His commission for the Ecclesiological model church in Margaret Street made Butterfield almost immediately one of the major architects of the mid-century. — Paul Thompson (1971)
It is a remarkable fact, and one which is keenly suggestive of this paradoxical age of art, that Mr. Butterfield's professional followers are the most conservative in their opinions, the most exclusive in their taste, and the stanchest admirers of traditional English Gothic among contemporary architects, and yet there is no one who in some respects has more deliberately discarded tradition than their leader. But then he has done so consistently. There is a sober earnestness of purpose in his work widely different from that of some designers, who| seem to be tossed about on the sea of popular taste, unable, apparently, to decide what style they will adopt, and trying their hands in turn at French, at Italian, and what not, with no more reason than a love of change or a restless striving after effect. He does not care to produce showy buildings at a sacrifice — even a justifiable sacrifice — of constructive strength. To the pretty superficial school of Gothic, busy with pinnacles, chamfers, and fussy carving, he has never condescended. He has his own (somewhat stern) notions of architectural beauty, and he holds to them whether he is planning a cottage or a cathedral. His work gives one the idea of a man who has designed it not so much to please his clients as to please himself. In estimating the value of his skill, posterity may find something to smile at as eccentric, some- thing to deplore as ill-judged, and much that will astonish as daring, but they will find nothing to despise as commonplace or mean. — C. L. Eastlake (1872)
Architectural Works — All Saints, Margaret Street
Architectural Works — Church of St. Augustine, London
- Painted tiles with types and antitypes of Christ
- The church's Victorian and later stained glass
Architectural Works — Keble College, Oxford
Architectural Works — Other churches and chapels
- St. Alban's Church, London
- Balliol College Chapel, Oxford
- Winchester College Chapel
- St Paul's, Covent Garden (renovations)
- St Augustine's Church, Cardiff
- Church of St Alban the Martyr
Architectural Works — Other works
Work in other media
Related Web Resource
Crook, J. Mordaunt. The Dilemma of Style: Architectural Ideas from the Picturesque to the Post-Modern. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987.
Eastlake, Charles L. A History of the Gothic Revival. London: Longmans, Green; N.Y. Scribner, Welford, 1972. [Copy in Brown University's Rockefeller Library]
Hersey, George L. High Victorian Gothic: A Study in Associationism. Baltimore: JOhns Hopkins U. P., 1972.
Thompson, Paul. William Butterfield, Victorian Architect. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1971.
Last modified 10 April 2013