Better it is to do a little substantially and consistently with
truth, than to produce a great fictitious effect
the Palace of Westminster and its iconic Elizabeth tower, he was also the architect of
over one hundred buildings, not only in the UK but also in Ireland and Australia.
- Louie Young
When I subsequently visited Pugin’s ‘Little Gem’, St Giles Church in Cheadle, Staffordshire, my love of his work was solidified. St Giles’ richly decorated interiors gave me an insight into the splendors that would have once adorned the Towers and a real sense of Pugin’s thoughts, hopes, and dreams for the future of Gothic.
I first became familiar with the name Augustus Pugin through reading one of my now most treasured books, Alton Towers: A Gothic Wonderland, by Michael Fisher. Fascinated by the ruins, I wanted to learn all I could about them. With every page I become more enthralled by their history and the rich descriptions of how magnificent they had once been. Whilst there were many other architects and craftsmen involved in creating the Towers, it is undoubtedly Pugin’s passion and vision that left the biggest mark.
It is said that Pugin fitted one hundred years of work into his short life of forty years and, when I began to explore his legacy further, I could see how one could easily believe that to be true. Most famously known for his work on the interiors of
My travels in search of the beautiful...
Galleries and bios of places recorded so far are in postcode order
below, or click on the map link to view them by location.
St Giles, Cheadle
ST10 1ED - 18 Charles Street, Staffordshire
Located in the small town of Cheadle, Staffordshire, the first sight you will see of St Giles is its impressive 200-foot red sandstone steeple towering over the rooftops. Nothing in St Giles is left unadorned, with every surface, pier, archway and step painted, stencilled or laid with Minton tile.
St John, Alton
ST10 4AJ - Castle Hill Rd, Staffordshire
St John’s Church was constructed between 1840 and 1842 as part of the Alton Castle and hospital complex of buildings created by Pugin for the 16th Earl of Shrewsbury. It was originally designed so that the nave could also serve as a schoolroom for the education of the less fortunate children of the village.
From the glittering High Altar of the Church of the Immaculate Conception to a monstrance from Linford Church, Norfolk, the beauty of Pugin’s designs can be found. These little gems are always a joy to discover, especially when they are not expected. So here is a collection of such elements that I have encountered on my travels.
If you are planning on visiting one of the sites mentioned, please make sure that you check the opening times before venturing out.