SPECIAL SUBJECT 15: English Architecture 1660–1720
This subject deals with an outstanding period in the history of English architecture – that of Wren, Hawksmoor, Talman and Vanburgh: the period generally known as that of ‘the English Baroque’. It saw the building of St. Paul’s Cathedral, the London churches, Greenwich Hospital, several royal palaces, most notably Hampton Court, the remodelling of the State Apartments at Windsor, and many important country houses, including Blenheim, Chatsworth and Castle Howard. Besides documents relating to the design and construction of these buildings and to the architectural thought of the time, the set texts include contemporary engravings and architectural drawings. Interior decoration and garden design may also be studied. The graphic side of the subject is as important as the documentary, and a good visual memory is desirable. No technical knowledge of architecture is necessary and the requisite knowledge of the classical orders and of foreign influences is not difficult to acquire. It is, however, important to visit a number of buildings in London and elsewhere, many of which are open to the public only during the summer months, and candidates choosing this subject are advised to set aside part of the Long Vacation for the purpose: a list of the main buildings to be visited is distributed in the briefing session at the end of the Trinity Term, which all candidates should attend.