Foreword by Andrew Crompton, Department Head at Liverpool School of Architecture
Architectural history is becoming popular: the nation’s cultural assets are booming as buildings that were formerly unloved are seen in a new way, as modernism, even brutalism and post-modernism, become worth visiting. What unknown riches we have in this country. But the nation’s heart is in Arts and Crafts; and Roger Button has uncovered new material in this elegant and scholarly compendium.
His story begins with a remarkable woman, Sarah Losh at Wreay near Carlisle, whose bat capitals were, I had not realised until now, copied by Redmayne at the Manchester School of Art in 1880. This book is particularly good on the work of artists and architects who deserve to be far better known, such as Heywood Sumner, Edgar Wood, George Truefitt and the wonderful John Douglas. His story ends around 1937 at Leslie Thomson’s Fairmilehead Church, which Roger describes as like stepping inside a wide-bodied aeroplane. That building shows the influence of expressionists like Dominikus Böhm, and we step into a new world. What riches and invention the old one had. We have beauties like the decorations at hidden St Mary’s Church Llanfair, and buildings that should be, and one day perhaps will be, world famous such as the Edgar Wood Church on Daisy Bank Road Manchester.
As Head at Liverpool School of Architecture I have always encouraged students to study history. Whatever good idea you have you soon find someone else will have had it before. Who would guess that board marked concrete first appeared in a Lethaby church with a thatched roof. Any architectural student could learn from visiting these churches. Roger Button’s compendium of Arts and Crafts churches will find many audiences among scholars, students and enthusiasts.
A new book describing fifty of the most innovative Arts and Crafts churches, chapels and meeting houses.
275 pp, 294 colour Illus, map and gazetteers. 210 x 210 mm
Roger Button studied at King's College Cambridge and the University of Liverpool. His career as a civil engineer took him around the world.
Paperback. ISBN: 978-1-913071-49-3 RRP £19.50
Published March 2020.
2QT Publishing Ltd, Settle, Yorkshire
He designed the drainage for the London 2012 Olympic Stadium
He has retired and lives in York.
Introduction and Notes
In every generation a group emerges who challenge the existing orthodxy. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century the Arts and Crafts movement overthrew the prevailing Gothic style for church, and other public buildings
Chapter 1 Beginnings: St. Martin’s Brampton
The first Arts and Crafts church. The creation of the team who created the first Arts and Crafts house, Philip Webb, William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones
Chapter 2 The Arts and Crafts movement
The philosophy of the movement and the people who expressed it: Thomas Carlyle, John Ruskin, William Morris
Chapter 3 Precursors: John Douglas and George Truefitt
Two architects who rejected the prevailing authodoxy of Gothic Revival for churches and looked for new ideas from traditional buildings.
Chapter 4 London connections
The young architects based in London who revolutionised design
Chapter 5 Scotland: Broughty Ferry to Queen’s Cross
A brief survey of the differences between Scotland and England. An unknown architect, and C.R. Mackintosh.
Chapter 6 Nineteenth century Wales
A brief survey of the differences between Wales and England. Three very different churches including Wales' gem at Brithdir.
Chapter 7 Remarkable women
Three truly remarkable women. Sarah Losh at Wreay, Phoebe Traquair in Edinburgh and Mary Watts at Compton in Surrey.
Chapter 8 Scottish coasts and islands
Most Scots live on or near the sea. There are churches on islands to the north and west, and on the coast to the east of Edinburgh.
Sydney Mitchell's perfect church at Port Ellen sits on the shore of the Loch. The decorated interior of his church at Port Seton is second to none .
Chapter 9 England at the close of the nineteenth century
Two tiny chapels, and a major urban complex introduces Edgar Wood of Middleton.
Chapter 10 Three Anglican churches
The best known: Brockhampton, Kempley and Roker, W.R.Lethaby, Randall Wells and E.S. Prior
Chapter 11 Other churches and chapels
Other important buildings: the remarkable Christian Science church by Edgar Wood in Manchester and smaller buildings in Wales and Scotland.
Chapter 12 New towns and villages
The philosophy behind the constructions of new towns and villages had resonances with that of the Arts and Crafts movement.
Churches and Quaker meeting houses are found in these new settlements.
Chapter 13 Arts and Crafts comes of age
The year 1905 marked 21 years from the formation of the Art Workers' Guild, the 'movement' came of age and the Arts and Crafts ideas were, to an extent, incorporated into mainstream design philosophy. Eight churches demonstrate the results.
Chapter 14 After the ‘Great War’
Rebuilding a land fit for heroes meant building quickly and economically, contradicting the Arts and Crafts philosophy. Nevertheless much new housing incorporated Arts and Crafts ideals of open space, sustainability and social cohesion, and was served by notable churches.
Chapter 15 Finale
The second world war completed the changes initiated by industrialisation. For a generation, the wish for cottage homes and gardens was supplanted by motorways and packaged holidays. There was a glorious final fling of Arts and Crafts in the Robin Chapel at the Thistle Foundation in Edinburgh, then another generation passed before some of the Arts and Crafts ideals were rediscovered.......
1 Timeline of leading personalities
2 19th Century architectural family trees
3 Churches chronology
Copies are currently available from on-line bookshops.
Hopefully also coming to a bookshop near you soon...