, attended the meeting but it was Hope who stated the views of the profession and he must have been utterly dismayed when Tite, who also appeared, said that architects should be content with the premiums and not necessarily expect to be employed on the work. Manners seemed unimpressed by the whole affair and it was some time before anything happened. Eventually, on 1 June 1858, a Select Committee was set up by the Government after pressure from Hope and various influential architectural societies. The committee included Tite, Akroyd and Hope and its brief was to look at how the Foreign Office could be reconstructed and how it could relate to a wider plan for the whole area. Although Hope was a member of the governing party, he was hardly one of its important members; in fact, Disraeli disliked his somewhat independent attitude. But his enthusiasm for Gothic was well-known, and by electing him as their chairman, the Committee were going a long way towards a Gothic outcome.

Scott appeared before the Committee three times and, in answer to a question from Akroyd, he explained that Gothic architecture ‘is the best groundwork on which to form a national style at the present day’. Hunt was examined on 23 June and he was taken to task by Tite for saying, in reply to a question from Akroyd, that Scott's plan ‘exhibits great talent, taste, and beauty’. Tite thought that it was not Hunt's business to comment on ‘matters of taste’.

The Report of the Committee was published on 13 July 1858. It criticised the decision of the judges to award only one prize to each competitor and recommended that ‘preference should be given to the successful competitors’ rather than Pennethorne and that the residence of the Foreign Secretary was not an absolute necessity. It also said that:

while the first prize for the Foreign Office was awarded to Messrs. Coe and Hofland, yet they did not compete for the War Office again, while in the opinion of Mr. Burn and that of the assessors, Messrs. Banks and Barry stood first in merit for the Foreign Office; yet, according to the same opinion, they were unsuccessful for the War Office, while Mr. Scott stood second both for one and the other.

Hope dominated the Committee and ensured that the question of style remained in the forefront of its members minds. Tite gave a disappointing performance but, as a classicist, he was clearly irritated by Hope's chairmanship and seems to have been anxious to use his technical knowledge to counter-balance Hope's stylistic bias. When it came to Scott's design, although the Committee had no brief to discuss the War Office, this did not stop it from raising him to a higher position because of an unofficial list that Burn had made of the War Office entries. Nothing happened after the Committee’s report was published on 17 July 1858 until 25 September 1858, when Hope in the Saturday, called for a ‘Palace of Administration of the revived national style - a style so characteristic of our own age it is beginning to be called Victorian’. Still nothing happened. Eventually, on 12 November, Manners wrote to the Treasury saying that as the Select Committee had recommended that one of the successful competitors should be employed in the erection of the new Foreign Office, the Government was proposing to employ Scott as architect.

The Gothic Foreign Office

The Office of Works wrote to Scott on 29 November 1858, informing him that he had been appointed the architect of the new Foreign Office and instructing him to proceed with ‘probationary sketches’, omitting the Foreign Secretary's residence and replacing the War Office with India Office. The news must have travelled fast as Pearson and Burges wrote to Scott on the same day to congratulate him on the appointment. Ever since the Hamburg Rathaus competition, Scott was longing for the chance to build a major public building in his modern version of Gothic. Now, at last, he had achieved his ambition. He was instructed to arrange for the Foreign Office to face St. James's Park on the west side of the site, and with the formation of the India Office after the Indian Mutiny, the eastern part of the site facing Whitehall seemed to be an ideal location for its new building. Here it would be a very visible statement of Disraeli's intention to provide a better government for India.

On 14 December 1858, Hunt reported that he had worked out that the site was adequate for the India Office. The next day the new Secretary of State, Lord Edward Stanley, told the India Council, the new governing body for India, that the site would be available for the Indian Government to purchase from the British Government and, ‘as unity of design is essential’ with the Foreign Office, Scott should also be appointed to design their building. The India Office was to be funded entirely out of its own revenues and the Office of Works was not involved in its building. Therefore, on 1 January 1859, Scott received his letter of appointment, as architect for the new India Office, from Stanley.

In the meantime, Digby Wyatt, who had been the Surveyor of the East India Company since 1855, discovered that Scott was to be appointed and wrote off a strongly worded protest to Stanley. He claimed that both offices would be too much for one architect to handle. However, this produced no response from Stanley, so, on 17 December, Wyatt went to see Scott. Scott immediately handed over half of this lucrative job to Wyatt. Based on Hunt's costings, it would mean that Scott calmly gave away about £6,000 in fees. Scott was certainly quite capable of undertaking both buildings at the same time. In fact, when the two offices were being built a few years later, Scott's contract was much more smoothly run than that of Wyatt. It seems that it was Scott's basic generosity, with a dislike of arguments, that led him to so willingly agree to his friend's request for a share of the work. This is one of the several strange decisions that Scott made during the Foreign Office affair, when presumably Caroline was away from home. Perhaps in view of his numerous professional successes, he felt that he could afford to be magnanimous. He had agreed with Wyatt that he would have ‘general command of the external design’ of the India Office and that Wyatt would have ‘more especial direction of the interior’.

Scott heard that the Institute was to ask the Queen to confer its highest award for architecture on him, the Royal Gold Medal, and he was described in The Gentleman's Magazine as ‘the leading living architect’. He could, with some justification, have assumed that he would go from strength to strength, but the rest of his career was to be tainted by the Government Offices affair.

On 11 February 1859, Tite had asked Manners in Parliament why Barry's design had been passed over as Scott's was inconvenient and expensive. Manners pointed out that the Committee could find no difference between the Gothic and the classical designs in terms of ‘economy, commodiousness and public utility’, and he had chosen the Gothic design as the most appropriate for the site. Hope told the House that Scott had obtained the ‘sum total of merit’ on the judges lists and it would be a great injury ‘to a most distinguished man’, and a ridiculous situation would arise if the Foreign Office were to built in one style and the India Office, over which the Treasury had no control, in another. Palmerston then rose and, apparently in his best parliamentary form, made what was later described as ‘a dashing rattling sort of speech which the House cheered and laughed at’. If Scott, he asked, had been selected because he was second in both the War Office as well as the Foreign Office, now that the War office was no longer required, then surely his claim was reduced. Gothic was going back ‘to the barbarism of the Dark Ages’. Scott was ‘a person of great talent’ and he had seen from the Committee Report that he had studied Greek and Italian styles, so if he was to be the architect, he hoped that he would put ‘a more lively and enlightened front to his buildings’.

This was a real threat. At any time the Liberals in opposition could sink their differences and defeat the Conservative Government. Scott, perhaps only too conscious of this peril, was badly upset by Palmerston's comments, and ‘wrote to the Times the next day, showing their utter fallacy’. The letter was published on 14 February and, although it is very long, it has all the appearances of having been dashed off in a fit of pique, with little consideration of its effect on its readers. He refuted the arguments raised in the debate against his design:

I really think that any unprejudiced person would come to the conclusion that, if compared with the Post-office, the Museum, the Palace, or even the Board of Trade or Whitehall Chapel, my design would carry the palm…

and ‘friends and foes have agreed in praising’ his design.

This letter was a disastrous mistake and, significantly, was written at the time when Caroline was usually away at St. Leonards. It had completely the opposite effect to what he had intended. He comes over as arrogant, conceited and blatantly unprofessional in claiming that his work was superior to fellow architects, such as Sir Robert Smirke at the General Post Office and the British Museum, Blore at Buckingham Palace, and his friend Sir Charles Barry at the Board of Trade. He even had the audacity to claim that his building would be better than one of the great icons of English architecture, Inigo Jones's splendid Banqueting House in Whitehall, which at that time was used as one the royal chapels. When he saw his letter in print, he realised his mistake and, on the same day, sent off another to The Times. He now said that he had spoken ‘with unbecoming censure respecting the works of contemporary architects, and somewhat boastfully of my own design’ because he had written ‘in great haste and under some excitement’. That evening, on 14 February 1859, a special meeting was held at the Institute to ratify the Council's recommendations for prizes and awards. According to Scott:

Professor Donaldson was so irate at my letter in The Times, which he considered to reflect on English architects in general, that he proposed moving the Institute to reverse the recommendation of their council to award me the annual Royal Medal of the Institute, & was only dissuaded from attempting to inflict that gratuitous dishonour upon me by strong remonstrances.

Donaldson's motion is not even mentioned in the minutes of the meeting, but his second thoughts, and that is probably all they were, about awarding the medal to Scott badly upset the ultra-sensitive Scott. Donaldson, as the upholder of professionalism, must have been concerned over Scott's disparaging remarks about other living architects. The first letter was an appalling error, although Scott later describes it as ‘vigorous’.

Scott later discovered that Donaldson was ‘Lord Palmerstons private backer up with architectural lore!’ Donaldson had carried out work for Palmerston at Broadlands, his country house in Hampshire in 1854, and in 1859 he dedicated his book, Architecture Numismatica, to Palmerston, ‘the enlightened advocate of classical architecture’. So it is somewhat surprising if Scott was unaware of Donaldson's connections with Palmerston, as he obviously knew him well and may have obtained work through him at St. Albans. As he says, Donaldson ‘had been my introducer to the Institute and to the Graphic Society and had for many years acted in a very friendly way to me’. He felt badly betrayed to discover that the person whom he thought was his friend was actually helping Palmerston to oppose his design.

Criticism of Scott's appointment was mounting in the House and in a debate on 18 February 1859, William Coningham, the Liberal M.P. for Brighton, said that he had looked at Scott's scheme and he ‘could not acquiesce in the high opinion which that gentleman appeared to entertain of himself, judging by the long string of superlatives in his own praise with which he wound up his recent letter in The Times.’ Palmerston concluded the debate with what Scott called ‘a quantity of poor buffoonery which only Lord P.s age permits’. In fact, he warned the Government against becoming committed to a large expense in the preparation of drawings and estimates, which ‘may be wholly thrown away’. He had looked at the Broad Sanctuary houses and it ‘would excite one's horror, if one were to imagine that any portion of London was to [be] covered with such edifices’.

However enthusiastic support for Scott appeared in the professional journals. The Civil Engineer and Architects Journal said that his appointment was justified by his reputation and having been chosen for the India Office, he should not now lose the Foreign Office. Scott wrote that:

It was comforting under these dejecting circumstances to observe how generously a certain select number of persons of influence rallied round me & cheered me in the conflict. Not only was I warmly & vigorously aided by the Saturday Review, The Ecclesiologist & by the Gothic party pretty generally but a number of members of Parliament stuck nobly by me.

One of these was Akroyd, who certainly helped Scott at the Select Committee in 1858, but gave him no further support in the chamber of the House before he lost his seat in the 1859 General Election. Scott's most vocal supporter after Hope stood down at the General Election the following April, was the anti-reform Whig, Francis Wemyss-Charteris (1818-1914), the son of the Earl of Wemyss and March, who was known in the House of Commons, where he sat as M.P. for Haddingtonshire, by the courtesy title of Lord Elcho. He was considered to be clever but lacked tact and discretion. He had been a junior minister in Lord Aberdeen’s Government in 1853 and, although he was an M. P. for another twenty-eight years, he never held office again. He had supported Scott in the Select Committee and was to play an important part in the subsequent discussions in the House on the style of the new Foreign Office.

Palmerston's Return

It was obvious from Palmeston’s attack that the Gothic Foreign Office would be cancelled as soon as Palmeston returned to power and that could happen at any time. So Manners and Scott pressed ahead as quickly as possible in an attempt to ensure that the preparations for building would be so far advanced that it would be impossible for a new Government to reverse them. On 17 January 1859, Manners instructed Scott to proceed with detailed drawings and these were duly delivered to the Office of Works on 3 March. Manners had also managed to get a Bill drafted to purchase the necessary land and was able to introduce it in the House on the following day, 4 March 1859. He then pushed it through Parliament with extraordinary rapidity and it became effective on 19 April.

At the same time, the preparations for the Gothic India Office were going ahead. Scott says that ‘Digby Wyatt, though no Goth, held loyally to our compact & we went on in a forlorn hope’. On 7 April they sent their drawings and a report to the Secretary of State, Lord Stanley, and only eight days later Stanley wrote back approving the design and instructing Scott to proceed with the working drawings. The designs for the Gothic India and the Foreign Offices were now complete. As in the competition entry, both buildings are in the secular Gothic style that Scott had perfected. They were to be built in stone, three stories high with basements and covered by high-pitched roofs with dormers to the attics. The details show different coloured materials, a lavish display of sculpture presumably appropriate to the functions of the two offices, and much decorative ornament.

Scott had superb perspective views made of the two offices and the designs were widely illustrated in The Builder and The Building News, with drawings by John Drayton Wyatt (1820-91). But all this frenetic energy was to be of no avail. On 31 March 1859, the Conservative Government was defeated on Disraeli's Reform Bill. Lord Derby called a General Election and although Derby's Government was returned, it still did not have the overall majority and Scott lost his friends Akroyd and Hope from the House. Scott said that ‘At length however the fatal day arrived, the Government resigned & my arch opponent became once more the Autocrat of England!’ However, it was not until 1 July that Palmerston was able to inform Queen Victoria that he could form a government. As Scott said:

It was a considerable time before a Commissioner of Public Works was nominated & I lived upon the slender hope that he might be favourably inclined. At length Mr. Fitzroy took the office, and personally he actually was on my side, but was nevertheless sworn to uphold Lord P's views.

Fitzroy was pressed by Tite to adhere to Manners promise to exhibit Scott's design and, although Scott and his office were working hard to complete the drawings, it was not until 20 July 1859 that the designs of both offices appeared in the library of the House of Commons. 120 drawings were displayed, along with a model by Heburn Salter of Hammersmith. Thirteen builders sent in tenders the following week, of which the lowest, at £232,024, was submitted by John Kelk of South Street, Grosvenor Square, London. Hunt introduced this method, which although widely used in private work, was the first time that general contractors for government building projects had been asked to submit a firm price for which they would carry out all necessary works. Gladstone, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, was delighted that he was able to accurately forecast the actual cost of the building.

Scott with his 120 drawings, was as usual, clearly intent on overwhelming the M.P.s with his design, but a few days after they were displayed:

Lord Palmerston sent for me and told me in a jaunty way that he would have nothing to do with this Gothic style & that though he did not want to disturb my appointment he must insist on my making a design in the Italian style which he felt sure I could do as well as the other. That he heard I was so tremendously successful in the Gothic style that if he let me alone I should Gothicize the whole country &c., &c., &c.

Although hardly unexpected, Scott was so taken aback by the suddenness and vigour of Palmerston's attack, that words seem to have failed him in the presence of the great man and he retreated to Spring Gardens to write a twenty-page letter, ‘placing the case more formally before you and stating my views in a more consecutive manner than I was able to do in conversation’. He sets down the arguments in favour of the Gothic Revival. There was, in some, a desire for ‘the introduction of some new style especially marking our own age, in others in the wish to see the Architecture which so especially belongs to our own and immediately neighbouring Countries’ and there was ‘the adaptability of this noble style of architecture to all the requirements, materials inventions and arts of our own day’. ‘… on hearing of the probability of the Competition, and feeling that the genius loci of the proposed site was peculiarly favourable to the development of my views I, long before the publication of the programme, withdrew myself in a great degree from ordinary business to devote my undisturbed attention to studying the subject’. Hall had assured ‘the leading Architects in London’, of which he was one, that there would be no bias towards any particular style and the Select Committee had no stylistic preference.

It is not a very impressive letter. As well as being too long, it is repetitive and obsequious in tone, and probably tells Palmerston little that he had not heard before. However, Palmerston read it, and replied with a not unfriendly letter in his own hand. He regrets that ‘the late Board of Works should have encouraged you to go on with your Gothic Plan’, but there has since been a strong expression of opinion in Parliament against the choice of Gothic. The internal arrangements would be applicable whatever style was adopted, and he had not ‘the smallest doubt that an architect of your known talent and ability will find it an easy task to design an elevation in the Italian or Classic style’. There was no hurry for these revised elevations as he would only be asking Parliament for enough funds for the foundations in the present session.

But Scott persisted. On the same day that he received Palmerston's letter, he dashed off a reply, this time from The Grove and not the office. He was absolutely certain that it would not be a gloomy-looking building, as Palmerston had asserted, but instead it would be a particularly cheerful-looking building of ‘fresh-coloured Portland Stone interspersed with shafts of polished granite’ and with bright contrasts of light and shade. This second letter of Scott's is considerably shorter than the first. But Palmerston had issued his orders and expected Scott to obey.

On Friday, 29 July 1859, over forty M.P.s went to see Palmerston at his town house in Piccadilly to support Scott. With the absence of Hope and Akroyd they were led by Lord Elcho, who repeated the usual arguments in favour of Gothic and pointed out that the Select Committee could find no difference between the styles. Many of his arguments so closely followed Scott's second letter to Palmerston that it is probable that he was briefed by Scott. Palmerston replied in much the same way that he had responded to Scott. He had arranged with Fitzroy to put £30,000 in the estimates for this year for the foundations, as ‘a foundation will do for one elevation as well for another’. He would wish that something more in keeping with the other styles of London is erected but he will bow to the wishes of the House. He seems to have adopted a more conciliatory tone with the deputation than with Scott, but everybody there knew that Palmerston had an immense personal following in the Commons, which could be relied upon to ensure that his wishes prevailed.

