A.W.N. Pugin~Introduction

A W N Pugin photograph A W N Pugin's design for Big Ben clock tower at westminster london

Pugin led the gothic revival in the C19th, and was, arguably, the most prolific designer ever since. His influence on later generations of designers was immense. He is best remembered as the main designer of Big Ben and the interiors at Parliament.

Pugin stands like a beacon at the start of the whole reform of design movement that gathered pace throughout the late C19th and C20th. In his early days he designed some pretty awful Gothic work - awful in terms of his later design sense; but it was obvious even then that he was a designer of rare talent and energy.

The body of work he designed in a couple of decades, across every discipline, defies belief. No one has come near him for volume or quality ( by quality we don't mean his concentration on the Gothic, but his mastery of getting the best quality out of whatever material he chose to work with ).

The other wonder is that he did it all himself, there was no office to pass designs on for finishing, no computers ( except his brain). Little wonder he burned himself out at 40.

Yet the masses who gather outside every year to admire Big Ben, at Westminster, have never heard of the man who designed it. Perhaps it is enough that they are there at all, they understand at a basic level that this is the work of a wonderful mind.

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