William Butterfield in action

A visit to All Saints, Margaret Street, London – and an important paper on this star architect who restored St Denis' in 1874

All Saints, Margaret Street, London – the interior, looking towards the magnificent altar piece at the east end and dating from 1909.

There can be no question William Butterfield (1814-1900) was, along with Augustus Pugin (1812-1852), Sir George Gilbert Scott RA (1811-1878) and Sir Charles Barry FRS RA (1795-1860), the star architect of his day.

Between 1843 and 1899 he designed some 120 buildings – mostly religious, but also the odd house, hotel and hospital.  Most of his work was in England, but there are Butterfield buildings in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and… Australia.

Some were relatively small restoration projects (e.g. St Denis’, East Hatley), others were huge – Keble College, Oxford, Exeter Grammar School and St. Peter’s Cathedral, Adelaide.

His most famous church is arguably All Saints, Margaret Street, London, for it was this building which purposely incorporated the ideals of the Cambridge Camden Society (now the Ecclesiological Society) and the Oxford Movement in a design which was very bold and set the tone for a style of architecture that remains controversial to this day.

But what of the man?

There are few books on Butterfield – so we are very grateful to Geoffrey Tyack, Emeritus Fellow, Kellogg College, Oxford, for kindly allowing us to include the text of the lecture he gave in September 2019 on Butterfield and the Victorian Gothic Revival:

Post created 8th February 2020.