1. 01. Family
  2. 02. Chronology
  3. 03. Gazetteer
  4. 04. Styles
  5. 05. People
  6. 06. Search
  7. 07. About this site
  8. 08. Contact

St Mary's - Arnold

Scott restored the church in 1868-9, partially rebuilding the tower at the west end. General repairs were also carried out at a cost of £4000, adjusting the walls and piers which were no longer upright. The gallery was removed and windows replaced, including the east window. In 1843, the church had been specified by Eccles as a model for colonial churches.

St Mary and All Saints - Bingham

Between 1845-9, Scott carried out a ‘complete restoration’ at this church for the Rev. Robert Miles, restoring the nave and chancel. This included repaving the nave floor in black and white marble, reseating and renewing windows and tracery. There is a rainwater head on the east side of the tower with the initials ‘GS 1849’, commemorating the completion of the restoration.

School and attached house - Bingham

At the same time that he was working on the church in 1845-6, Scott, in conjunction with Moffat, designed a school with a house attached for the incumbent, the Rev. Robert Miles. It is in Tudor style with diaper brickwork and is now used as a hall.

St Peter's - Clayworth

Scott planned a restoration and refitting of this church, with a drawing in his Drawing Collection (p. 26), but this was carried out in 1874-5 by his son, John Oldrid, under Scott’s supervision.

St Giles's - Costock

Scott ‘heavily’ restored this church, according to Pevsner, in 1862-3. He pulled down and rebuilt the west end and restored the nave and chancel. He also renewed the roof, covering it in slates. He added a new west window and replaced the south window with a copy of the original.


St Peter's - Gamston

This church was restored by Scott in 1855 with general repairs and refitting, including the addition of a new tall rood stair turret giving the church a picturesque exterior.

St Mary's - Lowdham

Scott restored this church in 1859-61. It was described at the time as:

in a dilapidated state owing to insufficient reparation & the gradual decay of the fabric ... the gallery which is, of course, to be removed ... the greater part of the open seats and pews is in a wretched state of decay, that the gallery though furnishing additional accommodation is yet a source of great annoyance to those who have sitting under it and that the whole church needs the most thorough renovation ... roofs and interior long dilapidated, internal walls badly plastered, disfigured by high backed pews and a gallery. Pews and gallery now swept away, open benches give more floor space, archways opened in tower below belfry door, decorated tracery added to new clerestory windows, chancel arches reopened forming vestry and organ recess on the site of former mortuary chapel that probably belonged to the Lowdham and Broughton families, plastering removed from walls and face of stone has been dressed and pointed, new roof added of proper pitch, nave and aisle roofs have been restored, large tomb within altar rails removed with consent of family, floor inlaid with acaustic tile at the expense of the vicar, restoration cost about £1000 of which £700 was provided by Earl Manvers as lay impropriator.

For the provision of forty-two seats for the poor, a grant of £50 was made from the ICBS.


Kelham House - Kelham

The fateful decision by Manners to employ Scott on the Foreign Office, which led to so much anguish, was, it seems, prompted by a design that Scott was preparing for Manners' second cousin, John Henry Manners-Sutton (1822-98), for the reconstruction of Kelham Hall. This stands on the river Trent, just outside Newark in Nottinghamshire. Here in Newark, in 1855, Scott had addressed a combined meeting of the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire architectural societies, as he was completing his restoration of the town's church.

Scott, however, did not discuss the church restoration but told his audience in a particularly forthright manner of his concern for the present state of secular architecture and asked for a return to the old traditional ways of building. It is not certain if Manners-Sutton was in the audience that heard Scott proclaim the suitability of Gothic for secular buildings, but it is quite certain that Manners-Sutton was dissatisfied with Kelham Hall. In 1843 he had commissioned Anthony Salvin to turn his eighteenth century house into something more fashionable for the period.

Salvin produced a scheme to transform the house into a Jacobean style mansion, and £9,000 was spent between 1844 and 1846. Manners-Sutton was still not satisfied with the alterations and, after Scott's address at Newark, he called in Scott who seems to have had no misgivings in superseding his friend Salvin. Scott was carrying out various alterations when on the night of 26 November 1857, the whole house, apart from Salvin’s new service wing, went up in flames.

