James Wyatt's Birthday
Wednesday, 3rd August 1746
The architect James Wyatt was born this day in 1746 at Blackbrook Farm, Weeford, Staffordshire. He produced a great deal of work in the fashionable neo-classical style which he said:
"There has been no regular architecture since Sir William Chambers - the public taste corrupted by the Adams, I am obliged to comply with it."
His designs include Heaton Hall in Manchester and the Brocklesby Mausoleum in Lincolnshire.
He restored a number of mediaeval buildings including Westminster Abbey and Salisbury Abbey (where his rearrangement of the interior led to him being called "Wyatt the Destroyer"). He produced new work in the Georgian Gothick style - most notably, the infamous house, Fonthill Abbey for William Beckford. Fonthill had a central tower 300 feet (90 metres) high; this collapsed on several occasions, only a fragment of the house still stands.
He died in 1813 after striking his head on the roof of his coach on a bumpy road.
James Wyatt, probably working at the time at Brocklesby Park, designed a mausoleum near Great Limber to commemorate Sophia Aufrere who died in 1786. The mausoleum stands on a mound which contained Anglo-Saxon burials. Wyatt took as his model the temples of Vesta at Tivoli and Rome. The interior is lit from above through coloured glass by Francis Eginton ... (read more...)