James Wyatt architect
James Wyatt was commissioned by the 6th Earl of Coventry to build several follies around the parkland.
James Wyatt was born at Blackbrook Farm, Weeford, Staffordshire on 3rd August 1746. He went to Italy in 1762, and spent 6 years studying as an architectural draughtsman and painter under the tutorship of Antonio Visentini.
On his return to England he was appointed architect of the proposed Pantheon in Oxford Street which, upon completion in 1772, brought him instant success, fame and recognition. His design was exhibited at the Royal Academy and at the age of just 26, he was soon to find himself the most sought after architect in the country.
In 1776, James Wyatt succeeded Henry Keene as surveyor to Westminster Abbey – where he oversaw restoration work in 1803 and from 1807-13. He was also responsible for restoration work in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle (1787-93).
James Wyatt was commissioned by the 6th Earl of Coventry to build Broadway Tower, a folly on the edge of the Cotswold scarp, in 1794 (completed 1798). He was employed at Croome between 1793 – 1805. His work included designing the sham Gothic ruin of Pirton Castle (built by William Stephens in 1797); the Panorama Tower in 1801 (based on a Robert Adam design, and built in 1805-12).
Remodelling of the Dry Arch Bridge (originally designed by Capability Brown); and modification of The Worcester Gates (Punchbowl Gates). Other local commissions included alterations to Ragley Hall, Warwickshire (1780); Sufton Court, Herefordshire (1788); restoration work on Hereford Cathedral (1788-97); and Doddington Park, Gloucestershire (1798-1808).
James Wyatt died in a carriage accident on Marlborough Downs, Wiltshire on 4th September 1813 and is buried in Westminster Abbey.