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St John the Baptist's - Bromsgrove

Scott came into this restoration in 1858, although the church was being restored at various points from 1844 under Henry Day of Worcester. Scott had originally reported on the church in 1856, his advice sanctioned in 1857 with work starting in 1858, with W. Cooper of Derby as contractor. He reseated the church, removing galleries and providing new oak stalls and pews. He renewed the roofs and vestry, provided new north arcade bays which linked to the Norman responds and restored the Priest’s doorway. An Ancaster stone reredos was also provided.


St Peter's - Bushley

This was originally a church built by Blore in 1843 but in 1857, Scott replaced the shallow apse with a chancel for William Dowdeswell. This has a high pitched roof and mid-pointed details with a pierced quatrefoil parapet. He also provided fittings including a low screen by Skidmore, a timber sedilia, stalls and pews.

St John the Baptist's - Claines

The south porch of circa 1867 is perhaps by Scott.

Pevsner, N., and Brooks, W. A., Worcestershire, Buildings of England (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2007), p. 227.

St Michael's - Great Comberton

Scott carried out a restoration at this church in 1861-2, renewing the straight headed Decorated windows, rebuilding the chancel to the original design, and resetting the piscina and the northern priest’s doorway. He also provided a new pulpit and stalls reusing Jacobean panels.

Priory Church of St Mary and St Michael report - Great Malvern

Scott reported on the restoration needed here in 1854.

Priory Church of St Mary and St Michael report II - Great Malvern

Scott again reported on the restoration needed here in 1858.

Priory Church of St Mary and St Michael - Great Malvern

Scott's recommended work took place in 1860-4, costing over £1000. It was a conservative restoration, his main work being to replace the ceiling in the nave and restore the other painted ceilings, carried out by Clayton and Bell, and secure the central tower. The church was also repaved and partially refitted between 1863-4, with a carved oak pulpit. Fifteenth century tiles were also reset into chancel screen walls.

Monument to H. E. F. Lambert - Great Malvern

In 1872, Scott supplied a monument to Sir H. E. F. Lambert, son of Anne Maria Foley, a Decorated arch with a brass tablet at the west end of the nave of the Priory Church of St Mary and St Michael.

St Gabriel's - Hanley Swan

This was a new church designed and built by Scott in 1871-3, on land given by Sir Edmund Lechmere and paid for, at a cost of £6000, by a retired Liverpool merchant, Samuel Martin, who lived locally. It was to seat 420 and was built of Malvern stone by William Porter of Malvern Wells. It has late thirteenth century details and a north-east broach spire and tower. It has circular clerestory windows but the five lancet east window was noted by Pevsner as its best feature in an otherwise dull interior. The floor is tiled with Godwin tiles, the reredos, donated by Lechmere, of alabaster and mosaic by Powell and Son, with figure panels by Clayton and Bell.


St John the Baptist's - Halesowen

Scott carried out a restoration at this church in 1875, from the east window to the south aisle, for Lady Lyttleton, his fees of £5 being paid in 1878. John Oldrid carried out further work, adding a second south aisle, in 1883.

St John the Baptist's reredos - Halesowen

Scott designed a reredos for the Rev. C. R. Pughe in 1877-8.

St Matthias - Malvern Link

In 1844, John Somers Cocks, the second Earl Somers, commissioned Scott to design a large new church to serve this growing settlement on the northern foothills of the Malverns. It was carried out in the Middle Pointed style with lancets and tracery in Malvern granite, with clerestory windows alternating between two and three lights. Lord Somers laid the foundation stone on 4 March 1844 and it was consecrated on 13 January 1846. Scott seems to have worked in conjunction with Harvey Eginton of Worcester, possibly acting more as consultant to the local architect.

Pevsner, N., Worcestershire, Buildings of England (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1968), p. 167.
St Matthias’s Church, Malvern Link – a visitor guide (n.d.).