A ‘Memorable Debate on Architecture’

As Palmeston had indicated, on Thursday 4 August 1859, the Government sought the vote of £30,000 for the foundations of the Foreign Office, and £100,000 to acquire the land authorised for compulsory purchase. During the debate Scott said:

Mr. Tite talked nonsense and some fair speeches were made especially by Lord John Manners & Lord Elcho on my side & the matter was left an open question to be decided the next session, when I was to exhibit designs in both styles.

Elcho declared that Scott’s design would be ‘a great ornament to the metropolis’. Coningham restated his dislike of Scott's scheme and congratulated Palmerston ‘on his spirited resistance to any further invasion of the Goths and Vandals’. Stirling and Buxton also spoke in defence of Scott, with Buxton enthusiastically declaring that Scott's design ‘would be one of the most beautiful buildings in the country’. After a long speech from Palmerston, in which, as Scott says, he repeated his second-hand arguments, Manners, so the Saturday reported, ‘was more than a match’ for Palmerston. He said he would ‘be extremely sorry to obey his edicts on matters of taste’ and, if they were to follow him blindly, they ‘might as well give up talking about science and art and the beautification of the metropolis’. Sir Joseph Paxton made his only contribution to the controversy with a short speech stating that ‘Mr. Scott was at the head of his art in Europe’, and had designed ‘a beautiful building’. It was three o'clock on the Friday morning when the great debate was finally wound-up with the money being voted. Scott, who noted that he used to attend parliamentary debates, was no doubt in the gallery and heard that he had been given six months to produce a new design.

Hostile as usual, The Times attacked Scott and Gothic architecture. This led to an eruption of letters. Scott's allies sprung to his defence, with predictably the liveliest reaction coming from the Saturday. Although out of Parliament, Hope could be even more forthright, shielded by anonymity, in the pages of his journal. Palmerston, he declares, was not qualified to comment on architecture and his idea that Scott could apply any elevation to a given plan, only served to show his ignorance. Scott was clearly highly agitated, and seems to have spent some time in the lobbies of House of Commons frantically canvassing support. There was only one week of the parliamentary session left after the debate and he was trying to catch the M.P.s, before they disappeared. As far as parliamentary business was concerned, the sessions were amazingly short, and Scott would have to wait until January 1860 for a decision. However, he said:

About the middle of August I heard that a Deputation of architects was going up to Lord Palmerston to pat him on the back & encourage him in his determination to overthrow the work of his predecessors. I was foolish enough on hearing it to call on Donaldson to protest against it. He professed innocence of all privity to the scheme but told me that if asked he should not decline to join it.

Scott seemed to think that there was nothing wrong in M.P.’s lobbying Palmerston on his behalf, but was upset at the idea of his fellow architects supporting Palmerston's classical stance. He obviously thought that he knew Donaldson well enough that he could discuss his problems with him and was shocked to discover the extent of Donaldson's role in the campaign against him.

At the end of the parliamentary session, on 12 August 1859, Scott noted that, ‘My necessary exertions being for the present over, Mrs. Scott persuaded me to go with our elder sons & spend a day or two at the Oatlands Park Hotel near Chertsey for relaxation after my anxious toils & sorrows’. This is a typical grand hotel of the type that the Scott’s seemed to like. Here he could be with Caroline and John Oldrid, who was about to enter his final year at Bradfield, and with George Gilbert, who although in the office, probably saw little of his father there. No doubt the younger boys remained in Hampstead under the care of the nanny.

The day after their arrival at Oatlands, Scott saw the article in the Saturday attacking Palmerston's speech in the debate.

On returning from fishing with my Sons - I found a message from Mr. Burn, who to my surprise I found to be laid up with a severe illness in the same Hotel, saying that he had just seen my name in the visitors book and wished I would call on him.

During Burn’s long professional career, according to Donaldson who knew him well, he was involved in over 700 buildings in England and Scotland. He had a much publicised aversion to entering competitions, which may have been one of the reasons that he was selected as a judge in the competition. When Scott went to see Burn on the following Monday, he said that Donaldson had been to see him the previous day and he had said to Donaldson, ‘“I don't know who it is that backs Palmerston up but I'm convinced, by what he says that there's some idle fellow in our profession who keeps prompting from behind the scenes.”’ Donaldson had had enough of it and departed!’ It is indicative of Scott's state of mind over the whole affair that he quotes verbatim a conversation at which he was not even present, some five years after it happened, and yet he acknowledges that he fails to remember the sequence of important events. Scott at last realised that Donaldson was always going to be hostile to him.

On Wednesday 17 August 1859, twenty architects along with what the Saturday called ‘some surveyors and house-builders’, went to see Palmerston. According to Scott, the Master of the Ceremonies was Donaldson, whereas in fact it was Tite. Sidney Smirke was the first speaker, The Builder reporting that he said that he had:

a great regard for Mr. Scott, and highly appreciated his talents as a Gothic architect; but he felt that the true interests of his profession demanded that every exertion should be made to resist the attempts of a certain set of mediaeval dilettanti, to force on us their thirteenth-century style, which, however picturesque, and however well suited to ecclesiastical purposes, was clearly unfit for the architecture of public offices.

He asked for the Gothic style for the Foreign office to be resisted as:

it would necessarily follow that the whole of the contemplated pile of public buildings occupying great part of Westminster, would be in the same streaky gable-ended style; and if such should unfortunately be the case, he would predict that hereafter the architecture of England would become the laughing-stock of Europe.

Donaldson wanted to uphold the competition and blamed the dilettanti for trying to reverse its decisions and thought that Manners was at fault for accepting their ideas. He could see no reason for adopting Gothic, as the new Foreign Office ‘if in contiguity with anything’, it was the Banqueting House. Conningham again attacked Gothic as a retrograde step like pre-Raphaelitism. Palmerston replied that he was glad to have the assurance of ‘trained men of science and judgement’, and the proceedings closed with Garling, and Banks and Barry, being introduced to Palmerston as leading prizemen.

Scott was bitter over the whole affair, and wrote:

I have not, after nearly five years interval ceased to feel that the conduct of these Architects was in highest degree discreditable - I am happy however to say that I have never permitted any such feeling to shew itself in any intercourse with them or to cause any personal breach.

The Saturday condemned the delegation as ‘unprofessional, unartistic, and, we nearly said, ungentlemanly’. It became the centre of some heated correspondence in the journals, which raged for several weeks. Sir Henry Cole had a simple solution; Scott should remodel his design on the lines of Inigo Jones's scheme for Whitehall Palace. Street, as a disappointed competitor, generously stood by Scott and said that nothing would be gained from changing architects and that Scott should be allowed to proceed with the Gothic design. Ruskin publically stayed aloof, but the day after the delegation he wrote in a private letter, ‘What a goose poor Scott (who will get his liver fit for pate de Strasburg with vexation) must be, not to say at once he’ll build anything’.

This was surely the lowest point in Scott's career. The great prize had been held out to him. Now it seemed that it would be snatched away to satisfy the whim of someone who certainly knew nothing about architecture, backed-up by men whom he thought were his friends. As a one-time classicist himself, who had studied and then rejected classical architecture, he could not understand why these men were not able to see that Gothic was superior. He had been properly commissioned to carry out the work and the deputation only had the effect of strengthening his resolve to see it through, rather than to let it fall into any of their hands. He wrote:

I tried to get up a counter address but the Gothic Architects did not come forward in sufficient force to make it worth while. This cold-heartedness was the greatest damper I had met with.

However, he did get the promise of support from his former assistant William White, Joseph Clarke and Ewan Christian, who worked with him at the Architectural Museum, and his friends Ferrey, Pearson and Burges. An astonishing omission is Street. Perhaps the real reason that Scott dropped the counter deputation was not so much the ‘cold-heartedness’ of his colleagues but that events were moving too swiftly for him to organise anything that would be effective.

On the Monday following the deputation, 22 August 1859, Palmerston, with his arguments now reinforced by the classicists, summoned Scott.

… seating himself down before me in the most cosy fatherly way said, ‘I want to talk to you quietly Mr. Scott about this business. I have been thinking a great deal about it & I really think there was much force in what your friends said’ - I was delighted at his supposed conversion! - ‘I really do think that there is a degree of inconsistency in compelling a Gothic architect to erect a classic building; and so I have thinking of appointing you a coajutor, who would in fact make the design’! I was thrown to the earth again - & began at once to bring arguments against it but the blow was too sudden to allow me to do justice to my case viva voce So on my return I immediately wrote a strongly & firmly worded letter - stating my having been regularly appointed … My position as an architect, my having won two European Competitions, my being an A R A gold medallist of the Institute, a lecturer on architecture at the Academy, &c. & I ended with firmly declining any such arrangement.

Scott later discovered, presumably through Hunt, that it was Garling that Palmerston had in mind when he suggested a collaborator. But Scott must have appeared so upset at Palmerston's suggestion that old Premier immediately withdrew his proposal. After the interview, Scott again sent a letter to Palmerston. This is shorter and much better organised than the previous one that he dashed off a month earlier. Apart from the promise to prepare a new design using his knowledge of classical architecture, the old Prime Minister must have found most of it rather irritating and irrelevant, particularly where he again tells him about his status in the profession. Scott had been defeated. He may have been able to get difficult boards of guardians and awkward church committees to come round to his way of thinking, but the old statesman was an entirely new class of opponent for him. Never before had he faced anyone whose displeasure had quelled nations. Poor Scott was completely out of his depth and his bleatings must have been, at best, no more than a minor irritant to the great man. There is not the slightest doubt that Palmerston would get his way and it is yet another example of Scott's amazing naivety that he thought he could persuade Palmerston to change his mind.

He says that he returned ‘with Mrs. Scott & my family to Scarborough to recruit [sic]’. He continued:

I was thoroughly out of health through the badgering anxiety and bitter disappointment I have gone through and for the first time since commencing practice 24 years before I gave myself a quasi holiday of two months, with sea air & a course of quinine. During this time however besides the work sent down to me from time to time from Town. I was busying myself in preparing for the next campaign - I saw that with Lord Palmerston Gothic would have no chance & I had agreed to prepare an Italian design. … To resign would be to give up a sort of property which Providence had placed in the hands of my family & would be simply rewarding C. Barry for his attempt to wrest a work from the hands of a brother architect after he had not only been regularly appointed, but had commenced & even made siteworks drawings & received tenders.

The retreat to Scarborough, at the end of August 1859, was to escape from this and give himself a chance to quietly think out how he could evolve a new design for the Foreign Office, which would satisfy Palmerston and yet square with his own carefully worked-out ideas on secular architecture. The fact that he intended to give the design his sole and undivided attention for two months shows how important he considered it to be.

The ‘Second Great Campaign’

Perhaps the retreat to Scarborough was to escape the Gothic fanatics of Spring Gardens but it demonstrates Scott's somewhat individualistic approach to design problems. Whereas Jackson seems to have revelled in the exchange of ideas generated in the office atmosphere, Scott's difficulties in facing criticism led him to prefer to work away on his own and to present his proposals in an advanced state. He could do this at Scarborough with only Caroline and the younger members of the family around. While there:

The course I determined on was to prepare a design in a variety of Italian as little inconsistent with my antecedents as possible. I had in dealing with Lord Hill's chapel at Hawkstone and with St. Michaels church Cornhill, attempted a sort of Early Basilican style to give a tone to the existing classic architecture & it struck me that not wholly alien to this was the Byzantine of the Early Venetian palaces & that the earliest renaissance of Venice … I therefore conceived the idea of generating what would be strictly an Italian style out these two sets of examples …

It is difficult to be too certain about what Scott actually did at Hawkstone as this fine Georgian house, twelve miles north-east of Shrewsbury, has been considerably altered since Scott’s time. With praise like this, from where he most wanted it, it is not surprising that Scott turned to St. Michael's Cornhill as a possible solution to his problems over a style for the Foreign Office.

When he made his request for ‘a design in the Italian style’, Palmerston, like most of his generation, specifically meant a classical design, while Scott, it seems deliberately, confuses the issue by referring to ‘Italian’ as the architecture of Italy. Scott knew exactly what Palmerston meant and it is difficult to understand how he thought that, by using this play on words, he would get away with producing a building based on the Byzantine, Early Basilican and early Italian Renaissance styles. In laying down the principles of his new style for public buildings in towns, he had already said in the Remarks that he was quite capable of looking at other styles. He stated: ‘I am no mediaevalist; I do not advocate the styles of the middle ages as such’, but at the same time he could not countenance a return to full classical architecture, even though he understood it and was capable, as Palmerston knew, of working in that style. Although he had only been to Italy the once, in 1851, he was so impressed with its medieval town architecture, particularly in Venice, he thought that if he could use the round-arch style which was the basis of these fine medieval buildings, he would be as consistent with his ‘antecedents as possible’, and yet go a long way towards meeting Palmerston's demand for an ‘Italian’ building.

After his return from Scarborough:

I worked these ideas out into new designs for both buildings and not as I think without considerable success - The designs were both original & pleasing in effect, indeed Lord Elcho to whom I shewed them before laying them before the authorities thought them better than the Gothic design and rejoiced that good was likely to come out of evil …

The design shows the Foreign and India Offices grouped in a similar form to the Gothic scheme with regular facades three stories high with ranges of round-headed windows on each floor. A particularly Venetian feature is the grouping together round-headed windows behind projecting balconies.

Scott, however, found it difficult to obtain any official response to his latest ideas as Henry Fitzroy, the First Commissioner, had been ill all the autumn of 1859 and eventually died on 22 December. He seems to have regarded Fitzroy as a possible ally in his fight against Palmerston and must have been somewhat dismayed that after a wait of nearly two months, on 16 February 1860, Palmerston made his stepson, William Francis Cowper (1811-88), the new First Commissioner, who ‘was of course a slave to Lord Palmerston’. Eventually Scott was able to show his design to Cowper, as he said:

Left to himself he would I believe like Mr. Fitzroy have preferred the Gothic design & now I equally believe he liked the Byzantinesque one, but being a mere puppet, so far as this question went, in the hands of a strong Master he only hummed & hawed & said civil things which could not be made any use …

Cowper said that he would arrange another meeting with Palmerston. But nothing happened for several weeks, during which Scott heard from other sources, presumably Hunt, that Garling was preparing a design. Scott assumed that Palmerston had asked Garling to produce a design ‘so that he might have “two strings to his bow”’, and thought the delay was because of this. In fact, Palmerston was dealing with a major constitutional crisis arising from Gladstone's budget. When Scott was eventually summoned, ‘he kept me waiting two hours & a half in his back room (during a part of which I heard him very deliberately going through his Luncheon in the next room) & then sent me away unseen’. This is another example of Scott's paranoia and unworldliness. Actually, he had done rather well as Palmerston was notorious for keeping everybody waiting, however eminent. The Belgian Minister claimed that he had read the whole of Richardson's five-volume novel, Clarissa, while waiting in Palmerston's anteroom, and in a particularly well-publicised incident, the Russian Ambassador was furious and regarded it an insult that Palmerston had kept him waiting for two hours. Eventually Scott showed him the design.

He was very civil & I thought liked it, indeed I believe he did, but I suppose thought it hardly consistent with his professions & instructions. After this I saw Mr. Cowper & told him that I thought Ld P was favourably impressed, having occasion to go at once to Hamburg I left the matter as I thought in a tolerably satisfactory position …

But he could hardly have been surprised that while he was at Hamburg: I received a letter from Mr. C. saying that I was mistaken in my impression as to Lord P's feelings, & saying I must modify the design to make it much more like modern architecture. This led on my return, to a number of futile attempts, & in the midst of them I heard by a side wind that Garling had not only made a design but that it was actually at the Office of Works & under consideration!

The ‘side wind’ was obviously Hunt, who was perhaps being as devious as Scott was naive. By telling Scott of this threat, he was ensuring that the wishes of his political masters would be carried out, as Scott would now feel compelled to alter his design. It is difficult to assess how real the threat was from Garling, but Scott's reaction was typical. He now:

entered a decided protest against the course thus secretly taken. This protest I sent to Mr. Cowper, and told my supporters in the House of Commons of what had been done. This seems to have quashed the project and shortly afterwards I was directed to make some modifications in my semy Bysantine design to meet views half way & then the design was referred to the joint opinion of Messrs. Cockerell, Burn, & Fergusson …

It was on 6 July 1860 that Cowper wrote to these three architects asking them to form a ‘Committee of Reference’ to examine both of Scott's schemes. This was presumably the first that the architects had heard of Scott's so-called ‘Italian’ design, and must have been surprised when they were confronted with the ‘semy Bysantine’ effort.

It would seem that it was only about now that Scott's capitulation to Palmerston, in the previous August, was becoming generally known. Having started the whole protest against Palmerston's imposition of a classical design, he appears to have been content to let others fight for the cause which he had effectively given up. Events, in fact, had moved out of his control, and he was reluctant to inform those who thought that they were helping him about the futility of their actions.

In the previous summer, Scott had tried to persuade Freeman to write an apparently unsolicited letter to The Times endorsing his Gothic design, as presumably after the up-roar after his letter of 6 August, he was anxious that his name should not appear again, supporting his own case. Freeman seems to have prevaricated for some time, but eventually, on 19 October 1859, a letter appeared over the initials E.A.F., which made a powerful case for a Gothic Foreign Office. It created a great impression and became a rallying cry for Scott's supporters. The Building News, The Gentleman's Magazine and The Ecclesiologist all reprinted it in full. Apparently Ruskin did not recognise Freeman's initials and asked the editor of The Times to tell him who the author was. The editor obliged, whereupon Freeman accused the editor of breach of confidence and attacked Ruskin, which prompted the editor to prohibit any further correspondence on the subject. According to Jackson, Scott thus ‘lost the best champion of his cause’.

