Anthony Salvin (1799-1881) was a prolific and highly regarded architect, in whose office John Loughborough Pearson, William Eden Nesfield (his nephew) and Richard Norman Shaw all acquired some of their intial training. According to Richard Holder and others, Salvin was born at Sunderland Bridge, Durham, but his biographer Jill Allibone and the online Dictionary of Scottish Architects explain that he was born in Worthing, Sussex, and only taken to Durham in infancy (see Allibone xvii). He came from army families on both sides, but, instead of following in his father's footsteps, he became a pupil of the Scottish architect John Paterson, who was then engaged in restoring Brancepeth Castle, County Durham. An interest in castles and antiquities seemed assured. Later, Salvin moved to London, together with William Andrews Nesfield, his cousin by marriage, whose sister he married in 1826. At first, Salvin did some work for John Nash, at a time when Auguste Pugin, A. W. N. Pugin's father, was working for him. However, he seems to have been most influenced at that time by George Stanley Repton, who had also been working for Nash. Salvin became a fellow of RIBA in 1836.
From early on, Salvin worked in the Tudor style, as at Scotney Castle, and was an expert too on medieval architecture, establishing a reputation as a restorer of old castles. He was also in demand for university work, mainly in Durham and Cambridge. He became known for his church restorations as well, aiming like Sydney Smirke and
Salvin's son, also called Anthony Salvin (1827-1881), assisted him in later years, but according to Allibone there was a "decay of inventiveness" towards the end (viii), and he closed down the practice in 1879. Father and son both died in Worthing in 1881 — the son only months before his father. Richard Holder suggests that Salvin's work was like his character: "pragmatic and practical, financially careful, and conservative." — Jacqueline Banerjee
Allibone, Jill. Anthony Salvin: Pioneer of Gothic Revival Architecture. Cambridge: Lutterworth, 1988.
"Anthony Salvin". DSA: Dictionary of Scottish Architects. Web. 13 December 2011.
Curl, James Stevens. Victorian Architecture. Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1990.
Holder, Richard. "Salvin, Anthony (1798-1881)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Online ed. Web. 13 December 2011.
Last modified 13 December 2011