The architecture of George Frederick Bodley, 1827-1907 and Thomas Garner, 1839-1906
George Frederick Bodley became Sir Gilbert Scott's first articled pupil in 1843, when he was sixteen. In 1854 he began his own practice, and later took into partnership another of Scott's former pupils, Thomas Garner (1839-1906). The partnership continued until 1898, after which both men continued separate practices for the rest of their lives. Bodley began his practice at a time when the Early Middle Pointed of Pugin was giving way to High Victorian Gothic. A sympathy for Tractarianism, and the influence of Ecclesiology introduced him to generous High Church patrons from the outset. Bodley initiated a swing away from continental idioms, towards a return to English Gothic of the Decorated period. This change of direction marked a lasting influence of the architect on the course of the Gothic Revival. An analysis of colour decoration in Bodley's churches, reveals his crucial contribution to the ascendant movement of painted stencil-patterns over the earlier phase of consructional polychromy. The relationship between Bodley and the firms of craftsmen which he helped to found, such as Watts & Co., reveals the architect's determination to evolve a position of complete personal control over the decoration of a building. The churches at Pendlebury, Hoar Cross, and Clumber remain the masterpieces of the partnership, and display the supremacy of private patronage in its middle years. With the agricultural depression, attention was turned to the building of new town churches, and city Mission churches. The process of 'refinement' is a strong feature of these later buildings. The early phase of the 'Queen Anne' movement, and the revival of interest in the Elizabethan period in mid-Victorian architecture, was well represented by the partners' domestic buildings. Bodley and Garner's adoption of the more sensitive repair-rather-than-replacement concept for church restorations was influential. An account of Garner's late years designing for the Roman Catholic Church displays his archaeologically correct approach to the Gothic Revival which differentiates his final work from that of Bodley. The Choir at Downside provides an example of Garner's traditional manner, whilst Bodley's contemporary churches express his search for a less formal interpretation of the Gothic idiom.