However there were many other champions anxious to support Scott's Gothic design. In January 1860, the groundless optimism continued with a forthright article in The Gentleman's Magazine, presumably by Parker, prompting a deluge of pamphlets, arguing for, or against, Gothic, which continued well into the summer. Even Scott's acquaintance from Venice, Sir Francis Scott, produced a long paper supporting Gothic. But the Saturday was ominously silent. Hope probably knew the real situation and, realising that a Gothic Foreign Office would never be built, was quietly furious at Scott’s capitulation. Eventually the Saturday on 11 July 1860, published a damning article, presumably from the pen of Hope, which stated that:

in listening to Lord Palmerston's ignorant dictation on a matter of art, Mr. Scott compromised his own artistic principles, and that, consenting to work under such inspiration, he was foregoing a high moral position.

Scott knew that he had betrayed the trust of his friends and supporters in submitting to Palmerston, but delaying the news of his climb-down to avoid their wrath, probably only increased their outrage. If he felt badly hurt by the actions of his professional opponents, now he had lost the respect of his allies, which he never fully regained.

Perhaps it was something of a relief to Scott that the ‘Committee of Reference’ would have Cockerell, William Burn and James Fergusson as its members. None of them had taken sides in the argument and he could reasonably expect a fair consideration from all of them. Scott knew Cockerell well from the Academy and the Paris jury, and from the Oatlands encounter he knew that Burn liked his approach. But he had little previous contact with Fergusson, although he had mentioned Fergusson's Illustrated Handbook of Architecture, which came out in 1855, in one of his Academy lectures. In the event Fergusson proved to be Scott's strongest supporter.

Scott said:

I had frequent interviews with these three gentlemen and I have every reason to be grateful for the kind consideration with which I was treated by them. Mr. Cockerell being a pure classicist had the greatest difficulty in swallowing my new style. He lectured me for hours together on the beauties of the true classic going over book after book with me & pouring forth extatic eulogys on his beloved style of art.

Cockerell, now seventy-two, was the doyen of Scott's profession. It would have been completely uncharacteristic of Scott to argue against such a venerable figure, particularly if he felt that Cockerell genuinely wanted to help him. But Cockerell was so unimpressed with Scott's much vaunted knowledge of classical architecture, that a year later when Scott embarked on his classical Foreign Office, Cockerell offered him the services of a colleague of thirty years to help him with the design.

However, Fergusson, according to Scott, ‘was strongly in favour of my views. They embodied in a great measure what he had been for years advocating …’ and although Burn ‘did not go strongly into the question of style’, he upheld Scott's rights against the claims of those trying to deprive him of the work. Together they ‘brought over Cockerell to their views & they made a joint report in favour of my design subject to a few modifications…’

The committee passed its comments to Cowper on 20 July 1860 but his design was ‘toned down step by step till no real stuff was left in it’. Palmerston had promised to let M.P.s see both the Gothic design and the Byzantine scheme but, much to his annoyance, Cowper would only allow the ‘toned down’ Byzantine version to be exhibited alongside his Gothic proposals.

Scott had ‘the most forlorn hope that the House of Commons might still decide in favour of the Gothic design!’ But the Parliamentary session was slipping away without anything being decided and, on 28 July, the Saturday asked ‘what is the excuse for further delay?’ A week later, Cowper told the House that it was not necessary to ask Parliament to vote the money during the present session and Members could ‘raise any questions about the style of the building’ when the estimates were discussed in the next session. Parliament was finally prorogued on Tuesday 28 August 1860 and it did not meet again until Tuesday 5 February 1861. As Scott wrote, his ‘second great campaign was over!’

The Classical Foreign Office

In delaying bringing the question of the style of the new Foreign Office until 1861, Palmerston, the supreme manipulator, was perhaps hoping that the pressure the Gothic lobby had built up in 1859 and early 1860, would have evaporated, particularly after the full extent of Scott's capitulation had been realised.

In the meantime the India Office had sold East India House in the City of London and moved into temporary accommodation. But, according to Scott, tired of waiting, it commissioned Digby Wyatt to look for another site. Scott realised that if the two offices were separated, he would be unlikely to retain his share of the India Office. On 23 August 1860, in a rather less magnanimous mood than when he gave away half his commission eighteen months earlier, Scott wrote to Wyatt saying that the proposed separation would result in the loss of ‘a noble opportunity of building a really grand mass of building’. Wyatt, however, did not find a new site, but on 29 August presented the India Office with an imaginative scheme using the existing site, with the two offices sharing the park front and placing two smaller offices where it had been intended to site the India Office facing King Street. As far as the Government was concerned, this must have seemed an attractive proposal as it not only gave both offices a share of the park frontage but it also provided space for other government departments. It was obvious that Wyatt, with his classical background, was well placed to take over the whole building.

At the end of August 1860, Hunt sent for Scott and offered ‘some very serious though mystic advice to me comply with any directions I might receive or I should be in danger of losing my appointment’. On Saturday 8 September 1860, Scott was summoned to Palmerston’s presence for the fourth time:

he told me that he did not wish to disturb my position, but that he would have nothing to do with Gothic & as to the style of my recent design it, was ‘neither one thing nor t'other - a regular mongrel affair & he would have nothing to do with it: That he must insist in my making a design in the ordinary Italian & that though he had no wish to displace me he nevertheless if I refused must cancel my appointment.

Palmerston's version of the interview is typically more robust. He said that he told Scott, ‘I know you are capable of excelling in any style; now for Heaven's sake go and bring me something in the Italian style.’ Poor Scott was thrown into a state of shock, but before he could gather his thoughts for a reply, Palmerston told him about the new site arrangements. The State Paper Office, immediately to the west of the site, would be demolished, allowing the new offices to ‘project irregularly into the park, leaving the King Street front as a future work.’ Scott says that he came away from the meeting ‘thunderstruck and in sore perplexity’, and while walking back from Palmerston's house in Piccadilly to the office, contemplating whether to ‘resign or swallow the bitter pill’, he unexpectedly, so he believed, met Hunt in Pall Mall. Hunt would have known about Scott's appointment with Palmerston and, from what we know about Hunt, it seems quite likely that he engineered this apparently chance encounter. Scott said:

I at once told him what had transpired & he in turn told me what had given rise to the advice which, a few days earlier he had kindly volunteered. He had been consulted by Mr. Cowper as to whether they could not fairly get rid of me (as I suppose a troublesome contumacious fellow). He Mr. Hunt had put the case in this way. That I was regularly appointed by his (Mr. C's) predecessor & had performed without fault the duties committed to me; that it was no fault of mine that a change of masters had taken place whose tastes were different & that it would be a very serious injury to me to displace me & one for which no pecuniary compensation would make amends. On the other hand that employers had an undoubted right to prescribe the style of the building they desired to erect and that as in the case of an heir succeeding to an estate after a new mansion had been designed though good feeling suggested the continuance of the same Architect it was a fair condition that he should on his part should be willing to conform to the views of his new employer. By these arguments alone he had quieted the impatience of my employers now stirred up to a climax & he now conjured me to act in conformity with the views which he had suggested, he urged the claims of my family whom I had no right to deprive of what had become their right as much as my own for a mere individual preference on a question of taste &c &c.

If Hunt had paved the way for his friend to receive the commission in the first place by organising the competition and his evidence to Hope's committee, he was hardly likely to allow Scott to let it slip away over the mere question of style and could have told Cowper that he would ensure that Scott would change his mind. Hunt knew Scott well enough to deploy all the right arguments to bring this about. There is no doubt about Scott's deep devotion for his wife and children but, as a compulsive worker, he was only too aware that he did not see enough of her and the youngest boys and, by way of compensation, tried to ensure the financial stability which would give them a comfortable life. As events surrounding Moffatt's dismissal seem to show, Caroline's own finances were inextricably linked with those of Scott's own practice and, because of this, he would not have done anything which would have deprived them of a very substantial income.

Scott then saw Wyatt, who according to Scott, very disinterestedly, strongly urged the same view as Hunt.

I say disinterestedly for had I resigned he would beyond a doubt have had the whole of the India Office instead of a half of it committed to his hands. I was in a terrible state of mental perturbation - but I made up my mind – went straight in for Digby Wyatts bought some costly works on Italian Architecture & set vigorously to work to rub up what though I had once understood pretty intimately I had allowed to grow rusty by 20 years neglect.

With the two offices now linked together, it was inconceivable that they could be designed by separate architects. Wyatt was a different sort of architect to Scott. He was as much a theoretician and writer as a practising architect. He did not have Scott's massive office back up and may have quailed at the prospect of being engulfed by the enormous quantity of work for many years to come.

The turning point in Scott's career had come when he and Manners failed to push the Gothic design far enough ahead for it to be irreversible before Palmerston return to power. Now, some fourteen months later, he had to think out how to produce a classical Foreign Office. Scott devoted the autumn of 1860 to the new design, presumably with the aid of his well-thumbed copy of Chamber’s book which he had kept since his time at Latimer and, ‘as I think, met with great success’. He visited Paris again, but this time to see it’s classical rather than its Gothic buildings. These included the Louvre, which since his previous visit in 1855 had had its splendid new additions, with the Tuileries Palace still standing between the two long wings of the Louvre. His elevations to the Foreign Office quadrangle bear a strong resemblance to parts of the Tuileries and he felt that he ‘really recovered some of my lost feelings for the style though I ever and anon fell into fits of desperate lamentation & annoyance, & almost thought of giving the work up again’.

Caroline, as usual, had gone to St. Leonards for the winter with the youngest boys, but when eleven-year-old Alwynne Gilbert contracted a ‘severe fever’, Scott had to go and stay there for six weeks and, typically, managed to carry on with the design. But progress was very slow. As late as 28 February 1861, he had to tell the Office of Works, who were pressing him for the design, that he still had to complete one of his elevations.

As Spring Gardens had acquired a reputation as the Mecca for aspiring Gothic revival architects, Scott was one of the few members of his own office who knew much about classical architecture, which probably accounts for the delay in producing the scheme. In 1861, Robert Edgar (1837-73) joined the office as a qualified architect with, as Scott wrote, ‘a thoroughly practical and artistic knowledge of both Classic, Renaissance and Mediaeval, with a very considerable skill in designing in either of these styles’ and took ‘a very leading position in the direction of the works at the new Foreign Office, and of the external portions of the India Office, under me’. Edgar may have joined the office to work in the Gothic style, but Scott found that his classical abilities would be a great help in producing the drawings so urgently required and young Edgar was plunged into this huge task. He left Scott's office in 1873, intending to go to the United States, but suddenly died. He was only thirty-six.

Scott was certainly very pleased with his own classical efforts.

My designs were beautifully got up in outline. The figures I put in myself & even composed the groups for though I have no skill in that way I was so determined to shew myself not behind hand with the classicists that I seemed to have more power than usual. The India Office was wholly my design though I had adopted an idea as to its grouping & outline suggested by a sketch of Wyatt's & which I thought very excellent …

Although Wyatt suggested the irregular grouping of the park front, Scott seems to have been responsible for all the detailed design and one of his sketch books shows how the massing of this part of the design evolved from its Byzantine predecessor.

Cowper had to wait until late March, or early April 1861, before he received the full set of drawings for the classical Foreign and India Offices. On 12 April 1861 Cockerell wrote to Scott saying:

Allow me to congratulate you, and that most heartily, in the effect of your ability and perseverance in this glorious approachment to the new Foreign Office - I trust that there is no longer doubt - and that you and your family rejoice in the attainment of your honourable ambition. So gratifying to your noble aspirations.

Scott must have been delighted with such praise from the man acknowledged to be greatest classical architect of his day. His particular triumph is on the park side, where he used the irregularity of the site to produce a masterly composition. Here he retained a tall central tower from his earlier schemes but used it as a pivot from which to project the front forward with a quadrant towards the park. Scott appreciated the picturesque character of this part of his site in relation to the park and designed the building, like the country houses that he was working on at the time, as an informal composition with an irregular roof line of towers and chimneys to be seen across the lake and between the trees. It has a vitality and exuberance which most of the classical architects of the day were unable to produce and is undoubtedly the best design that he produced throughout his career. Away from the park front the building is less exciting. It retains the old layout from the competition design, with the offices forming the three sides of a quadrangle but with the entrances in the side wings. Here is the most obvious outcome of the trip to Paris, with pavilions in the centre of each side of the quadrangle, looking very much like parts of the Louvre. Scott later described the style he used as Italian although he ‘took some liberties with the style and used some decorations which are not exactly Italian’, and there was also ‘a slight infusion of Greek’ into the ornamentation.

By now Scott, despairing of his Gothic scheme ever being realised, had sent the drawings of his last Gothic proposals off to the Royal Academy for its Summer Exhibition of 1861, as a sort of ‘silent protest against what was going on’. Drawings of Scott’s classical scheme were eventually displayed in the Tea Room of the House of Commons on 2 July 1861. So after two years of waiting, the great debate, which Palmerston had promised, finally took place in the House of Commons on the afternoon of Monday 8 July 1861. Scott knew that it would alter nothing. Palmerston had got a design which he ‘highly approved of’, and his immense popular following in the House would ensure that the country would now get his classical Foreign Office. After ‘a very short fight by the Gothic party who naturally & consistently opposed it strenuously’, Palmerston got his way by a majority of ninety-three votes. The debate had been rather a grand affair occupying over forty-two columns of Hansard and involving twenty-four speakers. Scott must have been considerably heartened by what was said about him from all sides of the House. Buxton described Scott as ‘a man of genius, but his genius lay in Gothic’. Dudley Fortescue, who was a member of the deputation of Scott supporters to Palmerston in July 1859, called Scott a ‘first-rate genius, one whom he, for one, would not be afraid of comparing with the greatest architects of bygone times’, while Manners said that he ‘was the greatest Gothic architect, not in England only, nor even in Europe; his fame was spread over the whole habitable globe’. The only sourness came from Austen Henry Layard (1817-94), with whom Scott was soon to have much greater contact, when he said that the classical scheme was a ‘mean design’. However, Palmerston, in winding up the debate, said that it was ‘a very beautiful plan, and one which combines with sufficient beauty and ornament great moderation of expense’.

Scott was still keen to remind everyone of what Palmerston had turned down. Having been elected a full member of the Royal Academy in 1860, he was obliged to deposit a Diploma Work as a specimen of his ability before he could receive his letter of admission. But, presumably on the grounds of his work-load, he was allowed to defer the submission of his Diploma Work until the summer of 1864, when he sent in a huge perspective view of the Foreign and India Offices in the Gothic style.

The Building of the Foreign and India Offices

On 22 August 1861, Scott was told by the Office of Works that the site would ‘soon be disposable’ and was instructed to proceed with working drawings and a specification for the new Foreign Office. As John Kelk (1816-86) had submitted the lowest tender for the Gothic Foreign Office two years earlier, it was agreed that he would carry out the foundations. Scott's office duly made the necessary revisions to the foundation drawings of the new design and on 5 September, Kelk’s offer £19,577 for the work was accepted by the Office of Works.

Scott knew that Whitehall was built over marshy ground and, with his experiences on Hungerford Market and the Fishmongers Hall, he fully appreciated the precautions that were necessary for such a large building on a poor load-bearing soil. One of the reasons for the decay of the old Foreign Office was its poor foundations so Cowper readily agreed that those for the new building should be sunk to a depth of eighteen feet. Scott and Wyatt agreed that the foundations of both offices would be excavated simultaneously which meant that work on the Foreign Office had to wait until the site of the India Office was cleared. Wyatt arranged a separate contract with Kelk for the foundations of the India Office, who agreed to do the work for £19,990. Work on both sites eventually started in mid-July 1862, when Joseph Sheffield, who had been Scott's Clerk of Works at Kelham, another riverside site, arrived to supervise this huge project at a salary of two guineas a week.

Kelk employed between 400 and 500 men to dig a massive U shaped crater, over twenty feet deep, which he then partly filled with concrete to form a great twelve feet thick slab on which the two offices would stand. Scott was taking no chances with his foundations, but it was only when this work had actually begun that it was realised that the new design could not fit on to the land which the Government had bought. The land designated for the competition designs was narrower at the park end than at the King Street end but the new layout required a site with parallel sides. The consequence was that the building operations, when they started, projected some thirty feet illegally into the park. The Queen's cousin, the Duke of Cambridge, the Ranger of St. James's Park, saw this and immediately complained to Cowper with the result that a special Act of Parliament was hurried through Parliament to regularise the situation.

During the spring and summer of 1862 it would seem that Scott's office, and Edgar in particular, worked hard to produce the enormous number of drawings that were required for the superstructure of the building. Once again, the Office of Works followed the somewhat dubious course of inviting twelve prospective tenderers to meet with Scott and Hunt, on 12 August, to discuss the work involved. Scott had presumably thought that his drawings were now sufficiently advanced to adequately describe all the building work required, but with the competitive lump-sum system introduced by Hunt, it was essential that the most detailed and accurate information was supplied so all the tenderers could work from a common basis. Architects could produce drawings and a specification but, with a project of this size, the builders would have probably expected that a Bill of Quantities would be drawn up, precisely setting down all the materials and labour required for the work. This is a painstaking and time-consuming task which can only be carried out by a professional quantity surveyor, of whom, incidentally, Hunt was one of earliest. Charles Balam, who was in practice at Buckingham Street, off The Strand, was Scott's quantity surveyor on the Foreign Office, but presumably the information that Scott had produced for the August meeting was inadequate, and it was not until about October 1862 that he was able to provide sufficient drawings to enable Balam to start to draw up the Bill.

On the completion of the foundations, Kelk retired on a fortune amassed as a railway constructor. His successors, George Smith and Company, were invited along with the twelve other builders to tender for the superstructure of the building. Smith’s had, it seems, already been working on the first stage of the India Office for Wyatt. So not surprisingly, when the tenders were opened in the Office of Works on 21 August 1863, Smith’s at £195,573 was the lowest with the assurance that the work would be completed by 1 September 1863. Smiths' were informed of their success on 31 August and the contract was signed on 11 September 1863. Wyatt appointed Daniel Ruddle as Clerk of Works for the India Office and Sheffield began to work exclusively on the Foreign Office, with a doubling of his salary to four guineas a week. But it was not until mid-November that the construction of the Foreign Office actually started by which time nearly £26,000 had been spent on the India Office and in places it was nearly up to first floor level. Smiths' were working to a schedule of rates for the India Office and had promised to complete the India Office on 1 April 1866, five months before the Foreign Office. In the event, both completion dates were wildly optimistic and neither office was complete until the summer of 1868.

Jackson claimed that the Foreign Office was the finest thing that Scott ever did. Certainly, the park front was his best composition and the interiors are superb. Now that the state apartments have been restored to their former glory, it is difficult to think of any interiors in his Gothic buildings which produce such an extreme impression of sumptuous spaciousness and grandeur. The requirement in the competition conditions that the Foreign Secretary should have a residence was later dropped as it was considered, in those days, that every Foreign Secretary would have his own town house, but the great suite of reception rooms where he could entertain on a grand scale was retained. Clearly, working offices gave Scott little scope for architectural expression, and he agreed with Hope who later described the building as ‘a kind of national palace, or drawing room for the nation, with working rooms hung on it for the foreign business of the country’.

Apart from the Foreign Secretary's room overlooking St. James's Park, there are three conference rooms and the main staircase on which Scott lavished particular care and attention. The stair, now known as the Ambassadors' Staircase, is one of grandest in London, occupying a sixty feet high space, although it only links the ground and first floors. The whole space has a barrel-vaulted ceiling with a shallow dome over the central portion. In view of Scott's partiality for domes, it is surprising that this is the only place where he uses this classical feature in the building. The whole effect was considerably enhanced when Clayton and Bell added appropriately allegorical painted decorations to the dome and its corner spandrels, and Skidmore suspended two great bronze gas chandeliers, each with 180 burners, from the vaulting. The staircase branches at the first landing, with the right side leading to the Foreign Secretary's suite, while the left leads to the largest conference room, where the Locarno treaties were ratified at a great gathering of European statesmen in December 1925 and, with the two rooms beyond has, thereafter, been known as the Locarno Suite.

Scott designated the largest conference room as the Cabinet Room on his drawings. It was never used as such during his lifetime and it seems that only during the Boer War, when Lord Salisbury was Prime Minister, was it used for this purpose. The reason that Scott assigned the room to the Cabinet was that traditionally it met at the Foreign Office, but with the deterioration of the old Downing Street houses, Cabinet meetings in October 1856 were transferred to across the street to number 10, where they are still held today. The Cabinet Room is the grandest room in Scott's Foreign Office. It is the only one to go through two stories, with clerestory lighting provided by means of small transverse vaults cutting into the sides of a great barrel vault which spans across the room. Again, Clayton and Bell enhanced the grandeur by classically inspired decorations, including elaborately painted panels on the vaulting. The two large rooms beyond, which Scott designated conference rooms, are equally sumptuous in their decorative schemes and both have deep coffered ceilings.

All the architectural detail in the Locarno Suite is classical in derivation but, as Scott admitted, he took ‘liberties with the style’. Particularly noticeable is the use of gilded Corinthian capitals, in isolation as corbels, and, elsewhere, he expanded the acanthus leaves of the Corinthian capital in a most unorthodox manner into a long band of foliage. It appears that Wyatt in the India Office never deviated from the strict rules of classical architecture, yet the impression today, now that it is easy to compare both interiors, is that Scott's rather less cluttered design produces a level of grandeur and stateliness which Wyatt's more fussy interior fails to achieve.

With the interiors of the state rooms and his inspired park front, Scott rose to a new high point in his architecture. Never before had he produced anything as fine, nor, ironically, was he ever again to give us anything quite as good as the Foreign Office. Even with the Albert Memorial and the Midland Grand Hotel at St. Pancras, where he was able to use his beloved Gothic, he failed to achieve the same combination of beauty and appropriateness. Palmerston was right: Scott was the man for the job. Whether the old Premier would have approved of the completed building, will never be known, as he quietly died on 18 October 1865, some three years before his ‘Italian’ Foreign Office was to be fully realised.

With the drawings sufficiently complete to enable the contract to be signed in September 1863, the pressure was off Scott and he could turn his attention to more congenial matters. After six months, during which he could have been pondering over his role in the Foreign Office affair, in March 1864 he embarked on the Recollections. The explanation that he wanted to inform his children about his career is a good enough reason for writing the account, but it is also clear that he felt that it was still necessary for him to give his own version of events surrounding the Foreign Office, in spite of being weary of the whole affair. He was clearly convinced that he would be seen in a poor light:

My shame & sorrow were for a time extreme but to my surprise, the public seemed to understand my position & to feel for it, & I never received any annoying & painful rebuke ... even Ruskin told me that I had done quite right …

The defeat of the Liberal Government in June 1866 brought the Conservatives back to power with Scott’s ally, Lord John Manners, as First Commissioner again. Although it was far too late for any important design changes to the Foreign Office, Scott was able to nominate some of his favourite Gothic craftsmen, particularly Clayton and Bell as decorators, and Skidmore to carry out the gas fitting. For the rest of Scott’s life, his great classical building, so close to Spring Gardens, was a constant reminder of his ignominious climb-down in the face of Palmerston’s attack. Nevertheless, during its twelve year construction period, the Government Offices, including the Home and Colonial Offices, earned him about £24,000 in fees, while his very public fight with Palmerston made him the champion of the use of Gothic for secular buildings.

Toplis, I., The Foreign Office, an Architectural History (Mansell Publishing, London and New York, 1987), pp. 16, 24, 30, 35-8, 53, 63-5, 68, 75-6, 80, 84, 87-90, 92, 97, 100, 103, 112, 114-15, 120-1, 123-4, 126, 128, 131, 133-4, 137-9, 142, 144, 218, 231.
Scott’s Recollections, II 172, 175-9, 184-6, 189-90, 192-5, 199-204, 206-16, 218-36, 238, 324, III 112.
The Builder, XV, 1857, p. 37.
Parliamentary Papers, 1857-8, (417.) q 1068.
Broadlands Papers, GC/SC/18/1-6.
The Builder, 6 August, 1857, p. 517.
Fawcett, J. (ed.), Seven Victorian Architects (Thames and Hudson, London, 1976), p. 31.
The Builder, 27 August 1859, pp. 562-3.
Scott, G. G., Personal and Professional Recollections, Stamp, G. (ed.), (Paul Watkins, Stamford, 1995), p. 190.
Broadlands Papers, GC/SC/20.
McBride, D., A History of Hawkstone (Dennis McBride,1993), p. 12.
Scott, G. G., Remarks on Secular and Domestic Architecture, Present and Future (John Murray,London, 2nd ed. 1858), p. 191.
Ridley, J., Lord Palmerston (Constable, London, 1970), pp. 163-4.
PRO Works, 6/307, 13.
Jackson, Sir T. G., Bt. R. A., Recollections, The Life and Travels of a Victorian Architect (Unicorn Press, London, 2003), pp. 73-4.
The Saturday, X, 28 July 1860, p. 111 [a].
Sotheby’s Catalogue, 15 May 1972, p. 23.
The Builder, XXX, 1873, p. 802.
Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds), The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), 85 [b].
Parliamentary Papers, 1877, (312) XV 295, qq 708-10.
Graves, A., The Royal Academy of Arts: A Complete Dictionary of Contributors and their Work from its Foundation in 1767 to 1904 (Graves and Bell, London, 1906), VII, p. 57.
PRO Works, 6/307/pp. 22, 35.
PRO Works, 6/307/50.

Hall had been M.P. for Marylebone since 1837 and was appointed First Commissioner in Palmerston's Liberal Government in July 1855.

Assuming Scott’s fees were 5% of the total cost, excluding the India Office, of £485,991 (Parl. Papers 1877 (312.) XV, 295, appendix No. 6, Letter from John S. Lee to Sir Gilbert Scott, 27 June 1877). Today this is about the equivalent of £1,380,828 for Scott’s fees and £27,961,260 for the cost of the building.

Home and Colonial Offices, Whitehall - City of Westminster - 902

Only nine months before his death, Scott was still completing the last stage of his government office work: the Home and Colonial Offices facing Whitehall, which had immediately followed on from the completion of the Foreign and India Offices in 1868. At Scott’s confrontation with Palmerston on 8 September 1860, when Palmerston proposed the new site arrangement, he left the Whitehall front ‘as a future work’.

The defeat of the Liberal Government in June 1866 brought the Conservatives back to power with Scott’s ally, Lord John Manners, as First Commissioner again. Manners decided that the new offices to the east of the Foreign Office would contain the Colonial Office to the north and the Home Office to the south and in November 1866, the Treasury set up a commission to examine the future planning of the whole Whitehall area, with Manners as its chairman. A number of plans were presented to the commission, including a grandiose proposal which still exists in model form, by the Director of Engineering Works at the Admiralty, Lt. Colonel Andrew Clarke. This shows every building between the new Foreign Office and Trafalgar Square demolished and rebuilt in an Italianate style. The other plans were less extravagant but they all did away with Downing Street and removed the thin slice of property between Whitehall and King Street. However Hunt told the commission that this slice would be very expensive to purchase and produced a plan making King Street the eastern boundary of the new offices.

Scott also produced a plan. He claimed that the Home and Colonial Offices could not be fitted into Hunt’s plan, and, as with the other plans, he would abolish King Street and give the new offices a frontage onto a widened Whitehall. Not surprisingly, with Manners as chairman, Scott’s plan became the commission’s favourite, but he was asked to comment on the merits of the other plans. The Builder, Scott’s ally, commented:

It was impossible that so great an architect could be thoroughly satisfied with any plans so concocted; and the Government will have done wisely, if, as is understood, they have put the whole matter entirely into his hands.

On 25 February 1868, Scott was appointed ‘architect of the proposed new offices for the Home and Colonial Departments’, but he had to await the publication of the commissioner’s report before he could commence work. This did not take place until May 1868. He then acted quickly. He drew up plans for a building containing both offices but separated by a carriageway leading from Whitehall into a recess, which was an extension to the large quadrangle beyond. On 30 July 1868, Smith’s signed a contract to construct the foundations for this building for £20,709. Anxious to proceed quickly with the superstructure, Scott consulted heads of the departments and based his design on their requirements. But this was a period of political uncertainty and it was not until after a new Liberal Government under Gladstone was formed in December 1868 that he was able to submit his plans to the Office of Works.

The new First Commissioner of Works was Austen Layard who had been the sole objector to Scott’s classical design in the great debate of July 1861. Since 1866 he had directed the sculpture on the Albert Memorial on behalf of the Executive Committee and had become one of Scott’s staunchest allies. He entered his post with reforming zeal; deprived Pennethorne of his architectural work, created a new post of Secretary of Works and Buildings to which he appointed his friend James Fergusson, and set up a committee to report on Scott’s plans.

Scott told the Office of Works that his plans would cost a staggering £352,372, so by 22 January 1869, he had re-organised his design. He told the committee that the carriageway from Whitehall would have to go, along with the recess on the quadrangle side. This meant that the twelve feet deep raft that Smith’s were already constructing would have to be modified at an additional cost of £1,406. The Office of Works instructed Scott on 27 February to proceed with the modifications without delay although the changes ‘will involve no charge for your renumeration’. Scott obtained the approval of the Secretaries of State of the two departments for the new arrangement and on 13 August 1869 he was instructed by Layard ‘to proceed with as little delay as possible’ with the working drawings.

But Layard’s stay at the Office of Works was woefully brief. He had come under attack from the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury, Acton Smee Ayrton, the M. P. for Tower Hamlets, for excessive public expenditure on ‘painters, sculpturers, architects and market-gardeners’. Gladstone was impressed by his forcefully expressed economic arguments and, in October 1869, for no other obvious reason other than he wanted to break up a quarrel between Ayrton and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he appointed Layard to be the British Minister in Madrid and made Ayrton the First Commissioner of Works.

Ayrton declared war on architects late in December 1869 with an attack on Street in connection with the Law Courts; in January 1870 he sacked Edward Barry as the architect of the Houses of Parliament; and on 24 February he demanded information from Scott about the costs and accommodation to be provided in the new Home and Colonial Offices. Scott did not have this to hand so three weeks later Ayrton wrote again asking for this information to be ‘given at once’. Two days later, Scott said that he had been able to reduce the cost of the two offices from £379,968 to £350,000, and on 13 May 1870, his assistant, Rupert Goldie, sent a set of working drawings to the Treasury for inspection. Scott was then told to do nothing ‘until you receive further instructions’.

Scott’s proposed Whitehall front was a heavily modelled symmetrical fifteen-bay façade with a big central porch and pavilions at each end crowned with ninety-feet tall cupolas. Scott heard nothing for seven weeks, then, on 25 June, he was ordered to remove the porch and the cupolas, which as The Builder said, would make the front 'sadly monotonous and heavy in outline’. On 23 August 1870, Scott was finally ordered to invite tenders from fifteen builders. These included Jackson and Shaw of Earl Street, Westminster, which was only half a mile south of the site. They had already won the first phase of the Midland Grand Hotel and Scott was so pleased with their work that they were awarded the later stages of the hotel without competition. He must have been delighted that their tender for the Home and Colonial Offices, submitted in September 1870, was the lowest at £242,323 and they signed the contract with Ayrton on 20 November. The work was expected to take three years. Inevitably it took longer. Numerous governmental reorganisations were a major cause of delay, particularly the formation in 1871 of the Local Government Board which was assigned the southern portion of the Home Office building. In 1872, all Jackson’s contracts were selected for industrial action, but by August 1875, the building was sufficiently complete for the staff to move in, although outstanding work delayed the final completion for another two years.

Scott was able to retain a considerable amount of sculpture to indicate the functions of the two offices on the Whitehall front. The spandrels between the lowest range of windows are filled with high-relief sculpture by Philip on the Home Office side and by Armstead, representing the five continents, on the Colonial Office side. Crowning the central projection, and giving some life to the ponderous façade, is a seated sculpture of Queen Victoria with a lion and unicorn and attendant figures. Scott probably designed this group which was carved by Farmer and Brindley who carried out all the decorative carving on the building.

Scott was never satisfied with the Home and Colonial Offices. In July 1872 he said that:

My design has been greatly impoverished for economy’s sake The great damage done has been the striking off of two corner towers, needed to relieve the monotony of so vast a group I live in hopes of their restitution!

This never happened and the great block remains today a very public monument to Scott’s unfulfilled aspirations.

Toplis, I., The Foreign Office, an Architectural History (Mansell Publishing, London and New York, 1987), pp. 155-6, 159-160, 176-9, 181-4, 186-7, 189-90, 192-3.
Scott’s Recollections, II 228, III 242.
Parliamentary Papers, 1867-8 (281) LVIII, 257.q. 257, 261, 268, 406.
Physick, J., and Darby, M., ‘Marble Halls’, Drawings and Models for Victorian Secular Buildings (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1973), pp. 44-5.
The Builder, XXVII, 16 March 1869, p. 181.
Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds), The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), 56.
Handbook to the Prince Consort National Memorial (John Murray, London, 1924, 25th ed.), p. 11.
Brownlee, D. B., The Law Courts, The Architecture of George Edmund Street (M.I.T. Press, Cambridge Mass. and London, 1984), p. 209.
The Builder, XXXI, 20 June 1874, p. 523.
Handley-Read, L., ‘Whitehall Sculpture’, The Architectural Review, vol. CXLVIII, November 1970, p. 278.

Albert Memorial, Kensington Gardens - City of Westminster - 903

Prince Albert’s death, on 14 December 1861, shocked the nation and devastated the Queen but it provided Scott with the greatest opportunity of his life. Apart from their meeting over the Architectural Museum in 1855, Scott says little about Prince Albert in his Recollections. He probably first met him as a young man of twenty-one when the Prince laid the foundation stone of the Wanstead Asylum on 24 July 1841 and also in the spring of 1858, as he later told the committee on the Albert Memorial that he had had ‘the honour of laying before his Royal Highness my first designs for the new government offices’. In the following year, he had further contact with the Prince over the design of a memorial to the Duchess of Gloucester in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor. After meeting him in Chichester on 6 March 1861, Scott met the Prince again on 12 July, when, between bouts of illness, he laid the foundation stone of Scott’s chapel at Wellington College. The Prince’s increasingly poor health did not prevent him from being dragged into an argument between the Headmaster and the Governors over the size of the school chapel. On 4 November 1861 the Prince inspected the work in progress and agreed to support the Head’s contention that the chapel was too small even though Myer’s was well advanced with the construction. It is typical of Scott’s nature that although he would go to any lengths to resist the ideas of the bullying Palmerston, when it came to the gentle Prince, he immediately bowed to his ideas, however inconvenient and ill-considered, and amended his drawings. But the alterations had not been agreed by the Governors and it was probably at their meeting at the House of Lords on 11 November that Scott last saw the Prince. A heated argument had developed over what form the extension should take when the ailing Prince quietly suggested a compromise. This was to add just one bay to the chapel, to which proposal all the Governors were in immediate agreement, and the building was built with an additional bay to that shown on Scott’s drawings.