St Matthias additions - Malvern Link

Scott added the tower and south aisle on in 1858-60, which were altered again later in the century.

St Matthias's Vicarage - Malvern Link

Scott also designed the associated vicarage, noted in his sketchbook 53 (1846-7), which has since disappeared.

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), 84 [c].

Abbey of St Edburga - Pershore

After the east parapet blew down in 1861, Scott was called in to undertake a restoration of the Abbey by Dr Williamson, the vicar. This was carried out between 1862-5 and included rebuilding the south chapel, opening up the interior of the lantern to reveal wall panelling and adding a ringing platform or cage for the bell ringers. He removed the box pews, plaster, whitework and galleries. Wall painting at the east and west ends was completed by Clayton and Bell in 1864. The west window was renewed, as a memorial to Williamson, as well as the windows in the apse. New fittings including pews and stalls were provided. Collins of Tewkesbury was the builder. Tower pinnacles were added in 1871.

St Nicholas's - Queenhill

Scott carried out a partial restoration at this church in 1854-5, adding a new top to the tower and a timber south porch, as well as a saddleback roof.

St Michael's - Stourport

This church was first designed by Scott in 1876, when he completed a drawing of the exterior and interior which were exhibited at the Royal Academy under his name. The building work was started by his son, John Oldrid, in 1881, although it was never finished with only the nave completed. In 1979-80 it was mostly demolished, down to cill level, for redesign of a new church within the ruins.


Worcester Cathedral - Worcester

Unlike Salisbury, Worcester Cathedral is today the most complete surviving example of Scott’s refitting of a cathedral choir. The work was carried out between 1864 and 1874, although he says that he ‘had been occasionally consulted by the Dean’ before these dates. This was John Peel, who had been appointed Dean by his eldest brother Sir Robert Peel, the Prime Minister, in 1845. Scott had his first consultation with Peel in 1858 and sketched the cathedral in 1859. As this sketchbook contains some of his early ideas for a Gothic Foreign Office, perhaps he had to tell Peel that he did not have the time, at present, to take over the cathedral but that it was already in safe hands.

Abraham Edward Perkins had been appointed Architect to the Dean and Chapter of Worcester Cathedral in 1848 and in 1854 embarked on a long-term restoration programme. Worcester, like Salisbury, had survived the Middle Ages comparatively unscathed but without structural problems or the modernising zeal of the ubiquitous Wyatt. The problem with Worcester has always been the poor quality of the sandstone from which it is built. Perkins’s main task was to replace much of the crumbling exterior of the building, which he carried out with a largely faithful reproduction of the medieval original, and to repair the walls where buildings had earlier stood against the cathedral. He also provided new windows to the ends of the transepts and a new west window. In fact, the somewhat Victorian appearance of the exterior of Worcester is entirely due to Perkins, with the exception of the pinnacles and parapets to the tower, which Grimthorpe claimed to have designed himself. It is likely that Scott knew about Perkins before he became involved with Worcester and Scott’s confidence in his work was such that he handed over the completion of the restoration of Cradley Church, near Malvern, to him in 1868, having carried out the chancel himself.

Money for the restoration of Worcester Cathedral, as at Salisbury, came from awards to the Dean and Chapter in 1857 and 1859 for the transference of their lands to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. Perkins started on the interior by removing a great double screen which completely separated the nave from the choir. But in 1863 all the award money had been spent yet there was still much to be done to the interior. Probably bearing in mind the ability of Scott’s name to attract funds, the Dean and Chapter commissioned him to make a report on how the choir could be rearranged which he presented to them in November 1863. This led to a grand fund-raising meeting on 7 April 1864 at Worcester Guildhall presided over by Lord Lyttleton, the Lord Lieutenant.

Lyttleton had already met Scott over the restoration of Hawarden Church in North Wales, which had been badly damaged by fire on 29 October 1859. On 25 July 1839, Lyttleton had married Mary Glynne at a joint ceremony at Hawarden when her sister, Catherine, married Gladstone. Immediately after the fire, a restoration committee was set up which included Gladstone as Treasurer, Sir Stephen Glynne his brother-in-law and the squire of Hawarden, and Lyttleton. Scott repaired the church between 1857-9 and added a squat spire to the central tower.

