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date: 15 December 2019

White, William locked

(b Blakesley, Northants, 1825; d London, Jan 22, 1900).
  • Chris Brooks


(b Blakesley, Northants, 1825; d London, Jan 22, 1900).

English architect, designer and writer . After training in the provinces and in the London office of George Gilbert Scott I, where friendship with G. E. Street reinforced his enthusiasm for medieval Gothic, he started in independent practice in Truro, Cornwall, in 1847. The schools and vicarages White designed at this period, especially the ambitious rectory of St Columb Major (1849–50), show a stylistically advanced liking for asymmetry and simplified forms and a feeling for vernacular materials. From 1851, when White returned to London, he wrote extensively, his contributions to The Ecclesiologist helping to create the theoretical basis for High Victorian Gothic. Advocating Gothic principles rather than medieval precedents, he argued for an architectural aesthetic derived from the geometry of plane and mass, asymmetrically composed, functionally expressive and employing colour to denote the structure. His own buildings developed these features into a markedly personal idiom. Particularly important are vicarages at Halstead (...

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