Henry Flitcroft Research Project

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Hoare’s Bank have commissioned writer and curator Gill Hedley to write a book on the architect Henry Flitcroft (1697-1769), who hitherto has been without a monograph. Here, Gill shares details of her research project and welcomes hearing from Georgian Group members who may be able to help:

HENRY FLITCROFT 1697-1769

While Henry Flitcroft occurs in many scholarly books and articles, no publication has brought together the various approaches taken by architectural historians to this English neo-Palladian. Nor has his life been studied in any detail.

His nickname Burlington Harryovershadows any serious view of his life and work. It was almost certainly never used in his lifetime and he might just as well have been called The Hoare Family Architect as he worked for them off and on for over forty years. He was also associated with the Royal family, the Earls of Hardwicke and the Dukes of Montagu over many decades. There was always a balance of work undertaken for families, across the generations; his own speculative work; the churches he was asked (or not) to design; a wide range of London townhouses and his freer imaginative works in the landscape from Windsor to Stourhead. Added to that are the posts he held in the Office of the Kings Works, Westminster Abbey and St. Pauls. 

Research trips to Flitcrofts houses and churches, as well as archives and libraries, are obviously suspended at present except in virtual mode. In late February, Hoares Bank and the Hoare family, who suggested this research project, hosted an event at which I introduced my research in the form of a PowerPoint followed by a series of questions, comments and answers. The presentation ends with a series of queries about specific buildings, Flitcroft’s work in the Gothic style and his furniture. I am delighted to make this available to Georgian Group members and to seek comments and advice. To view the PowerPoint presentation please click here

I am also trying to establish exactly how George Edmund Street inherited (supposedly through Flitcrofts granddaughter, a person who never existed) Flitcrofts own house in Hampstead.

Please do contact me and, if you wish, I can send you a list of all the patrons, clients and building projects (with Flitcroft as designer, draughtsman, surveyor, assistant, etc) of which I am currently aware. My contact details can be found on the presentation and at my website below. 

Your help will be much appreciated.

GILL HEDLEY

www.gillhedley.co.uk

(Image: Detail of portrait of Henry Flitcroft, attributed to Bartholomew Dandridge, c. 1735. RIBA Collections)

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Comments 5

  1. Dear Gill, delighted to hear this. An overdue and very welcome project. I wish you well in the research. Regards, Alan

  2. I may be blind, but I couldn’t find anywhere on Gill Hedley’s website her contact information, and I do have some important Flitcroft information (two separate items) to share with her. Please pass along her email address or street address. I am an architectural historian in the USA.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi John,
      On her website, Gill can be contacted by email by clicking the ‘contact by email’ option on the list of the left side of the page (third from the bottom). In addition, her contact details are on the last page of the PowerPoint presentation: gill@gillhedley.net.
      Best wishes, The Georgian Group

  3. I’m very happy to know that work on this book is going ahead, and look forward to studying it when it is available.

    My flat looks directly onto St Giles in the Fields; I see this sublime church in all its seasons and moods. I feel fortunate that this restrained and, somehow, timeless creation continues to create the energies that secretly holds this fascinating part of London together. Somewhat underappreciated, like Flitcroft himself, I believe.

  4. Good news. He is buried in Teddington, St Mary’s Church, where there a memorial inside the church and an inscribed ledger stone on his tomb, which is outside round the back. He is buried with his only son, also Henry, and wife Jane. His son “died without issue April 3rd 1826”.

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