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Pugin familylocked

  • Alexandra Wedgwood
  •  and Roderick O’Donnell

English family of artists, of French descent. (1) A. C. Pugin came to England c. 1792 and had a successful and wide-ranging career; however, his son (2) A. W. N. Pugin, the Gothic Revival architect, is the best-known member of the family. The latter’s sons (3) E. W. Pugin, Peter Paul Pugin (1851–1904) and Cuthbert Welby Pugin (1840–1928), and his grandsons Sebastian Pugin Powell (1866–1949) and Charles Henry Cuthbert Purcell (1874–1958), were all architects.


  • A. Wedgwood: The Pugin Family: Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the RIBA (Farnborough, 1977)
  • A. Wedgwood: A. W. N. Pugin and the Pugin Family: Catalogue of Architectural Drawings in the Victoria & Albert Museum (London, 1985)

(1) A(ugustus) C(harles) Pugin

  • Alexandra Wedgwood

(b Paris, 1769; d London, Dec 19, 1832).

Architect, illustrator, painter, draughtsman, designer and teacher. He probably came from an artistic family with claims to nobility, and he settled in England during the French Revolution, although the exact circumstances or date of his arrival are not known. On 27 March 1792 he entered the Royal Academy Schools. It is not known how long he stayed as a student, but he soon had a position as a draughtsman to John Nash (ii), who was then working in Wales, developing his Picturesque style. Pugin later acknowledged his debt to Nash in the dedication of his first volume of Specimens of Gothic Architecture, where he wrote ‘soon after my arrival in this country, I was very fortunately introduced to you, and prosecuted my architectural studies in your office with much gratification and advantage to myself’. About 1796 Pugin returned with Nash to London. By then he was established as Nash’s expert in Gothic detail and as one of the best architectural draughtsmen of the day. In 1799 he was listed as being a member of the Royal Academy life class (see J. Farington: Diary, 1793–1821), and in the same year for the first time he exhibited there a design for a villa. Pugin’s architectural career did not develop greatly, however, and he began to form connections with publishers and topographical writers, first Rudolph Ackermann and then John Britton and E. W. Brayley (1773–1854). One of his most successful works for Ackermann was the illustrations for The Microcosm of London (1808), where his clear architectural settings proved the perfect foil to Thomas Rowlandson’s rumbustious figures. In his graphic work Pugin produced architectural drawings of unrivalled clarity and accuracy. He was also an excellent watercolourist, with a great interest in the effects of light (e.g. Westminster Abbey, 1812; London, RIBA).

In the autumn of 1818 Pugin was approached by Edward James Willson (1787–1854), a Roman Catholic architect in Lincoln, with the idea of producing a useful book for the builder with measured drawings of details of the different parts of Gothic architecture. The resulting two volumes of Specimens of Gothic Architecture appeared with the text by Willson, while to assist with the illustrations Pugin took on pupils and soon established a flourishing school of architectural drawing. After the success of Specimens, the production of illustrated books, mostly devoted to Gothic architecture, became his principal occupation. He and his pupils made extended tours, including to Paris and Normandy, in order to produce measured drawings and perspective views. Among his pupils were Thomas Talbot Bury (1811–77), Benjamin Ferrey and James Pennethorne. Pugin continued to work occasionally for Nash, one major commission being for the plates for Nash’s book The Royal Pavilion at Brighton (1826; for illustration see Brighton), on which Pugin worked between 1819 and 1824.

Pugin’s achievement as a practising architect was not great, but he probably provided designs for other architects, such as the Gothic mausoleum for Princess Charlotte (Claremont, Surrey, 1817; destr.), which was carried out by J. B. Papworth. In 1823 he designed the interior of the Diorama, Regent’s Park, London, together with James Morgan (fl 1806–34). In 1826–7 he exhibited three designs for cemeteries, and early in 1830 he was associated with the layout of the cemetery at Kensal Green, London. He also had considerable interests in the decorative arts and is known to have designed furniture.


