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Encyclopedia > Benjamin Mountfort
Benjamin Mountfort around 1875.
Benjamin Mountfort around 1875.

Benjamin Woolfield Mountfort (13 March 182515 March 1898) was an English emigrant to New Zealand, where he became one of that country's most prominent 19th-century architects. He was instrumental in shaping the city of Christchurch. He was appointed the first official Provincial Architect of the developing province of Canterbury. Heavily influenced by the Anglo-Catholic philosophy behind early Victorian architecture he is credited with importing the Gothic revival style to New Zealand. His Gothic designs constructed in both wood and stone in the province are considered to be unique to New Zealand. Today he is considered the founding architect of the province of Canterbury. Benjamin Mountford, photographed circa 1880. ... Benjamin Mountford, photographed circa 1880. ... 1875 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... March 13 is the 72nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (73rd in leap years). ... 1825 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... March 15 is the 74th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (75th in Leap years). ... 1898 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... The English people are an indigenous European ethnic group originating in the lowlands of Great Britain and today represent a fairly homogenous composite population descended from a combination of Germanic speaking Anglo-Saxons and Scandinavians with Celts, Jutes, and Normans, with minor recent admixture with other European groups. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... Architect at his drawing board, 1893 An architect, also known as a building designer, is a person involved in the planning, designing and oversight of a buildings construction, whose role is to guide decisions affecting those building aspects that are of aesthetic, cultural or social concern. ... Christchurch is a city on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. ... The New Zealand region of Canterbury mostly comprises the Canterbury Plains. ... The terms Anglo-Catholic and Anglo-Catholicism describe people, groups, ideas, customs and practices within Anglicanism that emphasise continuity with Catholic tradition. ... Victoria Tower at the Palace of Westminster, London: Gothic details provided by A.W.N. Pugin The Gothic revival was a European architectural movement with origins in mid-18th century England. ...

Contents


Early life

Mountfort was born in Birmingham, an industrial city in the Midlands of England, the son of perfume manufacturer Thomas Mountfort and his wife Susanna (née Woolfield). As a young adult he moved to London, where he studied architecture under the Anglo-Catholic architect Richard Cromwell Carpenter, whose medieval Gothic style of design was to have a lifelong influence on Mountfort. After completion of his training Mountfort practised architecture in London. Following his 1849 marriage to Emily Elizabeth Newman, the couple emigrated in 1850 as some of the first settlers to the province of Canterbury, arriving on one of the famed "first four ships", the Charlotte-Jane. These first settlers, known as "The Pilgrims", have their names engraved on marble plaques in Cathedral Square, Christchurch, in front of the cathedral that Mountfort helped to design. This article is about the city in England. ... The midlands of a territory are its central regions. ... Royal motto: Dieu et mon droit (French: God and my right) Englands location within the UK Official language English de facto Capital London de facto Largest city London Area - Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population - Total (mid-2004) - Density Ranked 1st UK 50. ... The term adult describes any mature organism, but normally it refers to a human: one that is no longer a child / minor and is now either a man or a woman. ... The Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster, which contains Big Ben London is the capital city of the United Kingdom and of England. ... ... The parish church at Earl Shilton designed by Richard Cromwell Carpenter. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... Notre-Dame Cathedral seen from the River Seine. ... 1849 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... 1850 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... The Charlotte-Jane was one of the first four ships in 1850 to carry emigrants from England to the new colony of Canterbury in New Zealand. ... Cathedral Square in Christchurch, with Christ Church in the background. ...


New Zealand

Canterbury Museum, designed by Benjamin Mountfort. Completed in 1882, in the style of a French chateau.
Canterbury Museum, designed by Benjamin Mountfort. Completed in 1882, in the style of a French chateau.

