Heritage, Volume 8, Number 3, Summer 1990 Page: 9
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Gustav Dore's view of housing under the railroad tracks. This was the kind of industrial
environment against which Morris campaigned. Ironically, it is just such housing for
which many preservationists today campaign.
result, much original, and some later, building fabric was removed
from English churches in order to achieve the stylistic ideal.
Increasingly after the 1850s, thirteenth-century French Gothic
cathedrals were the preferred models.8
Nearly all of the great Gothic Revival architects-George
Gilbert Scott, William Butterfield, William Burges, George
Bodley, and most significant for Morris, George Edmund Streetwere
involved in some aspect of restoration practice. A.W. Pugin,
the period's primary Gothic Revival theorist was exempt, for as a
Catholic he had little opportunity to design or restore Protestant
churches.9 All of these architects attempted to impose the
aesthetic preferences, actually the preferences of the evolving
High Victorian architectural movement, on the churches under
their care. Box pews were torn out, galleries removed, plaster wall
surfaces scraped down, and lecterns in presumed Gothic styles were
added. Such changes were carried out to a greater degree and a
larger scale at cathedrals and abbeys, but by the 1870s few English
churches had escaped the enthusiastic hands of church restorers.
One Anti-Scrape member complained in 1879 that there was
"scarcely a single point of interest" left among English churches
and cathedrals generally.1'
As suggested, William Morris, first as an architect and later as
a supplier of architectural furnishing, was closely involved in
much of this practice. It should be remembered that when Morris
arrived at Oxford he was a strong Anglo-Catholic. His tastes,
which were influenced by that movement and concurrent
architecture fashions, included a preference for English Gothic
and, after the mid-1850s, a growing appreciation for French
examples." One of his favorite haunts while a student at Oxford
during the 1850s was Merton chapel, which had been recently
restored by William Butterfield and possessed an ostensibly
"medieval," though largely fanciful ceiling by Morris' later friend,
Hungerford Pollen. George Edmund Street, Morris' Oxford
employer, was diocesan architect for Oxfordshire, and as such was
responsible for numerous parish church restorations. Morris, no
doubt, participated in these projects, though he did voice some
opposition to the more radical restorations of continental
architects, such as those of Eugene Viollet-le-Duc at Sainte
Chapelle and Notre Dame carried out in the 1850s.12 After 1860
with the founding of his firm, Morris became increasingly involved
in restoration efforts especially as a supplier of architectural
furnishings, such as stained glass. One of his earliest supporters
within the architectural community-and the firm depended a
great deal on such connections at first-was George Bodley, who
used Morris and Company stained glass and other furnishing in
both new and older churches. Paul Thompson, one of Morris'
biographers, estimates that at least one-third of Morris and
Company glass went into older, as opposed to newer, churches
HERITAGE * SUMMER 1990 9
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 8, Number 3, Summer 1990, periodical, Summer 1990; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45427/m1/9/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.