11.  ORIGINALITY.

 

'The dissatisfaction of the 1820s and 30s arose from more profound causes than poor building construction or institutional organization. Visual qualities which contemporaries found lacking in their architecture - "character", "harmonious expression", "unity of ensemble" - all involved the application of past models of ornamentation and formal organization to present architecture.  But controlling perception were over-riding values, ideals which for contemporaries were the criteria for great architecture.

 

'The primary such value was originality.'

 

                                            Roger Kindler.

                               'Periodical Criticism 1815-40: Originality in Architecture', Architectural History

                                17 (1974), p. 23.

 

 

An Idiom of One's Own?

 

A final topic that requires consideration is the extent to which Mallinson and Healey and other provincial architects like them, contributed to the dissemination of the Gothic Revival into the regions of Britain and whether in the process they made any original contribution to its form and development.  Mallinson and Healey could build in any style (chapter nine), they could provide reliable, solidly-constructed and economic solutions to virtually any structural problem (chapter ten), and they were also able to provide almost any church furnishings and fittings, which besides endowing the partners with an additional line of business, ensured they were a convenient 'one-stop shop' for busy clients.  And yet, these advantages notwithstanding, it is impossible to believe commissions would have arrived so thick and fast had not the firm also had a reputation for consistent good quality design, at once tasteful, appropriate, and original, for no patron conscious of his reputation sought a conspicuous memorial to himself where these qualities were lacking.    

 

 

Twentieth century architectural historians, as stated in the introduction, had little to say about Mallinson and Healey, and the few that did were uninterested or equivocal.  Pevsner, after discussing Lockwood and Mawson’s contribution to the secular architecture of Bradford in The Buildings of England, merely added in passing, 'The same dominance of local architects characterized the ecclesiastical field (Mallinson & Healey, T.H. & F. Healey) [Pevsner's parenthesis and italics]... but their work is less worthy of record' [1],  while Derek Linstrum explained what he considered to be the problem with Victorian West Yorkshire architects in general, Mallinson and Healey among them, in his assessment of Sir George Gilbert Scott’s, All Souls’, Haley Hill.  In his view, the critical shortcoming of Scott and others like him was that they lacked an individual style:

 

'Magnificent though All Souls’ is, it raises a question of whether one can easily recognise a Scott church. For that matter, extending the question to Scott’s West Yorkshire contemporaries, can one easily identify a church by Mallinson and Healey, Perkin and Backhouse, or Crossland, as one can the work of Burges or Butterfield?  The answer must be in the negative, even while remembering Scott’s cold, noble piles at St. Mary’s, Mirfield (1871) and All Souls’, Blackman Lane, Leeds (1876-80) which is believed to be the final church in the seemingly endless line for which he was responsible...' [2]

 

 

This was a reformulation of Basil F.L. Clarke’s assessment of Scott, written four decades earlier, with which Derek Linstrum would have been familiar:

 

'... but will anyone ever admire the works of Scott?  It is hard to believe that they will, for there is nothing in particular in them to admire. The works of some of the other Gothic Revivalists have some character.  When I visited Denstone Church, Staffordshire, I said, "Street"; and so it was.  But is it possible to visit one of Scott’s churches for the first time and say "Scott"?  At the best it must be a guess.  It may be the work of Scott; but it may well be the work of any one of a hundred less well known men.  Any one of Scott's churches might be the work of someone else.  If we discover, after all, that Scott was the architect, we shall not be surprised: when we see a commonplace church we are prepared for the information.  But we shall not in consequence inspect the church with any greater interest.  If we know beforehand, we know what to expect.  And in every single instance we find it.' [3]

 

 

If this is harsh, it is mild beside Leatherbarrow [4], but was this a failing the early Victorians would have recognised, for if it was, how may one account for the high esteem in which Scott was held during his lifetime, or the hundreds of clients who jostled to present him with commissions?  Similarly, how might Mallinson and Healey have fared if potential clients and building committees had viewed them in this light?  To understand the actual concerns of these men, it is necessary to understand what patrons and promoters did want from their architects in the mid-nineteenth century and how this was bound up with their concept of originality.

 

 

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

 

Originality v. Imitation.

