[Paul Johnson has kindly shared the photographs and research on his UK site (unfortunately. no longer found) about John Shaw, Junior and Senior, and Philip Hardwick, which he has "dedicated to the Memory of the Finest Architectural Family London Has Ever Seen." GPL]

Philip Charles Hardwick (1822-1892), the son and architectural associate of Philip Hardwick (1792-1870), who designed of the pioneering Euston and Victoria hotels, was once described as a "careful and industrious student of mediaeval art." Trained by his father and also under Edward Blore, he exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy between 1848-1854. Like his father, P.C was much employed in the City of London, where he became the leading architect of grand banking offices, mainly in the Italianate manner. In the City he executed the offices for Robarts, Curtis, and Lubbock, Lombard Street (1863), Barclay and Bevan, Lombard Street (1864), the Union Bank of London, Poultry (1865), and further up the river Thames at Charing Cross, Drumond's (1877-9)

Great Western Hotel, Paddington Charterhouse

Philip Charles Hardwick. Left: Great Western Hotel, Paddington. Right: Charterhouse, Godalming. Click on thumbnails for larger pictures.

He also deigned a number of large schools which included, Charterhouse, Goldalming in Surrey, and the finest school built in the county of Kent, St Edmunds in Canterbury. In 1849 he travelled up to Durham where he designed the Town Hall. On churches, he designed St Johns, Deptford (1855) and restored St Mary at Lambeth next to Lambeth Palace. He acted as surveyor to the Great Western Railway designing the terminus hotel for Paddington Station.

In 1863 P.C was selected as a participant in the competition for a memorial to Prince Albert eventually won by Sir Gilbert Scott. His entry was initially Queen Victoria's first choice but was merely commended by the advisory committee.

Among his pupils was the architect Sir Arthur Bloomfield (1829-1899). He married late in life at the age of fifty and settled in Bath for a while. It is worth noting that he was descended from two great architectural families, the Hardwicks and the Shaws; his uncle was John Shaw Junior (1805-1870). He died at Hereford Gardens, Park Lane, in 1892 and left an estate worth nearly £211,000 to his remaining family. He is buried at Kensal Green with his mother and father and his wife Helen. The graves of Hardwick and Shaw lay side by side, which is a touching example of how close those two fine families were.

The architectural historian Hermione Hobhouse has correctly pointed out that both Philip Senior and Junior "have suffered much, perhaps unfairly, through the swings of architectural fashion, and whose works have been so extensively destroyed for the same reason." British Rail called upon their own architects to replace the great Euston Arch, and by looking at it now we have come to the decision that buildings of the 1960s will be forever known as Brutalist Architecture. Ironic in some sense as so many nineteenth-century architects have been condemned over the past many years as men who pulled down old medieval buildings to design their own.

The Hardwick architectural dynasty had spanned over 120 years non-stop. It seems quite unacceptable given their great contribution to London that almost nothing is seen to remember them by. There are no plaques, no busts or statues even; along with the other members of the family history, the Shaws, they seem forgotten in London yet it is there above all that they should be remembered.

Created 11 June 2005;

last modifed 28 October 2021