Revisiting the cloister: monasteries and convents in nineteenth-century Britain
Remarkably important yet often overlooked, architecture produced for Roman Catholic and Anglican religious communities of men and women in Britain is a fascinating area of study. Many of these sites and groups boldly and uniquely put eclectic architectural styles and principles into practice.
They were places of refuge, controversy, experimentation and innovation.
Many of the Victorian period’s greatest architects, including AWN Pugin, GE Street and GF Bodley, were closely involved with monastery and convent design.
Recent research demonstrates that buildings associated with monks and nuns of both denominations are distinctive and unique, blending numerous functions within a single complex in remarkable ways. There are also impressive and notable histories of patronage and many communities were powerful and persuasive in creating spaces that looked back to medieval models and forward to modern needs and facilities.
In recent years many of these pioneering communities have dwindled and their complex architectural spaces are under threat. The histories of these groups and their particular contribution to British architecture have received limited attention from scholars.
Saturday 6 October 2012. 10am to 5.15pm at the Art Workers’ Guild, 6 Queen Square, London WC1 at 10am. Doors open at 9.30am. The venue is conveniently placed for Holborn and Russell Square tube stations and numerous bus services.
Booking essential – spaces are limited. Contact the Victorian Society for more information. www.victoriansociety.org.uk