  • Specimens of Gothic Architecture, 2 vols (London, 1821 and 1823) [text by E. J. Willson]
  • with J. Britton: Illustrations of the Public Buildings of London, 2 vols (London, 1825 and 1828)
  • Pugin’s Gothic Furniture (London, 1827)
  • Specimens of the Architectural Antiquities of Normandy (London, 1827) [text by J. Britton]
  • Paris and its Environs, 2 vols (London, 1829 and 1831) [text by L. T. Ventouillac]
  • with A. W. N. Pugin: Examples of Gothic Architecture, 3 vols (London, 1831–8) [texts by E. J. Willson and T. L. Walker]


  • B. Ferrey: Recollections of A. N. Welby Pugin, and his Father, Augustus Pugin; with Noticesof their Works (London, 1861/R intro. C. Wainwright, London, 1978)
  • F. Gordon Roe: ‘The Elder Pugin’, Old Wtrcol. Soc. Club, 31 (1956), pp. 18–27
  • R. Hill: ‘Bankers Boards and Beau Monde’, Country Life, 188 (3 Nov 1994), pp. 64–7

(2) A(ugustus) W(elby) N(orthmore) Pugin

  • Alexandra Wedgwood

(b London, March 1, 1812; d Ramsgate, Kent, Sept 14, 1852).

Architect, writer and designer, son of (1) A. C. Pugin. Through his illustrated writings, particularly Contrasts and True Principles, he determined the course of the Gothic Revival in both style and theory for the remainder of the 19th century, and partly through this influence the Gothic style became the visible symbol of Christianity throughout the western world during this major period of church building. He drew his inspiration directly from the Middle Ages, taking little part in contemporary art life. His own architecture was largely confined to work for the Roman Catholic Church, but he is now best known for the interiors of the Houses of Parliament (see also London §V 3., (iii)), where he collaborated with the architect Barry family §(1). Pugin’s many designs for furniture, metalwork, ceramics, textiles, stained glass and wallpaper are outstanding, and his draughtsmanship was superb, with an unerring flowing line.

1. Early years, to 1836.

He was a precocious only child, growing up in a household full of the pupils attending the school of architectural draughtsmanship run by his father. His lifelong devotion to medieval architecture must have been inherited from his father, who gave him his first lessons and took him on sketching tours. The family made several visits to France both to see relations and to gather material for his father’s books. Pugin’s early career as an independent designer began in 1827 with two very grand commissions. According to his first biographer, Benjamin Ferrey, he was discovered by a member of the firm of goldsmiths Rundell, Bridge & Rundell in the Print Room of the British Museum, where he was copying the prints of Dürer. From this connection came the standing cup, known as the Coronation Cup (London, Buckingham Pal., Royal Col.), and unexecuted designs for a set of church plate (London, V&A), probably intended for St George’s Chapel, Windsor. Ferrey then describes the next commission, that of furnishing the new apartments at Windsor Castle for King George IV. This task had been given to the firm of Morel & Seddon, who turned to A. C. Pugin probably because of his designs for Gothic furniture, which had been published in Ackermann’s Repository of Arts. He in turn, however, proposed his son. No one questioned the young Pugin’s ability to do the work, and designs and furniture followed (London, V&A; Windsor Castle, Berks, Royal Col.).

