Based in London; Formerly of New York, Buenos Aires, Fife, and the Western Cape. Saoránach d'Éirinn.
A writer, blogger, historian, and web designer born in New York, educated in Argentina, Scotland, and South Africa, and now based in London. read more

St Paul’s Gothicised

Victorian England went mad for the medieval, often neglecting or destroying buildings and structures of classical design along the way. Wren’s classical rood screen for Westminster Abbey is probably no great loss, but just imagine if his masterpiece, St Paul’s Cathedral, had been gothicised.

Just such was imagined by the architectural sketch artist C.A. Nicholson in two drawings he sent to the Architectural Record (albeit in the 1910s, not the Victorian era). Nicholson was inspired by an image printed in a previous issue of the Record showing the front of Peterborough Cathedral transformed into a classic design.

Of course before the Great Fire, Old St Paul’s was a Gothic cathedral.

This post was published on Wednesday, September 25th, 2013 6:30 pm. It has been categorised under Architecture and been tagged under , .
25 Sep 2013 7:20 pm

Bl. John Henry Newman would not approve: “I cannot deny that, however my reason may go with Gothic, my heart has ever gone with Grecian. I loved Trinity Chapel at Oxford more than any other building. There is in the Italian style such a simplicity, purity, elegance, beauty, brightness, which I suppose the word “classical” implies, that it seems to befit the notion of an Angel or Saint. The Gothic style does not seem to me to typify the sanctity or innocence of the Blessed Virgin, or St. Gabriel, or the lightness, grace, and sweet cheerfulness of the elect as the Grecian does.”

26 Sep 2013 8:19 am

Ah, I wish the designs were more readable. The idea is interesting. I can’t say I care much for the current exterior of Saint Paul’s, which in contrast to the interior is rather bland.

Are there any churches (or other buildings) that were gothicised? I can’t think of an example myself.

Valeria Kondratiev
1 Oct 2013 7:33 pm

There are some building in New York that I wouldn’t mind seeing gothicised. St Paul’s is more of a pseudo St Peter’s in Rome to me, so, I think that if it were to be “improved” I could see it being more Romanized, maybe with a better high altar.

Leave a comment

Name (required)

Email (required)



Home | About | Contact | Categories | Paginated Index | Twitter | Facebook | RSS/Atom Feed | © Andrew Cusack 2004-present (Unless otherwise stated)