The Albert Memorial Competition

On 14 January 1862, just over two weeks after Prince Albert’s funeral, a meeting was held at the Mansion House to set up a committee to consider a lasting monument to the Prince. The Queen was consulted and replied that ‘an obelisk, to be erected in Hyde Park on the site of the Great Exhibition of 1851, or on some spot immediately contiguous to it’ would have her approval, particularly as Albert had approved the idea of a memorial to the exhibition on that site.

Henry Cole was made a member of the Mansion House committee and his vision of South Kensington as a great centre of the arts and sciences would be given a considerable boost by the incorporation of the national monument to the Prince, giving the whole area the status of a living memorial to his aspiration and achievements. Lord Derby called Cole ‘the most generally, unpopular man I know’ and the Queen later described him as ‘good Mr. Cole, with his rough off-hand manner’. So rough infact that he succeeded in upsetting everybody who was not a member of his select circle in South Kensington.

Very soon after the Mansion House meeting, the Queen requested that another committee should be set up to advise her which included Sir Charles Eastlake, the President of the Royal Academy. It soon became clear that the Queen’s first idea of an obelisk was impracticable: a suitable sized monolith could not be found in any quarry. But the Queen had had second thoughts anyway and ‘felt relieved’ that her idea had to be abandoned. Various alternative ideas were put forward, particularly from sculptors, but the hands of Cole can be detected in a proposal to combine a ‘work of utility’, in other words a hall, with the memorial. By this time the great rectangle of the Commissioner’s estate, between Exhibition Road and what is now Queen’s Gate, was being developed as gardens for the Royal Horticultural Society and, in March 1861, work started at the southern end of the estate on the enormous structure that was to house the 1862 International Exhibition. Captain Fowke had designed the building to be symmetrical on the centre line of the estate and it was a continuation northwards of this line to the spot in Hyde Park, where it crosses the east-west axis of the site of the Crystal Palace, that it was decided to site the Albert Memorial.

An important decision was made by the Queen’s advisory committee in May 1862, when it decided to obtain the advice of a panel of seven architects over the design of the memorial. This made its provision an architectural problem rather than the concern of sculptors, which it had been up until then, and would place the sculptors in the position of craftsmen nominated by the architect or client to carry out their work. This would not have pleased Cole with his dislike of architects. Eastlake approached the Institute of British Architects to draw up a list of architects to form the panel. Tite, who was president at the time, was naturally included, as was Scott, who was vice-president and knew Eastlake through the Royal Academy. The other members were Donaldson, Digby Wyatt, P. C. Hardwick, Pennethorne and Sydney Smirke.

Although this was Scott’s first official involvement with the Albert Memorial, he had for his ‘own personal satisfaction and pleasure', at the time when the obelisk was being considered, ‘endeavoured to render that idea consistent with that of a Christian monument’. He thought he would cap the obelisk with ‘a large and magnificent Cross’, like an Iona cross, but with the cap in metal. By the time the panel of architects was set up, Scott’s work at Windsor was well underway and he seems hesitant in becoming involved with another memorial, however grand, particularly as his fellow architects were predominantly classicists. In a letter to Eastlake, with the Foreign Office affair still raw, he said that he was concerned at being included with some individuals who ‘have taken an active part in defeating my wishes as to the style of the only public building in which I have been engaged in London’, and he knew that anything at South Kensington would involve Cole. He told Eastlake that he would be unable to attend the first meeting of the architects’ panel as he would be in Paris. This was when he went there with Dr Chadwick to examine pavilion hospitals. He was now successfully producing buildings in his own secular Gothic style and desperately wanted to avoid becoming involved in another bitter stylistic battle. Tite presided at the architects meeting and, on 5 June 1862, they sent a report to Eastlake, which Scott tamely signed ‘pro forma’, although he was not present. They stated that the memorial should be a group of statuary of either bronze or marble, in which case it should be covered, and recommended that a ‘noble hall’ should be built to the south of the memorial.

In the following month the Queen’s advisory committee decided that each of the architects on the panel should produce a design for the memorial and receive one hundred pounds for their work. Tite and Smirke declined to participate and their withdrawal might have helped Scott had not their replacements been his old rival Charles Barry junior and his younger brother, Edward Middleton Barry. The architectural profession, probably in the wake of the Government Offices fiasco, were adverse to a formal competition, but this was what this was in all but name with the Queen as the only judge. Scott seems to have been irritated that the architects did not discuss his Gothic Cross idea at their first meeting, but with his usual energy he threw himself into the task of producing a more acceptable design.

In Scott’s sketch book, which also contains sketches of continental hospitals and his preliminary design for the Leeds Infirmary, there is a sketch of a round-arch structure, supported by thick cluster columns, covering a seated figure. This sketch is followed by another of a more elegant design, with pointed arches, very similar to the final design. The architects had to produce their designs, bearing in mind a cost limit of £60,000, by 1 December 1862. Eventually all seven architects sent in designs, including three from Digby Wyatt who submitted an ‘Italian Gothic Cross’, a sculptural design and a classical temple. The others, with the exception of Scott, were envitably classical schemes. Donaldson produced fourteen drawings including a spectacular perspective three feet long. Pennethorne hid the Prince inside a massive mausoleum-like structure with Greek embellishments, while Charles Barry proposed that he should stand inside a sumptuously decorated Italianate building with open sides. Hardwick suggested that the Prince should stand in the open on a high plinth surrounded by steps and fountains and cut off from the park by a high screen wall. Various unsolicited designs were sent in but it appears that none of these were considered. These included schemes from James Fergusson and the sculptor Joseph Durham. But by far the most exciting extant design is a proposal for a massive monument by Alexander Thomson of Glasgow. Nicknamed ‘Greek Thomson’ for his idiosyncratic treatment of Greek classical architecture, his Albert Memorial was on of his most spectacular designs in this style.

All the invited architects accompanied their designs with written explanations to the Queen’s advisory committee. Scott introduced his explanation by saying that:

I have not hesitated to adopt in my design the style at once the most congenial with my own feelings, and that of the most touching monuments ever erected in this country to a Royal Consort – the exquisite ‘Eleanor Crosses’.

But as the written explanations were published well before the design was illustrated, this confused everyone. It was assumed by many that the author of the Martyrs’ Memorial was producing another Eleanor Cross for Albert. This led to an argument in the press as to the suitability of an Eleanor Cross for the Memorial, which was not at all what Scott had intended.

Scott was, in fact, a victim of his own verbosity, as further on in the text he gives an accurate account of his intentions which:

May be described as a colossal statue of the Prince placed beneath a vast and magnificent shrine or tabernacle, and surrounded by works of sculpture illustrating those arts and sciences which he fostered, and the great undertakings which he had originated.

He particularly emphasised his idea that the precious character of the Prince could be expressed by the richness of his shrine and he would:

Erect a kind of Ciborium to protect [the] statue of the Prince & its special characteristic was that the Ciborium was designed in some degree on the principles of ancient shrines. These shrines were models of imaginary buildings such as had never in reality been erected My idea was to realize one of these imaginary structures, with its precious materials its inlaying its enamels etc., etc.

After it had been pointed out to him that there was a strong resemblance between his design and some of the very real structures over the altars of Early Christian basilicas he claimed that:

I do not recollect that this idea consciously resulted from the ciboria which canopy the Altars of Basilicas, though the form is the same but it came to me rather in the abstract as the form suited to the object …

Scott should have remembered his visit to Verona in the autumn of 1851 where he would have seen the tombs of the Scaligers in the centre of the city, one of which bears a close resemblance to his design. He must also have seen Pugin’s The Glossary of Ecclesiastical Ornament and Costume, published in 1846, where Pugin provides an illustration of an imaginary altar covered by a ciborium which bears an even closer resemblance to the Albert Memorial. In reality canopied monuments were already well known in Britain, the most famous example being the monument to Sir Walter Scott in Princes Street Edinburgh, which was designed by George Meikle Kemp and built between 1840 and 1846. Scott would have seen the Edinburgh monument on one of his trips to Scotland but he is unlikely to have seen the designs for another canopied monument which Thomas Worthington designed as Manchester’s memorial to the Prince. Very soon after the Prince’s death Worthington produced his design, which the Queen approved, saying that nothing more beautiful or appropriate could be imagined. It was erected between 1863 and 1867 and became the centre-piece on the newly formed and appropriately named Albert Square.

Both the Edinburgh and Manchester monuments are in the Gothic style. But Scott knew that all his fellow competitors would be producing designs in the classical style and he consequently goes to some length in his written explanation to tell the committee that he had found the Prince sympathetic towards the Gothic style. He says that when he first showed him the first designs for the Government Offices, in spring 1858, the Prince ‘distinctly told me that he did not sympathise with the objections which had been made against them of the ground of their style being Mediaeval’. The Prince also approved of him being especially commissioned to design a Gothic chapel for Wellington College. When he produced a Gothic design for the Guards’ Crimean Memorial in Hyde Park, he said that the Prince also approved that design as well, but it was not carried out.

What is special about Scott’s proposed Albert Memorial was his intention to turn it into a gorgeously coloured and highly ornate structure by the use of precious materials and enamels. ‘My idea, whether good or bad, was to realize the Jewellers architecture in a structure of full size, and this has furnished the Key not of my design and its execution’. The intention was that it would be the same, except in size, as the ancient shrines, with:

The same beaten metal work – the same filigree the same plaques of enamel the same jewelling the same figure-work in metal & each with the very same mode of artistic treatment which we find in the shrines of the Three Kings at Cologne, of Notre Dame at Aix la Chapelle, of St Elizabeth at Marburg …

But this application of rich decoration made Scott’s proposals very expensive. He contended that the £60,000 allocated for both the hall and the memorial, in the summer of 1862, was insufficient and assumed that the funds would be concentrated on one or the other. He said that his memorial alone would cost at least £70,000. The advisory committee passed the designs to the Queen and, in February 1863, she viewed them at Windsor accompanied by Eastlake and her second daughter, Princess Alice, but she had to await the arrival of the Crown Princess from Prussia before a decision could be made. At first the Queen thought that there were only two appropriate designs and only one of these was realizable. One was Hardwick’s, which could enable both the hall and the memorial to be provided within the available funds. The other design was Scott’s. In spite of being the only architect out of the seven competitors who believed that a Gothic scheme would be appropriate, Scott, for several reasons, had the edge over his rivals. He was already working for the Queen on the Wolsey Chapel so she knew him and presumably approved of his work. He had had a number of contacts with Albert so he knew something of Albert’s character, which the Queen would have liked. And although Albert favoured classical architecture Scott was able to show that he was not dogmatic and on various occasions he found Gothic acceptable.

It was the arrival of the Crown Princess to attend the wedding of her brother in March 1863, which seemed to help the Queen decide upon Scott’s design. With her interest in art and design, the Princess was well aware of Reichensperger’s campaign to make Gothic the national architecture of a united Germany and as the culmination of this campaign, the great Gothic nave of Cologne Cathedral had just been completed after six hundred years. As the Queen had already expressed her delight with Worthington’s Manchester memorial, she could hardly not approve Scott’s similarly canopied structure. But it was the bejewelled effect which made Scott’s design different and he knew that the notion of an almost sacred casket, protecting the figure of her precious loved-one, would give his design an almost irresistible appeal to the Queen. Scott’s critics in the Cole circle were quick to point out that even the bejewelled aspect of Scott’s design was not original. Redgrave and Fowke remarked how the shrine at Or San Michele in Florence resembled Scott’s design. Scott had seen this in 1851 and his critics should have looked at Scott’s own Remarks, where he says:

I cannot mention this building without noticing the wonderful ciborium, altar, and altar enclosure it contains: one of the most splendid works of its kind in existence, decorated with sculpture, inlaid marble, coloured glass, and almost every kind of enrichment.

In February 1863, Scott had the cost of his design properly worked out and discovered that it would come to at least £110,000, or £50,000 more than the funds available. The Queen had been indignant when, in the previous May, Palmerston had suggested to Parliament that a vote of only £20,000 would be sufficient. With Scott’s design as her favourite, she now asked Parliament for the extra £50,000. Lord Derby, in his capacity as the Leader of the Opposition, backed the vote and, after the design was exhibited in the House of Commons, the vote was approved in April 1863. Palmerston and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gladstone, remained opposed to any increase over £30,000. The other architects heard about the Queen’s choice by reading a leak in The Times on 28 March 1863, much to the annoyance of her advisory committee as the wording of its report was still being finalised. It was not formally submitted to the Queen until 21 April 1863 and Scott was duly appointed to carry out the work the following day.

The Building of the Albert Memorial

In the competition Scott had made three alternative designs for the hall to the south of the memorial. As far as Cole was concerned, this was the most important part of the Albert Memorial project. However, Scott’s lavish structure would swallow all the funds leaving nothing for the hall unless the Government could be persuaded to step in. After the architectural Museum fiasco, Cole probably regarded Scott as a financial incompetent whose inability to control his spending had now deprived him of his hall. He thought of Scott as nervous and unsure and susceptible to his suggestions, as he had been over the museum. But Scott had now learnt from these mistakes and treated Cole with caution.

When the two men sat together in the gallery of the House of Commons to hear Parliament vote the additional £50,000, Cole told Scott that he thought that the shrine should be enclosed to protect it from the atmosphere. This would have spoilt Scott’s whole idea of a conspicuous shrine but Scott said nothing, which led Cole to believe that Scott was seriously considering the idea. He completely misunderstood Scott’s quiet doggedness and grim determination to achieve his objectives. At the same time, Cole, with characteristic energy, embarked on a campaign to discredit Scott’s design. He prepared an elaborate publication for private circulation which showed that in medieval times, the only open-sided structures were either common market crosses or preaching crosses, while all known open shrines were within buildings.

In May 1863 Cole wrote to Sir Charles Phipps, the Keeper of the Privy Purse, suggesting that the Queen should set up a committee to solve the questions that he himself had just raised. Scott, however, was ready for Cole’s move and wrote a reply to Phipps who circulated it alongside Cole’s publication thus neutralising the effect of Cole’s attack. Phipps had found Scott’s arguments to be a convincing rebuttal of Cole’s onslaught and remarked that Scott ‘seems to have the greatest dread of Cole’. He was obviously sympathetic towards Scott while Cole’s attitude was rapidly loosing him favour in Royal circles. He was meddling in an affair in which the Queen had already made up her mind and, on 11 May 1863, Phipps told Cole that the Queen had expressed wishes that all further discussions of matters of taste were redundant. He then ratified Scott’s position by assuring him of the Queen’s confidence in him and that she would appoint an executive committee to communicate her orders. ‘The Queen will direct the Members to leave to you full control over the works, within the limits of the available funds’.

Parliament had voted the additional £50,000 and it was decided that John Kelk would be the builder. He had amassed a fortune largely from railway work, but with the chance to enhance his public image with the Albert Memorial, he decided to postpone his retirement. Immediately after the Parliamentary vote, on Cole’s suggestion, he offered to build the Memorial at cost price and to bear any excess over the estimate of £85,508 himself. Scott’s justified dislike of Cole extended to Kelk but for no good reason other than he was a friend and employee of Cole. Kelk had built a house at Witley in Surrey for Cole in 1861 and Scott assumed that he was in Cole’s pocket. But there had been no problems with the foundation contracts for the Foreign and India Offices and, in fact, Kelk carried out the Albert Memorial for £1,077 less than his estimate and paid for a wide flight of steps leading down to the carriage road out of his own pocket. Inspite of all this munificence, Kelk was still disappointed when it came to official recognition. It was not until 1874 that he was awarded a baronetcy for political services to the Conservative party.

John Drayton Wyatt made a perspective drawing of Scott’s proposed Albert Memorial and it was published in The Builder on 23 May 1863, nearly one year after it had been designed. This was the first view that the general public had of the intended memorial and it shows a structure remarkably similar to that actually built. The main difference is that the centre fleche is lower and the corner columns thinner. Scott says that George Gilbert junior and John Clayton made the first elevational drawings of the memorial showing the sculpture ‘in a general way’. He concedes that the corner columns ‘did look too slight in the first drawing which I was probably first to perceive and corrected with great care’. However, he felt that the fleche, as built, ‘is too high’.

In July 1863, a great model was started so that the Queen was better able ‘to appreciate the effect of the memorial and to consider its detail’. This is a huge plaster affair, nearly seven feet tall, which Scott says was ‘prepared under my direction’ and made by ‘Mr. Brindley but the sculpture was by Mr. Armstead’. Scott had first noticed Henry Hugh Armstead at the 1862 Exhibition ‘through his beautiful figure subjects on the Outram Shield’ and he was to become, with Philip, one of Scott’s favourite sculptors. The great model was painted and polished to represent the brightly coloured materials to be used and, in March 1864, it was placed on a large pedestal in Buckingham Palace where it ‘proved extremely valuable’ during discussions over further possible modifications. In fact, only in small details of the sculpture and in the inscription does the model vary from the finished structure. In 1867, it was displayed at the Paris Exhibition and on its return it was bought from Scott by Cole’s South Kensington Museum, where it still is.

