mon08aug6:30 pmYG Lecture: James Wyatt’s Forgotten Masterpiece: The Speaker’s House at Westminster, 1794-1834In-person lecture by Murray Tremellen6:30 pm The Georgian Group, 6 Fitzroy Square, FitzroviaBook Now

Event Details

This lecture has been rescheduled for Monday 8th August. 

£15 (£10 YGs)

The Palace of Westminster – home of Britain’s Houses of Parliament – is one of the country’s most famous and recognisable buildings. The current Palace complex, constructed in the mid-nineteenth century, has become so iconic that the original, medieval Palace has been largely forgotten in popular memory. In recent years, the University of York has undertaken several research projects to reveal more about the architectural history of the old Palace. Our speaker’s PhD, now in its final stages, focuses specifically on the development of the first Speaker’s House during the early nineteenth century.

In 1794, the Speaker of the House of Commons was granted the use of a large townhouse within the Palace complex. From 1802, this house was completely remodelled by celebrity architect James Wyatt, as part of a wider programme to expand and modernise the Palace complex. Wyatt made the bold decision to construct his new buildings in castellated Gothic style, thus breaking from more than a century of classical dominance in British public building projects. However, by the dawn of the Victorian era Wyatt’s reputation was in decline, and his work was unceremoniously swept away following the 1834 fire at Westminster.

In this presentation, Murray Tremellen will explain how Wyatt transformed the Speaker’s House to suit the social and political objectives of its occupants. He will also set the house into the wider context of contemporary architectural developments at Westminster, and will argue for the significance of Wyatt’s work as a landmark moment in the progress of the Gothic Revival in Britain.

Murray Tremellen is a PhD candidate in the Department of History of Art at the University of York. His PhD research explores the history of the first Speaker’s House from both political and architectural perspectives. His wider interests span eighteenth-, nineteenth- and twentieth-century architecture; his MA dissertation research on the architecture of the Southern Railway has recently been published. Before starting his PhD Murray worked for the National Trust, latterly as Assistant House Steward at Uppark House & Garden, West Sussex.

The talks starts at 6.30pm, doors open from 6.15pm.

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(Image: Yale Center for British Art)


(Monday) 6:30 pm


The Georgian Group

6 Fitzroy Square, Fitzrovia

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