Scott said that the meeting at Worcester handed over the restoration to a General Committee of local grandees including Lord Lyttleton and the Dean who was the Chairman. It also included Sir Edmund Anthony Harley Lechmere of Rhydd Court, near Malvern, who had been High Sheriff of Worcestershire in 1862 and was the head of the Worcester Old Bank. He was an active member of the Society of Antiquaries and in 1876 served on its Council. He was to become a firm friend and admirer of Scott. In 1872 he donated land at Hanley Swan, near Malvern, for a new church which Scott built in a plain thirteenth century style. He later involved Scott in a proposal to rebuild the Guildhall at Worcester and, as Chairman of the Restoration Committee of Tewkesbury Abbey, he first consulted Scott on its restoration in 1864. The grandest and certainly the wealthiest of this galaxy was William Humble Ward, 1st Earl of Dudley of Witley Court. He was one of the richest men in Britain at the time and when he died in 1885, left over £1,026,000. Dudley was well-known as a patron of the arts and brought the talented carver James Forsyth to Worcestershire from his estate in Scotland. As Scott was to discover, he also had a determined nature and, like Grimthorpe, he was quite prepared to use his wealth to secure his aims.

At the Guildhall meeting, Dudley turned out to be the most enthusiastic and generous of all the supporters of the restoration of Worcester Cathedral, but at a price. He donated half of the £12,000 raised at the meeting, on condition that the tower was included in the scheme, but this added another £8,000 to the total cost. He disliked the use of the cathedral for the Three Choirs Festival and hoped that ‘the whole Cathedral were restored as a house of prayer’ and offered to complete the restoration at his own expense, on condition that the festival was discontinued. The annual Three Choirs Festival is a six-day event, which was started in about 1715 and is based in turn in the cathedrals of Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester. Dudley’s threat eventually focused on the 1875 festival but the restoration had largely been completed by then and the Dean and Chapter managed to placate him by insisting that it would take the form of a series of church services. This concession was sufficient to allow Dudley to continue his contribution, but the 1875 festival was dubbed the ‘Mock Festival’ and local pressure was strong enough to ensure that when the festival returned to Worcester three years later, it would revert to its traditional form.

The Guildhall meeting ensured that sufficient funds were available for Scott to proceed with the refurbishment of the choir of the cathedral in accordance with his report of November 1863. He wrote that he ‘came in at Worcester as a colleague & backer up to Mr Perkins the cathedral Architect & my work has been limited to the fitting up etc of the Choir with some trifling exceptions’. Perkins had removed the old screen and in 1864 Scott proposed a new screen with the keyboard of the organ on top, as Sir Frederick Gore Ouseley, the Precentor of Hereford Cathedral, had recommended. This arrangement would have benefitted the Three Choirs Festival but Dudley opposed the proposal. Therefore Scott withdrew the idea and was instructed to provide a massive organ in the south transept, which he regarded as ‘useless & obtrusive’. He believed his views were ‘suppressed for want of courage to withstand the munificence of Lord Dudley – a feeling in wh. [sic] I sympathize from a sense of his Grand Generosity’. The transept organ was intended to serve the nave and Scott placed another smaller instrument in the aisle to the north of the choir to serve the Choir. This was later extended to become the main cathedral organ while Dudley’s great structure in the transept is now mostly empty.

In place of the screen which Perkins had removed, Scott decided that another transparent screen of the Hereford type was required and Skidmore was immediately commissioned to produce it. It was not until 1873 that it was finally set up. It has the same arrangement as the now missing screens at Hereford and Salisbury but is rather more substantial. The choir stall incorporating medieval work, dated from 1556 with alterations from about 1660. Scott admitted, after Perkin’s death, that:

I fear I am jointly responsible for the removal of the Jacobean & Elizabethan canopies & the Choir screen but I forget how it was [.] The ancient stalls remain. Strangely as an effect of divided responsibility I forget whether there were ancient return stalls.

