Pugin in Ramsgate
As part of the 'Unlocking the Past' programme put together by Kent Heritage Services Group and to accompany Pugin in Kent, a series of special events was arranged to illustrate Pugin's love of Ramsgate... (Penny Ward)
What is a Pugin?
'What exactly is a Pugin?', I was asked by a Ramsgate resident during the preparations for the Pugin in Kent exhibition at the Library Gallery in September . It was a potent reminder of the degree to which one of Ramgate's most famous sons, the creator of the Victorian Gothic style, remains largely obscure and without honour in his home town... (John Brazier)
Pugin and the Great Exhibition
On Saturday 25th November, the first Pugin Society lecture was given, by Jean Field... [who] commenced her talk by giving a general picture of architecture in England during the run up to the Great Exhibition... (Michael Blaker)
Pugin in New York - Paul Atterbury is an historian and writer specialising in the decorative and applied arts of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and is a former editor of the Connoisseur. He was largely responsible for setting up Pugin: A Gothic Passion at the V & A in 1994, and, with Clive Wainwright, edited, and contributed to, the publication of the same name which accompanied this exhibition. He also, with Rosemary Hill, masterminded Pugin in Kent at Ramsgate in 1995. Since then he has, in collaboration with Susan Soros of the Bard Graduate Center, New York, mounted an exciting and innovative Pugin exhibition in America and edited the lavish catalogue A.W.N. Pugin, Master of Gothic Revival published for this exhibition. In this summer's True Principles he writes about the New York Pugin show, giving many interesting insights into its make-up and themes. (Paul Atterbury)
A.W.N. Pugin and Modern Architecture - Nick announced his talk as "a personal romp through the century" – roughly from Pugin to today. We were shown slides from the etchings in Contrasts – the meaning was still entirely clear in Pugin's satire, "as opposed to the cartoons from Punch at that time, which seem to us totally obscure". Contrasts was a vicious attack on society as a world no longer beautiful but solely commercial: "Something was wrong with a society that made bad objects". The slide of the castellated villa etching, with its conservatory – Pugin's classic joke – was likened to Wemmick's father's house: Dickens was soon on to this kind of satire, indeed, Nick pointed out that in the 19th century you could leave the builder to get on with five plans and a couple of nicely tinted watercolour views of the proposed building and little other information: "Imagine that happening today!" (Michael Blaker)
Pugin's Boats - Pugin's lifelong love of the sea, and sailing, and particularly his nautical life at Ramsgate, are described here. Footnote No 13 gives unusual Pugin information! (David Meara)
St Augustine's Abbey, Ramsgate - Ever since our Apostle's advent there in A.D. 597, the historic Isle of Thanet has been associated with the black-robed sons of St. Benedict and today St Augustine's Abbey at Ramsgate is of special interest, both past and present. For its Minster is "Pugin's gem" as well as his last resting place while the monastery itself is a spiritual restoration of Canterbury's famous Benedictine Abbey.
What is a Pugin? - These thoughts are prompted by John Brazier's article with the same title in the first issue of True Principles. ' Here I would like to consider 'What is a Pugin?' in the sense of whether a certain building, object or design is or is not the work of A. W. Pugin, whether it is merely in his style, or whether it could be the work of his father, A. C. Pugin (c.1769) or one of his sons, E. W. Pugin (1834), C. W. Pugin (1840) or P. P. Pugin (1851). Now that Pugin – and when in True Principles the word is used on its own I think we can assume that A. W. Pugin is meant – is increasingly well known, there is clearly a strong tendency for people to want to associate with the glamour of his name all sorts of work which does not really belong there. (Alexandra Wedgwood)