 

According to Roger Kindler, for most of the cognoscenti in the 1830s and '40s, 'originality' in architecture was defined in opposition to both 'imitation' and 'novelty' [5].  The first may seem obvious enough, yet imitation was by no means universally dispised and, indeed, even the most blatant examples of the outright purloining of other people's intellectual property were winked at by some of the supposedly most respectable members of society, as illustrated in 1838 when Chantrell found it necessary to rebuke the Rev. Lewis Jones, vicar of Almondbury, no less, for suggesting that he (Chantrell) might work up plans and elevations for the proposed new church at Holmbridge, drawn by Henry Ward of Stafford (1806-84), whom the building committee had first engaged and subsequently dismissed [6], and that this still failed to shame the vestry into adopting a different policy was demonstrated immediately afterwards when they then turned to William Wallen of Huddersfield (d. 1853), who was obviously less squeamish, to do the deed instead [7].

 

 

However, if that was a particularly egregious case, very few people had any scruples about copying unattributable mediaeval buildings, and indeed, in 1842 The Ecclesiologist positively sought to encourage this, by expressing its surprise 'that modern church-architects should never have recourse to a method which would, if adopted, not only place their works beyond the reach of criticism, but enable them to produce buildings at once the most beautiful, commodious and correct, at an outlay considerably less than... now' through the simple expedient of 'carry[ing] away with them on their journeys of research, not only mere sketches of details and partial measurements, but entire churches' [8].  This was also a policy George Truefitt, writing in 1850, considered to have been perfectly reasonable during the early phase of the Gothic Revival, when 'utter ignorance prevailed as to the principles of the style in which [architects] were called upon to design, [and] their only chance of avoiding failure lay in the servile repetition of examples already in existence' [9].  Unfortunately though, as '[b]ooks of examples appeared in rapid succession,... "Authority" [took] the place of "Originality" [and] Church Architecture and "Copyism" became synonymous terms.'  The time had now come for 'every architect to do his best towards relieving the profession as soon as possible from the stigma conveyed by... the degrading epithet "Copyist''.' [10]

 

 

That Mallinson and Healey were largely free from this reproach is evidenced by the fact that few of their churches can really be mistaken for mediaeval work anyway, with the understandable exceptions of their partial rebuilds or reconstructions of pre-existing churches using some of the old materials, such as St. Peter's, Thorner, and All Saints', Mappleton, and possibly also aside from St. Thomas the Apostle's, Heptonstall, if its impossibly crisp masonry is not taken into account.  However, St. Thomas's eventual form was not Healey's first, nor perhaps his preferred, design for the building, and it was certainly not based on any church he had seen and drawn on his peregrinations around Exeter since the tracery adopts the late fourteenth to early sixteenth century 'supermullioned' form of northern, eastern and central England, not the 'alternate' form of the south and the west [11], while the only church at all like it in Yorkshire is St. Mary's, Thirsk, which does indeed have similar window tracery in the aisles, shares with St. Thomas's the conceit of openwork battlements around the tower (although St. Mary's has them around the nave, aisles and chancel also), and, in particular, has almost identical aisle arcades, composed of arches bearing double wave mouldings springing from piers composed of four shafts separated by hollows, with (as a telling detail) semi-octagonal capitals to the semicircular shafts.  Yet while this may suggest Healey had visited and sketched St. Mary's at some time (perhaps during his pupillage with Chantrell), there still remain some very wide differences between these buildings, of which the most immediately striking is the more megalithic quality of St Mary's west tower, and another is the fact that St. Thomas's has a three-bay, rather than a two-bay, chancel, and that this is flanked by side-chapels, which St. Mary's lacks, together creating a very different internal perspective.

 

 

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

 

Originality v. Novelty.

 

So much then for imitation, but what about novelty?  Indeed, what was the term actually taken to imply?  Here one can draw on an anonymous contributor to Fraser's Magazine, writing in 1830:

 

'We, too, would readily accede to this opinion [previously set out by the writer] did we conceive that originality, which we so strenuously advocate, was nothing more than novelty;  but... no two qualities... can be, in fact, more dissimilar.  Whatever is done for the first time is novel, but it does not therefore follow that it is original; to attain novelty, an architect has only to adopt the first whim that presents itself, but to be original demands either profound study or the most felicitous conception.' [12]

 

 

That did not explain how originality was to be recognised in order for it to be differentiated of course, but for that one could look to Charles Fowler, writing five years later in his position as joint honorary secretary of the newly founded IBA:

