In 1851 he was commissioned to restore the church. Nearby Eastnor Castle had been rebuilt in 1812 by Smirke in the Norman style and Pugin had sumptuously refitted the drawing room in 1849, with painting and furniture by Crace and a spectacular chandelier by Hardman. It seems strange that Lord Somers should have displaced Pugin by Sir George Gilbert Scott, except that, by now, Scott had a considerable reputation as a church restorer and Pugin had none in that field and was a Roman Catholic. However, even by Scott’s own standards, this must have been a ‘destructive’ restoration. Today it is a Victorian village church, with only a Norman doorway, a thirteenth-century north arcade and a fourteenth- century west tower as the reminders of its past. The rest of the church was rebuilt in the Middle Pointed style although he adhered to his principle of acknowledging local designs with a liberal use of ballflower decoration. His use of colourful and contrasting materials, presumably inspired by his travels abroad, particularly Italy, was to develop into one of the features of Scott’s High Victorian style. The east window was designed by Kempe. He also designed the plate, including the chalice and cover paten in 1853, for the church which re-opened for services in 1852.
The Eastnor Church website: http://www.eastnorchurch.org.uk/
Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds),The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), 79 [b].
Pevsner, N., Herefordshire, Buildings of England (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1973), pp. 122-3.
Hervey-Bathurst, J and S., Eastnor Castle, Ledbury, Herefordshire (Dirly, Heritage House Group, guide book, 2001), p. 26.
Muthesius, S., The High Victorian Movement in Architecture, 1850-70 (Routledge & Kegan Paul Books, London and Boston, 1972), p. 238, n. 32.