The Grange - We have asked Charlotte Haslam, historian to the Landmark Trust, to write us a piece elucidating the work and policies of Landmark within the context of The Grange. The Committee of the Pugin Society supports the Landmark Trust in its endeavours to purchase - we feel that the Trust would be a very caring and responsible owner, and is appropriate, for the reasons given in Charlotte's exposition. However, we feel also that access to The Grange, both for our members and for others, is vital (ie, not only for those staying there) and we would hope to negotiate this point both with Thanet District Council and with the Landmark Trust should this purchase come to fruition. In the meantime, as you will see, thought, expertise, help and suggestions are all needed. Please write with any comments on this very important matter to the Secretary, or Chairman, of the Pugin Society. (Charlotte Hasl
An Unscheduled Visit to Abney Hall - John Purkis takes us on a trip round a Mancunian residence with Puginian associations and shows, incidentally, what may be achieved (in terms of visits) by a mention of the Pugin Society. (John Purkis)
Puginian Expatriate Extraordinary - Sir John Sutton, Bart (1820) - The ghostly figure of Sir John Sutton which you see on this page has a particular, and perhaps surprising, relevance to this lively article about a unique Puginian figure. (Mary Dittrich)
St Augustine's Abbey, Ramsgate - This pleasantly leisured piece follows on from the extract in our last issue, and is all part of The Catholic Fireside, a turn of the century publication. (Dudley Baxter)
George Myers - Architects have, in the past, often perhaps received more plaudits than their builders. The partnership of Pugin and Myers, however, was a very special one. Patricia Spencer-Silver explains why. (Patricia Spencer-Silver)
Pugin's Caroline - In this issue Robin Craig gives us a precision account of the history of the celebrated Caroline, both during and after Pugin's lifetime. What happened to her after 1870? Maybe we shall never know. (Robin Craig)
The Death of AWN Pugin - In this perceptive and sensitive article the Revd. David Meara discusses the ill-health and psychological problems which dogged Pugin throughout his life. (David Meara)
The Expedition to Cheadle - A few comments from Michael Blaker on the Society's never-to-be-forgotten trip to Cheadle. (Michael Blaker)
St Augustine's, Ramsgate, as a Kentish church
Lecture given in Ramsgate in 1996 [published separately from True Principles].
John Hardman Powell, Pugin's only pupil and husband of his eldest daughter, in his delightful memoir Pugin in his home roundly declares: 'St Augustine's is a thorough Thanet church, a natural growth of the locality'. We all, I am sure, feel this to be true, even if we cannot come up with any very explicit reason beyond the one that Powell himself mentions, that it is faced with flint, a material which occurs naturally in the chalk substructure of the Island, and indeed is readily visible in its cliffs. Today I want to examine St Augustine's as a 'thorough Thanet church' not only in physical terms, but also in what for Pugin himself may have been spiritual terms also. (John Newman)
Pugin and Morris - On May 22nd the Pugin Society enjoyed an interestingly illustrated lecture comparing these two giants given by John Purkis at Ramsgate Library. We include here some quotes, and comments on points made. (Michael Blaker)
Masters of the Gothic Revival: The Pugins in Ireland - Pugin's great great granddaughter gives a lively description of a tour of Pugin sites in Ireland. Led by Dr Roderick O'Donnell and Maggi Morris, April 1997. (Sarah Houle)
St Augustine's Abbey, Ramsgate - This pleasantly leisured piece follows on from the extract in our last issue, and is all part of the Catholic Fireside, a turn of the century publication. (Dudley Baxter)
The Granville Hotel, Ramsgate - Nick Dermott, architect, conservation officer, and Chairman of the Pugin Society has written a short piece for True Principles about the present state of this remarkable building. In order to heighten the contrast between what is, and what has been, we have pleasure in reprinting as an addition to Nick's comments some extracts from the Granville Illustrated News, a grandiose publication indeed. (Nick Dermott)
Pugin on the Internet - Some most interesting statistics are emerging from Victoria and Mike Farrow's acclaimed Pugin web site — up to three hundred people a week are looking at this site (WWW. HUBCOM.COM/PUGIN), and these three hundred people are viewing ten pages of text or pictures each, approximately.
Random Reflections - Chapter 2 of Evelyn Waugh's A Handful of Dust begins: 'Between the villages of Hetton and Compton Last lies the extensive park of Hetton Abbey. This, formerly one of the notable houses of the county, was entirely rebuilt in 1864 in the Gothic style and is now devoid of interest...'