 

'The proper excellence of architecture is that which results from its suitableness to the occasion, and the beauties growing out of the arrangement, as applied to convenience, locality, &c.: and this principle, rightly pursued, leads to originality, without the affectation of novelty....' [13]

 

 

The seeking after novelty for novelty's sake was a distinct line of architectural development adopted by a small group of nineteenth century architects, and in bringing the issue up for critical attention, the contributor to Fraser's magazine was not raising a straw man.  The architect and critic H.S. Goodhart-Rendel (1887-1959), writing in 1949, identified a group of Victorian architects he termed 'rogue nonconformists [14], who seemed to value novelty above all things, and amongst whom the 'arch-rogue' and pioneer was Edward Buckton Lamb (1806-1869), who designed country houses, vicarages, and more than thirty churches during his lifetime.  As C.M. Smart Jn. wrote in 1989, perhaps optimistically:

 

'today we are able to admire Lamb's consistent, highly personal style in spite of its crudities and its unusual planning.  This was not the case in Lamb's lifetime...  Lamb was either ignored or vilified by most Victorian critics.  The Ecclesiologist despised his Christ Church, West Hartlepool, of 1854, and refused to comment on his subsequent work.  The Builder and Building News were only slightly less hostile...  [Henry-Russell] Hitchcock calls Lamb's Gothic 'cranky' and cites the coarse details and nervous silhouettes of his forms as proof... Yet Lamb's architecture is truly unique.  No one else shaped buildings to feature overlappings and penetrations in quite the same way...  He liked irregularity, but achieved a kind of unity by repetition of the same sort of irregularity throughout a building.  He was exceptionally bold in the contrast of very large and very small features.' [15]

 

 

This provides the context in which Peter Leach described Mallinson and Healey's St. Stephen's, Bowling (1859) (figs. 9e & 11a(i) - 11a(ii)), as '[a]n unexpected lurch into roguishness' [16].  It was indeed unexpected since Healey had never stepped so far from the mainstream before, nor, in the three remaining years of his life, was he to do so again.  St. Stephen's, however, 'erected through the liberality of... Charles Hardy, Esq., of Low Moor, assisted by E.B. Wheatley-Balme, Esq., who gave the site and £500 towards its erection' [17], comes as something of a shock to anyone familiar with Healey's other work, for here is novelty displayed literally on every side (elevation). The Bradford Observer's reporter considered the building had 'something of a continental character about it' [18], and indeed, the helm roof to the tower is sufficiently closely associated with churches along the Rhine, both in Holland and Germany, to be known sometimes as a 'Rhenish helm', while the sole mediaeval example in England is to be found on the Saxon tower of St. Mary's, Sompting (West Sussex) [19].  Of course, it is impossible to be sure what led Healey to make some of the curious design choices he made here but perhaps the most probable explanation is that they arose simply out of a gritted determination never to repeat himself.  He had already designed and overseen the construction of three churches where Charles Hardy or his father, John, had been the principal or sole patron (St. Matthew's, Bankfoot, St. Michael & All Angels', Shelf and St. Mark's, Low Moor), while a fourth (St. Phillip's, Girlington) was progressing simultaneously with the work at St. Stephen's.  Moreover, perhaps at Bowling, the falling ground to the east seemed to cry out to be exploited by positioning the church over the declivity and inserting a crypt below the chancel, which would emerge partially above ground to the east and thus be capable of being lit by short, square, two-light windows.  The somewhat later addition of transepts to the nave, whethe by Healey or his sons, with adjoining organ chamber east of the S. transept and vestry east of the N. transept, then seems almost an inevitable development after everything that had been done here already, and the incredible decision to cross-gable the organ chamber and vestry east windows, thereby following a right-angle turn with a right-angle turn, is entirely in keeping with the whole bizarre approach.

 

 

 

Fig. 11a(i) - 11a(ii), St. Stephen's, Bowling:

(i) above, exterior view from the northeast;

and (ii) below, exterior view from the east.

 

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

 

 

Originality as an 'Organic Development of That Which Is Already Known':  All Saints', Horton and All Souls', Haley Hill, compared.

 

Collins English Dictionary defined 'original' in 1979 as 'fresh and unusual' or 'the first and genuine form of something, from which others are derived' [20];  Joshua Bray's History of English Critical Terms defined it in 1898 as 'that which is new and more or less unexpected, but which is at the same time an organic development of that which is already known and familiar' [21], and there in a nutshell is the clearing away of all confusion, for now it becomes apparent how, in the view of their contemporaries, Street or Butterfield on the one hand, and Scott or Mallinson and Healey on the other, met the condition equally, notwithstanding their major differences.  Thus William Butterfield (1814-1900), an abstemious bachelor, was commissioned to build churches by William Dawney, the 7th Viscount Downe (1812-57), one of his several loyal patrons, on three separate occasions, and after his death, by his widow, the Viscountess Mary Isabel Downe, who admired his instantly recognisable, idiosyncratic style and were well aware that self-contained, intractable, and indifferent to money and criticism as he was, they engaged him largely on his own terms [22].  Yet although his practice, in which everything was kept tightly under his own artistic control, was a world away from Sir George Gilbert Scott's, the scope, nature and extent of which made it inevitable that some of his less prestigious jobs were fortunate to receive a couple of hours of the great man's personal attention, Scott was also fulfilling the criterion in his own unobtrusive way.  Moreover, far from this being a potential disincentive to engage Scott, many clients actually preferred a less rigid, more malleable architect, as illustrated by the opportunity taken by the twenty year old Beresford Hope to manipulate Anthony Salvin, when Salvin was twice Beresford Hope's age, in realising Hope's Tractarian vision at Christ Church, Kilndown (Kent) [23].  Nor was it clear to many cultured Victorians that it was even desirable for an ecclesiastical architect to develop his own idiom.  After all, the very notion of an artistic revival implies obeisance to the past, and since the highly influential Ecclesiological Society only approved of the early fourteenth century, 'Decorated' style as a model to emulate, and John Ruskin had narrowed the compass further to the geometric phase of the Early English/Decorated transition (chapter nine), architects offering their services to followers of the latest creeds, could generally be relied upon not to stray far from the approved and well-trodden path.

 

 

As for Mallinson and Healey, neither the relatively authentic mediaeval appearance of St. Thomas's, Heptonstall, nor the curious appearance of St. Stephen's, Bowling, were typical of their churches, whose general characteristics are summed up by the quotation from Charles Fowler above.  Churches on the drawing board that had probably influenced Healey while he was working in Chantrell's office had included St. Stephen's, Kirkstall (1827-29), and St. George's, New Mills (Derbyshire) (1827-31), and while the galleried, auditorium-like interior of both was seriously outmoded by 1845, and the lancet form of their windows was not that being commended by The Ecclesiologist, there is a clear family resemblance between the towers and spires of these churches and those at Holy innocents', Thornhill Lees, and St. Mark's, Dewsbury, in particular.  Subsequently, a more up-to-date church in which Healey was involved was Eginton's St. Michael's, Broadway (Worcestershire), of 1839, which was a few years ahead of its time when erected.  The thin quadripartite vaults inside were only added in 1890 and confuse the issue by calling to mind the flimsy, unarchaeological phase of the Gothic Revival, but the unaltered aisle arcades are soundly constructed of double-flat-chamfered arches springing from piers composed of four shafts separated by hollows with semicircular capitals to the individual shafts, the tower is 'well and solidly built' [24], and while there is nothing here that Healey precisely imitated in any his churches, its firm and robust construction, so unlike the emaciated creations of many of Eginton's peers, would prove typical of Healey's work also.

 

 

Healey's architecture, in other words, was essentially eclectic, adopting one idea from here, adapting another from somewhere else.   However, while it is not usually possible to identify the many sources of his inspiration individually, his magnum opus, All Saints', Horton, of 1860-63, very clearly takes one particular building as its prototype and consequently provides a very direct and conspicuous illustration of originality as the 'organic development of that which is already known' since both All Saints' itself, and the edifice it so obviously references, were, and arguably still are, the most prominent churches in their respective towns.  The latter, unsurprisingly enough, was Scott's All Souls', Haley Hill, Halifax (or, more strictly, Northowram), erected 1856-59, for this was a building even an architect as complaisant as Healey would have had every reason to wish to trump, after having briefly had the prospect of designing it dangled before him by Edward Akroyd, only for it almost immediately to be snatched away.  However, although the money available for All Saints' was unlike anything Healey had had to spend hitherto, it was still little more than half what Akroyd had lavished on All Souls', and in drawing up his designs, Healey faced the necessity of maximising the opportunities presented by the site and marshalling the funds that were available if he was to have any prospect of showing he could do just as well as this unwanted metropolitan interloper.

 

 

(i) The comparative advantages and use of the building sites.

 

Scott's All Souls' church stands a little shy of the road on a rather cramped site, halfway up a steep hill (fig. 11b(i)), but although it drops from view barely fifty paces up the road to the northwest, next to Akroyd's square house of Bankfield [25], it stands out boldly on the skyline to the south, three quarters of a mile away, alongside the remains of Square Congregational Church, with which it is contemporary [26].  This was the natural advantage of the building site Akroyd provided, and arguably Scott did not actually make the best use of it by hiding his tower behind the nave in the western bay of the N. aisle, leaving only the highly ornamented bell-stage, corner pinnacles and surmounting spire to project dramatically above the nave roof, although Scott may also have reasoned that to raise the tower in the west bay of the S. aisle, on the road side of the building, would have made his already short nave appear even shorter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figs. 11b(i) - 11b(ii), All Souls', Haley Hill, by Sir George Gilbert Scott:

(i) left, exterior view from the southwest;  and (ii) right, interior view looking east.

 

 

Be that as it may however, Healey had no comparable advantage of elevation to exploit on the site Sharp Powell made available for All Saints', directly opposite his house of Horton Old Hall [27], yet the site had its positive aspects, for with two roads passing southwest and northwest (the latter admittedly, little more than a lane) and meeting directly to the east, the plot presented a remarkably open aspect from this direction, of which Healey took full advantage by massing his architectural resources here and positioning the building forward to command the intersection (fig. 11c(i)). Thus in drawing up his plan for the church, Healey's first and most critical decision was to place his tower on the south side of the chancel, in the diametrically opposite corner of the building to that at All Souls', immediately confronting travellers along the main road (fig. 11c(iii)), and his next was to make a great feature of the sanctuary by terminating the chancel in a tall semi-hexagonal apse [28], distinguished by steeply-pointed gables rising over the tall three-light windows to break through the parapet above (fig. 11c(iv)).  Together, these features must have absorbed a large portion of the building funds but Healey spent Sharp Powell's money where he knew it would serve to maximum effect.  No important feature at All Saints' was to be allowed to be partially hidden from view.

 

 

 

 Figs. 11c(i) - 11c(ii), All Saints', Horton:

(i) left, exterior view from the east;  and (ii) right, interior view looking east.

 

 

(ii)  The towers.

 

Scott's tower rises above the nave roof at the foot of the bell-stage, at which height also the angle buttresses turn into clasping octagonal buttresses.  The bell-openings are composed of two, two-light openings in each wall, set in deeply-recessed arches with two orders of side-shafts with stiff-leaf capitals and central shafts rising to support encircled quatrefoils in the apices.  A floral entablature runs round the tower to connect the bell-openings at the springing level and in passing round the buttresses, separates carved niches containing statuettes below from vertical lines of crockets running up the buttress angles above (fig. 11b(i)).  The tower itself is crowned by crocketed corner pinnacles and a tall octagonal spire lit by three tiers of hipped lucarnes which rises to 236 feet behind a parapet (as opposed to battlements) decorated with blank quatrefoils. The combined effect is rich but fussy.  Inside the tower, the first stage is covered with an octopartite vault with a central hole to admit the passage of bell-ropes to ringers standing on the floor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figs. 11c(i) - 11c(ii), All Saints', Horton:

(i) left, exterior view from the east;  and (ii) right, interior view looking east.

(i) left, the tower and spire from the southwest; and (ii) below, the apse from the east.

 

 

Healey delayed the change from angle to clasping octagonal buttresses at Horton (necessary eventually so they might support the pinnacles) until the springing-level of the bell-openings and made a virtue of economic necessity by eschewing sculpture on the buttresses altogether and emphasising instead the tower's clean exterior lines, made all the more striking by being visible from the base up (fig. 11c(i)).  He then largely replicated Scott's bell-openings, save only for the minor concession that the central shafts rose to support encircled trefoils, and contented himself with a spire rising to 201 feet (which was still sufficient to make it the tallest church in Bradford) lit by two tiers of gabled lucarnes, set, together with uncrocketed corner pinnacles, behind a parapet decorated with blank trefoils. He avoided the cost of vaulting the tower within, or, indeed, of providing any internal decoration, by the clever expedient of closing it off to double as the vestry.

