Sir George Gilbert Scott was one of the leading figures of the Gothic Revival in England. His output, and that of his office, was prodigious: it changed the architectural face of England, and its influence was felt across the British Empire. He became a pillar of the high Victorian establishment, receiving a knighthood and burial at Westminster Abbey following a funeral at which Queen Victoria was personally represented. Even in his own day, however, he was a controversial figure, and for much of the twentieth century, when the Gothic Revival was despised, he was unappreciated, even reviled. More recently, however, he has begun to attract greater interest.
The essays in this volume represent a step towards a more balanced appreciation of his work, from a conference held at Rewley House in Oxford in 2011 to mark the two hundred years since his birth. Leading architectural historians contribute to this scholarly volume. There are twelve essays. Gavin Stamp provides an overview on Scott’s life and work (1–21); Chris Miele examines the young Scott (22–48); Geoff Brandwood examines ‘Scott as London Church Builder’, 49–69; G. A. Bremner writes on the colonial cathedrals Scott built 1846–74, 70–90; Claudia Marx examines Scott’s legacy as a restorer of major churches, 91–111; Geoffrey Tyack examines ‘Scott in Oxford’, 112–133 and Simon Bradley ‘Scott and Cambridge’, 134–57; Peter Howell writes on Scott’s little-known work as a country house architect, 158–71; M. H. Port looks at Scott’s work as a state architect (especially the Foreign Office design), 172–92; Kimberley Frost writes on Scott’s design process for the University of Glasgow, 193–212; William Whyte on the influence of Scott’s work on other practices, 213–29 and finally Geoffrey Tyack and William Whyte sum up the Scott legacy over the last two hundred years, 230–37.
The book concludes with a bibliography and an index.