Scott seems to regret the removal of the return stalls but it was clearly essential that they should be removed for him to achieve the open screen effect. But their loss provided him with the opportunity to rebuild the side stalls in a manner more in keeping with the surviving medieval portions. Scott’s stalls were carved by Farmer and Brindley and incorporate a fine set of medieval misericords. Behind the stalls he placed elaborate gilded screens by Skidmore.

Scott gives the impression that he would have preferred to retain the Jacobean choir at Worcester and its loss was partly due to Perkin’s timidity. But the ferocious Dudley was pushing the idea of opening up the whole cathedral which inevitably meant the removal of the old choir stalls. Perkins, as the resident architect, was a convenient scapegoat who could not answer back but Scott, as usual, probably did not give the work all the attention that it deserved.

In 1868 Dean Peel gave the reredos as a memorial to his wife. It was carved by Farmer and Brindley at a cost of £1,500 and is very elaborate yet effective and altogether much more successful than Scott’s later effort at Salisbury where he was being harassed by Lord Beauchamp. Peel stayed on as Dean until the age of seventy-six, but only a few months after he retired he died, in February 1875. Two years later the new Dean and the canons of the cathedral had the rear of Peel’s reredos incised with a decorative pattern incorporating a cross as a memorial to Peel and his wife.

Scott had drawn out his proposals for the choir vaulting ‘to a great extent’ during the winter of 1870-1 while he was ill and they were carried out in 1871. They were executed ‘under My direction by Mss Hardman Powell’ and consist of medallions containing saints set in a highly elaborate foliated pattern which particularly emphasises the ribs and bosses of the vaulting. In 1986 these decorations were restored to their former glory. Hardmans were Pugin’s favourite stained-glass artists but Scott rarely employed them, perhaps because of their Roman Catholic connections. As Perkins had chosen them to execute the glass for his new east window, they were an obvious choice to decorate the choir vaulting and in 1875 Scott employed them to carry out the great west window to his own design. This is an outstanding work and shows richness in colour and pattern which he had hoped for in his stained glass artists but rarely achieved. The subject is The Creation, with its sequel, the story of Adam and Eve, occupying the central lights.

Around the time of Perkin’s death in 1873, Scott had done other ‘sundry works in the nave’. These included laying a new floor in an elaborate pattern of white and black marbles donated by Dudley, at a cost of between £4,000 and £5,000. The design is said to have been inspired by the floor of Amiens but its bold Greek-key pattern down the centre of the nave flanked by a diamond pattern suggests a classical inspiration. Dudley also provided a new nave pulpit in 1874 which Scott designed in a very rich fourteenth century style and it was carved by Forsyth in alabaster.

Eventually, after twenty years of constant building work under Perkins and Scott, the restoration was finally completed and on Wednesday 8 April 1874, amidst much celebration, the opening services were held. At the banquet which followed, Lyttleton expressed his regret that Perkins had not lived to see the completion of his work and Dudley spoke of Scott’s genius and the high level of workmanship achieved.

Today Worcester is not only one of the few complete and faithfully maintained examples of Scott’s cathedral interiors, but in the glass of the west window and in the decoration of the chancel ceiling, it has two fine illustrations of his skill as a designer. His hectic life-style of constant travelling and meetings had to be suspended during his illness in the winter of 1870-1 and this gave him the rare opportunity to indulge, as he probably felt, in his own creativity and to sit at the drawing board and actually do what he did best as an architect: design.

