The article “Vintage view: Sir George Gilbert Scott’s Gothic fantasies,” authored by Kya deLongchamps for the Irish Examiner, looks at some of the little-known work of Sir George Gilbert Scott and discusses his popularity. It is also a review of Gavin Stamp’s book Gothic for the Steam Age, published by Aurum Press.

The church of St Nicholas

The church of St Nicholas in Hamburg, Germany, was the tallest building in the world from 1874 to 1876. At 148m in height, it stood out as a monumental structure of the time but also provided a valuable bombing point for Allied bombing raids in World War II. It sustained heavy damage in 1943 and was largely demolished in 1951.

The spire which stood so tall was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott. Scott designed the nave to be 86-metres long with a 28-metre high vault. The architecture of the nave was neo-Gothic with a heavy French style, although Scott kept the point German.

Scott’s little-known work

In her article, Kya notes that despite his crucial architectural work in Great Britain, outside of this Scott’s work is little known. She writes that one of Scott’s most beautiful works, a classical Italianate vaulted ceiling in the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office, was only saved from demolition because the Victorian Society objected.

All this was revealed in Stamp’s book, Gothic for the Steam Age. In one of her final points about the book, Kya writes, “Stamp celebrates Scott’s work for itself, in an eye-watering illustrated biography of greater and lesser-known buildings.”

You can read Kya’s article on the Irish Examiner.