In 1850 New Zealand was a new country. The British government actively encouraged emigration to the colonies, and Mountfort arrived in Canterbury full of ambition and drive to begin designing in the new colony. With him and his wife from England came also his brother Charles, his sister Susannah and Charles' wife, all five of them aged between 21 and 26. Life in New Zealand at first was hard and disappointing: Mountfort found that there was little call for architects. Christchurch was little more than a large village of basic wooden huts on a windswept plain. When he had finally received his first commission, the new emigré's architectural life in New Zealand had a disastrous beginning as the Church of the Most Holy Trinity in Lyttelton, one of Mountfort's first projects, collapsed in high winds. This calamity was attributed to the use of unseasoned wood, but can more realistically be connected to his lack of knowledge of the local building materials. Whatever the cause, the result was a crushing blow to his reputation. A local newspaper called him: Canterbury Museum. ... Canterbury Museum. ... 1882 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... A château (French for castle; plural châteaux) is a manor house or residence of the lord of the manor or a country house of gentry, usually French, with or without fortifications. ... 1850 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... The British Empire in 1897, marked in pink, the traditional colour for Imperial British dominions on maps The British Empire was one of the worlds first global powers, a product of the European Age of Exploration that began with the global maritime empires of Portugal and Spain in the... In geography, a plain is a large area of land with relatively low relief. ... Emigration is the action and the phenomenon of leaving ones native country to settle abroad. ... Lyttelton on a sunny day Lyttelton (43. ...


… a half-educated architect whose buildings… have given anything but satisfaction, he being evidently deficient in all knowledge of the principles of construction, though a clever draughtsman and a man of some taste.


As a consequence, Mountfort left architecture and ran a bookshop while giving drawing lessons until 1857. It was during this period in the architectural wilderness that he developed a lifelong interest in photography. At this time he supplemented his meagre income by taking photographic portraits of his neighbours. Mountfort was a Freemason and an early member of the Lodge of Unanimity [1], and the only building he designed during this period of his life, in 1851, was its lodge. This was the first masonic lodge in the South Island. A bookstore. ... 1857 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Lens and mounting of a large format camera Photography is the process of making pictures by means of the action of light. ... the Square and Compasses Freemasonry is a worldwide fraternal organization. ... 1851 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... A typical gate keepers lodge at Mentmore, Buckinghamshire, England Lodge has several meanings that, in most cases, relates to a place of meeting: A place of residence A ski lodge within the snow fields; A hotel, especially with a rustic or wilderness theme and situated outside a city; A... South Island The South Island forms one of the two major islands of New Zealand, the other being the North Island. ...


Return to architecture

In 1857 he returned to architecture and entered into a business partnership with his sister Susannah's new husband, Isaac Luck. Christchurch, the administrative capital of the province of Canterbury, was being heavily developed at this time, the former town having been given the status of a city in July 1856. The rapid development the new city was undergoing created a large scope for Mountfort and his new partner. In 1858 they received the commission to design the new Canterbury Provincial Council Buildings, a stone building today regarded as one of Mountfort's most important works. The building was begun in 1861, when the Provincial Council had grown to include 35 members and consequently the former wooden chamber was felt to be too small. 1857 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Isaac Luck was a New Zealand architect. ... 1856 was a leap year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... 1858 is a common year starting on Friday. ... 1861 is a common year starting on Tuesday. ...


The new grandiose plans for the stone building included not only the necessary offices for the execution of council business but also dining rooms and recreational facilities. From the exterior the building appears austere, as was much of Mountfort's early work: a central tower dominates two flanking gabled wings in the Gothic revival style. However the interior was a riot of colour and medievalism as perceived through Victorian eyes; it included stained glass windows, and a large double faced clock, thought to be one of only five around the globe. The chamber is decorated in a rich, almost Ruskinesque style, with carvings by a local sculptor William Brassington. Included in the carvings are representations of indigenous New Zealand species. Upper: Steel-plate engraving of Ruskin as a young man, made circa 1845, scanned from print made circa 1895. ... William Brassington was born between 1837 and 1841 and died in 1905. ...