  

 

(iii)  The chancels, naves and aisles.

 

Aside from the tower and spire, All Souls' consists of a chancel with a S. chapel, a balancing N. organ chamber and vestry, and an aisled nave with short transepts and a S. porch.  The principal entrance to the church is in the nave W. wall, where the doorway is adorned by five orders of side-shafts and a relief carving of Christ in Majesty in the tympanum. Window traceries conform with Ruskin's principles for although no two are alike, all are composed of encircled trefoils, quatrefoils, cinquefoils and sexfoils, without a hint of an ogee curve anywhere, and the clerestory is formed of paired lancets, separated within by pairs of blank arches.  Structural polychromy within the building is restricted to black marble side-shafts between these bays (blank or otherwise) and to the side-shafts to the chancel and transept arches.

 

 

All Saints' is formed of a chancel with a semi-hexagonal apse as previously described, and an aisled nave with short transepts and tall N. & S. porches covered internally with ribbed tunnel vaults.  The S. doorway forms the principal entrance since it fronts the main road, but the N. doorway is probably more impressive as it is approached up a steep flight of steps from the lane descending to the northwest.  However the parallels with, and deliberate departures from, All Souls' church are most evident in the fenestration, the former in the fact that windows around the building are varied but all geometric and pre-ogee in design, and the latter, in the very different clerestory comprising arch heads filled alternately with quatrefoils in circles and trilobes in spherical triangles, which a letter to Sir Francis Sharp Powell makes clear was an intentional repudiation of Scott's design which Healey described as 'an arrangement wanting in variety' [29]. Nonetheless, inside the building Healey was content to replicate Scott's work almost exactly by the insertion of dark brown marble shafts between the clerestory bays, and the only reason these are missing today is because a century later, one of them cracked, whereupon all were removed as a safety precaution [30].

 

 

            (iv)  The internal proportions.

 

All the above goes to show, therefore, how close an attention Healey paid to Scott's All Souls', both in accepting (indeed, copying) the things he liked and in rejecting those he did not.  Yet the feature that probably provides the best evidence of Healey's very conscious and openly confessed intention of examining and improving upon Scott's work, is found in the relative proportions of the two buildings, as seen from within.  All Souls' chancel comprises three bays, and the nave, a further five, but the building appears shorter than this suggests, due partly to the church's width but chiefly to the fact that the aisle arcades stop short of the transepts (where their easternmost bays would otherwise have run) and the westernmost bay of the N. aisle, as previously described, is occupied by the tower, reducing the S. arcade to four bays and the N. arcade to a mere three.

 

 

All Saints' chancel also comprises three bays, but the nave, in contradistinction, adds another six, and although here too the aisle arcades stop short of the transepts, since the tower rises beside the chancel, both arcades are composed of five (fig. 11c(ii)), providing a more 'minster-like' impression, which presumably accorded with Sharp Powell's taste since, as quoted in chapter nine, Sir Francis 'was always glad to return to the dignified Cathedral services at All Saints' after the many changes and chances which befell him... [in] London'.  This was no mere accident for a letter from Thomas Healey to Sir Francis Sharp Powell, written in June 1860, discusses first the church at Heywood, Rochdale (by Joseph Clarke, 1860-62), and then continues, 'The nave is about the same size as in Mr. Akroyd's church with considerably wider aisles and like it, appears to me rather short for its length (sic).  Apparently it is five bays long... ' [31]

 

 

            (v)  The precise form of the aisle arcades, chancel arches and transept arches.

 

Finally, as for the precise form of these arcades, those at All Souls' consist of compound piers formed of four shafts separated by spurs, and arches of two orders, bearing a roll and a keeled roll with a complex series of narrower mouldings between.  The large capitals are deeply carved with stylised leaves, the hood-moulds rise from angel label stops, and the spandrels are decorated with the carvings of bishops in roundels, all in deep relief (fig. 11b(ii)). The chancel arch, also of two orders, displays large carved flowers at intervals, inside a sunk chamfer running beneath the soffit.  The arches from the nave to the transepts spring from leaf corbels each supporting a pair of marble corbel shafts running up to capitals.

