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A miscellaneous selection of pages from Mike Sleigh's Blog 'British Heritage Buildings'

The True Principles of Pointed or Christian Architecture

A W N Pugin’s major guide book on Neo-Gothic architecture and design
‘ True Principals’ starts off by stating -  'The two great rules for design 1st
that there should be no features about a building which are not necessary 
for convenience, construction or propriety; 2nd, that all ornament should 
consist of enrichment of the essential construction of the building. The 
neglect of these two rules is the cause of all the bad architecture of the 
present time.'

I think that these rules still apply even today, you only have to look at 
what has been produced in the last 60 years to agree. 

Very pleased to see that one of my favourite architects is getting an airing on BBC4 ‘Pugin: God’s own Architect’.

I’ve been interested in Pugin from the early 1970’s when he was little 
known and overshadowed by other more well known Victorian architects, 
happily he is now recognized as a major influence on British Architecture.

Architect and designer he lead a frantic life, producing plans for hundreds 
of churches and buildings including the Houses of Parliament (with Barry) 
and drawing thousands of designs for interior decoration, married 3 times 
and having 8 children - he was dead by the age of 40 !

I’m fortunate to have three of Pugin’s original publications, although in 
poor condition (the books are over 160 years old) they are still very 
interesting to look at, even if his words are dated! But his writings were 
to change the state and look of British Architecture.

In ‘An Apology for The Revival of Christian Architecture in England’ Pugin 
starts off by saying ‘The age in which we liveis a most eventful period for 
English art. We are just emerging from a state which may be termed the 
dark ages of architecture.’
He condemns classical "pagan" architecture, commenting on the (1840)
'moderns' Pugin says that 'we are called upon to admire their
thrice-cooked hashes of pagan fragments (in which the ingredients are 
amalgamated in utter confusion) as fine national monuments of the 
present age.' He then goes on to promote Gothic as the only true 
Christian style.


A dull overcast Saturday in the City of London, almost deserted streets 
except the occasional tourist straying away from the usual traps of 
St Pauls and the Tower of London. The city is a great place to walk 
around with a camera when people are not at work.

Apart from the disappointing lack of light there was lots to see and (try) 
to photograph. I found some parts of the city that I had not seen before 
and managed to find some listed buildings that I had read about in the 
architectural guide books and revisited buildings already seen and 
photographed on previous excursions around the city.

The second ‘PhotoWalk’ will cover the area from Tower Hill to Monument 
looking up and down the roads and odd narrow alley for interesting 
angles to photograph. Some of the buildings and sculpture can be seen 
in the ‘London’ set of my images on FotoLIBRA.

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