6th June 1835 - Pugin converts to Catholicism

Augustus_Welby_Northmore_Pugin_from_NPG.jpg Augustus Pugin, the leader of the nineteenth century Gothic Revival in architecture, was received into the Roman Catholic Church in a small chapel in Saint Martin’s Lane, Salisbury.

He renovated the hall of John Halle (the foyer the Odeon Cinema) and designed Saint Osmund’s Church. He is probably best known for designing the interior of the Houses of Parliament and the Elizabeth Tower (more usually known as ‘Big Ben’)[1].


[xx] Wikipedia says that:

In 1846, having won the architectural competition to design the new Palace of Westminster, Sir Charles Barry asked Pugin to supply detailed designs for the interior of the new building, including stained glass, metalwork, wood carving, upholstery, furniture and a royal throne. Pugin’s biographer, Rosemary Hill, shows that Barry designed the Palace as a whole, and only he could co-ordinate such a large project and deal with its difficult paymasters, but he relied entirely on Pugin for its Gothic interiors, wallpapers and furnishings.

At the end of Pugin’s life, in February 1852, Barry visited him in Ramsgate and Pugin supplied a detailed design for the iconic Palace clock tower, officially dubbed the Elizabeth Tower, but more popularly known as Big Ben. The design is very close to earlier designs by Pugin, including an unbuilt scheme for Scarisbrick Hall, Lancashire. The tower was Pugin’s last design before descending into madness. In her biography, Hill quotes Pugin as writing of what is probably his best known building: “I never worked so hard in my life [as] for Mr Barry for tomorrow I render all the designs for finishing his bell tower & it is beautiful & I am the whole machinery of the clock.”[29] Hill writes that Barry omitted to give any credit to Pugin for his huge contribution to the design of the new Houses of Parliament.[30] In 1867, after the deaths of both Pugin and Barry, Pugin’s son Edward published a pamphlet, Who Was the Art Architect of the Houses of Parliament, a statement of facts, in which he asserted that his father was the “true” architect of the building, and not Barry.

Augustus Pugin. (2017, August 14). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21:10, August 24, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Augustus_Pugin&oldid=795550800

Image credit

See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons