Sir George Gilbert Scott was a leading and successful architect of the Gothic Revival. he was knighted in 1872, became president of the Royal Institute of British Architects and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
He was born in Buckinghamshire in 1811. His father was a clergyman and an amateur architect. In 1827 Scott moved to London to training with the architect, James Edmeston, who later complained that Scott ‘wasted his time sketching medieval buildings’. Later, travelling around Europe he studied medieval art and architecture. His first Gothic style building was the Martyrs’ Memorial, Oxford, built in 1840.
Scott used Gothic architectural features such as pointed arches, trefoils and naturalistic foliage. Christ Church, Southgate, therefore, follows this pattern exemplified in the design of the West Door. During the 1860s the ‘Reformed Gothic style’ was popular, based on 13th-century French models. Scott admired French Gothic architecture, particularly the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris built in 1246 during the Middle Ages by Saint Louis, the king of France and famed for its painted, interior of about 1241-8 and stained glass.
Scott was involved in the restoration of several cathedrals (including Chichester, Gloucester, Exeter, St Albans, and Wakefield)and he designed a number of churches including Christ Church Southgate.
Other designs by Scott include the Albert Memorial (1862), St Pancras Station (1865) and the main building of the University of Glasgow.