Scott’s Recollections, I 166, III 332, 334, IV 164-7, 170-4.
Green, B., Bishops and Deans of Worcester (privately published, Worcester, 1979), pp. 55-6.
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), 81 [b].
Ede, W. M., The Cathedral Church of Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary of Worcester … (Phillips and Probert, Worcester, 1925), pp. 229-32.
Ferriday, P., Lord Grimthorpe 1816-1905 (John Murray, London, 1957), p. 68.
Pevsner, N., Worcestershire, Buildings of England (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1968), p. 106.
Morley, J., The Life of William Ewart Gladstone (Edward Lloyd Ltd, London, 1908).
Pritchard, W., St Deiniol’s Church, Hawarden (Much Wenlock,1997), p. 8.
Berrow’s Worcester Journal, 19 April 1873.
Miele, C., in Parry, L. (ed.), William Morris (Philip Wilson, London, 1996), p. 75.
Complete Peerage, IV pp. 490-1.
Pardoe, B., Witley Court and Church, Life and Luxury in a Great Country House (P. Huxtable Designs, Great Witley, 1986).
Sadie, S. (ed.), The New Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians (Macmillan, London, 2001), vol. XXV, pp. 431-3.
Parrott, I., Elgar in the Master Musicians Series (Dent, London, 1971), p. 3.
Pevsner, N., and Metcalf, P., The Cathedrals of England: Midland, Eastern and Northern England (Viking, Harmondsworth, 1985), pp. 310, 327, 329-30.
Cobb, G., English Cathedrals, The Forgotten Centuries, Restoration and Change from 1530 to the Present Day (Thames and Hudson, London, 1980), p. 162.
Pitkin Guide to Worcester Cathedral, p. 12.
Meara, D., Victorian Memorial Brasses (Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1983), p. 30.
Harrison, M., Victorian Stained Glass (Barrie and Jenkins, 1980), p. 78.
Pamphlet in Worcester Library, W.081.

Lyttleton and Dudley Monument, Worcester Cathedral - Worcester

In 1876 Lord Lyttleton ‘killed himself in an attack of constitutional melancholia’. A superb monument, designed by Scott, was raised in the retrochoir of Worcester Cathedral to his memory. The white marble effigy was carved by Forsyth in 1878, with attending angels in the corners and placed on an elaborate tomb-chest of different coloured marbles. When Lord Dudley died in 1885, he was given an equally outstanding monument in the corresponding position on the opposite side of the retrochoir, thus making that part of the cathedral into a special memorial space for its two greatest Victorian benefactors. Dudley’s tomb is very similar to Lyttleton’s, with a white marble effigy carved by Forsyth in 1888, on an open arcaded base of alabaster and green marble. The design was by Scott, but it was not erected until ten years after Scott’s death.

Concise Dictionary of National Biography, p. 805.
Pevsner, N., and Metcalf, P., The Cathedrals of England: Midland, Eastern and Northern England (Viking, Harmondsworth, 1985), p. 126.

Worcester Guildhall - Worcester

After the cathedral, the Guildhall of Worcester is architecturally the most important building in the city. It is described by Pevsner as ‘a splendid town hall, as splendid as any of the C 18 in England, but it is just a little barbaric in its splendour’. It was built between 1721 and 1723 in red brick with stone dressings and much carving. It has been attributed to the Worcester mason Thomas White, who at one time was thought to have worked for Wren, but this has now been shown to have been impossible although White certainly produced the sculpture for the building.

One of the events in the Three Choirs Festival was a Festival Ball and when it was held at Worcester, the Guildhall provided a fine setting for the event. But by the 1860s it was beginning to show its age and civic pride must have been badly dented when, after the 1866 ball, the Festival Stewards felt that the building was unsafe and the ball should be held elsewhere. The City Council immediately instructed its own architect, Henry Rowe, to select ‘some experienced Architect’ and together report on the stability of the Guildhall.