This glamorous start was followed by a difficult period. An energetic youth, Pugin had his own sailing boat, and there are stories of shipwreck; he also helped supply antiques to the London market, and there can be no doubt that he was stage-struck. He began to make theatrical friends, and in 1829 he became a stage carpenter at Covent Garden. Later he was employed to design stage sets, and in 1831 his work for Michael Costa’s ballet Kenilworth was much praised. In 1829 he also started his own business, designing and making furniture, metalwork and decorative details, but these designs had all the impracticality of youthful work, and in 1831 the business failed. At this period he was introduced to the Scottish architect James Gillespie Graham and began to help him with his designs. He then suffered a number of personal misfortunes: his first wife died in childbirth in May 1832; in December that year his father died, followed a few months later by his mother; and finally his aunt Selina Welby also died, leaving him a legacy that gave him some independence. These events may have been responsible for leading Pugin to concentrate on training himself primarily as an architect. Between 1832 and 1834 he did this principally by making intensive study tours of medieval architecture in Britain, France, Germany and Belgium (from 1835 he made at least one continental sketching tour every year) and by designing a series of elaborate imaginary buildings. He devoted a book of beautiful drawings to each of these ideal schemes, which include The Shrine (1832), St Marie’s College (1834; both London, V&A), The Deanery (1833; untraced) and the Hospital of St John (1833; St Louis, MO, Pub. Lib.). In designing these buildings Pugin presented them as completely furnished, and during these years he continued to produce designs for furniture and metalwork. This aspect of his work culminated in three books that were published by Ackermann in 1835 and 1836.

In 1835 Pugin became a Roman Catholic, a turning-point in his life. From then on his religious beliefs and stylistic principles were combined to serve the same purposes: for Pugin, Gothic was not only beautiful but also true, and there was therefore a moral duty to use it. At the same time he started to work for Charles Barry, designing interiors (1835–6; destr.) at King Edward VI Grammar School, Birmingham, and drawing his entries (1835; untraced) for the competition for the new Houses of Parliament. In January 1836 Barry was declared the winner of the competition, and Pugin continued to help him for a further year with the drawings needed for the preparation of the estimate. In August 1836 Pugin published Contrasts. The text reveals Pugin the convert, blaming all architectural decline since the Middle Ages on the Reformation, but the major part of the book consists of drawings of great medieval buildings, representing parish churches, chapels, episcopal residences, town halls and public inns, all contrasted with their meagre early 19th-century counterparts. The book stirred up considerable interest and controversy and contributed greatly to Pugin’s growing reputation, particularly among Roman Catholics.

2. Middle period, 1837–44.

Pugin’s career as an independent architect began in 1837 and progressed rapidly. His first commission was for Charles Scarisbrick (1801–60) at Scarisbrick Hall, Lancs, where he made substantial alterations (1837–45) to the existing 16th-century manor house, including the addition of a clock-tower (destr.). Here he was able to draw together his knowledge of medieval architecture and the decorative arts with ideas from his own ideal schemes to create a convincing exterior and splendid, inventive interiors. In the same year, 1837, he was introduced to St Mary’s College, Oscott, Warwicks, the Roman Catholic school and seminary that became a centre for his influence in the Roman Catholic Church. He provided the college, particularly the chapel, with fittings and furnishings, established a museum with medieval religious artefacts and gave lectures to students on the history and symbolism of medieval religious architecture. Also in 1837 he met John Hardman (1812–67), the Birmingham button-maker and medallist, who became his closest friend and colleague, and he also made his first visit to Alton Towers, Staffs, the seat of John Talbot (see Talbot family §(3)), 16th Earl of Shrewsbury, who became his chief patron. Hardman manufactured metalwork to Pugin’s designs from 1838 and stained glass from 1845. Pugin’s most important early commissions were the Roman Catholic churches of St Mary (1837–9), Derby, and St Alban (1839–41), Macclesfield. Both are in a perpendicular style with good fittings, particularly the stained glass by William Warrington (1796–1869). The church at Macclesfield also contains a rood screen, which became an essential feature in all Pugin’s churches. In 1840 he began his first major project for the Earl of Shrewsbury, the Hospital of St John, Alton, Staffs. It was intended as an ideal religious community, modelled on medieval examples, with a chapel and a school and lodgings for the warden, poor brethren and schoolmaster. Built in the local red sandstone round three sides of a quadrangle, it has principally been used as a parish church, priest’s house, convent and school.