This high-profile commission may seem surprising, bearing in mind Mountfort's history of design in New Zealand; an explanation of it could be a dearth of architects, and that the smaller buildings he and Luck had erected the previous year had impressed the city administrators. The resultant acclaim of the building's architecture marked the beginning of Mountfort's successful career.


Mountfort's Gothic architecture

St Augustine's Church in Waimate. Mountfort's Gothic in wood, designed in 1872, has the campanile of a medieval cathedral in miniature, neighboured by the roof of a chateau, entered by the lych gate of an English parish church, all successfully harmonised into a New Zealand landscape.

The Gothic revival style of architecture had begun to gain in popularity from the late 18th century as a romantic backlash against the more classical and formal styles which had predominated the previous two centuries. Aged only 16 Mountfort acquired two books written by the Gothic revivalist Augustus Pugin: The True Principles of Christian or Pointed Architecture and An Apology for the Revival of Christian Architecture. From this time onwards Mountfort was a disciple of Pugin's strong Anglo-Catholic architectural values. These values were further cemented when aged 21 in 1846 Mountfort became a pupil of Richard Cromwell Carpenter. St Patricks Catholic Church in Waimate. ... St Patricks Catholic Church in Waimate. ... Panorama of the view from the white horse overlooking Waimate township Waimate is a town and district in the South Island of New Zealand. ... 1872 was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... St. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... A cathedral is a Christian church building, specifically of a denomination with an episcopal hierarchy (such as the Roman Catholic Church or the Lutheran or Anglican churches), which serves as the central church of a bishopric. ... A château (French for castle; plural châteaux) is a manor house or residence of the lord of the manor or a country house of gentry, usually French, with or without fortifications. ... A lych gate (from Old English lic, corpse) is a gateway covered with a roof, found at the entrance to a church yard. ... A parish church is the church which acts as the religious centre of a parish, the basic administrative unit of episcopal churches. ... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... Romanticism was an artistic and intellectual movement in the history of ideas that originated in late 18th century Western Europe. ... Classicism door in Olomouc, The Czech Republic. ... Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (March 1, 1812 - September 14, 1852) was an English-born architect, designer and theorist of design now best remembered for his work on churches and on the Houses of Parliament. ... ... 1846 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ...


Carpenter was, like Mountfort, a devout Anglo-Catholic and subscribed to the theories of Tractarianism, and thus to the Oxford and Cambridge Movements. These conservative theological movements taught that true spirituality and concentration in prayer was influenced by the physical surroundings, and that the medieval church had been more spiritual than that of the early 19th century. As a result of this theology, medieval architecture was declared to be of greater spiritual value than the classical Palladian-based styles of the 18th century and early 19th century. Augustus Pugin even went so far as to pronounce that medieval architecture was the only form suitable for a church, Palladianism was almost heretical. Such theory was not confined to architects, and continued well into the 20th century. This school of thought led intellectuals such as the English poet Ezra Pound, author of The Cantos, to prefer Romanesque buildings to Baroque on the grounds that the latter represented an abandonment of the world of intellectual clarity and light for a set of values that centred around hell and the increasing dominance of society by bankers, a breed to be despised. For the 20th century Oxford Movement or Group see Moral Rearmament The Oxford Movement was a loose affiliation of High Church Anglicans who sought to demonstrate that the Church of England was a direct descendant of the Christian church established by the Apostles. ... The Cambridge Movement was an conservative ideological school of thought closely related to the Oxford Movement. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... A villa with a superimposed portico, from Book IV of Palladios I Quattro Libri dellArchitettura, in a modestly priced English translation published in London, 1736. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999 in the... William Shakespeare is regarded as one of the greatest English poets ever. ... Ezra Pound in 1913. ... Ezra Pound in 1913 The Cantos by Ezra Pound is a long, incomplete poem in 120 sections, each of which is a canto. ... Romanesque St. ... Adoration, by Peter Paul Rubens: dynamic figures spiral down around a void: draperies blow: a whirl of movement lit in a shaft of light, rendered in a free bravura handling of paint In arts, the Baroque (or baroque) is both a period and the style that dominated it. ... The essential function of a bank is to provide services related to the storing of deposits and the extending of credit. ...