The Council were, it seems, always reluctant to rely on Rowe’s expertise alone and Rowe selected as his partner George Bidlake of Wolverhampton. In May 1867 Rowe and Bidlake presented a detailed report to the Council but nothing happened. In fact horrified by the costs involved, the Council dithered for ten years between repair, demolition and a complete new building. Finally, on 4 April 1876, it decided to pull down the old Guildhall and build a new one. The citizens of Worcester rebelled and ‘assembled in Common Hall’ on 26 April. They memorialized the Council to reconsider the decision and Lechmere undertook to get Scott officially involved in the Guildhall affair. He had, it seems, already discussed the problem with Scott, and on the same day he wrote to him.

It is strange that Scott was willing to become caught up in this petty wrangle but Lechmere’s friendship was important to him, particularly as he was chairman of the restoration committee of Tewkesbury Abbey. The value of this friendship was proved when he became a stalwart supporter of Scott in the face of Morris’s attack over Tewkesbury. But Scott also had a genuine affection for Worcester Guildhall and three days after receiving Lechmere’s letter he sent back a long and detailed report, which even Scott could hardly have achieved in that time if he had not already examined the building and its history in some considerable detail. The report was a powerful plea for the preservation of the old Guildhall based on a number of factors including the prestige attached to the building as the work of ‘a native architect who had been a protégé, and in some degree pupil, of Sir Christopher Wren’. Although this is incorrect, he is certainly right in saying that it is a genuine specimen of the Wren style, ‘which is at the present moment honoured and cultivated by a large class of our best Architects under the name of the Style of Queen Anne’. His comment that ‘our best Architects; were working in the Queen Anne style is perhaps an acknowledgment of the role of many of the Spring Garden alumni in the development of that style. Scott was never a Gothic fanatic and in his old age he was quite ready to express sympathy with other styles, as his regrets over the Jacobean stalls at Worcester Cathedral show. Scott states that there is ‘no case whatever for Rebuilding’, as it could be ‘readily put into a state of substantial and durable repair’ at moderate expense. By using the wings and with small additions to the rear, its municipal requirements could be adequately accommodated. He endorses Rowe’s estimate for repairs and additions and says that this would be the most economical method of meeting their requirements and would save the Council ‘from the reproach that must attach to them for unnecessarily destroying an ancient building possessing great architectural merit’.

The Council was not convinced by Scott’s well argued plea and on 2 May 1876 it decided on a complete reconstruction. However Lechmere persuaded the Council of the Society of Antiquaries to pass a resolution regretting the decision to pull down the old Guildhall. He also obtained a memorial ‘signed by upwards of 4000 persons, asking the Council to reconsider their Resolution to build a new Guildhall’ and led a deputation of inhabitants and ratepayers at a Council meeting on 6 June 1876. Even so, it was only after considerable discussion that it was agreed to proceed with Rowe and Scott’s proposals for repairing and enlarging the Guildhall. Plans were eventually drawn up and work started in July 1877 with intended completion on 1 April 1879, but with Scott’s death in the following March, Rowe became the sole architect. It cost over £14,000, the contractor was Thomas Dixon and heating was supplied by Haden.

On 31 March 1880, fourteen years after it first became apparent that something had to be done to the Guildhall, the building was finally reopened with a banquet given by the Mayor. Scott’s eminence at the time gave Lechmere a useful weapon in his battle to save the Guildhall but the design of the interiors suggests that it was Rowe who made the major architectural contribution to the work.

Pevsner, N., Worcestershire, Buildings of England (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1968), p. 323.
Colvin, H., A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1995), pp. 1043-4.
Worcester Cathedral Pamphlets in Worcester Library, W080.942448.
Noake, J., A Report on the Restoration of Worcester Guildhall, 1881, pp. 3-4, 13-15, 18, 31, Worcestershire Record Office, 496.5 BA9360/C6/Box2/3.
Scott, G. G., ‘Guildhall, Worcester, Report’, pp. 2-6, Worcestershire Record Office, reference number 496.5 BA9360/C6/Box 3/5.

139 Bath Road - Worcester

Scott designed a house here for Thomas Southall in 1866. It was demolished in around 1983 and there is now a hospital on the site.