The Roman Catholic cathedral of St Chad (1839–41), Birmingham, was unusual in Pugin’s oeuvre both in style and material. The red brick was eminently suitable for industrial Birmingham, and the style, which matches the material, is that of 14th-century Baltic Germany, where brick facing, two west towers with spires and eastern apses are common features. In the interior, space is handled most effectively under the steeply pitched roof, which has a continuous slope over both nave and aisles. Originally several important medieval artefacts—lectern, statues on the rood screen, and pulpit—were incorporated into the Gothic Revival setting, but most were subsequently removed. Opposite the cathedral was the Bishop’s House (1840–41; destr.), a seminal red-brick courtyard house. The builder was George Myers (1804–75), who from 1838 was responsible for most of Pugin’s buildings. Pugin never had an office, unlike most successful 19th-century architects; instead he developed close co-operation with a few manufacturers, decorators and builders who appreciated his principles and understood his aims.

In 1841, when he published a second edition of Contrasts and a new work, The True Principles of Pointed or Christian Architecture, Pugin felt confident about both the progress of the Gothic Revival and the growth of the Roman Catholic Church in England. The message of True Principles is directed at the architect. It begins by stating the two great rules for design: ‘1st, that there should be no features about a building which are not necessary for convenience, construction or propriety; 2nd, that all ornament should consist of enrichment of the essential construction of the building.’ This theory has led some to consider Pugin as a forerunner of Functionalism. The rest of the book gives practical examples of good medieval architecture and ridicules both the symbolism and the methods of construction of Neo-classical architecture in a Christian, northern country. It also discusses the decorative arts, making many relevant comments about two-dimensional design. Pugin reinforced his argument with attractive and witty illustrations.

The early 1840s was a period of great success for Pugin. During this time he met the men who became his two other close colleagues: Herbert Minton, the pottery manufacturer, and John Gregory Crace, the interior decorator (see Crace family §(3)). He worked with great energy and speed and was inundated with commissions for Roman Catholic churches throughout the United Kingdom, including Ireland. The Roman Catholic cathedrals of St George (1841–8; rebuilt), Southwark, London, St Barnabas (1841–4), Nottingham, and St Mary (1841–4), Newcastle upon Tyne, were among the most important. The cathedral at Nottingham is in the Early English style with an ambitious cruciform plan, while St George’s and St Mary’s are in the Decorated style with three east gables, which were favourite features of his mature designs. These cathedrals, along with 22 other ecclesiastical buildings by Pugin then under construction or already built, are shown in the frontispiece to An Apology for the Revival of Christian Architecture in England. It is an immensely impressive display, seen as the New Jerusalem against the rising sun, but it should be considered as an aspiration rather than fact. The great towers and spires that Pugin planned to crown his buildings, for example that of St George’s, Southwark, in the centre of his picture, were often not built or only built after years of struggle. Frequently Pugin’s buildings suffered from a lack of funds, and many were built for poor urban communities in unattractive settings, such as the Roman Catholic churches of St Mary (1840–42; altered), Stockton, Co. Durham, St Wilfrid (1838–42), Hulme, Manchester, and St Oswald (1839–42), Old Swan, Liverpool (1839–42; rebuilt). In this respect he was at a great disadvantage compared to such contemporary architects as George Gilbert I Scott (ii) and William Butterfield, who were both influenced by Pugin, but who built expensive buildings for rich Anglican congregations.

In 1843 Pugin started to build his own house, the Grange, on the edge of a cliff looking out to sea at Ramsgate, Kent. That year he had a major setback, when his designs for rebuilding Balliol College, Oxford, were rejected, largely because he was a Roman Catholic. Early in 1844 he completed his most magnificent book, the Glossary of Ecclesiastical Ornament and Costume, which explained the symbolism and use of vestments and church furnishings with interesting text and beautiful illustrations; there were 73 chromolithographs, which were printed by H. C. Maguire. Many of the objects that Pugin described were no longer in common use, but after the publication of this book they were revived throughout the Roman Catholic and Anglican communions. Throughout 1844 his work followed its usual pattern of constant travel around England with two visits across the Channel, until 22 August, when his second wife died. At this moment of crisis Pugin received a letter written by Barry on 3 September, inviting him to help with the fittings for the House of Lords. In this way he returned to work on the Houses of Parliament, which remained a major occupation until his death.

