Scott, George Gilbert, Sir, 1811-1878

Alternative names
Birth 1811-07-13
Death 1878-03-27

Biographical notes:

English architect.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : London, to unidentified "Gentlemen", 1864 June 4. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270633941

From the description of Autograph letter signed : [London], to an unidentified recipient, 1855 Dec. 3. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270633888

Sir George Gilbert Scott was perhaps the premier English architect of his day. He showed promise in his youth, and was able to study and acquire practical experience in designing and building. His earliest efforts were workhouses, but during the prime of his career he worked predominately on churches, both designing and restoring buildings all over England and occasionally on the European continent. He also worked on many secular projects, including the Prince Albert Memorial in Hyde Park and important works at both Oxford and Cambridge. Many future architects worked for him, including his son John Oldrid Scott, who took over his father's practice after his death.

From the description of George Gilbert Scott letters to Edward Thring, 1861. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 62590096

Sir George Gilbert Scott was born in Buckinghamshire, England, in 1811 and showed an early interest in architecture, particularly that of churches. He was brought up in a religious family with evangelical views and apprenticed to James Edmeston, a local architect, in 1827. He later attached himself to two London firms before setting up as an independent architect, with an urgency forced upon him by his father's death, in 1834. He and his clerk of works, W B Moffat, were industrious in finding customers, chiefly of the institutional kind, and for some years specialised in constructing workhouses. However, Scott did manage to design some churches in this period: they lack the flair and originality of his later work. He was introduced to Gothic art properly in the 1840s, and in 1844 won a competition to design St. Nicholas' Church in Hamburg, Germany. From then until the early 1860s he was busy with many commissions, chiefly connected with the building and restoration of churches and cathedrals, most notably at Westminster Abbey, London. He became a member of the Royal Academy in 1861, where he was later professor of architecture, and began work on new government buildings in London. He won a competition in 1864 to design the Albert Memorial but not to design the Albert Hall, and in 1865 began his famous work at St Pancras railway station, London. He was awarded a knighthood in 1872. He died in 1878: his two sons both followed him into the business, and completed projects begun by him, including the University of Glasgow buildings at Gilmorehill, Glasgow, Scotland.

Biographical history prepared by the SCAN project.

From the guide to the Correspondence and ephemera of Sir George Gilbert Scott, 1811-1878, architect, 1865-1931, (Glasgow University Library, Special Collections Department)


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  • Architects--19th century--Correspondence
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  • Edinburgh (Scotland) (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • London (England) (as recorded)