Gavin Stamp

Gavin Stamp writes the ‘Nooks and Corners’ column for Private Eye. His books include The Memorial to the Missing of the Somme.

The French​ national necropolis of Notre Dame de Lorette lies on a plateau to the north of Arras where a pilgrims’ chapel once stood. The bodies of some forty thousand French soldiers who died in the Great War were buried here in the 1920s: half of them, unidentified, in mass graves; the other half beneath long lines of concrete crosses, each with a small metal label to give a name....

The Scott Street exterior of the west wing of Glasgow School of Art in 1933.

I had​ the daily pleasure of seeing the west wing of the Glasgow School of Art, with its castle-like stonework and triple tall oriels rising dramatically from the steep slope of Scott Street, when, for more than a decade, I taught architectural history at the Mackintosh School of Architecture. I also had...

Englishmen’s Castles

Gavin Stamp, 7 February 1980

Who can resist the appeal of the English country house? Publishers are well aware of their popularity – which is doubtless explained by snobbery and the antique trade as much as anything – so we have a constant stream of books on the subject as well as the phenomenon of those cognoscenti aptly characterised recently in the pages of Harpers and Queen as the ‘National Trust Navy’. When we write about churches, mausolea, town halls or power stations, the only purchasers are from that small, incestuous public interested in architecture, but country houses manage to secure a much wider, even popular, audience. Mark Girouard’s Life in the English Country House has actually become a best-seller – extraordinary in the field of architectural history – and its unprecedented success has encouraged Yale to issue as a companion volume a new edition of his earlier The Victorian Country House.


Great Scott

4 May 2017

By quoting Dame Elizabeth Chesterton’s fond filial belief that her father, Maurice Chesterton, and not Elisabeth Scott, had been the real author of the design that won the competition for the new Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in 1928, Richard Wilson is reviving contemporary gossip (LRB, 4 May). In the very masculine profession of architecture, few could then accept that a young woman could possibly...

Charles steps in

6 February 2014

As a veteran of the momentous 1984 Mansion House Square public inquiry, I must challenge Christopher Turner’s assertion that the skyscraper design commissioned by Peter Palumbo from Mies van der Rohe ‘fell victim to Prince Charles’s anti-modernist campaigning’ (LRB, 6 February). The first intervention by the Prince of Wales was the speech he gave in 1984 at the dinner at Hampton Court to celebrate...

McNed: Lutyens

Gillian Darley, 17 April 2003

Sir Edwin (Ned) Landseer Lutyens, architect of genius, was a master of the false trail and the misleading, if jocular, aside. Born and educated in London, he preferred to dwell on his formative...

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First, sort out your Scotts. George Gilbert Scott (1811-78), hereafter Sir Gilbert, designed the Albert Memorial, the Foreign Office and the tumultuous cliff of a hotel that shields St Pancras...

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Not Mackintosh

Chris Miele, 6 April 1995

The history of architecture is replete with figures whose careers were tied to the fortunes of great cities. John Nash’s genius for town-planning could only have flourished in London during...

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