About 1854, Sir George Gilbert Scott was commissioned to remodel and extend a large country house, and it could have been this appointment which led him to think that the application of the principles of Gothic architecture to secular and domestic building would be the best route for his practice to follow. Scott’s client, John Ward-Boughton-Leigh (1790-1868), of Brownsover Hall in Warwickshire, was presumably already familiar with Scott’s work at Rugby when he commissioned him to carry out the work. Scott added a new drawing room and entrance hall to Brownsover, and at the other end of the house he built a new banqueting room. A new entrance porch was formed in the base of a new tower, which has a stair turret on one corner with a spikey roof. He refaced everything, including those portions of the old house which were still visible, in red brick with blue brick patterning, altered the windows, and gave the whole house a uniformly Victorian appearance. The service wing was extended and a stable block added in the same materials. But the resulting design of Gothic details on a classical form seems very clumsy. The self-conscious attempt at asymmetry on the entrance front is spoilt by a clash between the spike of the staircase turret and a high pitched roof-cum-spire over the entrance tower. This is the first time that Scott uses this type of roof, which he repeated on several of his later designs, and it is the only part of Brownsover which is obviously derived from Scott’s continental travels. The work was completed about 1857. Scott fell into the trap of trying to disguise the old house with the result that it appears as if he had designed an awkward and ungainly building, which pays little attention to the architectural philosophy that Scott was trying to develop at the time.
Tyack, G., Warwickshire Country Houses (Phillimore, Chichester and London, 1994), p. 234.