Whatever the philosophy behind the Gothic revival, in London the 19th-century rulers of the British Empire felt that Gothic architecture was suitable for the colonies because of its then strong Anglican connotations, representing hard work, morality and conversion of native peoples. The irony of this was that many of Mountfort's churches were for Roman Catholics, as so many of the new immigrants were of Irish origin. To the many middle-class English empire builders, Gothic represented a nostalgic reminder of the parishes left behind in Britain with their true medieval architecture; these were the patrons who chose the architects and designs. The Roman Catholic Church,(this name is somewhat of a misnomer, in that it includes several Western and Eastern liturgical rites besides the Roman rite) also called the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian body in the world. ... The middle class (or middle classes) comprises a social group once defined by exception as an intermediate social class between the nobility and the peasantry. ... A parish is a subdivision. ...


Mountfort's early Gothic work in New Zealand was of the more severe Anglican variety as practised by Carpenter, with tall lancet windows and many gables. As his career progressed, and he had proved himself to the employing authorities, his designs developed into a more European form, with towers, turrets and high ornamental roof lines in the French manner, a style which was in no way peculiar to Mountfort but was endorsed by such architects as Alfred Waterhouse in Britain. On the other hand, the French chateaux style was always more popular in the colonies than in Britain, where such monumental buildings as the Natural History Museum and St Pancras Station were subject to popular criticism. In the United States, however, it was adopted with huge enthusiasm, with families such as the Vanderbilts lining 5th Avenue in New York City with many Gothic chateaux and palaces. A lancet is a medical instrument, similar to a scalpel but with a double-edged blade. ... A gable is the portion of a wall between the enclosing lines of a sloping roof. ... World map showing location of Europe When considered a continent, Europe is the worlds second smallest continent in terms of area, with an area of 10,600,000 km² (4,140,625 square miles), making it larger than Australia only. ... The Natural History Museum in South Kensington, London, has an ornate terracotta facade typical of high Victorian architecture. ... A château (French for castle; plural châteaux) is a manor house or residence of the lord of the manor or a country house of gentry, usually French, with or without fortifications. ... The Natural History Museum in South Kensington, London, has an ornate terracotta facade typical of high Victorian architecture. ... The Gothic Revival facade and clock tower of the disused Midland Grand Hotel are the most visible parts of St Pancras station. ... This article details the family of Cornelius Vanderbilt. ... Street sign at Fifth Avenue and East 57th street Fifth Avenue is a major thoroughfare in the center of the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx in New York City, USA. It runs through the heart of Midtown and along the eastern side of Central Park, and because of the... Midtown Manhattan, looking north from the Empire State Building, 2005 New York City (officially named the City of New York) is the most populous city in the United States, the most densely populated major city in North America, and is at the center of international finance, politics, entertainment, and culture. ...


Mountfort's skill as an architect lay in adapting these flamboyant styles to suit the limited materials available in New Zealand. While wooden churches are plentiful in certain parts of the USA, they are generally of a simple classic design, whereas Mountfort's wooden churches in New Zealand are as much ornate Gothic fantasies as those he designed in stone. Perhaps the flamboyance of his work can be explained in a statement of principles he and his partner Luck wrote when bidding to win the commission to design Government House, Auckland in 1857:


...Accordingly, we see in Nature's buildings, the mountains and hills; not regularity of outline but diversity; buttresses, walls and turrets as unlike each other as possible, yet producing a graduation of effect not to be approached by any work, moulded to regularity of outline. The simple study of an oak or an elm tree would suffice to confute the regularity theory.


This certainly seems to be the principle of design Mountfort practised all his life.


