Watch a free recording of our online talk exploring Norman Shaw’s influence on Bedford Park’s development.
To access the recording, just click here.
Speaker: Nicholas Friend, MA (Oxon) MA (Cantab) FRSA.
See below for details of this fascinating talk.
This Betjeman Lecture took place online on Thursday 30 September 2021.
Norman Shaw, one of the most prominent and influential architects of his time, was appointed Estate Architect of Bedford Park in 1877 in the early stages of the development of its unique character. His designs — including houses, St Michael and All Angels Church and the Tabard Inn — set the tone for the estate, recognised internationally for its architectural importance.
The lecture looked at Bedford Park’s importance as a chapter in the Victorian house design revolution. Rather than offering a jumble of designs for individual houses, its architects felt their way towards an overall aesthetic for the world’s first garden suburb, which publicised itself as a Utopia for those of modest funds.
Norman Shaw’s influence was crucial. As the designer of St Michael and All Angels Church, the Tabard Inn and Stores and several balconied and gabled houses, he set a standard for Bedford Park, which was followed by its later architects, as well as inspiring Hampstead Garden Suburb.
Our speaker, Nicholas Friend, MA (Oxon) MA (Cantab) FRSA, explored Shaw’s work at Bedford Park in the context of his antecedents and his early dramatic houses, looking particularly at how Bedford Park’s borrowings from earlier English architecture function to please the eye, as well as representing both late Victorian and modern ways of life.
You can read more about Nicholas below.
The talk including questions lasts approximately an hour.
Nicholas Friend MA (Oxon) MA (Cantab) FRSA
After working as Staff Tutor in art history for the extra-mural department of Cambridge University, Nicholas Friend was appointed Founder-Director of the Cambridge University Art History Summer School and continued in that post for 25 years.
Since 1986 he has also been Founder-Director of Inscape, the art history study tour society, which has taken its members into the active study of buildings and art galleries all over the world from Istanbul to New Mexico.
With Covid’s lockdown of study group travel, he currently gives extensive series of Zoom lectures on architecture, painting and the decorative arts. His interest in Bedford Park coincides with lecturing in late 19c British architecture and design for Sotheby’s Institute and elsewhere, together with his membership of the Victorian Society and William Morris Society. He chaired the latter Society’s Committee to celebrate the centenary of William Morris’ ‘News From Nowhere.’ He is an active Companion of Ruskin’s Guild of St George.