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St John's - Bourne End

In 1853-5, Scott built this small flint church on a slope with an angular spirelet at the east end for the rector the Reverend Sir John Culme Seymour. The apse is on a plinth and there is a decorative tiled roof, including over the south porch. It contains the first windows designed by Alfred Bell for Scott. The builder was Mr. Harris of Berkhamsted. The completed building and furniture cost £1439, paid for by the Rector, but the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, who was Patron of the Living by virtue of the land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall in the parish, also donated £100.


St James's - Bushey

Scott restored, enlarged and refitted this church in 1871, adding north and south aisles, removing the plaster to reveal the timber roof and replacing the chancel roof. The fittings included a Romanesque style font and a reredos.


St Mary's - Childwickbury

This is a simple and attractive little red brick church with a tile roof and a shingled spirelet completed for Henry Joseph Toulmin, the owner of Childwickbury Estate in 1867. He was a member of the St Albans Abbey Restoration Committee, and later opposed, somewhat timidly, Grimthorpe's more drastic restoration works. It was built as a Chapel of Ease for Childwickbury estate workers so they did not have to go to the parish church of St Michael’s in St Albans. It has one aisle, the east end with plate tracery. There are lancet windows in the chancel and square headed windows in the nave.

St Mary Magdalene - Flaunden

It must have been about the time of the move to Spring Gardens in 1838 that Scott designed his first church. This was very much his own job as this was a church for his uncle Samuel King, to serve the people of Flaunden, Buckinghamshire, sited in the centre of the village. The old church on the outskirts of Latimer had been allowed to fall into ruin. In later years, when writing his Recollections, Scott is so deprecating of this his first tentative effort that he hardly considers it a proper church at all, and dismisses it as a ‘poor barn’. It is a single-cell church with a south porch, a north-east vestry, a bell turret at the west end and lancet windows. The decorative flint-work to the walls is reminiscent of nearby Amersham Workhouse except that this time the windows are lancets derived from the Early English style in the Church Commissioners traditions, rather than the Tudor of Amersham. Scott himself benefitted from a grant from the Church Building Society in 1837 towards the building of Flaunden Church.

Forwood, B., and Armitage, M., Latimer, A History (1981), p. 15.
Scott’s Recollections, I 296.

Holy Trinity - Frogmore

This church was built between 1841-2 for Marcus Richard Southwell, the vicar, helped by a grant from the Incorporated Church Building Society and was to seat 460. It is in a Norman style in flint with red brick dressings and stone details with patterned brickwork at the west end. It is symmetrical with no chancel, just an apse, transepts and aisle. The interior today is much altered from when it was first built, with additions in 1968.


St Katherine's - Ickleford

Between 1859-60, Scott carried out a restoration of this church for Mrs. Marion Dudley Ryder adding a new south aisle and south chapel, north vestry and new round headed Norman style arches to the nave arcade with round clerestory windows above.

All Saints, Garston - Leavesden

Scott built this Commissioner’s Church between 1852-3 for a cost of £2600. The site was given by Thomas Clutterbuck and the incumbent vicar was Adolphus White. It is built in a Gothic style in flint and Bath stone with a tile roof. It has a chancel, nave, south aisle, porch, a tower with a shingled spire and a three light east window. It had 66 pews and 250 free seats. A stone pulpit was provided by the brother of the vicar and also a font.


St Albans Abbey - St Albans

In 1859 Scott urged the students at the Royal Academy to go to St. Albans to see that ‘glorious old temple’. He had wanted to go there while he was staying with the Kings' in 1826, and although it is less than seven miles from Latimer, he never went and it was only when he was at Edmeston's that he finally saw the huge Norman pile. Its architecture has none of the grandeur of Ely, Westminster Abbey or even Peterborough, but as at one stage he ‘almost dreamed of St. Albans’, he must have been delighted in 1856 to be requested by the Rector, Dr. Henry Joseph Boone Nicholson (1795-1866), to report on the state of the Abbey. The Cottinghams had been in charge of the Abbey since 1833, and with the death of N. J. Cottingham in 1854, Scott probably felt that he was free to approach Nicholson, perhaps with an introduction from Donaldson, who was Nicholson’s brother-in-law.

It was proposed to form a new diocese of St. Albans with the Abbey raised to the status of a cathedral, and Scott's report was commissioned as a basis for raising funds to enable this to take place. The public meeting, which was held following the production of the report, was the one that Grimthorpe ‘accidently’ attended, and it ended with Scott giving a conducted tour of the Abbey. But the proposal to raise the status of the Abbey failed to materialise, and nothing was done until the next call for cathedral status in 1871. However, Scott did manage to ensure that he remained in the fore-front of the minds of the inhabitants of St. Albans with an almost continuous stream of work stemming from his Abbey involvement.

In 1871, when the proposal to raise the Abbey to cathedral status was resurrected, Scott was commissioned to make another report and he found that he had yet another central-tower problem on his hands. The great Norman tower, built of Roman bricks, had in the past shown signs of instability so Scott examined its Norman supporting piers drawing alarming conclusions. The tower was showing unmistakable signs of giving way. As Scott was ill at the time, he immediately sent his son Gilbert, now aged thirty, to supervise emergency works, and he ‘was a great service in arranging the system of Shoring’. On the north-east corner of the tower young Gilbert and John Chapple, the Clerk of Works, had to carefully remove the shattered parts and replace them with hard brick work in cement. They used liquid cement to fill many other gaps that they had discovered in the supporting piers. Below the south-east corner pier, much to their horror, they found that a cave had been dug out and filled with timber. This, Scott thought, could have been an abortive attempt to destroy the tower. Early in spring of 1871, he was well enough to inspect the tower and on 22 June, St. Albans Day, to attend a public meeting in London ‘for the furtherance of the work’, where he said it would not cost less than £50,000. But the meeting was hardly a success, as Scott says, the funds that were raised were ‘about one quarter of what was needed’.

However, by August 1872, Scott was able to write that the repairs to the tower had now been completed and the abutting walls strengthened, ‘So I trust the old tower is now safe & sound again’. Scott’s greatest excitement was in finding pieces of the early fourteenth century supporting structure to St. Alban's Shrine. Earlier, in Nicholson's time, they had discovered ‘a number of beautiful purbeck marble fragments which we concluded to belong to this structure’, but no progress was made towards reconstructing it prior to strengthening the tower. Scott, it seems, was decidedly miffed when his ‘zealous assistant’, John Thomas Micklethwaite (1843-1906), took it upon himself to re-assemble these pieces into the shrine and thus depriving Scott of the pleasure of solving this jig-saw puzzle. Micklethwaite had been in Scott's office since 1862, as a pupil at first, but must he must have left soon after his work on the shrine, perhaps upset by Scott's reaction, as he had set up in practice on his own by 1869.

Scott placed the shrine ‘exactly in its old place, stone for stone and fragment for fragment’, in the presbytery, immediately behind the High Altar, and described it as ‘a magnificent piece of work’, the position shown by the knee marks of pilgrims. The Restoration Committee disallowed the work under their account, the fees of £52 being unpaid, but Ruskin guaranteed the cost if necessary. Carried along on a wave of enthusiasm, he ‘also found and in part set up the shrine of St Amphilabus! This is of a later date & of common stone’ and was originally erected in the mid-fourteenth century to support the remains of the Christian cleric who had converted Alban to Christianity and for whom Alban was executed for sheltering. This too, is only a base, or at least, part of a base, as some of it has never been found.

By February 1877 Scott wrote that ‘At the present moment the work is in abeyance’ awaiting further funding. He had by now completed the eastern portions of the main structure and although much work had been done to the Lady Chapel and the two side chapels, with funds raised by the Marchioness of Salisbury, more money was still required to continue the obliteration of the ravages of three centuries of school-boys in the Lady Chapel. Lady Salisbury was the wife of the third Marquis of Hatfield House, who was the brother-in-law of Beresford Hope.

The dinner in July 1875, which Grimthorpe attended at St. Albans, was organised by Scott as President of the Institute ‘to the Council of the Institute & many friends & we had a jolly field day in the abbey’, in another effort to raise the outstanding £30,000 required mainly for the west front and for work on the nave. In fact the state of the nave was worse than imagined, and soon after the dinner, Chapple gave Grimthorpe the opportunity to become actively involved in the restoration, by asking for his financial help in shoring-up the clerestory on the south side of the nave. This was the start of his interference in the restoration of the abbey and the hounding of Scott in the last few years of his life.

Scott cautiously wrote in February 1877:

I forebear to say anything of our operations in the Nave till they are more advanced and the difficulty involved by the leaning out and of the five western bays on the south side of the Nave are passed God grant us success!

He was being urged by the Reverend William John Loftie (1839-1911) to be more conservative, while on the other hand he had to endure Grimthorpe.