 

 

All Saints' aisle arcades are formed of compound piers composed of four shafts separated by recesses, supporting arches of complex profile.  Beyond short wall pieces to the east, the arches from the nave to the transepts and the chancel arch, are taller but similar.  Although it is not obvious, there are minor constructional similarities with Scott's All Souls' here also, as indicated by another letter to Sir Francis Sharp Powell [32], in which Healey suggests Powell may see from the example at Haley Hill, the effect when 'the extrados of the side arches of the transepts is stepped level to form the beds of the wall stones above'.

 

 

In summary, therefore, Thomas Healey was highly conscious of Scott's All Souls' when he designed his chef-d'œvre and was completely unabashed about using it as a prototype he could adapt and modify in making the best use of the building site and available money at Horton. This was clearly considered at the time to be a perfectly reasonable and sensible way to proceed, and Healey's concern, so far from being to hide his references to Scott's work, was, very much to the contrary, to show how he could improve on any aspect of his building where he judged Scott to have fallen short!

 

 

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

 

Conclusion.

 

Unlike some of their confrères (Butterfield, Street, Bodley, Sedding...) Mallinson and Healey did not have a recognisable style of their own.  Nor indeed did Sir George Gilbert Scott, and that was no handicap to his business career.  The concept of originality as the possession by an artist of an identifiable idiom of his or her own was not part of the general understanding of the term for the majority of architectural critics, let alone clients, in the mid-nineteenth century, but rather implied an ability to learn from past efforts, and to make adjustments and improvements to accommodate changed circumstances, a different locality, financial constraints or opportunities, and any other contingencies specific to the job in hand, and these were skills Mallinson and Healey possessed in spades.  By this measure, Sir George Gilbert Scott at the national level, and Mallinson and Healey in West Yorkshire, were fully Butterfield's equal when it came to the display of originality in their work, if, indeed, they did not surpass him, for Butterfield's work smacked of novelty for many, as the mockery his 'streaky bacon' style attracted at Keble College was to demonstrate a few years later.  Mallinson and Healey in contrast, were amenable, infinitely flexible, and, for their West Yorkshire clients, readily accessible, and everyone who engaged them knew they would get something a little bit different to everyone else.  No ingenious or dramatic departures were to be expected admittedly, but nor were any unpleasant surprises (structural failures, cost overruns, inconvenient internal arrangements, etc.). Rather, here was architecture that encapsulated sound judgement, good taste, religious propriety, and fair and honest dealings with clients and contractors alike, and who of any sense could have wanted anything more?

 

 

NOTES:

  1. Pevsner and Radcliffe, The Buildings of England - Yorkshire West Riding, p. 122.

  2. Linstrum, West Yorkshire Architects and Architecture, p. 228.

  3. Basil F. L. Clarke, Church Builders of the Nineteenth Century, pg. 173.  Scott did not help his laterreputation by his general absent-mindedness, which often left him uncertain about which projects he had or had not undertaken.  Sir Thomas Jackson recounted anecdotes that were in circulation duringhis pupillage in Scott’s office:  'how [Scott] admired a new church from the railway carriage window and was told it was one of his own;  how he went into a church in process of building, sent for the clerk of works, and began finding fault with this and that till the man said, 'You know, Mr. Scott, this is not your church; this is Mr. Street's, your church is further down the road'.  (Sir Thomas JacksonRecollections,  p.. 57.)

  4. J. Stanley Leatherbarrow, Victorian Period Piece, pp. 151-154.  For example, take this sentence: 'The brilliance of Scott is the brilliance of a highly intelligent copyist;  the genius of the later architects is in the spontaneity of their designs and in their grasp of the truth that Gothic architecture was not only a matter of joyful resurrection but also a progressing adventure in newness of  life'.  It may be argued with considerable understatement that such qualities are not amenable to easy identification.

  5. Roger A. Kindler, 'Periodical Criticism, 1815-1840 - Originality in Architecture' (Architectural History, 17, 1974, pp. 22-370  (p. 23)).

