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William Douglas Caröe

(1857—1938) architect


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(1857–1938). Son of the Danish Consul in Liverpool, he was a versatile church architect and a pioneer of building conservation, who also designed country-houses, educational buildings, offices, remarkably inventive furniture, embroideries, memorials, monuments, metalwork (e.g. the High Altar Cross for the Cathedral at Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk), and much else. He was architect to five cathedrals (notably St David's and Brecon in Wales) and to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in England (1895–1938). Among his best works are the Swedish Church, Liverpool (1883–4), St David, Exeter, Devon (1897–1900—with passage-aisles derived from Bodley's work at Pendlebury), St Barnabas, Walthamstow (1902–23—which forms a felicitous composition with its charming Queen Anne tile-hung vicarage and adjoining hall), St Hugh, Charterhouse, Mendip, Som. (1908–30), St Ninian, Douglas, IoM (1913), St Helen, St Helen's, Lancs. (1920s), St George, Troodos, Cyprus (1928–30), St Bartholemew, Beltinge, Herne Bay, Kent (1908–31—described by Pevsner as ‘feverishly novel’), Christ Church, Dartford, Kent (1908–9), and the exquisite chapels in St Mary's Church, Gillingham, Dorset (1921), and Holy Trinity, Eccleshall, Staffs. (1929–31), while his repairs to St Thomas à Becket Church, Fairfield, Romney Marsh, Kent (1912–13), and St Ishow (or Issui), Partrishow, Breconshire (now Powys), Wales (1908–9), are outstandingly sensitive and very fine. His secular works include the robust 75–83 Duke Street, London (1890–4), the elegant offices of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners at 1 Millbank, London (1903–6), the considerable extensions to his own house, Vann, near Hambledon, Surrey (1907–30), and his winter home, Latomia, Kyrenia, Cyprus (1933). He joined the Art Workers' Guild in 1890, resigned in 1910, and rejoined when Lutyens became Master in 1933.

From A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Architecture.


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