Provincial Architect

As the "Provincial Architect" — a newly created position to which Mountfort was appointed in 1864 — Mountfort designed a wooden church for the Roman Catholic community of the city. This wooden erection was subsequently enlarged several times until it was renamed a cathedral. It was eventually replaced in 1901 by the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, a more permanent stone building by the architect Frank Petre. Mountfort often worked in wood, a material he in no way regarded as an impediment to the Gothic style. It is in this way that many of his buildings have given New Zealand its unique Gothic style. Between 1869 and 1882 he designed the Canterbury Museum and subsequently Canterbury College and its clock tower in 1877. 1864 was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... A cathedral is a Christian church building, specifically of a denomination with an episcopal hierarchy (such as the Roman Catholic Church or the Lutheran or Anglican churches), which serves as the central church of a bishopric. ... 1901 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Francis Petre 1847–1918 Francis (Frank) William Petre ( 27 August 1847– 10 December 1918) was a prominent New Zealand-born architect based in Dunedin. ... Francis Petre 1847–1918 Francis (Frank) William Petre ( 27 August 1847– 10 December 1918) was a prominent New Zealand-born architect based in Dunedin. ... 1869 is a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1882 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... The Museum of Canterbury formerly known as the Canterbury Heritage Museum is located in Stour Street, Canterbury, Kent. ... The University of Canterbury is a university located in the suburbs of the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. ...


Construction on the buildings for the Canterbury College, which later became the University of Canterbury, began with the construction of the clock tower block. This edifice, which opened in 1877, was the first purpose built University in New Zealand. The College was completed in two subsequent stages in Mountfort's usual Gothic style. The completed complex was very much, as intended, an architectural rival to the expansions of the Oxbridge Colleges simultaneously being built in England. Built around stone courtyards, the high Victorian collegiate design is apparent. Gothic motifs are evident in every facade, including the diagonally rising great staircase window inspired by the medieval chateau at Blois. The completed composition of Canterbury College is very reminiscent of Pugin's convent of "Our Lady of Mercy" in Mountfort's home town of Birmingham, completed circa 1843, a design that Mountfort would probably have been familiar with as a boy. It is through the College buildings, and Mountfort's other works, that Canterbury is unique in New Zealand for its many civic and public buildings in the Gothic style. The University of Canterbury is a university located in the suburbs of the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. ... 1877 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Oxbridge is a portmanteau name for the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, the two oldest in the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world. ... West façade of the Notre-Dame de Strasbourg Cathedral A facade (or façade) is the exterior of a building – especially the front, but also sometimes the sides and rear. ... Blois is a city in France, the préfecture (capital) city of the Loir-et-Cher département, situated on the banks of the lower river Loire between Orléans and Tours. ... This article is about an abbey as a religious building. ... 1843 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ...

The construction of Christchurch Cathedral, designed by George Gilbert Scott, was supervised by Benjamin Mountfort who designed the spire.
The construction of Christchurch Cathedral, designed by George Gilbert Scott, was supervised by Benjamin Mountfort who designed the spire.

George Gilbert Scott, the architect of Christchurch Cathedral, and an empathiser of Mountfort's teacher and mentor Carpenter, wished Mountfort to be the clerk of works and supervising architect of the new cathedral project. This proposal was originally vetoed by the Cathedral Commission. Nevertheless, following delays in the building work attributed to financial problems, the position of supervising architect was finally given to Mountfort in 1873. Mountfort was responsible for several alterations to the absentee main architect's design, most obviously the tower and the west porch. He also designed the font, the Harper Memorial, and the north porch. The cathedral was however not finally completed until 1904, six years after Mountfort's death. The cathedral is very much in the European decorated Gothic style with an attached campanile tower beside the body of the cathedral, rather than towering directly above it in the more English tradition. In 1872 Mountfort became a founding member of the Canterbury Association of Architects, a body which was responsible for all subsequent development of the new city. Mountfort was now at the pinnacle of his career. Christ Church Cathedral. ... Christ Church Cathedral. ... Cathedral Square in Christchurch, with Christ Church in the background. ... The chapel of St Johns College, Cambridge is characteristic of Scotts many church designs Sir George Gilbert Scott (July 13, 1811 - March 27, 1878) was an English architect of the Victorian Age, chiefly associated with the design, building and renovation of churches and cathedrals. ... The chapel of St Johns College, Cambridge is characteristic of Scotts many church designs Sir George Gilbert Scott (July 13, 1811 - March 27, 1878) was an English architect of the Victorian Age, chiefly associated with the design, building and renovation of churches and cathedrals. ... Cathedral Square in Christchurch, with Christ Church in the background. ... Clerks of Works are the most highly qualified non_commissioned tradesmen in the Royal Engineers. ... 1873 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... A porch is an architectural feature relating to a floor-like platform structure attached to the front or back entrance of a residence. ... A font can mean: A member of a typeface family; or digital font - file format that encapsulates a typeface family in a database. ... 1904 is a leap year starting on a Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... St. ...