Scott was probably instructed to prepare designs for a new mansion very soon after the fire, and as the first edition of the Remarks had just appeared, it must have seemed amazingly fortuitous that he was now given the opportunity to put into practice the ideas that he was advocating in the book to such an influential, and apparently wealthy, client. As a local landowner, Manners-Sutton held considerable sway over the 1,600 voters of Newark, and at the 1841 General Election he was able to give his cousin, Lord John Manners, his first step in his long political career by persuading the voters of Newark to elect him as their M.P. But at the General Election in July 1847, Lord John stood aside to allow Manners-Sutton himself to become one of the Members for Newark. This resulted in Lord John being out of Parliament for three years. Manners-Sutton's own political career was less distinguished than that of his cousin and he seems to have decided to stand down at the 1857 General Election to become a country gentleman and to return to his ideas of improving Kelham.

Kelham Hall is the largest and most spectacular mansion that Scott ever built. Whether his appointment came through his connection with Lord John Manners or his views on secular architecture as expressed in the Newark address or in his Remarks is not clear, but it seems that Manners-Sutton was anxious to make a grand display of opulence. He probably employed Scott as the only Gothic architect of the day whom he felt could turn his classical mansion into something appropriate to his own dignity and his station in society.

The apparent death of the Foreign Office scheme in August 1857 meant that Scott could turn his attention to remodelling Kelham, and with the fire two months later, he was thankfully able to avoid any chance of producing another hybrid like Brownsover. The design of the new house was worked out in 1858 and Scott's office started to produce the numerous working drawings required in January 1859. The contractors appointed were the well-known London firm of William Cubitt & Co., of Gray's Inn Road. Cubitt attended the meeting at the Office of Works on 24 March 1859, when tendering arrangements for the Foreign Office were discussed, where he not only met his rivals for the work but Scott was also present. It must have been very soon after this meeting that Cubitt was awarded the contract for Kelham, so perhaps Scott had told him about the large and elaborate house that he was designing and Cubitt asked to be considered for the work. Cubitt also probably knew Manners-Sutton as they both entered Parliament at the 1847 General Election as Liberal Conservatives. Otherwise it would seem unlikely that an organisation such as Cubitt's would have wanted to become involved in a single country house, however big and ornate, so far from London. But for Scott there were obvious advantages in reviving his connection with the, by then, influential Cubitt, who apart from continuing as an M.P. until his death in 1863, was set to become Lord Mayor of London in 1860. Perhaps most significantly in the progress of Scott's career, it was William Cubitt who, after the death of Prince Albert in December 1861, took the initiative to call a meeting to discuss the provision of a public memorial for the Prince.

Another appointment which had future implications for Scott was the recruitment of Joseph Sheffield as Clerk of Works for Kelham. He was clearly so dependable that after his spell on the Foreign Office he supervised the construction of St. Mary Abbots, Kensington, ending up with a total of thirteen years as one of Scott's Clerks of Works.

The foundations of Kelham Hall were laid in April 1859 and it took more than two years to build. It is built of red bricks from Retford, to the north of Kelham, with stone dressings from the famous quarries at Ancaster, which are twelve miles to the south-east. Many of the details are repeated from the Gothic Government Offices designs, including alternating voissoirs to the window arches, stone balconies and balustrades, a strongly emphasised cornice with a variegated roof-line and a variety of window traceries.

Scott seems to have been determined to use as much of his High Victorian vocabulary as was possible on Kelham. But it is perhaps the application of a public building scale to a domestic structure which makes it seem so much smaller than it actually is. Its massive form completely dwarfs the modestly scaled earlier and later structures which adjoin it on the north side. Even the smallest bedroom is twenty feet square and the cloistered carriage forecourt, which has a glass roof, has been described as ‘rather like a station forecourt, 58 ft square and large enough for two or three carriages to turn in’.