3. Late work, after 1844.

From the end of 1844 the character of Pugin’s work started to change. He received far fewer architectural commissions, and his position as leading architect to the Roman Catholic Church was challenged by Matthew Hadfield (1812–85) and others. Moreover, prominent Catholics, such as Nicholas Wiseman and John Henry Newman, sometimes favoured Italianate styles and particularly disapproved of rood screens. He did, however, obtain a commission from the government in 1845 to build the Roman Catholic college of St Patrick, Maynooth, Ireland. He was kept immensely busy supplying endless designs for the decorative arts, ecclesiastical plate, memorial brasses and stained glass for John Hardman, and furniture, wallpaper and textiles for Crace. Since Pugin had no office, he alone was responsible for all the work entailed by these orders, many of which were small but intricate. By the beginning of 1845, however, John Hardman Powell (1827–95), John Hardman’s nephew, came to stay at the Grange to help him with designs for stained glass and metalwork. He became Pugin’s only pupil.

Pugin’s collaboration with Barry at the Houses of Parliament produced some of his greatest achievements. Barry realized that he needed Pugin’s knowledge of medieval detail and ability to make rich and vivid designs in order to give life to the interior of his great building. Barry remained in ultimate control of the project, with Pugin revising his designs to meet Barry’s ideas of perfection. Barry protected Pugin’s position by preventing the Treasury from putting the decorative work out to tender. He thus enabled Pugin to work with his friends, who could interpret his hasty drawings: Hardman, who manufactured the brasswork and stained glass; Crace, whose firm provided decorative painting and supplied wallpapers and some furniture; and Minton, who manufactured the encaustic tiles. Their work started with the interior of the House of Lords, planned to be the climax of the building. All the fittings, with the exception of the frescoes and statues, are Pugin’s work and survive largely unaltered, except for the stained glass, which was destroyed in World War II. The setting for the throne is particularly successful and magnificent: the immense amount of detail is controlled by strong and clear linear patterns in deep colours. After the House of Lords, Pugin continued to work on the interiors, including the House of Commons (destr. 1941), which was finally opened in 1852. He designed great numbers of objects, both large and small, drawing on his experience to create a whole range of items, such as umbrella-stands and gas-lamps, which had no direct medieval precedent. Among individual masterpieces are the brass doors of the House of Lords, the encaustic pavement in the Central Lobby and the octagonal tables and X-frame chairs in the Prince’s Chamber. Barry valued Pugin greatly, and although his work was limited to the interiors, it seems most probable that Pugin suggested to Barry the example of his clock-tower at Scarisbrick Hall, with its projecting clock storey, as the prototype for the Clock Tower at Westminster. The two men worked together in harmony, a splendid combination of Barry’s judgement and Pugin’s imagination. Pugin died before the building was complete, but his style was continued. Sadly, however, the sons Alfred Barry (1826–1910) and (3) E. W. Pugin quarrelled over their fathers’ respective contributions to the building. It is undoubtedly true that Pugin was not given his due at the Houses of Parliament until well into the 20th century.

