George Godwin (George Godwin)

George Godwin

Architect and Author. One of nine children of the architect George Godwin Sr. 1780 to 1863 and trained at his father’s architectural practice in Kensington where he set up in business with his brother Henry Godwin 1831 to 1917. Encouraged by his friend the antiquary John Britton, he pursued an interest in architectural history and wrote several volumes on the Churches of London in 1838, mason’s marks and gothic style. He was also interested in new materials and wrote on the use of concrete in 1836. He soon joined the Institute of British Architects, the Society of Antiquaries, and became a Fellow of the Royal Society. He wrote plays, at least one of which was performed in London; in 1840 he helped found the Art Union of London; and he joined or supported many other reforming associations and societies. In 1844 Godwin became the third editor of The Builder ¬†and immediately expanded its scope and coverage beyond new works and architectural issues to include history, archaeology, arts, sanitation and social issues. It described itself as a illustrated weekly magazine for the architect, engineer, constructor, sanitary reformer, and art lover’. In 1881, he set up the ‘Godwin Busary’, which was administered by the RIBA. This yearly competitive prize was to enable young British architects to study modern techniques of construction outside of Great Britain. Winners were encouraged to spend at least five weeks within a country of their choice and then they would submit reports on what they learnt. The first five winners all went to the United States. He edited the magazine until 1883. It was renamed Building in 1966 and is still in existence. Throughout his editorship, he worked in the family architectural practice. His works included churches, housing and public buildings, amongst them Redcliffe Square, Kensington, The Boltons, Kensington, St Mary’s, The Boltons, Elm Park Gardens, Chelsea, St Luke, Kensington and the restorations of St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol and St Mary’s, Ware. He was largely responsible for the design of large areas of South Kensington and Earls Court including five public houses among them the Finborough Arms, now the Finborough Theatre. George was retained as district surveyor for south Islington between 1853 and 1874. By 1884, he reported to the Royal Commission that was producing recommendations for improving working-class housing. He also co-founded the Art Union of London. He died at Kensington. (bio by: Shock)


  • January, 01, 1970


  • January, 01, 1888


  • Brompton Cemetery
  • England

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