Re-discovering Wardell’s Chantry Chapel for Lord Petre : a crumbling fabulation

de Jong, Ursula 2012, Re-discovering Wardell’s Chantry Chapel for Lord Petre : a crumbling fabulation, in SAHANZ 2012 : Fabulation : myth, nature, heritage. Proceedings of the 29th Society of Architectural Historians Australia & New Zealand Conference, SAHANZ, Launceston, Tas., pp. 241-263.

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Title Re-discovering Wardell’s Chantry Chapel for Lord Petre : a crumbling fabulation
Author(s) de Jong, Ursula
Conference name Society of Architectural Historians Australia & New Zealand. Conference (29th : 2012 : Launceston, Tasmania)
Conference location Launceston, Tasmania
Conference dates 5-8 Jul. 2012
Title of proceedings SAHANZ 2012 : Fabulation : myth, nature, heritage. Proceedings of the 29th Society of Architectural Historians Australia & New Zealand Conference
Editor(s) King, Stuart
Chatterjee, Anuradha
Loo, Stephen
Publication date 2012
Conference series Society of Architectural Historians Australia & New Zealand. Conference
Start page 241
End page 263
Total pages 23
Publisher SAHANZ
Place of publication Launceston, Tas.
Summary In January 2009 The Times reported that the Historic Chapels Trust (HCT) was undertaking the preservation and conservation of the Chantry Chapel of Thorndon Hall, near Brentwood, Essex, England, once the seat of the Petre family, one of England’s oldest Catholic families. The chapel has lain severely neglected for many years with missing and loose tiles, blocked gutters, and heavily eroded stonework. In spite of its desperate need of repair, inside, glimpses of the richly carved and lavishly decorated interior remain, witness to exquisite craftsmanship. Because of its quality Nikolas Pevsner had attributed the building to A W N Pugin. More recent research has established that in fact William Wardell was the architect.

By 1854, when Lord Petre commissioned this mausoleum for his estate, Wardell would have been especially known for his London curvilinear decorated churches at Greenwich, Clapham and Hammersmith. Wardell produced three complete sets of drawings for the Chantry Chapel. Drawings for all three designs are extant, and give valuable insights into Wardell's design methods and the evolution of his design thinking. They raise questions about Early Victorian and High Victorian Gothic sensibilities and establish Wardell’s architectural and design credentials beyond a doubt. This paper explores Wardell’s debt to Pugin, posits the Chantry Chapel as a rival to Pugin’s St Giles Church, Cheadle, and considers the question of patronage.

Now acknowledged to be ‘of outstanding architectural and historic interest ‘ by HCT and English Heritage, the Chantry chapel - a crumbling fabulation - is the subject of major heritage considerations. Questions about authenticity in rebuilding and reconstruction are currently overridden by the urgent need to secure the structure from collapse.
ISBN 9781862956582
Language eng
Field of Research 120102 Architectural Heritage and Conservation
120103 Architectural History and Theory
Socio Economic Objective 950307 Conserving the Historic Environment
HERDC Research category E1 Full written paper - refereed
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30049571

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Architecture and Built Environment
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