I am in this, as in other works, obliged to face right & left to combat two enemies from either hand the one wanting me to do too much & the other finding fault with me for doing anything.

In his Recollections Scott confessed to getting into a muddle over doorways in the aisles of the presbytery and St Albans seems to have been a particular worry. Scott describes Loftie as the leader of a ‘narrow party’ and it is significant that in 1879 George Gilbert junior omitted ‘narrow’ from the published text. In the two intervening years, what Scott had considered to be a small affair had grown into a huge movement against the restoration methods that he and his generation of architects had employed.

St. Albans duly became a cathedral, with its first bishop, Thomas Legh Claughton (1808-92), coming from Rochester where Scott was also working. His enthronement took place on 12 June 1877, with scaffolding still supporting the south side of the nave. On the following day the builders, Longmire and Burge, started work on the nave, but, as Grimthorpe said, ‘If the work had not fallen into the hands of a builder who knew more of mechanics than the architect, it would never have been done at all. Longmire did it in his own way, but had no end of trouble from Scott's ignorant clerks interfering with him’.

Scott's sudden death a few months later and the chronic shortage of funds gave Grimthorpe the opportunity to use his wealth to take over the restoration himself and to dispense with the services of an architect completely. John initially took over all his father’s restoration work backed up by a diminishing Spring Gardens team led by the faithful Charles Baker King. But in 1880 he lost St Albans when he refused to carry out Grimthorpe’s design for the west front. Grimthorpe had just obtained a faculty to restore the cathedral at his own expense and commented that John ‘was very foolish to throw up such a job almost at the beginning of his career. I am sure his father would not have done so at any time’. Grimthorpe, of course, destroyed the large Perpendicular windows at the west end and at the ends of transepts, and left the Abbey with his efforts only too obvious today.

Scott, G., Sir, Lectures on the Rise and Development of Medieval Architecture delivered at the Royal Academy (John Murray, London, 1879), I, p. 184.
Scott’s Recollections, IV 3, 6-8, 10, 13-15, 29-30, 223, 232-3.
Roberts, E., The Hill of Martyr, An Architectural History of St Alban’s Abbey (The Book Castle, Dunstable, 1993), p. 198.
Clarke, B. F. L., Church Builders of the Nineteenth Century, A Study of the Gothic Revival in England (David and Charles, Newton Abbot, 1969), p. 190.
Scott, G. G., Scott, G. (ed.), Personal and Professional Recollections (Sampson Low, Murston, Searle & Rivington, London, 1879), p. 357.
Dictionary of National Biography Supplement II, p. 29.
Grimthorpe, St. Alban’s Cathedral and its Restoration, p. 25, cited Briggs, M. S., Men of Taste, From Pharaoh to Ruskin (B. T. Batsford, London, 1947), pp. 210-11.
Ferriday, P., Lord Grimthorpe 1816-1905 (John Murray, London, 1957), p. 115.
Beckett, Sir E., Bart., St Alban’s Cathedral and its Restoration (Randall, St Alban’s, 1885), p. 51.

Abbey Gateway - St Albans

Scott's biggest work during this period, before the restoration of the Abbey commenced, was the conversion of the Abbey Gateway into a school. This is a large and forbidding-looking mid-fourteenth century flint structure, three stories high, complete with attic and dungeons, and stands a few yards to the west of the Abbey. It survived the destruction of the rest of the monastic buildings at the Dissolution, because of its suitability as a prison. In 1868 Scott was commissioned to restore and convert this building into the school, considerably restoring the windows, and to provide a new school master's house on its south side, on the site of the gaoler's house. This cost £2400 and the house was demolished in 1912. Ever since the Reformation, the school had been housed in the fourteenth-century Lady Chapel, which was separated from the rest of the Abbey by a public passageway between high walls. Although it was a convenient short-cut from the town centre to the south of the Abbey, the school had moved, and in August 1872, Scott wrote that the eastern chapels ‘at present remain desolate and the footpath still perforates them - but surely this cannot continue! … This must be abated!’ so becoming part of his general restoration plans for the Abbey.

Royal Commission for Historic Monuments, St Alban’s Cathedral (1952), p. 28.
Kilvington, F., The Precinct of St Albans Abbey, 1539-1999 (Friends of St Albans Abbey, St Albans, 2000), p. 79, plate verso p. 52, for photograph.
Scott’s Recollections, IV 12.

