William Whyte

University of Oxford

Profile
William Whyte - University of Oxford

I am Professor of Social and Architectural History and a fellow of St John’s College, Oxford. I am author of Oxford Jackson (2006), Redbrick: A Social and Architectural History of Britain’s Civic Universities (2015), and Unlocking the Church: the Lost Secrets of Victorian Sacred Space (2017). I am a contributor to the Trusted Source project.

Downhill House

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Trusted Source articles

Satan calling up his Legions, William Blake, circa 1805-09.

The Great Beast 666: who was Aleister Crowley?

The Great Beast 666, Perabduro, Ankh-f-n-khonsu, the wickedest man in the world, Aleister Crowley was a noted – and controversial – occultist. Defiantly unconventional in every respect, he lived life according to his own dictum: ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.’

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One of a pair of Coade stone sphinxes at the south front portico of the house at Croome Park

What is Coade stone?

First marketed at the turn of the 1770s, Coade stone was a remarkable new building material. Using a recipe which was not fully understood until the 1990s, its makers claimed to have produced the first ever ‘artificial stone’. Tough and hard-wearing, it offered new opportunities for fine-detailed decoration. Just as extraordinary as the stone was the person who sold it: Eleanor Coade, one of the few women to be acknowledged as a major influence on eighteenth century architecture.

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Octavia Hill (after John Singer Sargent) by Reginald Grenville Eves, RA

Who was Octavia Hill?

A social reformer, public figure, artist and activist, Octavia Hill was also a key figure in the foundation of the National Trust.

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The Palladian Bridge, and house (not owned by the NT) in the distance, at Prior Park Landscape Garden, Bath, Somerset

What is Palladianism?

Palladianism was an approach to architecture strongly influenced by the sixteenth century architect Andrea Palladio. Characterised by Classical forms, symmetry, and strict proportion, the exteriors of Palladian buildings were often austere. Inside, however, elaborate decoration, gilding and ornamentation created a lavish, opulent environment.

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