The Pugins and the De Lisles - We are delighted that the Squire de Lisle, the great grandson of one of Augustus Pugin's greatest friends and allies, Ambrose Lisle March Phillipps de Lisle, should be contributing to this issue of True Principles. Here he presents us - from the inside - with some valuable material regarding the Pugin/Phillipps connection. In his last paragraph, the Squire de Lisle has modestly refrained from referring directly to himself, but it is obvious that he has in fact dedicated a lifetime to recovering the de Lisle archives - what an achievement! (The Squire de Lisle)
Birmingham "The Most Artistic City In England?" - It was the excitement generated by Roy Hartnell's book Pre-Raphaelite Birmingham, from which the above quotation is taken, that took us to the city for our summer excursion. Our theme was AWN Pugin's relationship with John Hardman and we saw many results of this fruitful collaboration... (Judith Crocker)
An A.W.N. Pugin Gazetteer: The Seed of a Great Work? - Zealous member Jack Kleinot has applied himself to the praiseworthy, if problematic, task of collating and enumerating A.W.N. Pugin sites throughout England. Such a list, which could form the basis for an even more expanded one (ie, Scotland, Wales and Australia) could become an invaluable introduction for newly initiated Pugin enthusiasts. In the meantime, we publish it here both for your comments, possible additions, and potential use. Anyone attempting a gazetteer of this complexity could not possibly refrain from acknowledging a primary debt to Nikolaus Pevsner's definitively pioneering Buildings of England series, and this Jack does, below. In undertaking this task, Jack has reflected the views of at least three other of our members - Brian Andrews, who has already suggested contributing Australian entries, albeit in a rather more detailed format, John Purkis, who feels that we could, like Pevsner, eventually produce a county by county series (exclusively Pugins, though), and Jeremy Hewett, of Ramsgate. Jack has, of necessity here, kept entries very brief. In his introduction he tells us how he came to decide which sites warranted inclusion - a far from straightforward business. (Jack Kleinot)
St Patrick's, Parramatta, another Pugin Australian Design - In this article, Brian Andrews, Pugin expert resident in Australia, relates how he has identified another Pugin church design in New South Wales. Brian is currently undertaking a cultural survey of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hobart, which should yield some fascinating Pugin discoveries. (Brian Andrews, 1997)
St Lawrence Church, Tubney - On 16th February 1997 a service was held at St Lawrence Church, Tubney, to celebrate its 150th Anniversary (as we announced in the last issue but one of True Principles). This was a very special occasion, and the Abingdon Herald reported that the Bishop of Oxford, the Right Reverend Richard Harries, recreated for the packed congregation some of the local events of 1847 - in particular how a small fire broke out in the then Bishop of Oxford's palace at Cuddesdon while he was consecrating the church at Tubney. For us, of course, the significance of St Lawrence is that it was designed by A.W.N. Pugin, and built by George Myers, despite its being an Anglican church. The Revd Keith Triplow, Rector of St Lawrence, has sent us the following fascinating material relating to the commencement of building in 1844. (Keith Triplow, Rector)
The Lord Chancellor's Apartment: a personal view - The ceaseless press coverage on the subject of the redecoration of the Lord Chancellor's apartment at the Palace of Westminster has probably given Pugin's name the greatest prominence to the general public that it has ever had, and for this the Pugin Society is very grateful. A great number of important issues, like the use of public money and conservation policies, are involved in this matter, but here I would like to put down something of my understanding of the history of the apartment and my reaction to the results of the recent work...
The Grange, Ramsgate - On 14th February 1998, members of The Pugin Society were allowed, by kind permission of the Landmark Trust, to see inside The Grange. Those who attended may have been saddened by the condition of the property, which has suffered many years of neglect. It is to be hoped that the Landmark Trust, as the new owners, can be supported and encouraged in their plans to repair the fabric and convert the house to a Landmark property, so that others can experience this historic and important building for many years to come. (Donald Insall Associates, Architects acting for the Landmark Trust at The Grange.)
Pugin's Miniatures - David Meara explores a more intimate aspect of A.W.N.P's work. (David Meara)
Ramsgate Cemetery Chapel: Homage to Pugin? - "In ecclesiology... we must raise the cry of Back to Pugin," wrote Dr John Wickham Legg, the liturgiologist, in 1887, "to the principles which Pugin advocated..." And this cry — Back to Pugin — can serve to characterise the direction English architecture took after the experimental High Victorian Gothic phase... (Gavin Stamp)
St John the Baptist, Melton Mowbray - Graham Hulme and Brian Buchanan discuss a Leicestershire Church with interesting Pugin links.
"Prest D'accomplir": Pugin and the Earl of Shrewsbury - A unique relationship discussed by Michael Fisher.
A Remarkable Pugin Tombstone - Brian Andrews, our man in Australia, tells a curious tale...