In his review of Gavin’s Stamps book An Architect of Promise, for The Telegraph, Kenneth Powell reveals the character of George Gilbert Scott junior and how his architectural work is greatly admired today.
George Gilbert Scott junior was born on 8 October 1839. He was the founder of Watts & Company in 1874 and designed numerous buildings.
These include St John the Baptist Church (1882-1910), Norwich. Scott Junior also designed residential work, with his finest surviving work found on the Avenues area of Kingston upon Hull. Unfortunately, his best work was destroyed by bombing raids in World War II. These were the churches of All Hallows in Southwark and St Agnes in Kennington.
His architectural style was also different. Scott junior favoured a Late Gothic manner for churches and a version of “Queen Anne” for secular commissions. This is detailed in Powell’s review of An Architect of Promise.
Not an endearing character
In his review, Powell notes that “Stamp’s portrait of Scott junior is less than endearing.” As is revealed in the book, Scott junior was opinionated, pompous and often wrong-headed. For instance, he decided that working-class women were plain because they weren’t Catholics. He also believed that homosexuality was a threat to the country.
Scott junior also had a tragic end to his life. He drank himself to death, but not before being confined to an asylum where he tried to set the place alight.
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