Gothic architecture was a revolutionary medieval phenomenon. The Gothic arch allowed structures to open with vast windows and high ceilings to enhance the divinity of a religious space. London holds some of the best examples of this style across the globe. From Westminster Abbey to the Albert Memorial, understanding London’s amazing Gothic history and architecture is something truly special.
This large Gothic abbey church in Westminster is a traditional place for coronations since the crowning of Harold Godwinson and William the Conqueror. About 16 royal weddings have taken place in this abbey ever since 1100. Westminster Abbey has also served as a burial site for the English and British Monarchs among other figures of science and the arts.
The influence of the cathedrals of Chartres, Amiens and Reims is very evident in the radiating chapels, the flying buttresses, rose windows, ribbed vaulting and pointed arches. Although built on the continental system of geometrical proportion, this structure includes typical English features such as single aisle as well as a long nave that has wide projecting transepts. There is a Gothic Vault which is the highest in England, standing at 102 feet.
Address: 20 Deans Yd, London SW1P 3PA Phone: +44(0)20 7222 5152
Nearest Tube: Westminster Station
Victoria Tower has been named in 1897 during the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, in her honour. Before that it was known as “King’s Tower.” Located at the south-west of the Palace of Westminster, this tower stands tall at 98.5 meters (323 ft.) of height. The purpose behind building the Victoria tower was to serve as a fireproof repository for books and documents.This was after a fire in 1834 which destroyed the Palace of Westminster with all the records of the House of Commons.
Address: Victoria Tower, 9456 A3212, Westminster, London SW1P 3JY Nearest Tube: Westminster Station
The Elizabeth Tower and the House of Parliament are known as the Big Ben. The name was originally given to the great bell that you see at the clock tower or Elizabeth Tower. It weighs more than 13 tons. With its four faces illuminated, Big Ben is quite a spectacular sight at night. About 312 pieces of glass make up for each of these dials, which is 7 meters in diameter. The minute hands weight 100kg each and measure 4.2 metres in length.
Address: Clock tower in London, London SW1A 0AA
Phone No: 020 7219 4272
Nearest Tube: Westminster Station Website: http://www.parliament.uk/bigben
All Saints Notting Hill was one of the Gothic Revival churches that used bricks in a decorative manner. The spire stands high at 69 meters. Marble, granites, tiles and alabaster are used to decorate the interiors of this building. In 1911, Comper’s canopy and Lady Chapel’s reredos were added to this church.
Address: 290-292 Westbourne Grove, London Phone: 020 7727 5919
Nearest Tube: Notting Hill Gate Website: http://www.allsaintsnottinghill.org.uk/
Queen Victoria commissioned the construction of Albert Memorial in memory of Prince Albert, her beloved husband, who died of typhoid in 1861. Sir George Gilbert Scott was the one who designed this memorial using the Gothic Revival Style.
The death of Prince Albert in December 1861 made the government think of establishing a university that gave international scholarships. However, Queen Victoria insisted on a memorial. William Cubitt, the then Lord Mayor of London formed a committee in order to raise the funds that were needed to build the memorial. Nevertheless, the control of the project was eventually moved to the queen from the mayor.
Address: Kensington Gardens, London W2 2UH Phone: 020 7298 2000
Nearest Tube: Lancaster Gate Station Website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Memorial
Royal Courts of Justice
The law courts or Royal Courts of Justice houses the Court of Appeal as well as the High Court of England and Wales. Built in Victorian Gothic Style, this large grey stone edifice is one of Europe’s largest courts. It was completed in 1870 and opened in 1882 by Queen Victoria.
Eleven architects submitted their designs to win the contract of the law courts. The final decision was in favour of George Edmund Street, who was to be the sole architect of the entire building.
Address: Strand, London WC2A 2LL Phone: 020 7947 6000
Nearest Tube: Chancery Lane Station Website: http://www.justice.gov.uk/
St Pancras Railway Station
St Pancras railway station opened to the public in 1868 and was built to connect London to other major cities of England. Sir George Gilbert Scott was the architect of this station as well as the Midland Grand Hotel.
The roof is the main attraction of this station as it includes a pointed arch. It is made out of wrought iron ribs and was the largest single span roofs back then. The construction of the Midland Grand Hotel in the front of the station started out in 1868. The design was polychromatic and was derived from Italian Gothic. Scott has used a lot of details from Kelham Hall, which he had designed in the year 1857.
Address: Euston Rd, London N1C 4QP Phone: 020 7843 7688
Nearest Tube: King’s Cross St. Pancras London Website: http://stpancras.com/
Royal Military Academy
Founded in the year 1741, this British Army Military Academy was primarily intended to offer excellent education in order to produce perfect Engineers and good officers of Artillery.
RMA Woolwich trained officers for Cavalry and Infantry. In order to offer training for officers of all arms and other services, RMA Woolwich was closed down. In its place the RMA Sandhurst was built. The Durkan Group purchased this site in 2006 through public tender and since then these buildings have been converted into apartments and houses.
Address: Royal Military Academy, Camberley GU15 4PQ Phone:01276 63344
Nearest Tube: Earl’s Court Station Website: http://www.army.mod.uk/training_education/24475.aspx
Two Temple Place
Also known as the Astor House, the Two Temple Place is well-known for its gothic architecture. Here, you can see the notable works of Thomas Nicholls, Nathaniel Hitch, Sir George Frampton and William Silver Frith. Located very close to the Victoria Embarkment, this building was converted into a public gallery in the year 2011. It showcases the regional collections of UK and opens to the public only during exhibitions. Built for William Waldorf Astor in the year 1895 by John Loughborough Pearson, this building contained a residential flat on the top floor for Astor’s use.
Address: 2 Temple Pl, London WC2R 3BD Phone: 020 7836 3715
Nearest Tube: Chancery Lane Station Website: http://www.twotempleplace.org/