The Present State of Ecclesiastical Architecture in England
Augustus Welby Pugin (1812-52), architect, writer, and designer, learned his draughtsmanship and love of medieval architecture from his father. Initially he was better known as a designer rather than an architect. His conversion to Roman Catholicism was a key moment for him, and shaped his subsequent career. His most famous book, Contrasts, was published in 1836, and expressed his belief in the aesthetic and moral superiority of pre-Reformation architecture. This 1843 book comprises two illustrated articles which had been published in the Dublin Review in 1841 and 1842, and examined recent English church buildings. During the 1840s there was a surge in church building, and bodies such as the Cambridge Camden Society hotly debated the connection between architecture and spirituality. In the first paper, Pugin discusses how to meet the needs of a small Catholic parish. In the second, he commends the influence of the Ecclesiologist on church architecture.