London, United Kingdom
2, December, 1827 – 20, April 1881
The Tower House, Kensington, London, United Kingdom
William Burges was a leading Victorian era architect practicing in the United Kingdom. Within his time as an architect, he received several awards and worked for passionate medievalist John Patrick Crichton Stuart, the third marquess of Bute, an isle in Scotland. Burges was born and died in London, United Kingdom. Burges’ longlasting presence in Europe impacted his works as an architect, as he became extremely well known in England for his Gothic Revival style. He attempted to incorporate aspects of medieval England within his drawn up architectural plans, many of which were not completed. William attended King’s College in London beginning in 1839 to study engineering. Despite Burges’ favored English Victorian ways, he emphasized the importance of travelling to gain different creative perspectives on architecture. Aside from Burges, it is commonly encouraged for architects to travel to see the works of others, and allow their styles to impact their own artwork in distinguished ways. Burges spent time studying the works of other architects in France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey. These studies tended to have a focus on medieval architecture. Burges then preceded to open his own architectural practice at the age of thirty five in Kensington, London, United Kingdom. Burges received numerous awards for his gothic architecture. His most significant honors are for his work on the Cathedral of Lille in France (1856), the Crimea Memorial Church, and the Bombay School of Art. Other notable works of Burges include but are not limited to his work on the Cathedral of St. Finbar (Ireland), the Cathedral of Brisbane (Australia), Castell Coch (South Wales), Glamorgan (Wales), Cardiff Castle (Wales), Worcester College (Oxford), and his personal home in Kensington on Melbury Road. The majority of his architectural work was commissioned by the third marquess of Bute, John Patrick Crichton Stuart, as previously listed. Two of the serious projects for Stuart that Burges dedicated his architectural practice are the Cardiff Castle and Castell Coch. The restorations brought upon these two establishments feature his unique “robustness, masculinity, and an uncompromising vigour”, as stated by William Burges and The High Victorian Dream (Crook, J.Mourdant). Burges designed only one project in the Western Hemisphere. Without ever visiting North America, Burges created the campus master plan for Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
- William Burges | British architect : Published by Britannica Encyclopaedia, 2009
- Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 2017. s.v “William Burges.” : Accessed February 14, 2017
- Encyclopedia Trinitiana, Trinity College, Hartford : William Burges biography, Trinity College, Hartford Connecticut, online Encyclopedia Trinitiana, accessed August 10, 2023
- Mordaunt Cook, William Burges and the High Victorian Dream (print), 1981 : Crook, J. Mordaunt, William Burges and the High Victorian Dream. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1981