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Sir Charles Miles Lambert Monck

(1779—1867) architect, landscape designer, and politician


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(1779–1867). English landowner and architect. After their marriage in 1804, he and his wife, Louisa (d. 1824), visited Greece, where they met Gell, and saw numerous Antique remains. They also visited Germany, where Monck sketched several Neo-Classical buildings, including Langhans's Brandenburg Gate, Berlin. When the Moncks returned to their estate in Northum. in 1806 (with a large collection of drawings and a son, appropriately named Charles Atticus (1805–56)), they decided to erect a new house at Belsay, and the work was completed in 1817, one of the world's outstanding buildings in the Greek Revival style (and one of noble simplicity and clarity, happily devoid of pedantry), for which Monck was his own architect, supervising all the work himself. This fine, austere, and unconventional house has been wrongly attributed to John Dobson, the distinguished architect who practised in and around Newcastle upon Tyne: Dobson advised Monck on certain aspects such as the details of Ionic capitals and how to draw them accurately for craftsmen, but otherwise Belsay is entirely Monck's work (his draughtsmanship was, in Colvin's words, ‘neat and accurate’), although he also discussed his work with Gell who seems to have suggested certain refinements. Nowhere in England was the Arcadian vision of Romantic Neo-Classicism better expressed than at Belsay in its setting, and nowhere may finer ashlar work be seen. At Belsay, Monck also designed the stables (with octagonal lantern based on the Athenian ‘Tower of the Winds’), the Greek Revival lodges, and a remarkable garden in the quarry from which the stone for the house was taken. Monck designed Linden House, near Morpeth (1812–13), with a Greek Doric portico, and a long terrace of houses in the Italianate style, with arcaded ground floor, at Belsay Village (probably prompted by a visit to Sicily and Italy in 1830–1), and the Old School (1829 and 1841).

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

Subjects: Architecture.



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