From 1845 Pugin built lovingly and slowly, at his own expense and next to his own house in Ramsgate, the Roman Catholic parish church of St Augustine. It is one of his most successful and individual churches, an impressive example of his belief in the ‘true principles’ of the Gothic Revival. He began his building with the bell-tower by the road and the east range of the cloister, beyond which the church lies. The plan is most unusual, with a nave and chancel of almost equal length, divided by a central tower; a south aisle almost as wide as the nave; south Lady chapel; a south transept (the Pugin chantry); and a south porch. The exterior is of knapped flints and narrow bands of Whitby stone, the interior of Whitby stone, splendid, full of strong mouldings and excellent carvings in the early 14th-century style. Pugin also fitted it out generously with stained glass made by Hardman, encaustic tiles by Minton and an elaborate font and cover and statue of the Virgin by Myers. In 1846 there opened another of the few buildings with which Pugin himself was really satisfied, his beloved Roman Catholic church of St Giles, Cheadle, Staffs. It was successful because the Earl of Shrewsbury, at whose expense it was built, was in sympathy with Pugin’s aim to make it a model parish church in the Decorated style. It is built of the local red sandstone, with a magnificent west tower and steeple. The interior is amazing, with every surface painted and much good stained glass, made by William Wailes (1808–81). In August 1848, after an unhappy period in his domestic life, Pugin married a third time, to a woman who brought tranquillity to his final years. He spent more time at home, much of it devoted to his church. Most of his work was concentrated on the decorative arts, and he conducted it mainly by post, although the cartoons for stained glass were made under his eye at Ramsgate by Hardman’s workers.

Pugin had both an entrepreneurial spirit for business and, of course, a propagandist zeal for promoting the Gothic style. In 1849 he wrote to Crace: ‘I am so anxious to introduce a sensible style of furniture of good oak, and constructively put together that shall compete with the vile trash made and sold. These things are very simple and I am certain with a little practice can be made to pay and sell well’ (London, RIBA, Crace MSS). He provided Crace with designs for furniture, wallpaper and textiles and urged him to keep stock. It must have become obvious, however, that the greatest publicity would come from participation in the Great Exhibition of 1851. All his close colleagues, Crace, Hardman, Myers and Minton, combined to produce striking examples of their ware designed by Pugin for an exhibition stand that they called the Medieval Court. Hardman showed church plate (e.g. chalice, London, V&A), a memorial brass (now in the Roman Catholic church of SS Peter and Paul, Wolverhampton), lecterns, chandeliers and stained glass; Myers’s display included a tomb (Birmingham, St Chad), furniture and the font, tabernacle and part of a screen which Pugin subsequently placed in his own church at Ramsgate; Minton showed ceramics and encaustic tiles; and Crace showed wallpapers, textiles and furniture, including a splendid inlaid octagonal table (London, Lincoln’s Inn) and cabinet (London, V&A). These examples formed an excellent demonstration of the high quality of craftsmanship and understanding of medieval construction as well as the strength and clarity of Pugin’s designs. Work in the Medieval Court therefore stood out among the many fussily ornate objects in the Exhibition, and it was generally acclaimed. Myers and Crace each received a Prize medal, and Hardman and Minton each received the Council Medal, the top award. Several commissions resulted from the Great Exhibition, but Pugin’s desire to improve the general standard of interior design was prevented by illness. Aggravated by constant overwork, his health finally broke down by the end of February 1852. After his death Hardman, Minton and Crace all continued to use and to adapt his designs.

Pugin did not live to appreciate the revolution that he had caused in the development of the Gothic Revival, but his influence was profound throughout northern Europe and the English-speaking world. It was spread principally by his writings, many of which were illustrated with his own work. Several, including Contrasts, True Principles and An Apology, were reissued in the 1890s, thus continuing his message, ensuring an appreciation of Gothic architecture and decorative arts, and tying Christianity to the pointed arch.


  • Gothic Furniture in the Style of the 15th Centry Designed and Etched by A. W. N. Pugin (London, 1835)
  • Contrasts; Or a Parallel between the Noble Edifices of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries, and Similar Buildings of the Present Day; Shewing the Present Decay of Taste: Accompanied by Appropriate Text (Salisbury, 1836, 2/1841)
  • Designs for Gold and Silversmiths (London, 1836)
  • Designs for Iron and Brass Work in the Style of the XV and XVI Centuries Drawn and Etched by A. W. N. Pugin (London, 1836)
  • Details of Antient Timber Houses of the 15th and 16th Centries Selected from those Existing at Rouen, Caen, Beauvais, Gisors, Abbeville, Strasbourg etc Drawn on the Spot and Etched by A. Welby Pugin (London, 1837)
  • The True Principles of Pointed or Christian Architecture: Set Forth in Two Lectures Delivered at St Marie’s Oscott (London, 1841)
  • An Apology for the Revival of Christian Architecture in England (London, 1843)
  • The Present State of Ecclesiastical Architecture in England (London, 1843)
  • Glossary of Ecclesiastical Ornament and Costume, Compiled and Illustrated from Antient Authorities and Examples (London, 1844, rev. 2/1846, 3/1868)
  • Floriated Ornament (London, 1849)
  • An Earnest Appeal for the Revival of the Ancient Plain Song (London, 1850)
  • An Earnest Address, on the Establishment of the Hierarchy (London, 1851, 2/ed. E. W. Pugin, 1875)
  • A Treatise on Chancel Screens and Rood Lofts, their Antiquity, Use, and Symbolic Signification (London, 1851)