  6. Webster, R. D. Chantrell, p. 164.

  7. The British Listed Buildings web-site continues to propagate the myth that the church was designed by Chantrell.  It was not.  Chantrell's plans for the building were never executed.  See Pevsner &  Harman, The Buildings of England - Yorkshire: Sheffield and the South, pp. 328-29, and especially Webster, R.D. Chantrell,  p. 252

  8. The Ecclesiologist, 1/9 (June 1842), pp. 134-135.

  9. George Truefitt, Designs for Country Churches (London, Joseph Masters, 1850), p. 6.

  10. George Truefitt, Designs for Country Churches, p. 7.

  11. In supermullioned tracery, the main mullions (i.e. between the lights), as well as the subsidiary supermullions (rising from the apices of the lights), continue straight up to the top of the main window arch.  In West Country alternate tracery the main mullions stop at the springing level of the lights and only the supermullions reach up to the  top of the window.  (John Harvey, The Perpendicular Style, London, Batsford, 1978, p. 71.)

  12. Anon., 'Architectural Design and Decoration'' (Fraser's Magazine, 1, 1830, pp. 63-79  (p. 72)). 

  13. Cited by Kindler.Charles Fowler, 'Remarks on the Resolutions adopted by the Committees of the Houses of Lords and Commons for Rebuilding the Houses of Parliament' (Architectural Magazine,  2, September 1835, pp. 381-384 (p. 382)).

  14. H.S. Goodhart-Rendel, 'Rogue Architects of the Victorian Era' (R.I.B.A. Journal, April 1949, pp. 251-52).

  15. C.M. Smart Jr., Muscular Churches - Ecclesiastical Architecture of the High Victorian Period (Fayetteville: The University of Arkansas Press, 1989), pp. 245-46.

  16. Pevsner and Leach, The Buildings of England - Yorkshire West Riding: Leeds, Bradford and the North, p. 198.

  17. Cudworth,  Histories of Bolton and Bowling  (Bradford: Thomas Brear & Company,1861), p. 277.

  18. The Bradford Observer, 26th April 1860, p. 5.

  19. Nairn, The Buildings of England - Sussex, pp. 211-12.

  20. Collins' Dictionary of the English Language  (London: William Collins Sons & Company, 1979), p. 1037.

  21. Jeremiah Wesley Bray,  A History of English Critical Terms  (Boston: D. Heath & Company, 1898), pp. 211-12.  Cited by Kindler,  'Periodical Criticism, 1815-40 - Originality in Architecture'.  Thus, for example, Henry Noel Humphries, writing in the Architectural Magazine in January 1839, felt able todeclare that 'the true principles of adaptation and combination' would ultimately 'lead to the formation on an original style, fitted to the feelings and customs of our present high state of civilization'.

  22. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Dawney,_7th_Viscount_Downe

  23. In 1840-45.  See Newman, The Buildings of England - West Kent and the Weald (London: Penguin, 1976), pp. 352-3, but see also Jill Allibone,  Anthony Salvin - Pioneer of Gothic Revival Architecture (Cambridge: Lutterworth Press, 1987), pp. 115-16.

  24. Pevsner, The Buildings of  England - Worcestershire (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1968), p.103.

  25. Now a museum.

  26. 1855-57, by Joseph James.  The tower and spire rising to 235', have now been incorporated into the library and arts complex linked to the newly restored Piece Hall.

  27. Hulbert, Sir Francis Sharpe Powell, p. 33.

  28. Healey also mooted the option of ending the chancel in a semi-octagonal apse in letters to Sir Francis Sharp Powell dated August 13th and November 3rd 1860, but pointed out that the latter 'would require about a half a yard of additional length to the chancel'.  Perhaps this was the reason the plan was not adopted although Powell cannot have been predisposed against the idea for in a later letter dated 12th April 1861, Healey wrote, 'I scarcely know how to reply to your question on the length of the chancel.  As it cannot be wider, it could not well be very much longer and would certainly be more costly if lengthened.'  (B-P papers, 16D86/2985.)

  29. Thomas Healey to Sir Francis Sharp Powell, 27th June 1860, B-P papers, 16D86/2957.

  30. I am indebted to Mr. Harry Atkinson of Little Horton Hall for this information on stonework.

  31. Thomas Healey to Sir Francis Sharp Powell, 27th June 1860, B-P papers, 16D86/2957.

  32. Thomas Healey to Sir Francis Sharp Powell, 25th February 1862, B-P papers, 16D86/2959.

 

AFTERWORD AND SUMMARY.