Pugin's plans for Balliol



Pugin's plans for Balliol


Unbuilt Oxford


Religious debates also sometimes thwarted proposed buildings. In the heated discussions leading to the construction of the Martyrs’ Memorial on St Giles, it was suggested several times that an entire church dedicated to Cranmer, Latimer, and Ridley should be built. Some wanted it to be located in St Ebbes, others felt it should be in Broad Street, and some even argued that St Mary Magdalen’s Church should be demolished and replaced. During the controversy, Catholic convert and Gothic revivalist architect Augustus Welby Pugin (1812-1852) produced a scathing pamphlet attacking the proposed memorial and casting aspersions on the morality of the martyrs’ private lives. Such offence had he caused that his imaginative and detailed designs for rebuilding Balliol College were rejected, though it has been suggested that the architect who was eventually hired borrowed heavily from Pugin’s plans.

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Museum of Oxford


Photo credit: Reproduced by kind permission of the Master and Fellows of Balliol College

Alt text

Image 1: A colourful hand-drawn illustrated title page 'for the new building at Balliol', including a building and two figures kneeling in prayer.

Image 2: An open book. The left-hand page showing a hand-drawn chapel interior. On the right-hand page are written explanations for the design.

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