Sir George Gilbert Scott and Moffatt’s connection with Nottingham seems to have started as early as 1840, which is the date of a print showing their proposals for remodelling the west front of the principal church of the city, St. Mary’s. This is a very big cruciform church in an ornate fourteenth to fifteenth century Perpendicular style, with a sumptuous Decorated south porch. However, in 1762, the west front was rebuilt as an entirely classical composition. Scott and Moffatt’s proposal was to remove this and replace it with a front based on the medieval parts of the church, using a replica of the front of the south porch as the west door, surmounted by another replica of the great north transept window. In the event, it was not until 1845 that work started, presumably due to the usual delay of raising the £9,000 funds needed and was planned in conjunction with Cottingham and Robert Jelland of Nottingham. In the meantime, the central tower was declared unsafe so, in 1843, Scott found himself again having to secure the central tower of a medieval church. When the partnership was dissolved at the end of 1845, Moffatt took over the underpinning of the tower and the reconstruction of the west front completing it in 1848, perhaps to Scott’s relief. It was probably Moffatt’s design from the outset, as it is in the late Gothic style which seems to have become his favourite style. He also provided new fittings, which Scott, perhaps with some satisfaction, removed to replace with more appropriate work in the 1870’s.
Sir George Gilbert Scott carried out a second restoration report in 1865 and general repairs and reseating in 1866-7. He then carried out further repairs to the chancel roof of this church in 1871-2, with designs for new choir stalls, organ case and a pulpit to commemorate the visit of the Church Congress at the same time (Drawings Collection, RIBA, p. 63).
Colvin, H., A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1995), p. 498.
Pevsner, N. and Williamson, E., Nottinghamshire, Buildings of England (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1979), p. 221.
Scott’s Recollections, II 81.