By the 1880s, Mountfort was hailed as New Zealand's premier ecclesiastical architect, with over forty churches to his credit. In 1888, he designed St John's Cathedral in Napier. This brick construction was demolished in the disastrous 1931 earthquake that destroyed much of Napier. Between 1886 and 1897, Mountfort worked on one of his largest churches, the wooden St Mary's, the cathedral church of Auckland. Covering 9000 square feet (800 m²), St Mary's is the largest wooden Gothic church in the world. The custodians of this white-painted many-gabled church today claim it to be one of the most beautiful buildings in New Zealand. In 1982 the entire church, complete with its stained glass windows, was transported to a new site, across the road from its former position where a new cathedral was to be built. St Mary's church was consecrated in 1898, one of Mountfort's final grand works. 1880 was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... A church building is a building used in Christian worship. ... Napier is an important port city in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. ... 1931 is a common year starting on Thursday. ... Global earthquake epicenters, 1963–1998 An earthquake is a trembling or a shaking movement of the Earths surface. ... Auckland, in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest urban area in New Zealand. ... A gable is the portion of a wall between the enclosing lines of a sloping roof. ... 1982 is a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Canterbury College, designed by Benjamin Mountfort in 1882, is dominated by a central clock tower, with a medieval style great hall to the right.
Canterbury College, designed by Benjamin Mountfort in 1882, is dominated by a central clock tower, with a medieval style great hall to the right.

Outside of his career, Mountfort was keenly interested in the arts and a talented artist, although his artistic work appears to have been confined to art pertaining to architecture, his first love. He was a devout member of the Church of England and a member of many Anglican church councils and diocese committees. Mountfort's later years were blighted by professional jealousies, as his position as the province's first architect was assailed by new and younger men influenced by new orders of architecture. Benjamin Mountfort died in 1898, aged 73. He was buried in the cemetery of Holy Trinity, Avonside, the church which he had extended in 1876. Cantabury College, Christchurch. ... Cantabury College, Christchurch. ... The Clock Tower in the Medieval Citadel of Sighisoara. ... The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and acts as the mother and senior branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion as well as a founding member of the Porvoo Communion. ... Pope Pius XI blesses Bishop Stephen Alencastre as fifth Apostolic Vicar of the Hawaiian Islands in a Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace window. ... Graves at Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York A cemetery or graveyard is a place (usually an enclosed area of land) in which dead bodies are buried. ... Avonside is a north eastern suburb of Christchurch, New Zealand. ... 1876 is a leap year starting on Saturday. ...


Evaluation of Mountfort's work

Evaluating Mountfort's works today, one has to avoid judging them against a background of similar designs in Europe. In the 1860s, New Zealand was a newly developing country, where materials and resources freely available in Europe were conspicuous by their absence. When available they were often of inferior quality, as Mountfort discovered with the unseasoned wood in his first disastrous project. His first buildings in his new homeland were often too tall, or steeply pitched, failing to take account of the non-European climate and landscape. However, he soon adapted, and developed his skill in working with crude and unrefined materials. Events and trends Italian unification under King Victor Emmanuel II. Wars for expansion and national unity continue until the incorporation of the Papal States (March 17, 1861 - September 20, 1870). ...