Scott produced a picturesque composition with an informal arrangement of towers, gables and chimneys, to harmonise with the idyllic riverside landscape in which the house is set. This was enhanced when the road to Southwell was diverted away from the river bank to the other side of the house. The sheer size of the house, particularly its height, gives it the requirements of dignity, as set down in the Remarks, and it can be seen for miles around. Scott also provided designs for a variety of features on the estate. These included an entrance lodge, a pavilion, an alcove, a barn and stables, and walls and terraces. A gas works was specially built to serve the house and its spare capacity also gave street lighting to the village of Kelham. As well as the gas lighting, Scott provided Manners-Sutton with many of the other modern conveniences of the time. Central heating was installed, a luggage lift was provided, and presumably because of the fire in 1857, the building was made entirely fire-proof. All the rooms have either ceilings of vaulted brickwork, iron beams with arched brick infill, or thick unreinforced plaster vaults provided by C. C. & A. Dennett of Nottingham. This was the first time that Scott employed this firm, but he obviously liked their product as he used it on the Foreign Office in 1866 and throughout the Home and Colonial Offices in 1870.

Scott tried to ensure a successful outcome by employing some of his favourite craftsmen. Francis Ruddle signed a contract for the provision of internal finishings on 23 April 1860, and William Brindley carried out a considerable amount of carving. Brindley's work is most noticeable in the Music Hall, which is the grandest space in the house. It goes through two stories, with a double height screen of pointed arches along one side where the first floor corridor emerges as a gallery overlooking the hall. All the surfaces throughout the more public parts of the house were painted or stencilled with medieval inspired motifs, but many have since disappeared. Scott even designed some of the furniture including a writing table for a bedroom and bookcases. In its heyday the whole interior must have been a dazzling display of opulence. It is difficult to know how much personal involvement Scott had with Kelham. Certainly before he was awarded the Foreign Office commission he probably gave this work considerable attention. But after November 1858, the Foreign Office took priority and the job of supplying the vast number of drawings required, it seems, went to Bignell at Spring Gardens.

In the end Kelham cost £40,000, but it was all too lavish; the clock tower never received its clock, and some parts, particularly the conservatory, were never built. Manners-Sutton, in spite of owning a vast estate, ran into debt and at the time of Scott's death, £63 in outstanding fees were written off as a bad debt by Scott's executors. After failing to make his mark as a politician, Manners-Sutton's aspirations to acquire the trappings of landed gentry had ended in ignominy. It is now the headquarters of Newark and Sherwood District Council.

Today Kelham Hall is considered to be Scott's best mansion, and he was clearly proud of it as part of his development of a secular style. ‘In domestic architecture I do think that I struck out a variety eminently practical & thoroughly suited to the wants & habits of the day’.

Scott, G. G., Remarks on Secular and Domestic Architecture, Present and Future (John Murray, London, 2nd ed. 1858), pp. 1, 5.
Allibone, J., Anthony Salvin, Pioneer of Gothic Revival Architecture (Lutterworth Press, Cambridge, 1988), p. 168.
Parliamentary Papers, 1857-8, (417) XI, l.q. 1027.
Vincent, J., and Stenton, M., (eds), McCalmonts’ Parliamentary Poll Book, British Election Results 1832-1918 (The Harvester Press, Brighton, 1971), p. 209.
Whibley, C., Lord John Manners and his Friends (Blackwood, Edinburgh and London, 1925), p. 95.
Girouard, M., The Victorian Country House (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1979), pp. 225- 7.
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), 39 [b], 40 [b], 42 [a & b], 49 [a].
Pevsner, N. and Williamson, E., Nottinghamshire, Buildings of England (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1979), p. 152.
Franklin, J., The Gentlemen’s Country House and its plan, 1835-1914 (Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, Boston and Henley, 1981), pp. 76-7.
The Building News, VII, 28 June 1861, p. 543.
Eastlake, C. L., A History of the Gothic Revival, Mordaunt-Crook, J. (ed.), (Leicester University Press, Leicester, 1978), p. 99.
RIBA Drawings Collection, Ledger of Scott’s Office, 1875-1914, p. 57.
Bennett, F., and Stobbs, G., Kelham Hall, a Family and a House (Newark and Sherwood District Council, Newark, 1980), p. 38.
Scott’s Recollections, II 271.