  • B. Ferrey: Recollections of A. N. Welby Pugin, and his Father, Augustus Pugin; with Notices of their Works (London, 1861/R intro. C. Wainwright, London, 1978)
  • E. W. Pugin: Who Was the Art Architect of the Houses of Parliament: A Statement of Facts, Founded on the Letters of Sir Charles Barry and the Diaries of Augustus Welby Pugin (London, 1867)
  • A. Barry: The Architect of the New Palace of Westminster; A Reply to a Pamphlet by E. W. Pugin, Esq. (London, 1868)
  • P. Waterhouse: ‘The Life and Work of Welby Pugin’, Architectural Review [London], 3 (1897–8), pp. 167–75, 211–21, 264–73; iv (1898), pp. 23–7, 67–73, 115–18, 159–65
  • M. Trappes-Lomax: Pugin: A Mediaeval Victorian (London, 1932)
  • P. Stanton: Pugin (London, 1971)
  • Victorian Church Art (exh. cat., London, V&A, 1971)
  • J. M. Crook and M. H. Port: The History of the King’s Works, 6 (London, 1973)
  • M. H. Port, ed.: The Houses of Parliament (London, 1976)
  • D. S. Richardson: Gothic Revival Architecture in Ireland, 2 vols (New York, 1983)
  • J. Macaulay: ‘The Architectural Collaboration between J. Gillespie Graham and A. W. Pugin’, Architectural History [Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain], 27 (1984), pp. 406–20
  • A. Wedgewood: A. W. N. Pugin and the Pugin family, (V&A, London, 1985)
  • M. Belcher: A. W. N. Pugin: An Annotated Critical Bibliography (London, 1987)
  • A. Wedgwood: ‘Pugin in his Home: A Memoir by J. H. Powell’, Architectural History [Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain], 31 (1988), pp. 171–201
  • D. Meara: A. W. N. Pugin and the Revival of Memorial Brasses (London, 1991)
  • Pugin: A Gothic Passion (exh. cat., eds. P. Atterbury and C. Wainwright; London, V&A, 1994)
  • P. Atterbury, ed.: A. W. N. Pugin, c. 1835–52 (diss., Birmingham, U. Birmingham 1997)
  • C. Tracy: Continental Church Furniture in England (Woodbridge, 2001)

(3) E(dward) W(elby) Pugin

  • Roderick O’Donnell

(b London, March 11, 1834; d London, June 5, 1875).