Christchurch and its surrounding areas are unique in New Zealand for their particular style of Gothic architecture, something that can be directly attributed to Benjamin Mountfort. While Mountfort did accept small private domestic commissions, he is today better known for the designs executed for public, civic bodies, and the church. His monumental Gothic stone civic buildings in Christchurch, which would not be out of place in Oxford or Cambridge, are in this location an amazing achievement over adversity of materials; his hallmark wooden Gothic churches today epitomise the 19th-century province of Canterbury. They are accepted and indeed appear as part of the landscape. In this way Benjamin Mountfort's achievement was to make his favoured style of architecture synonymous with the identity of the province of Canterbury. Following his death, one of his seven children, Cyril, continued to work in his father's Gothic style well into the 20th century. Cyril Mountfort was responsible for the church of "St. Luke's in the City" which was an unexecuted design of his father's. In this way, and through the daily public use of his many buildings, Mountfort's legacy lives on. He ranks today with his contemporary R A Lawson as one of New Zealand's greatest 19th century architects. Cyril Julian Mountfort was a New Zealand ecclesiastical architect. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999 in the... Robert Arthur Lawson, aged 42 Robert Arthur Lawson was born on 1 January 1833 at Newburg, in Fife, Scotland. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Buildings by Benjamin Mountfort

  • Most Holy Trinity in Lyttelton, 1851 (demolished)
  • Canterbury Provincial Council Buildings, 1858-1865: [2]
  • Christchurch Cathedral, begun 1863: [3]
  • Canterbury Museum, 1869-1882: [4]
  • St. Augustine's Church, Waimate 1872: [5]
  • Avonside Church Chancel, 1876: [6] [7]
  • St Paul's Church, Papanui, 1877
  • Canterbury College, Christchurch, 1882: [8] [9]
  • Church of the Good Shepherd, Phillipstown,1884
  • St Mary's Church, Auckland, begun 1886: [10].
  • St John's Cathedral, Napier, 1888

Papanui is a suburb of Christchurch, New Zealand. ... Napier is an important port city in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. ...

References

  • Mclintock, A.H. (ed). "Mountfort, Benjamin Woolfield" (1966), An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. (This claims Mountfort was also a pupil of Gilbert Scott.) Govt. Print New Zealand.
  • Taylor, C.R.H. (1929). The Gothic Beauties and History of the Canterbury Provincial Buildings. Canterbury Provincial Buildings Board.
  • Lochhead, Ian (1999). A Dream of Spires: Benjamin Mountfort and the Gothic revival. Canterbury: Canterbury University Press.

External links

  • Contemporary references to Mountfort's reputation. Retrieved March 1, 2005.
  • Mountfort centenary. Retrieved March 1, 2005.
  • References to Mountfort's architectural inspiration. Retrieved March 10, 2005.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Benjamin Mountfort Information (2628 words)
Mountfort was born in Birmingham, an industrial city in the Midlands of England, the son of perfume manufacturer Thomas Mountfort and his wife Susanna (née Woolfield).
Mountfort was a Freemason and an early member of the Lodge of Unanimity, and the only building he designed during this period of his life, in 1851, was its lodge.
Mountfort's Gothic in wood, designed in 1872, has the campanile of a medieval cathedral in miniature, neighboured by the roof of a chateau, entered by the lych gate of an English parish church, all successfully harmonised into a New Zealand landscape.
DNZB / BIOGRAPHY (1045 words)
Benjamin Woolfield Mountfort was born on 13 March 1825, according to family information, and was baptised at Birmingham, England, on 1 September 1825.
Benjamin Mountfort's lifelong devotion to the Gothic style and his adherence to ecclesiological principles are directly attributable to his training with Carpenter.
Mountfort was a devout member of the Church of England, and was regarded as the leading lay member of the High Church movement in Canterbury.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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