Gravestone for John Thomas Manners - Kelham

In 1864 Scott probably designed the gravestone to John Thomas Manners, 2nd Baron Manners, in St Wilfrid's Church. It is a red granite slab with an incised cross on a grey granite base with iron railings surrounding it, extremely similar to the gravestone of his son, Albert Henry, at Petersham.

St Mary Magdalene's - Newark-on-Trent

This church was subject to a major restoration by Scott between 1852-6. His clerk of works was James M. Johnson and the builder was J. J. Fast of Melton Mowbray. His work included, as well as reseating and general repairs, a new tile floor, repairing the tower and spire, removing the gallery and adding a spiral stair from the porch for access to the library instead of from the gallery. He also designed a reredos depicting scenes from the life of Mary Magdalene, gates to the chancel aisles which were put up in 1872, a sedilia and his name is inscribed on the Gilstrap memorial window in the south nave aisle which was executed by A. Gerente in 1869.


St Mary's - Nottingham

Scott and Moffatt's connection with Nottingham seems to have started as early as 1840, which is the date of a print showing their proposals for remodelling the west front of the principal church of the city, St. Mary's. This is a very big cruciform church in an ornate fourteenth to fifteenth century Perpendicular style, with a sumptuous Decorated south porch. However, in 1762, the west front was rebuilt as an entirely classical composition. Scott and Moffatt's proposal was to remove this and replace it with a front based on the medieval parts of the church, using a replica of the front of the south porch as the west door, surmounted by another replica of the great north transept window. In the event, it was not until 1845 that work started, presumably due to the usual delay of raising the £9000 funds needed and was planned in conjunction with Cottingham and Robert Jelland of Nottingham. In the meantime, the central tower was declared unsafe so, in 1843, Scott found himself again having to secure the central tower of a medieval church. When the partnership was dissolved at the end of 1845, Moffatt took over the underpinning of the tower and the reconstruction of the west front completing it in 1848, perhaps to Scott's relief. It was probably Moffatt's design from the outset, as it is in the late Gothic style which seems to have become his favourite style. He also provided new fittings, which Scott, perhaps with some satisfaction, removed to replace with more appropriate work in the 1870's.

Colvin, H., A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1995), p. 498.
Pevsner, N. and Williamson, E., Nottinghamshire, Buildings of England (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1979), p. 221.
Scott’s Recollections, II 81.

St Mary's Second Restoration - Nottingham

Scott carried out a second restoration report in 1865 and general repairs and reseating in 1866-7.

St Mary's refitting - Nottingham

Scott carried out repairs to the chancel roof of this church in 1871-2, with designs for new choir stalls, organ case and a pulpit to commemorate the visit of the Church Congress at the same time (Drawings Collection, RIBA, p. 63).

St John the Baptist's, Leenside - Nottingham

Probably leading on from their work on St. Mary's, the partners were commissioned to design a new church in 1841, at Leenside in the southern part of the city. It was a ‘high’ church and was very big and loomed over ‘some of the worst slums in England’, but it had a fully developed chancel and the detail was much richer and more sophisticated than in Scott’s earlier works. Scott was moving towards the aims of the Ecclesiologists. Built from Coxbench stone for a cost of £3607, it had a bell turret and as a Commissioners Church had 802 free seats. It was destroyed during the Second World War in May 1941.

Nottingham Journal, Truman, N., ‘The Story of a Blitzed Church’, 27 December 1941.

St John the Baptist's, Chilwell Road, Beeston - Nottingham

At Beeston, four miles to the west of Nottingham, the old church was too decayed to retain and so apart from the fifteenth century chancel, it was all demolished. The new ‘high’ church was started in 1843 and consecrated the following year. The church was built to seat 800 and cost approximately £3,500, of which £3,100 was raised by public subscription. The style was based on that of the late Gothic chancel, and thus it hardly conformed to the ideas of the Ecclesiologists.


St Mary and St Cuthbert's - Worksop

Scott completed some restoration work at this church in 1845 including a new roof. He added a new east window and a coloured painted reredos in the east end, both now in the north transept, along with a new altar. The church has been altered since his restoration.