Lectures
Lectures are held at the Methodist Church in Kingsbridge and on Zoom at 2:30pm normally on the last Wednesday of each month. They last for 1 - 1½ hours including a question and answer session at the end.
Oxford: An Architectural Miscellany
Christopher Rogers      Wed 23rd April 2014
  ‘Oxford: An Architectural Miscellany’, but curiously few professional architects. Our April lecturer, Christopher Rogers, pointed to the line of gifted amateurs and skilled craftsmen who inspired and constructed a variety of great buildings during six centuries.
His story began with St.Frideswide’s tower, to become a cornerstone of Christ Church, soon to be followed by Merton’s Mob Quad, one of the oldest collegiate buildings in Western Europe. Wolsey’s Cardinal College was adopted by Henry VIII, its magnificent main quad being attached to the cathedral church of the city: Christ Church housed its student body in two storey buildings, other colleges raised their height to three levels.
The careful observer will see a cacophony of styles and decoration, from traces of the green man, through the classical, to touches of English mannerism, the rustic, broken pediments and then to the baroque. Oxford’s foundations were firmly laid during the two hundred years after the beginning of the sixteenth century, helped by the designs and influence of such ‘gifted amateurs’ as Christopher Wren who was described as a geometrician, George Clarke, Secretary to the Admiralty, Dean Aldrich and Nicholas Hawksmoor.
Our tutor pointed to the seventeenth century chimneys of Merton’s Fellows’ Quad, Nicholas Stone’s gate to the Botanical Gardens, the three-sided quad at Queen’s, the fan vaulting above the staircase at Christ Church, the Roman dome of the Radcliffe Camera – and much more.
In the nineteenth century the religious revival had its impact. The Martyrs’ Memorial made a clear protestant statement: the chapel of Keble College celebrated the Gothic revival. Materials of the age were used to decorate and build. Ruskin promoted the use of brick; the Ashmolean Museum boasted Florentine stone, cast iron and glass.
A miscellany of styles, a feast for the discerning. You clearly need time to research and discover.