The working drawings for the Albert Memorial were made in Scott’s office after November 1863 by John Oldrid and Richard Coad. On 6 April 1864, the Royal Sign Manual Warrant was obtained granting the Queen’s permission for the memorial to be erected in Hyde Park. Kelk appointed William Cross as his Director of Works and Coad became Scott’s Clerk of Works. Kelk started work in May 1864 by excavating its massive foundations. As with the Foreign and India Offices, he provided a great raft of concrete, seventeen feet thick. On top of this he laid stone landings and on these he built a great substructure of brickwork, which Scott describes as ‘a curious, intricate, and picturesque series of catacombs’, to support the memorial and its surround of granite steps. Problems arose from the supply of granite, but once it had arrived on site, Scott is fulsome in his praise of the way that Kelk handled it.

The whole of the granite was worked on the spot, admirable machinery having been erected by Mr. Kelk for the various processes of polishing; and it is probably that, while some parts of the work are such as have never in our time been worked in polished granite, no other work in that material has surpassed …

Kelk used travelling gantries, as were being used on the Foreign Office, to move the huge blocks of masonry around the site. At the top of the four arches of the canopy, Scott laid a great iron cruciform box-girder to transfer the weight of the fleche across to the corner columns. The girder is over three feet in depth and was designed by Scott’s friend Francis Shields. The fleche and the canopy roofs were constructed entirely of metal by Skidmore. Vaulting under the canopy and the gables over the arches is in perforated brickwork, to give a secure key for the applied mosaic work and, also incidentally, to decrease the loading on the structure. In increasing the scale of a small object, like a tomb, into a large structure, meant that Scott had to sacrifice structural truthfulness in design: the arches are not structural arches as in medieval work, while the fleche could only be supported by the hidden iron girder.

Inspite of initial misgivings, Scott found Kelk’s work to have been exemplary and noted that the memorial had been built ‘without the slightest accident of any kind’. Scott was responsible for specifying materials and for nominating specialists and craftsmen. He exercised this control to such an extent that the decorative part of the memorial is largely the work of his favourite craftsmen such as Skidmore, Clayton and Bell, and Farmer and Brindley, who did the general carving. However, when it came to the sculpture, Scott had considerable problems. He was allowed to nominate only three of the sculptors, Armstead, Philip and Redfern, while the other eight were chosen by the Queen through the executive committee. The Prince’s statue was commissioned directly by the Queen herself.

In March 1864 the queen unofficially confirmed that her choice of sculptor for the Prince’s figure would be Baron Carlo Marochetti, a ‘French-bred native of Turin residing in Onslow Square’, less that a mile from the memorial. He first came to the notice of Prince Albert in 1848 when he exhibited at the Royal Academy and, in 1851, he became known to the general public when his dramatic equestrian statue of ‘Richard Coeur de Lion’ brandishing a sword, was placed outside the western end of the Crystal Palace. This, his best work, was moved to the front of the Houses of Parliament in 1860, where it still stands. The Queen and Prince Albert shared a very high opinion of Marochetti and immediately after the Prince’s death, she commissioned him to make an effigy of the Prince and herself for the mausoleum at Frogmore. The Queen was to live for another forty years after he husband and at the time of her death, it was only by chance that the effigy was discovered, walled up in the stores at Windsor, where it was duly installed next to that of her late husband.

Marochetti inspected the model of the Albert Memorial and although, apparently, he was not happy about the idea of a seated figure, he nevertheless accepted the Queen’s commission to carry out the work in July 1865. By the spring of 1867 he had completed a full-size model which gave Scott ‘a severe shock’ when he first saw it and this opinion remained when it was experimentally hoisted onto the pedestal of the half-finished memorial. The Queen then said that Marochetti should make alterations as he thought best, but encouraged by Cole, he suggested an equestrian figure. Scott was adamant that only a seated figure would provoke the appropriate sentiments and Marochetti was told that he must keep the seated figure. He then made a nude plaster figure of the Prince which he intended to place on the pedestal draped in sackcloth, but Scott still did not like it. After further efforts towards the end of 1867, when Scott was beginning to suspect Marochetti of not trying hard enough with the seated pose, the sculptor suddenly died.

Scott now wanted to start again but the Queen was not convinced that Marochetti’s efforts should be abandoned. She went to Marochetti’s studio, but ‘alas’ she told the Crown Princess, she would have to agree that a new sculptor should be appointed. Eastlake had been given responsibility for the sculpture of the Memorial by the executive committee, but he died in December 1865, before the sculpture had progressed very far. He was replaced by Austen Layard, who was regarded as something of an art expert with a particular interest in sculpture. In 1868, when he was made First Commissioner of Works, the Saturday somewhat sweepingly declared him to be ‘the first expert who had ever been placed there’ and in the same year the Institute awarded him the Royal Gold Medal in Architecture.

After the death of Marochetti, Scott thought that there was only one artist whose ‘artistic force and power … will command approval rather than tempt criticism’. This was the Irish sculptor John Henry Foley, whom Layard also supported as he thought that with his standing in his profession, he would be an uncontroversial choice. He was a notoriously slow worker but it was his fastidiousness and attention to detail which probably appealed to Scott and Layard. In May 1868, with the structure of the memorial almost complete, the Queen commissioned Foley to make the Prince’s statue. Scott’s office had been fearful that the work might have gone to Triquiti, as it was only a few weeks after the upset over the Wolsey Chapel, but the Queen seemed to have been anxious to avoid more controversy.

Immediately after he was appointed in 1868, Foley produced a series of sketch models of the statue and in December his proposals were approved by the Queen. By July 1870 he had made a full-size model, which was placed in the Memorial, and again received the Queen’s approval with some detailed suggestions for improvement. According to Scott, it was while he was correcting his model at the site that Foley contracted ‘the long illness’ that eventually led to his death on 27 August 1874. The Prince’s statue was still incomplete and although all the sculptural work was finished, bronze castings of various parts of the Prince littered his studio, ready to be welded together. Most of this work, along with six other statues which were incomplete at the time of his death, was carried out by his assistant since 1866, Thomas Brock. The Prince’s statue was completed in October 1875 and placed in the Memorial in November. It was immediately covered in tarpaulins so that gilding could take place. Albert was finally revealed in all his glory in March 1876. In fact, the splendour of the occasion was somewhat diminished when glittering Albert showed how dingy the rest of the memorial had become after eight years in the atmosphere of Victorian London.

Even after three sculptors, the Prince’s statue looks remarkably like the statue on Scott’s first drawings. The pose has slightly altered and the chair is less conspicuous but he is still shown seated and leaning forwards, wearing the robes of the Order of the Garter. In his right hand he is holding one of the volumes of the catalogue of the Great Exhibition, while his left foot is on a footstool which is a device to avoid, what Scott calls, the statue looking ‘all of a heap’ when viewed from below.

The eight groups of statuary surrounding the memorial also bear a close resemblance to Scott’s original drawings. Although they too were not part of Kelk’s contract and therefore not directly under Scott’s control, he was able to exercise considerable influence on their design. The sculptors were chosen by the Queen, through the committee, and paid by the committee. There are four large detached groups each representing a continent at the base of the steps, and four smaller groups, representing the ‘Industrial Arts’ on the corners of the memorial itself. After some deliberation, in March 1864, the Queen decide that the sculptors for the continents would be Patrick Macdowell for ‘Europe’, Foley for ‘Asia’, Theed for ‘Africa’ and John Bell for ‘America’. For the ‘Industrial Arts’ they would be William Calder Marshall for ‘Agriculture’, Henry Weekes for ‘Manufactures’, Thomas Thornycroft for ‘Commerce’ and John Lawlor for ‘Engineering’. Theed, as Prince Albert’s favourite sculptor, was an obvious choice but he had also expressed a high opinion of Thornycroft, while Weekes had provided the figures for Scott’s Martyrs’ Memorial some twenty-four years earlier. In July 1864 Scott met the four sculptors of the continents and persuaded them to follow Armstead’s models which incorporated his own idea that each continent should be represented by five figures and an animal.

By November 1864, all eight sketch-models were complete and ready to be submitted to the Queen. She and the committee visited all the artists studios and she arranged for photographs to be sent to the Crown Princess in Berlin as she found it difficult to decide what was best on matters of ‘correct and severe art, as my beloved one did, in such a wonderful degree’. Various minor modifications were made between February and March 1865 and the revised models were resubmitted to the Queen. Some of the alterations were carried out for diplomatic reasons, such as the removal of the magnolia, the symbol of the Confederate States, which Bell had incorporated into his piece during the American Civil War. Eventually the ‘Industrial Arts’ were placed in position in the summer and autumn of 1870 and the continents installed between autumn 1870 and the summer of 1872.

Apart from the sculpture groups and the Prince’s statue, Scott was able to employ his favourite artists for the rest of the decorative work. Philip and Armstead modelled eight figures for casting in bronze representing the ‘Greater Sciences’ which were placed against the columns and on the corners of the canopy. On the fleche itself are eight, eight feet high statues by Redfern, cast by Skidmore, and higher up still around the base of the cross, are eight angels at two levels by Philip, again cast by Skidmore. The gables and spandrels of the canopy are filled with glass mosaics representing each of the professions of the figures shown in the portion of the podium frieze immediately below. Scott says that the mosaics ‘were not only designed but drawn out in full-size coloured cartoons by Mr Clayton & from them executed by Mr. Salviati at Venice’. The centre of each gable has a seated allegorical figure holding the instruments of the profession that they represent, such as a lyre for the poets, and dividers and a drawing of the Albert Memorial for the architects.

William Brindley carried out the architectural carving which Scott thought was ‘well executed’ and most of it was covered with gilding. The most interesting part of the memorial today is the podium which incorporates the so-called Parnassus Frieze. This frieze is nearly 200 feet long and encircles the whole of the base of the memorial showing 169 figures, mostly in high relief, of famous painters, architects, poets, musicians and sculptors, in the dress of their period. By March 1864, Scott had nominated Philip and Armstead to carry out the frieze. Armstead was to carve poets and musicians on the south side and painters on the east, while Philip would provide architects on the north side and sculptors on the west. Considerable research went into making the portraits appear as authentic as possible but this was almost an impossible task as most of the subjects had been dead for hundreds of years. It was decided that the frieze would be carved out of two feet thick slabs of Campenella marble, which Eastlake ordained should be carved after they had been built into the structure of the Memorial. To enable this to take place Kelk encircled the podium with top-lit studios to house the sculptors.

Work started on the frieze in the late summer of 1866 but proceeded slowly. Kelk, under whose contract Philip and Armstead were working as sub-contractors, urged them to employ more assistants to speed up the work. Armstead, perhaps more used to Scott’s gentle approach, became terrified of Kelk and suffered fits of nervousness and unsteadiness on hand whenever it was announced that Kelk was about to appear. The work was eventually finished in the spring or summer of 1872. The names of everybody portrayed were inscribed on either the top or the bottom edge of the frieze, with in some cases, an appropriate architectural background carved in low-relief behind the figures. Philip decide that he would arrange the worthies of architecture and sculpture in chronological order, while Armstead grouped his men (there are no women) into national schools. Contemporaries such as Barry and Cockerell are shown in conversation, and while Scott is shown looking towards Pugin, perhaps admiringly, Pugin seems indifferent to Scott. Numerous discussions took place over the selection of appropriate worthies to be represented but in the end most of the decisions were left to Philip and Armstead. From the outset, Philip had wanted to include Scott, but Scott thought that this might provoke criticism and substituted Pugin in his place. However, the Queen insisted on Scott’s inclusion, so he appears in profile in low relief behind his hero, somewhat as an afterthought.

During the course of the work, Layard, who had been reorganising the Office of Works was, in October 1869, sent off to Madrid by Gladstone to become British Minister there and his post as First Commissioner of Works was taken over by Ayrton with his ‘unfortunate personal qualities’. Layard’s place on the executive committee of the memorial was taken by Charles Newton, the Keeper of Ancient Antiquities at the British Museum. According to Scott, Newton was ‘so well known as the discoverer or recover of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus’. Philip included Bryaxis on the frieze, who according to Newton, had worked on the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus and is shown with a model of it. However, Newton strongly objected to Philip’s details, but Philip, perhaps remembering his contractual position, infuriated Newton by ignoring him and it was left to Scott’s diplomatic skills to settle the problem. One figure appears twice on the frieze. Not surprisingly this is Michelangelo, who appears among Philip’s sculptors as well as being one of Armstead’s painters.

Scott designed elaborate railings to surround the Memorial at the level of the lower sculpture groups which were made by Skidmore and installed in 1871. On the completion of the frieze, early in 1872, the sculptors’ studios were removed and on 1 July the Queen inspected the memorial. Two days later the general public were permitted to view it although Albert’s statue was absent for another three years. In March 1876, it was revealed in all its glory without any ceremony.

The Prince had been dead for over fourteen year and public sentiment had moved on, although of course not that of the Queen. While architectural ideas had also changed, Scott held to his old beliefs. A year after his appointment and before any building work had started, Scott asked for God’s help: ‘I as yet have no idea how it may end. I trust to be directed aright [sic]’. On 11 July 1872 when the work was finished apart from the Prince’s statue and the press and public were allowed to see the work, he wrote:

I believe I shall have to bear the brunt of criticisms on this work of a character peculiar I fancy to this country I mean criticism premeditated & Predetermined wholly irrespective of the merits of the case – I have some years since had one great attack made upon me of this kind. I believe that Mr Beresford Hope though nominally friendly is only too glad to promote these attacks … I am told that I have to expect another probably this week in the Saturday Review.

I must trust in God & take Courage.

This, of course, was Scott being paranoid again and nothing appeared. Certainly Hope had criticised him in the Saturday in July 1860, for having given in to Palmerston’s demands to a classical Foreign Office, but although Hope appeared somewhat aloof he was basically a solid supporter of Scott and his work. When he was a member of the select Committee on Public Offices and Buildings in June 1877, he described Scott as an eminent architect, and at his cross-examination of Scott he carefully framed his questions to enable Scott’s replies to appear in the best possible light. After Scott’s death, a few month’s later, he headed a list of subscribers towards a prize fund set up as a memorial to Scott and acted as one of the pall-bearers at his funeral.

However, the week before the Albert Memorial was revealed, on 5 July 1872, an anonymous article appeared in The Pall Mall Gazette criticising its design. This was written by the art critic, Sidney Colvin, who was a Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge. Scott was upset that Colvin thought that the columns looked inadequate, the podium looked weak and the steps were too massive. But he represented a new generation of Trinity dons who had rejected many of the teachings of their predecessors upon which Scott’s High Victorian style had been built. Colvin felt that the designer of the memorial lacked artistic instinct and had fallen back onto unintelligent, mechanical and material modes of enrichment, loosing ‘all character of human accent, scheme or meaning’. Scott was deeply concerned about this criticism. At first he tried to persuade Newton to come to his defence but, as he found Layard was on a visit to England, he instead got him to ‘spontaneously’ write a letter of support on 14 July 1872. He offered Scott his:

warmest congratulations upon the great success which has been achieved. It is a magnificent monument which will be an honour to the country and to you … Of course there will be adverse criticisms – the most perfect work in the world would not escape them – but they are not worthy of notice and will be forgotten in a very short time. Those who have anything to do with the Press know from when these criticisms generally come and can trace the motives for them.

In this case they represent the opinions of one prejudiced and unfriendly man opposed to the judgement and taste of the million …

In fact Colvin was involved in the Queen Anne movement through his friend from Trinity, Basil Champneys, who along with the Spring Garden alumni, were now erecting secular buildings in the new style. Even before Albert was finally hoisted into position, his memorial was in an out of date style, but it was still to the ‘taste of the million’.

Scott’s particular accomplishment was to have found the exact level of the Queen and the Crown Prince’s taste. Throughout all the campaigns to get him to alter his design, he seems to have been able to rely on them not to waiver from supporting his first proposals. The Albert Memorial was intended to be the ultimate expression of Scott’s architectural theory in which the artists all work together towards a common purpose with himself as the architect exercising only a light control over their work. In fact it seems that his control was much tighter than he admits, and even in those areas where he had no contractual responsibility. It is typical of Scott’s increasingly gloomy outlook that by the time the memorial was completed, he took the critical comments very personally and ignored the popular acclaim that it received. His handling of the nominated sub-contractors, such as the touchy sculptors and craftsmen, had been carried out with a combination of tact and firmness. In the end he achieved a saving of about £6,000 on the funds available. Taking into account the sculpture outside the contract, the total cost of the memorial was around £150,000. Scott received £5,000 in fees while Coad was paid a mere £602. The Queen’s satisfaction with the memorial was expressed on 9 August 1872 when she knighted Scott at Osborne.

