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Aston Webb

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Title: Aston Webb  
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Subject: List of public art in Kensington and Chelsea, Architecture of Birmingham, AIA Gold Medal, Victoria Law Courts, John Nash (architect)
Collection: 1849 Births, 1930 Deaths, Artists' Rifles Soldiers, Burials in London by Place, Companions of the Order of the Bath, English Architects, Fellows of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Knights Bachelor, Knights Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, People Associated with Imperial College London, People Associated with the University of Birmingham, Presidents of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Recipients of the Royal Gold Medal, Royal Academicians
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Aston Webb

Sir Aston Webb
Sir Aston Webb, portrait by Solomon Joseph Solomon, c. 1906
Born (1849-05-22)22 May 1849
Died 21 August 1930(1930-08-21) (aged 81)
Nationality English
Occupation Architect
Buildings University of Birmingham

Sir Aston Webb, London Society, from 1912.


  • Life 1
    • Honours and awards 1.1
  • Works 2
  • Gallery of architectural work 3
  • Notes 4
  • External links 5


The son of a watercolourist (and former pupil of landscape artist David Cox), Edward Webb, Aston Webb was born in Clapham, south London, on 22 May 1849[1] and received his initial architectural training articled in the firm of Banks and Barry from 1866 to 1871, after which he spent a year travelling in Europe and Asia. He returned to London in 1874 to set up his own practice.

From the early 1880s, he joined the Royal Institute of British Architects (1883) and began working in partnership with Ingress Bell (1836–1914). Their first major commission was a winning design for the Victoria Law Courts in Birmingham (1886), the first of numerous public building schemes the pair designed over the next 23 years. Towards the end of his career Webb was assisted by his sons, Maurice and Philip. Ralph Knott, who designed London's County Hall, began his work as an apprentice to Webb executing the drawings for his competition entries.

He died in Kensington, London, on 21 August 1930.[2]

Honours and awards

He served as RIBA President (1902–1904) and, having been elected as a full member of the Royal Academy in 1903, served as acting president from 1919 to 1924. He received the London Society in 1912.[3]

He was knighted in 1904,[4][5] appointed a Commander of the Order of the Bath in 1909;[6] and appointed to the Royal Victorian Order as Commander in 1911, promoted to Knight Commander in 1914 and Knight Grand Cross in 1925.[7][8][9]


Imperial College London
Buckingham palace and Victoria memorial
A drawing showing Plan of a Master's House, New Christ's Hospital (Webb and Bell).

One of his earliest works was built for the Six Masters of The Royal Grammar School Worcester in 1877. These almshouses are in the Arts and Crafts style, different from his later work.

Webb's first major work was the restoration of the medieval St Bartholomew-the-Great in Smithfield, London. His brother Edward Alfred Webb was the churchwarden at the time, and his association with the church probably helped the young architect get the job.[10] In London, Webb's best known works include the Queen Victoria Memorial and The Mall approach to, and the principal facade of, Buckingham Palace, which he re-designed in 1913.

Webb also designed the Ingress Bell, he extended St Andrew's Church, Fulham Fields (London), remodelled the chancel and built the Lady Chapel.

Other educational commissions included the new buildings of Christ's Hospital in Horsham, Sussex (1893–1902), the Royal College of Science, South Kensington (1900–06), King's College, Cambridge (1908), the Royal School of Mines, South Kensington (1909–13), Royal Russell School, Coombe, Croydon, Surrey and the Royal College of Science for Ireland which now houses the Irish Government Buildings.

Residential commissions included Nos 2 (The Gables) and 4 (Windermere) Blackheath Park, in Blackheath, south-east London. He also designed (1895–96) a library wing, including the Cedar Library, at The Hendre, a large Victorian mansion in Monmouthshire, for John Allan Rolls, first Lord Llangattock.

In March 1889, the consistory of the French Protestant Church of London commissioned (Sir) Aston Webb to design a new church.[11] It was erected in 1891–93 at 8–9 Soho Square in London. The church is one of Aston Webb's Gothic school works.

In 1901, Aston Webb designed the headquarters for a brewery at 115 Tooley Street, London, recently converted into 14 apartments as "Aston Webb House". This was done as part of the development of More London.

Weetman Pearson, 1st Viscount Cowdray commissioned Webb to undertake major extensions to his property, Dunecht House, Aberdeenshire, which were carried out c. 1913–20.[12]

The central building of Chancellor's Court at the University of Birmingham, UK was designed by Webb and Ingress Bell and named after Aston Webb. It includes the Great Hall. The main feature is a large dome that sits atop the building.

Gallery of architectural work


  1. ^ The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO) (1881). " 1881 England census". 1881 England census. pp. Class: RG11 Piece: 30; Folio: 72; Page: 29, 13 Lansdowne Crescent Kensington. Retrieved 11 May 2009. 
  2. ^ "Index of Death of Aston Webb".  
  • ^
  • ^ "Webb, Sir Aston". Who's Who, 59: p. 1856. 1907. 
  • ^ The London Gazette: no. 27745. pp. 8718–8719. 20 December 1904.
  • ^ The Edinburgh Gazette: no. 12156. p. 714. 2 July 1909.
  • ^ The London Gazette: no. 28496. p. 3816. 19 May 1911.
  • ^ The Edinburgh Gazette: no. 12630. pp. 9–10. 2 January 1914.
  • ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 33007. p. 5. 30 December 1924.
  • ^ Dungavell, The architectural career of Sir Aston Webb (London: University of London, Royal Holloway and New Bedford College), 1999
  • ^ French Protestant Church of London
  • ^ "Dunecht House: Listed Building Report". Historic Scotland. 
  • External links

    • Webb's biography, with emphasis on his work at St. Bartholomew's; includes numerous references
    • Claines Church one of Webbs restorations from 1886
    • St. George's Church, Barbourne, Worcester by Aston Webb, 1895.
    • [2] story of his building at the V&A
    Cultural offices
    Preceded by
    Sir Edward Poynter, Bt
    President of the Royal Academy
    Succeeded by
    Frank Dicksee
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