Architect, son of (2) A. W. N. Pugin. He studied with his father and was thrust into professional and family responsibilities by the latter’s early death. Initially he followed his father’s Decorated Gothic style and 14th-century English church plans, but at the church of St Vincent de Paul (1856–7), Liverpool, he adopted the Geometric Gothic style, with a well-lit interior and a shallow chancel. The church of Our Lady of Reconciliation (1859–60), Liverpool, continued these stylistic and planning developments with cheaper, simplified Early French detail in contrasting stone polychromy, with a widely spaced arcade and large apsed east end, not only countering the widespread Roman Catholic criticism of Gothic Revival planning but establishing a formula for church design that was as influential among Catholics as those of his father. Richer churches followed: SS Peter and Paul (1859–66), Cork; SS Augustine and John (1860–93; completed by G. C. Ashlin), Dublin; and his most lavish, All Saints (1865–8), Barton-on-Irwell, Manchester. The church of Our Lady (designed 1857), Dadizele, Belgium, built (1859–92) by Baron Jean-Baptiste Charles François Bethune, the Belgian Gothic Revival leader, and St Colman’s Cathedral (1859–1919), Cobh, Co. Cork, Ireland, were his largest churches. Convents and colleges included St Mary’s Abbey (1853–4), Oulton, Staffs, still in his father’s Decorated style, and St Aloysius’s College (1856–9) at St Cuthbert’s College, Ushaw, Co. Durham. Mayfield College and St Joseph’s College (1865–6), Mark Cross, Rotherfield, East Sussex, are vigorously detailed polychromatic brick designs.

Pugin lived a life of frenetic employment and controversy not unlike his father’s. He waged a pamphlet war with Alfred Barry, a son of Charles Barry, over their fathers’ respective contributions to the design of the Palace of Westminster. He maintained offices at Ramsgate, London, Liverpool and Dublin, with numerous partnerships, the longest being with his brother-in-law George C(oppinger) Ashlin, one of his many pupils. His prolific practice involved him in bankruptcy in 1873 over the vast Granville Hotel (1869–70; partly destr.), Ramsgate. Other domestic architecture included additions (1860–66) to Scarisbrick Hall, Lancs, and the start (1873–5) of Carlton Towers, Carlton-in-Balne, Humberside, for the 10th Lord Beaumont. Like his father, he designed both church and domestic furnishings, mostly executed by Hardman & Co. of Birmingham, the firm established by his father’s collaborator John Hardman. A nervous drawing style and elaborate detail are characteristic of Pugin’s mature style, which may be seen particularly in constructional polychromy and elaborate church roof structures. During his lifetime he was regarded as the leading Catholic church architect of the High Victorian period. After his death his large practice was continued in England and Scotland by his brother Peter Paul Pugin (1851–1904) and in Ireland from 1869 by Ashlin.


  • Who Was the Art Architect of the Houses of Parliament: A Statement of Facts, Founded on the Letters of Sir Charles Barry and the Diaries of Augustus Welby Pugin (London, 1867)


  • Obituary, The Architect, 13 (1875), p. 350
  • Obituary, Builder, 33 (1875), pp. 522–3
  • Obituary, Building News, 28 (1875), p. 670
  • Obituary,Irish Builder, 372 (1875)
  • Obituary, The Tablet, 45 (1875), pp. 760, 792
  • J. Gillow: A Bibliographical Dictionary of English Catholics (London and New York, 1885–1902), 5, pp. 379–81
  • R. O’Donnell: ‘Pugin as Church Architect’, Pugin: A Gothic Passion, eds P. Atterbury and C. Wainwright (New Haven and London, 1994), pp. 63–89
  • R. O’Donnell: ‘The Later Pugins’, Pugin: A Gothic Passion, eds P. Atterbury and C. Wainwright (New Haven and London, 1994), pp. 259–71
  • R. O’Donnell: ‘The Pugins in Ireland’, A. W. N. Pugin: Master of the Gothic Revival, ed. P. Atterbury (New Haven and London, 1995), pp. 136–59
  • R. O’Donnell: ‘“An Apology for the Revival„: The Architecture of the Catholic Revival in Britain and Ireland’, Gothic Revival: Religion, Architecture and Style in Western Europe, 1815–1914, eds J. De Maeyer and L. Verpost (Leuven, 2000), pp. 35–48
  • R. O’Donnell: The Pugins and the Catholic Midlands (Leominster, 2002)
W. Papworth, ed.: Dictionary of Architecture, 8 vols (London, 1852–92)
Dictionary of National Biography, 63 vols and suppls (London, 1885–)
H. M. Colvin: A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600–1840 (London, 1954, rev. 2/1978)