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Sheppard, F. H. (ed.), Survey of London, The Museums Area of South Kensington and Westminster, volume XXXVIII (Athlone Press, London 1975), pp. 139, 141, 149-55, 158, 160-7, 169-71,174-6, plate 40b.
The Builder, XX, 17 May 1862, pp. 348, 422, 547-8.
Scott’s Recollections, II 312-14, III 199-201, 203-5, 207-14, 216-22, 224, 230, 360, IV 17.
Bayley, S., The Albert Memorial, The Monument in Its Social and Architectural Context (Scolar, 1981), pp. 30, 42, 45-6, 50-4, 66, 69, 73, 150.
Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds), The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), 34 [c], 51, 70 [b & c], 81 (sketch book 27).
Pevsner, N., Studies in Art, Architecture and Design, Victorian and After (Thames and Hudson, London, 1968), p. 267.
Hyde, R., Fisher, J., and Sato, T. (eds.), Getting London into Perspective (Barbican Art Gallery, London, 1984), p. 74.
Tyack, G., Sir James Pennethorne and the Making of Victorian London (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1992), pp. 272-5.
McFadzean, R., The Life and Work of Alexander Thomson (Routledge Keegan Paul, London, 1979), pp. 139-41.
Pugin, A. W., Glossary of Ecclesiastical Ornament and Costume (Bernard Quaritch, London, 1863), p. 73, see https://archive.org/stream/cu31924020490383#page/n95/mode/2up
Gifford, J., McWilliam, C. and Walker, D., Edinburgh, Buildings of Scotland (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1984), p. 314.
Colvin, H., A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1995), p. 575.
Dixon, R., and Muthesius, S., Victorian Architecture (Thames and Hudson, London, 1978), p. 43.
Handbook to the Prince Consort National Memorial (John Murray, London, 1924), pp. 7, 10- 11, 14, 16-19, 25-6, 32.
The Builder, XXI, 23 May 1863, p. 371.
Physick, J., and Darby, M., ‘Marble Halls’, Drawings and Models for Victorian Secular Buildings (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1973), p. 213.
Read, B., Victorian Sculpture (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1984), pp. 59, 100, 261.
Illustrated Exhibitor, XI, pp. 182, 184.
Toplis, I., The Foreign Office, an Architectural History (Mansell Publishing, London and New York, 1987), pp. 177, 181-2.
Gunnis, R., Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660-1851 (The Abbey Library, London, 1964), pp. 153-4, 235, 249, 256, 393, 418.
Brooks, M. W., John Ruskin and Victorian Architecture (Thames and Hudson, London, 1989), pp. 48-9, 54.
Girouard, M., Sweetness and Light, The ‘Queen Anne’ Movement, 1860-1900 (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1977), p. 49.

Royal Albert Hall - City of Westminster - 904

Henry Cole’s own knighthood did not come for another three years after that of Scott but he must have derived considerable pleasure from the fact that his great hall, although not started until three years after work had begun on the memorial across the road, was opened in March 1871, four years before the statue of the Prince was finally installed. The Royal Albert Hall of Arts and Sciences, as the Queen declared that she wished it to be called, took less than four years to build. It can accommodate 10,000 persons and its cost of about £200,000 was raised entirely by the sale of seats, without any charge to the taxpayer. Both Scott and Cole knew that this great feat of speed and economy would have been almost impossible if Scott had been retained as the architect of the hall.

In December 1862, along with their memorial proposals, the seven competing architects each sent their design for a hall to the Queen. Digby Wyatt, the only architect of the seven in Cole’s circle, submitted a proposal for a round building which is perhaps significant in view of the final form of the hall. Scott says that he made designs for, what he calls, a ‘Hall of Science’, in three alternative styles; round-arched Byzantine, Byzantine and Gothic, as well as ‘a sketched variety of the main design with pointed arches’. But he seems to have regarded the hall as something of an afterthought as it was only in late September 1862, with the design of the memorial settled, that he turned his attention towards it. On 25 September, he and Irvine set off on a three week tour of France during which they met George Gilbert junior, John Oldrid and Richard Coad. They travelled as far south as Angouleme and Perigueux. No doubt the purpose of the tour was to visit what he had called ‘the celebrated domical churches of Perigord and Angoumois’, with a view to using the ideas that they represented in style and structure for the hall. With his preoccupation with domes, Scott would have been able to see how he could use a domed structure and yet incorporate Gothic arches into the design. Scott says that he designed the hall during the tour ‘making it a completion of the idea of St Sophia’. He explained that he thought that the great church of St. Sophia in Istanbul was ‘not carried out to completion’ as it has only two half-domes on either side of the main dome and he was proposing that his hall should have half-domes on all four sides.

When it became clear that there would be no funds available for the hall because of Scott’s elaborate memorial design, instead of letting matters drop Cole, always ready for a challenge, started thinking of something even grander.

Sheppard, F. H. (ed.), Survey of London, The Museums Area of South Kensington and Westminster, volume XXXVIII (Athlone Press, London 1975), pp. 178-9, 185, 190-1.
Scott’s Recollections, III 265-6.
Royal Commission for Historic Monuments (South), Scott Notebook, MSS 104p.
Scott, G., Sir, Lectures on the Rise and Development of Medieval Architecture delivered at the Royal Academy (John Murray, London, 1879), vol. I, p. 76, vol. II, p. 250.

Royal Albert Hall, second design - City of Westminster - 905

When it became clear that there would be no funds available for the hall because of Scott’s elaborate memorial design, instead of letting matters drop Cole, always ready for a challenge, started thinking of something even grander. He proposed that the hall should be a massive affair, seating 15,000 people, financed by the sale of debentures entitling free admission. He had a scheme drawn up showing a straight-sided amphitheatre surrounded by flats, shops and galleries to generate income. Cole discussed this with Scott in March 1864 and suggested that Scott should design the exterior and become a member of a committee to design the interior.

This was not an arrangement that Scott would have relished. Nevertheless, in June 1864, he produced a design in the Gothic style of his first Government Offices design showing a rectangular block of offices surrounding, but somewhat detached, from the amphitheatre. He then discovered that Cole wanted to limit the offices to the front facing the memorial and that the rest of the building would be designed by Fowke. Scott made three attempts before producing a design which Cole felt was good enough to show the Prince of Wales and Cole must have been delighted when, in late 1864, he discovered that his scheme to sell seats was so successful that there was no need for the office block. Cole, like many of Scott’s clerical clients, had used Scott’s name to promote his scheme and in February 1865, after its success, his name disappeared from the prospectus.

Captain Fowke assumed responsibility for all aspects of the design of the hall but in the summer of 1865 his health collapsed, presumably from overwork. He died the following December at the age of forty-two and the hall passed to his superior, Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Young Darracott Scott of the Royal Engineers. Scott was not even considered after Fowke’s death and he seemed to be expressing some regret when he says that, ‘My design for the Albert Hall was I think worthy of more consideration than it received’. But with the likelihood of Cole constantly yapping at his heels, Scott seems to have had a luck escape from what has been called the ‘Cole-hole’.

Sheppard, F. H. (ed.), Survey of London, The Museums Area of South Kensington and Westminster, volume XXXVIII (Athlone Press, London 1975), pp. 179-83.
Scott’s Recollections, III 263-4.
Bayley, S., The Albert Memorial, The Monument in Its Social and Architectural Context (Scolar, 1981), p. 30.

Royal Courts of Justice - City of Westminster - 906

On 11 July 1872, Scott wrote, ‘I now have to chronicle a great failure’. The Law Courts, along with the Hamburg Rathaus, the Berlin Parliament building and the Gothic Foreign Office, was another great scheme never to leave the drawing board. He says that the design had been the ‘effort of three quarters of a year’, which resulted in a submission of thirty-eight drawings. So in spite of his earlier resolutions, he again allowed himself to be sucked into another enormous project. As this was to be the most important building in London after the Houses of Parliament, personal pride may have been an important factor in his involvement. But when the competition was finally launched on 30 April 1866, the decision to enter may have stemmed from the real threat, at that time, that St. Pancras would never materialise and thus deprive him of his only chance to build a large building in his personal style in London.

For centuries Westminster Hall had been the home of English justice, but by the middle of the nineteenth century, although new courts were added to the hall, reforms to the legal system and the appointment of more judges meant that the hall was still inadequate. New courts were consequently set up half a mile to the east, in the hall of Lincoln’s Inn, which must have been much more convenient for the barristers with their chambers in the Inns of Court. In December 1858, Scott was commissioned to produce a design, which he said would cost approximately £52,000, showing a new courtroom building on the site of some old chambers in the middle of the Old Square of Lincoln's Inn. The design appeared in the Parliamentary Papers on 18 April 1859. Manners was the First Commissioner of Works at the time and Scott was probably involved in this proposal because of Manners liking for Scott's High Victorian style. However, the move to confront Parliament with a highly sophisticated and worked out scheme by the country's foremost Gothic exponent, suggests the hand of the devious Grimthorpe, who was a leading member of the Inn. Scott proposed to demolish some decayed seventeenth century chambers on the west side of the chapel and attach a building, in his personal style, to both the late Gothic chapel of 1623 and the Old Hall of 1492. But his design was an ungainly affair with two courtrooms and their offices separated from a third courtroom across a carriage court. It is not surprising that his Lincoln's Inn Law Courts was not one of Scott's best efforts. It was produced at the time that he was frantically trying to complete his detailed drawings for the Foreign Office for Manners before the Government fell. But in July 1859, both Manners and his Lincoln's Inn scheme disappeared from the scene with the fall of Derby's Government, like his hopes for a Gothic Foreign Office.

In view of the appalling record of public competitions, it is amazing that, in April 1866, the Government decided to hold a competition for the design of a new building to house all the law courts. Again, the suspicion is that Hunt was influential in providing his old friend with another opportunity to bid for an important public building. As early as 1845, Barry had suggested that a new Law Courts might be in the medieval style, so there was to be no ‘Battle of the Styles’. Since the Foreign Office affair, Scott had come to be recognised as the leading medievalist and was therefore in an excellent position to win the proposed competition. Scott's prospects were even further improved in June 1865, when Hunt became a Commissioner in a new Royal Commission, which was set up under the chairmanship of the Lord Chancellor, to advise the Treasury on the design of the new building. Cowper as First Commissioner of Works was an ex officio Royal Commissioner and he probably nominated Hunt because of the expertise that he had already demonstrated over the site costs. Hunt regularly attended the Works Committee of the Royal Commission, and there is no doubt that he played an important role in shaping the forthcoming competition.

In December 1865 the Royal Commission, in an effort to avoid some of the previous problems, announced that five amateurs would be appointed as judges who would select six architects to enter the competition. The judges were to be three M.P.s, and two lawyers. Scott, with some justification, could have assumed that the M.P.s would be favourably disposed towards him as the chairman was to be Cowper, whom Scott felt if ‘left to himself’, would have preferred his Gothic Foreign Office. Another M.P. was William Stirling, whom Scott acknowledges in his Recollections as one of M.P.s who ‘stuck nobly by me’ in the Foreign Office affair, and the third M.P. was William Gladstone, the Chancellor of Exchequer. Gladstone had written that Hawarden Church had been ‘admirably rebuilt and restored’ by Scott after the fire of 1857. But in spite of having read Scott's Remarks, he seems to have thought of him as more as a church architect than a designer of secular buildings and made no effort to help Scott during his battle against his chief, Lord Palmerston. Scott continued working for Gladstone's family and in 1872 he designed a fine alabaster reredos for Hawarden Church, for Gladstone's son, the Rector of Hawarden. The lawyer judges were the Attorney General, Sir Roundell Palmer (1812-1895) and the Lord Chief Justice, Sir Alexander Cockburn (1802-1880).

The five judges met on 19 February 1866, and on the following day Cowper announced in Parliament that they had chosen Edward Barry, P. C. Hardwick, Scott, Street, Waterhouse and Thomas Henry Wyatt, to enter the competition, with Raphael Brandon and Thomas Deane respectively, as the first and second alternatives. This announcement was widely reported in the press and on 27 February the Government sent out the official invitations to the eight architects. Each competitor would be paid £800, except the winner who would be employed as architect on the new building. The submission date was to be 15 December 1866. On receiving their invitations both Hardwick and Wyatt declined because of professional engagements, so the two reserves took their places. But Scott and Barry soon followed, protesting against a clause in the Treasury's conditions of employment, which stated that the winning architect should not accept new work requiring their personal superintendence for the first three years. Clearly such a stipulation would have been completely impracticable for Scott, particularly as he had just been approached by the Dean and Chapter of Bangor to report on their cathedral. So with the original eight now reduced to four, the judges’ added George Somers Clarke and Garling, with John Gibson and Seddon as reserves. But even this was not the answer, as Clarke also declined.

The confusion as to who to invite to enter the competition was brought to the notice of the House of Commons and on 22 March it decided that the number of competitors should be increased. On the following day, the Treasury dropped the three-year clause and Scott and Barry withdrew their objections to entering. On 17 April, the Commissioners decided that twelve would be a more appropriate number of competitors; Seddon was promoted to a full competitor and the names of Lockwood, Burges and Abraham were added to the list. The inclusion of Henry Robert Abraham may have been an acknowledgement of a layout that he had already made for law courts on a site in Cary Street, although his brother-in-law Lord Westbury, a former Attorney General, was probably behind his inclusion. Garling’s nomination was obviously an effort to compensate him for the loss of the War Office in the Government Offices Competition, where his classical design had been largely well received.

The bias in favour of Gothic was evident in the choice of competitors. Abraham had designed Middle Temple Library was in that style, while Street, Waterhouse, Deane, Burges, Seddon, Brandon and, of course, Scott, were all recognised Gothic practitioners. Only Barry, Gibson, Lockwood and Garling would have been expected to submit classical designs, and Gibson's withdrawal from the competition on 31 July, meant that there was now a ratio of eight to three in favour of Gothic. Gibson had probably realised that his elegant classicism stood little chance of success against the obvious stylistic bias of the judges, but stated that pressure of work would make it impossible for him to do justice to the subject imposed by ‘the unprecedented and increasing size of the drawings and conditions’.

Scott wrote:

The instructions were beyond all precedents in voluminousness and the arrangements were beyond all conception complicated and difficult - which was enhanced by the insufficiency of the site. Every conceivable department of law had to be studied & its officers consulted over & over again.

Scott was elected by the other competitors to be their chairman and to speak to the Government on their behalf. It is a clear indication of the status enjoyed by Scott in his profession that some of its most eminent practitioners should chose him to be their leader. He was very much the elder statesman of the group. In fact, at fifty-four years old, he was the oldest, apart from Abraham. Several of the group, such as Street and Burges were his personal friends, while he must have known others, such as Barry and Seddon through either the Institute or the Royal Academy. Waterhouse, although personally not so well known to Scott, was an admirer and disciple of his work and studied and sketched his buildings. The panel of judges changed dramatically, on 26 June 1866, when the Liberal Government resigned over the Reform Bill. Gladstone, Cowper and Palmer were out of office, and Manners returned as First Commissioner of Works in Derby's new Government. Cowper remained as chairman of the judges, but Scott's position was given a considerable boost with his old champion, Manners, back at the Office of Works.

It was immediately clear, as Scott had said, that the site was too small and although the Commission conceded that extra land would be required, the architects felt that still further land was needed to properly accommodate their designs. The Treasury eventually agreed to permit a considerable extension but it would not allow the acquisition of land to only ‘add to the effect of the designs of the competing Architects’. The site was not finally settled until 9 July. Consequently the architects, with the exception of Brandon, Street and Scott, wrote to the Office of Works asking for an extension of time. Scott wrote separately. Hunt recommended an extension until 1 March 1867 but was overruled by the Treasury, and only one month's extra time, until 15 January 1867, was allowed. Scott said that:

I think it took me from April to September to get up my information & throw it into anything like a shape - and at length I succeeded in packing together in what I had reason to think a good form every room required to the amount I should think of some thousands - We were told that arrangement alone was to settle the competition so I neglected the architectural work till a late period.

Scott may have had something of an advantage over most of his fellow competitors by having produced the Lincoln's Inn design but this was outweighed by the advantage that Abraham held from having produced a preliminary design which was considered so important that a copy was sent to the competitors. However, it was probably Waterhouse who held the greatest advantage. Not only had he been chosen because of his Manchester Assize Courts, but as Architectural Clerk to the Royal Commission, he had prepared the list of accommodation requirements for the Law Courts. Inevitably he had to resign as Clerk, after less than one month, so that he could enter the competition.

Waterhouse's Assize Courts exemplified the ideas of a barrister, Thomas Webster (1810-1875) who, in the previous November, had read a paper to the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science advocating the planning of law courts with concentric circles of separate circulations. Copies of the paper were also added to the voluminous information sent to the competitors. Scott felt that if he and his fellow competitors had realised the magnitude of the task, ‘we might well have shrunk back’, but he was driven by ‘the grandeur of the undertaking’. Although he ‘embarked on it vigorously on the very day after I agreed to join the competition, I have ever since been hard at work upon it, often giving to it eight hours or more a day for many days together’. He was clearly propelled by the ‘nobleness of the project’, as he calls it, as it would be far more appropriate for his architectural aspirations than the utilitarian St. Pancras, which might not have happened anyway.

In an effort to ensure that the judges were not seduced by flashy presentation, the conditions stipulated that the plans and elevations were to be on white paper and tinted, at most, in sepia, without sky or foreground. Scott typically ignored these strictures and enlisted the help of Thomas Allom (1804-1872) to produce a dazzling set of thirty-eight drawings, many of which were perspectives. Scott may also have been anxious to return to his firm commitments, such as the Albert Memorial, and to leave the presentation of his design in the expert hands of Allom but he was dissatisfied with the result. Some of the drawings, he felt, ‘were spoiled and vulgarized by bad colouring by which exquisite outline drawings were unhappily ruined’, while he had to face criticism when it became known that his submission was from the hand of Allom. He probably saw no difference in employing Allom to produce the drawings, than instructing an anonymous draughtsman in the office to do the work. A week before the designs were due to be submitted, Scott, clearly agitated about his scheme, suggested that the architects should be allowed to explain their designs personally. But nothing seems to have come from this suggestion.

