St. Walburge Church and Preston Cenotaph
Building Analysis Project
St. Walburge Church (Joseph Hansom, 1850-73) and Preston Cenotaph (Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, 1926)
Pearce Chapman 20624860
Module Code: AO1005
Module Leader: Adam Evans
Word Count: 2051 (excluding endnotes and textboxes)
Table of Contents:
Internal 5 External 5-6
Memorial or Monument 7
To compare two buildings is like trying to compare fire and water. Every building is built for its individual purpose; there are religious buildings, industrial buildings, residential buildings and educational buildings. To an architect each building is unique. The two buildings which I am going to discuss are: the Church of St. Walburge (recently renamed as Shrine of St. Walburge but for the duration of this comparison I shall continue to refer to St. Walburge as a Church) designed by Gothic revival architect Joseph Hansom and Preston Cenotaph designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott.
The word building, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary (2014); is a verb of the word build “A structure with a roof and walls”i which can hardly be applied to the latter of the two buildings I am comparing, however a synonym of building is structure and I feel that this is a more appropriate term for the cenotaph, as it has neither a roof or walls.
The Church of St. Walburge began construction in May 1850 and was officially opened on the 3rd August 1854, the church was later extended in 1873 with the addition of a polygonal sanctuary and the 35 foot (11 meters) high window as seen in Figure 1. Built by already infamous architect Joseph Hansom, who invented the Hansom cab and founding the magazine The Builder ii(now known as Building). St. Walburge was made a Grade I listed building in June 1950. Hansom’s building style is typical of the Gothic revival period with its pointed arches, high vaulted ceilings, steeply pitched roof and decorative façade.
Preston Cenotaph was unveiled by Admiral of the Fleet Earl Jellicoe of Scapa on 13th June 1926. The word Cenotaph means empty coffin. Preston Cenotaph has a sarcophagus at the top of the monument, with cherubs and strands of foliage carved around it.iii Sir Gilles Gilbert Scott was the architect responsible for the design of the Cenotaph in the center of Preston. Sir Gilles Scott has an impressive repertoire, having worked on Liverpool Cathedral, Waterloo Bridge, and Battersea Power Station. He is also the architect who is responsible for the red telephone box that is common place on the streets of Britain.
Interestingly both of these architects liked to work in similar styles. Scott liked to work in a Gothic style, mixing Gothic tradition with modernism. While Hansom focused mainly on Gothic Revival as was common during Hansom’s era.
Architects design space; not buildings. Eighteenth-century philosopher Immanuel Kant described space as ‘a priori’ which roughly means ‘already given’. Colin Davies (2011) goes on to explain that the world would be unimaginable without space. When asked what space is the vast majority of people would answer, an empty void, similar to how we imagine the vast darkness that sits just outside the Earth’s atmosphere. However we know that space is not empty. We know that there are planets, stars, suns, black holes and so much more, although there are incredible distances between stars, between planets; we categorically know that space is not empty.
Space is infinite. Architects create space; space to go to and pray, space to remember and honour the dead, space to learn.
Traditionally the internal space of a building is described as the area within a boundary, more often than not this boundary is the four walls