Colin Amery, Kerry Downes, Gavin Stamp
- Beautifully designed and illustrated, using the WMF’s photographic images throughout all stages of the restoration
This fascinating book tells the story of the creation of Nicholas Hawksmoor’s celebrated 18th-century London church, St George’s, Bloomsbury, and its recent multimillion-dollar restoration, underwritten by the World Monuments Fund in Britain and the Paul Mellon Estate. Commissioned by Parliament in 1711 and completed in 1731, the church, best known from its depiction in Hogarth’s 1751 engraving, Gin Lane, has been hailed as a masterpiece of Late Baroque architecture and one of the finest churches in England built between the Reformation and the 19th-century. The church has been been returned to its original design by Hawksmoor, re-establishing its orientation and the whimsical lions, unicorns, festoons and crowns that originally graced its celebrated spire. The statues had been removed in 1871, having been declared ‘very doubtful ornaments’. Horace Walpole once described the whole tower as ‘a masterpiece of absurdity’.
Colin Amery is a writer and architectural historian, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and a passionate conservationist. He is Director of World Monuments Fund in Britain. Bonnie Burnham is President, World Monuments Fund. The Revd Perry Butler is Rector, St George’s, Bloomsbury. The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Richard Chartres is Bishop of London. Kerry Downes is the leading authority on English Baroque architecture, and the biographer of Nicholas Hawksmoor, Sir Christopher Wren and Sir John Vanbrugh. Gavin Stamp is an architectural historian and writer. Until recently, he was chairman of the Twentieth Century Society.