Christchurch - St Albans

Scott completed the Italianate Christchurch, which is close to the Abbey, between 1856-9 for Mrs Isabella Worley. It had been started in 1847 by Charles Parker as a Roman Catholic church, modelled on St Raphael’s, Surbiton, and was completed by Scott after it had been donated to the Church of England. Built in Bath stone in round arch style, the windows were in Scott’s Venetian style. The builder was W. Smith of St Albans. Scott also designed the fittings for the interior. It was converted to offices during the 1980s.

Christchurch Vicarage - St Albans

Scott probably also built the vicarage behind Christchurch at the same time, which is a L shaped building with a self-consciously asymmetrical arrangement of late Romanesque style round-headed openings. This neatly fits the theories that he was advancing in the Remarks at the time, particularly as the Romanesque features acknowledge the Norman architecture of the Abbey, and also harmonise with the round-headed windows of the Italianate church.

Christchurch School - St Albans

Scott also built a small brick school opposite the church with round-headed windows and a gabled roof at the same time as the vicarage, between 1858-9.

Clock Tower, Market Place - St Albans

In about 1865 Scott restored the early fifteenth century Clock Tower, which stands in the Market Place. He renewed the windows as well as providing a new battlemented parapet and a new conical capping to the stair turret.

Worley Drinking Fountain - St Albans

In 1874, Scott placed an elaborate granite quatrefoil drinking fountain in front of the Clock Tower for Mrs Isabella Worley. This, after several moves, has ended up about one mile away, in the middle of a twentieth century office development, close to St. Albans railway station.

Dispensary and Hospital, Holywell Hill - St Albans

Toulmin was also the Treasurer of a small hospital and dispensary which, in about 1870, Scott designed a building for in a quiet Gothic style on Holywell Hill, close to the Abbey. It was a two storied asymmetric brickwork building in a domestic style, with a gabled front and plate tracery. It had a projecting ground floor bay and in the 1881 census had three patients and a matron. However, it was demolished in the 1930s.

St Michael's - St Albans

In 1865-7, Scott provided a new roof and refitted and carried out other alterations to St. Michael's Church, one mile to the west of the Abbey. This included removing the west gallery and also the box pews, rebuilding the chancel east wall and window, rebuilding the south-east chapel buttresses, adding a south porch and repairing the tower. This is an important medieval church, still retaining much of its original Saxon structure and situated on the site of the basilica of Verulamium. But this did not deter Grimthorpe in 1896 from completely altering its appearance by demolishing the old tower and building a new one so that he could extend the nave westwards.

Ferriday, P., Lord Grimthorpe 1816-1905 (John Murray, London, 1957), p. 194.

Gravestone for Henry Hayman Toulmin - St Albans

In 1871, he provided a gravestone for Henry Hayman Toulmin, a member of the family who had employed him at Childwickbury and were closely involved with the Abbey restoration. It is a high cross headstone with ledger and footstone, in an enclosure over the vault, with a smaller memorial.

St Stephen's - St Albans

In 1861-2 Scott repaired and restored St. Stephen's Church, one mile to the south of the Abbey. This included replacing the short bell cote and ‘Hertfordshire’ spike, with a broach spire.

Holy Cross - Sarratt

Between 1865-6, Scott carried out restorations and additions to this church for Rev. Edward Ryley. Scott had been to the church as a boy when he attended his uncle`s preparatory school at Latimer. Originally the church was a Greek Cross plan but side aisles were added to accommodate 75 seats from the removed gallery and the church was reseated to accommodate 216. Walls were underpinned, the plaster ceiling removed to expose the timber roof, the chancel floor was raised and a new vestry and porch added all for the cost of £1400. He also provided a new font on an old pedestal, an altar, reading desk and based the new pews on late Medieval surviving ones in the north transept.


St Mary the Great redecoration - Sawbridgeworth

Scott redecorated the chancel of this church between 1866-7.

St Mary the Great - Sawbridgeworth

Scott completed the church with a re-roofing and further general restoration in 1870.

St James's fittings - Thorley

Scott designed fittings for this church in around 1870. These included a low moulded stone base for a 12th century square font, a carved wooden pulpit, a reading desk and eight bay low trellised wooden altar rails.

St Mary's - Watford

In 1871 Scott restored and refitted this church for the vicar, the Rev. Richard Lee James. He stripped the exterior of plaster and refaced it with flint and stone dressings. Battlements were added to the tower. He also provided a font, choir stalls and a reredos of white stone for the interior.