Front Cover

by Gary Tollerfield

The photograph on the front cover takes a close look at Victorian pipe decoration, a manifestation of the Gothic Revival style of architecture which had its roots at the end of the 18th century. By the middle of the 19th century, Gothic Revival had become the dominant style for new church design, with architects Pugin, Butterfield, Street, Teulon, Burges and Bodley prominent in the field. Gilbert Scott’s practice was associated with a great deal of cathedral restoration, and his son Giles designed the overwhelmingly large Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool in a fundamentally Gothic style.

The catalogue of architects above omits one whose Gothic Revival work is for me the most convincing and enjoyable. The missing name is of course J L Pearson, whose work included St Michael and all Angels Croydon, Hove Parish Church, both fine churches, and Truro Cathedral.

St James Titsey is one of his earlier churches, perhaps lacking the maturity he was to find in later designs, but the quality of his work is evident. The photograph shows the chancel with the organ by Hill placed on the North wall, the preferred siting. Together with choirstalls, decorated pipe rack organ front, encaustic floor tiles, polychrome wall decoration and polished marble columns, the perfect example of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture.

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