The popularity of the Government Offices competition exhibition convinced the Royal Commission that a similar exhibition for the Law Courts would be equally popular and a temporary building was erected in Lincoln's Inn to receive the architects work on 15 January 1867. Over 250 drawings were submitted along with a model from Seddon. Before the exhibition opened on 8 February, the plans and elevations were photolithographed and made up into booklets for the use of the judges. Scott also produced an explanatory booklet and later, along with at least six of his fellow competitors, he distributed another book to influential personages. This was a grand folio volume containing nineteen photographs of perspectives and nineteen copies of the plans, elevations and sections.

Eleven years since the Government Offices Competition, this, at last, was the triumph of Gothic architecture over classical for public buildings. Scott must have felt some elation that his campaign for Gothic was finally successful. Of the eleven competitors, the three who might have been expected to produce classical schemes, Lockwood, Garling and Barry, all produced Gothic schemes, with only Garling submitting a round-arched alternative. Lockwood felt that Gothic ‘was peculiarly adapted’ for the special requirements of the Law Courts, while Barry as his father's successor on the Houses of Parliament, was a competent practitioner in the style. Beresford Hope, whose election as President of the Institute in 1865, seemed to signify the final triumph of Gothicists, commented that ‘not a single Italian architect was found to stand his gun’.

On 30 March, The Builder remarked that Scott's design ‘has been mainly founded’ on Webster's paper. Whether Scott was behind the circulation of this paper to the competitors is not clear, but he certainly knew Webster, who was a great nephew of the Commentator and Scott's second cousin. Scott acknowledged his use of Webster's concentric circles in his scheme, which had a domed central hall surrounded by an ambulatory, with the courts and offices forming an outer circle. This was the opportunity that Scott had been waiting for, to produce a really grand building appropriate to an important function. His architectural philosophy for public buildings seems to have been ideally suited to the programme. In the Remarks he says that stateliness may result when ‘a noble simplicity of general form’ is used with such features as open arcading, porticos, cornices and balustrades, by an architect with the appropriate ‘grandeur of sentiment’. But Scott failed his own test when the opportunity to produce this building finally appeared. He again attempted to place a tower in the centre of a long façade but this was at the rear where, because of the slope of the site, the frontage was at its lowest. The main entrance from the Strand was through a five-storied facade, where Scott provided smaller versions of the western towers of Lincoln Cathedral with cupolas as ventilating towers, on either side of an entrance portico. Although this facade was symmetrical, he probably realised that the narrow Strand could not provide a sufficiently grand approach and added a projecting portico over the entrance. This was one the best features of his design and, along with the domed central hall and the ambulatory, it ‘exceeded in merit anything I know of among modern designs’. The ambulatory was two storied and vaulted with little saucer domes which surrounded the central area of the building. Here Scott placed a big dome. He pointed out in his first lecture on domes in 1872, that with a dome:

If its height is limited to what looks thoroughly well from within, it is so low in its external aspect as to have little artistic value; while, if raised so high as to be an important external feature, it is only seen by a painful effort from within.

Here he regarded ‘the noblest of all forms by which a space can be covered’ as an internal feature and made no attempt to give it external prominence. Scott says that Layard, who was working with him on the sculpture of the Albert Memorial at the time, thought that Scott's design for the Law Courts was ‘one of the finest things he had ever seen’, but in reality it was hardly one of his best efforts. As he says, he was so overwhelmed by the planning conditions that he neglected the architectural work. The result lacks much of the flair of his earlier designs, and with the ‘noble simplicity’ of the Strand facade seeming close to dullness, he introduced an extensive amount of sculpture to relieve the ‘unadorned wall-face’. The Building News acidly commented that he must have been secretly assured of the result or he would not have entered the competition, as he ‘must surely feel by this time that his work has not kept pace with many of his confreres in quality’. Although the cards were certainly stacked in Scott's favour, and in spite of the amount of time that he devoted to his effort, he failed to produce a really worthy building in the style that he had devised for such an occasion. He failed exactly where he had been expected to succeed.

The deliberations of the judges was affected by Gladstone, Cowper and Palmer losing their positions with the change of Government in the summer of 1866 and the Royal Commission was re-constituted with the new political office-holders. Only personally named Commissioners, such as Hunt remained. However Beresford Hope, as in the Government Offices affair, was determined to keep the project in the public eye by using his role in Parliament, his journalism and now as President of the Institute. As early as March 1866, Hope had said in Parliament that there should be a ‘larger infusion of the artistic element, in the shape of architects’ among the judges and when the drawings were submitted in the following January, he renewed this request on behalf of the Institute, but to no avail. The judges worked with amazing speed to produce a decision before the end of the parliamentary session in August. After their fifth meeting on 29 July, Cowper, as chairman, wrote to the Treasury that they had been:

unable to select any one of the designs as best in all respects; but they are of the opinion that the design of Mr. Barry is best in regard to plan and distribution of the interior, and that the design of Mr. Street is the best in regard to merit as an architectural composition; and they recommend that an offer be made to those two architects to act conjointly in the preparation of the final plan …

How this extraordinary decision was reached remains a mystery and the Treasury were so dismayed with the judges’ decision that, without waiting for the official notification, it immediately asked the judges to reconsider. Scott said:

I at once protested against this as a palpable departure from their conditions which were not to take the sum of two men's merits & weigh them against the single merits of others but to weigh each man's merits one against another.

The Builder on 17 August was almost incredulous at the result and that rumour, ‘always busy when facts are held back’, suggests that the Treasury feels that the judges were not competent to name two architects, and it urged the Treasury to insist that the judges name one architect. It went on to assert that Scott had also protested to the Treasury. It said that ‘his plan cannot, even at the worst, be considered as less than second to Mr. Barry's, while his architecture is superior, and therefore in fairness he ought to have the award’, instead of the judges naming two. This was an appalling assertion, and Scott immediately wrote back with the disclaimer that:

The opinion said to have been offered by me as to my own claims and to my position in the competition would have been most unbecoming as proceeding from me, and I need hardly add was not expressed.

It is impossible to discover the source of what seems to have been an outrageous statement, but its effect was to force Scott to withdraw any claims about his own work and to throw his weight behind his friend Street, who had been upset by Scott's criticism of the award. Scott then wrote to the Government saying that ‘if the judges re-affirmed their decision I would abide by it’. The judges had all disappeared on their various holidays and it was not until 22 November 1867 that they could reassemble in London. They then reaffirmed their decision and Scott withdrew, promising not to re-enter the competition if it was reopened. So that was the end of the Law Courts for Scott.

Street and Barry were happy to work together, but the other competitors, particularly Waterhouse, demanded a single award. The feeling against the joint award became so intense that eventually the Attorney General was asked to rule on the matter. But it was not until 14 May that he reported; the joint award was not binding and neither competitor could claim any right to be employed. This left the Treasury free to appoint whom it liked and, after consultation with Mannners as First Commissioner, it appointed Street as architect of the new Law Courts on 9 June 1868. With Scott no longer in the running, Manners's choice of Street certainly conformed to his architectural leanings and Hunt, who had quietly boosted Scott’s chances, became the champion of Street in arguments with Ayrton over fees.

Numerous alterations and disputes meant that work on the new Law Courts did not start until May 1874. Less than one year before the opening of what had proved to be his finest building, Street died on 18 December 1881, at the age of fifty-seven. Two days later, Charles Baker King wrote a mournful letter to Irvine saying that Street ‘did not long survive his old master Sir Gilbert. I had always looked forward to him becoming Sir Edmund’. The Law Courts had brought Street acclaim and honours, but is generally agreed that they also killed him. Scott was amazingly portentous when he wrote in 1872 that:

If it would have been my lot (had I succeeded) to have suffered the bullying and abuse heaped upon Street I cannot regret my want of success. That which I had suffered 8 years before in respect of the Government offices was quite as much as I could then bear.

Scott’s Recollections, II 189, III 216, 242-5, 247-8, 252-4.
Brownlee, D., The Law Courts. The Architecture of George Edmund Street (M.I.T. Press, Cambridge Mass. and London, 1984), pp. 51, 63-4, 78, 80, 82, 84-6, 88, 90, 98-100, 102, 138, 152-4, 156-8, 161, 164, 289, 297, 364, 385.
Lincoln’s Inn, Black Book V, p. 75.
House of Lords Session Papers, 1859, Sess 1, Vol III, p. 119.
Ferriday, P., Lord Grimthorpe 1816-1905 (John Murray, London, 1957), pp. 69, 128.
Royal Commission for Historic Monuments (East), London West (1925), p. 48.
Cunningham, P., Handbook for London (John Murray, 1849), p. 482.
Tyack, G., Sir James Pennethorne and the Making of Victorian London (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1992), p. 282.
New Law Courts 1865-70 (B.A.L.), pp. 258, 265, 292, 397.
Pritchard, T. W., St Deniols Church, Harwarden (Much Wenlock, 1997), p. 9.
The Builder, XXIV, 24 February 1866, p. 135.
Port, M. H., ‘The New Law Courts Competition 1866-67’, Architectural History, 11, 1968, pp. 82-5, 87, 90.
Cunningham, C., and Waterhouse, P., Alfred Waterhouse, 1830-1905: Biography of a Practice (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1992), pp. 31, 189, plates 9-10.
Magnus, P., Gladstone, a Biography (Murray, London, 1963), p. 181.
The Builder, XXV, 30 March 1867, p. 223.
The Builder, XXV, 2 February 1867, p. 70.
Scott, T. (ed.) ‘The Chronicles of Eight Men’ (unpublished family history, n.d. circa 1992, Aylesbury Local Studies Collection), p. 85.
Scott, G. G., Remarks on Secular and Domestic Architecture, Present and Future (John Murray, London, 2nd ed. 1858), p. 206.
Scott, G., Sir, Lectures on the Rise and Development of Medieval Architecture delivered at the Royal Academy (John Murray, London, 1879), Vol. II, pp. 229, 246.
The Builder, XXV, 17 August 1867, p. 607.
The Builder, XXV, 24 August 1867, p. 630.
Scott Papers, Royal Commission for Historic Monuments (South) Edinburgh, MS 28 Box IX.
Dixon, R., and Muthesius, S., Victorian Architecture (Thames and Hudson, London, 1978), p. 172.

As early as 1862, Cowper had prepared a book of instructions, which evolved into a massive Instructions for Competing Architects with fifty-seven paragraphs, sixty-six schedules, along with the Commission's minutes, several special reports, including one from the Fire Department, copies of the relevant Acts of Parliament, the reports of seven parliamentary investigations, and an undertaking that existing courts would be made available for inspection. All this was revised five times and eventually settled on 17 April 1866. The much quoted ‘The instructions were unprecedented in voluminousness’, is a amendment by George Gilbert junior in the published Recollections (p. 273).

Hungerford Market - City of Westminster - 907

After four years of training, Scott ‘now entered upon the second stage’ of his professional career. He does not appear to have been particularly shy of using his somewhat meagre professional contacts to advance his position. ‘I obtained many introductions to architects & several of whom gave me good advice varying with their particular practice or antecedents’. Through his Maddox connections, Scott obtained an introduction to Morton Peto, who ‘had just left’ when Scott started at Maddox's. Sir Samuel Morton Peto Bt., as he was to become, was one of the great figures of the nineteenth century building world. He had been apprenticed to his uncle Henry Peto, one of the builders, in 1826, of John Nash's Park Crescent and succeeded to the business with his cousin, Thomas Grissell, in 1830. One of the first major works of the new firm was the reconstruction of the run-down vegetable market, which in the seventeenth century had been built on the site of the Hungerford family house, between The Strand and the River Thames. Plans were drawn up by Charles Fowler, who had already rebuilt Covent Garden Market, for a magnificent classical design with Italianate piazzas at two levels surrounded by Doric colonnades, separated by a large market hall. The site was very awkward, 475 feet long and only 126 feet wide with a drop in level from The Strand down to the river of approximately twenty feet. In fact the whole area was excavated, providing two stories of vaults at The Strand end. Grissell and Peto ‘specially stationed’ Scott at Hungerford Market.

The foundation stone had been laid on 18 June 1831, so Scott was able to follow the construction of this massive project almost from the outset. Fowler's use of the latest construction methods particularly impressed Scott, particularly the ‘Iron girders Yorkshire landings, roofs of platforms of tiles in cement & columns of granite’. Uppermost in Fowler's mind would have been the need to have elaborate foundations because of the poor soil where the market fronted on to the River Thames. His late employer, David Laing (1774-1856), had been disgraced in 1825, when part of his Custom House on the river-bank collapsed. The ‘Yorkshire landings’, to which Scott refers, were foundations for poor soil, where York stone slabs were placed on top of raft foundations along the intended line of the walls and jointed by iron chains. It is perhaps significant that throughout his career, where Scott had to construct buildings on poor load bearing soil, such as his Hamburg church and the Government Offices, he took extraordinary precautions to ensure that the foundations would not fail. He had access to Fowler's working drawings, ‘some of the best and most perspicious I have ever seen’, and was allowed to take them back to study them at his lodgings at Warwick Court, Holborn. However, Peto found that Scott's detailed scrutiny of his work, particularly his pricing of labour and material, to be a growing embarrassment and ‘It became necessary that I should be doing something for my living’. He thus left Grissell and Peto after only a few hectic months and long before the great market was completed in June 1833. He had learnt much about the methods of large building contractors on difficult sites and the relationship between the architects drawings and specifications with the actual building process, and had again made some useful contacts. Henry Arthur Hunt was a young surveyor working for Grissell and Peto on the market and was subsequently to play a particularly important role in Scott’s career.

Hungerford Market was never a success. A large exhibition hall was added in 1851, but this failed to revive its fortunes and in August 1862, it was demolished for the construction of Charing Cross Railway Station.

Scott’s Recollections, I 213, 240, 248, 250-3.
Physick, J., and Darby, M., ‘Marble Halls’, Drawings and Models for Victorian Secular Buildings (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1973), p. 26.
Shepherd, T., London in the Nineteenth Century (Bracken Books, London 1983), p. 52.
Architectural Magazine, Vol. I, 6 April 1834, pp. 53-6.
Architectural Magazine, Vol. V, July 1838, p. 309.
Murray, [King, R. J.], Handbook to the Cathedrals of England, Southern Division Part I, Winchester, Salisbury, Exeter, Wells (John Murray, London, 1861), p. 402.
Clunn, H., The Face of the Home Counties etc. (Simpkin Marshall, London, 1936), pp. 116-17.

St Margaret's - City of Westminster - 908

Scott’s restoration of the church was started in 1877 and was incomplete at the time of his death in 1878, carried out for Sir Henry Hunt and R. F. W. Palgrave. Scott’s most noticeable work was in the interior. He removed all the eighteenth and early nineteenth century woodwork including the pews and galleries, striped down the walls which were cleaned and repaired, he provided new fittings and a new roof. The window tracery was restored and he donated £60 for a new aisle window.

Statue of Charles I, Charing Cross - City of Westminster - 909

Scott completed repairs to the pedestal of the statue in 1855-6. £1000 had been voted by Parliament to secure the pedestal and foundation, but it was noted that a ‘considerable smaller’ sum was actually needed.

Hansard, 1857, Vol. 145, 3rd Series, Column 299, Lord Stanley of Alderney, House of Lords, in reply to Lord Montague, Friday 15 May, 1857.

St Margaret's, Uxbridge - Hillingdon - 922

Scott carried out a general restoration here in 1871-2, including replacing the windows and carrying out a reseating.


Lincoln's Inn Court design - Camden - 930

For centuries Westminster Hall had been the home of English justice, but by the middle of the nineteenth century, although new courts were added to the hall, reforms to the legal system and the appointment of more judges meant that the hall was still inadequate. New courts were consequently set up half a mile to the east, in the hall of Lincoln’s Inn, which must have been much more convenient for the barristers with their chambers in the Inns of Court. In December 1858 Scott was commissioned to produce a design, which he said would cost approximately £52,000, showing a new courtroom building on the site of some old chambers in the middle of the Old Square of Lincoln's Inn. The design appeared in the Parliamentary Papers on 18 April 1859. Manners was the First Commissioner of Works at the time and Scott was probably involved in this proposal because of Manners liking for Scott's High Victorian style. However, the move to confront Parliament with a highly sophisticated and worked out scheme by the country's foremost Gothic exponent, suggests the hand of the devious Grimthorpe, who was a leading member of the Inn. Scott proposed to demolish some decayed seventeenth century chambers on the west side of the chapel and attach a building, in his personal style, to both the late Gothic chapel of 1623 and the Old Hall of 1492. But his design was an ungainly affair with two courtrooms and their offices separated from a third courtroom across a carriage court. It is not surprising that his Lincoln's Inn Law Courts was not one of Scott's best efforts. It was produced at the time that he was frantically trying to complete his detailed drawings for the Foreign Office for Manners before the Government fell. But in July 1859, both Manners and his Lincoln's Inn scheme disappeared from the scene with the fall of Derby's Government, like his hopes for a Gothic Foreign Office.

Brownlee, D. B., The Law Courts, The Architecture of George Edmund Street (M.I.T. Press, Cambridge Mass. and London, 1984), pp. 51, 64.
Lincoln’s Inn, Black Book V, p. 75.
House of Lords Session Papers, 1859, Sess 1, Vol III, p. 119.
Ferriday, P., Lord Grimthorpe 1816-1905 (John Murray, London, 1957), pp. 69, 128.
Cunningham, P., Handbook for London (Murray, 1849), p. 482.
Royal Commission for Historic Monuments (East), London West (1925), p. 48.