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Benjamin Bucknall

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Title: Benjamin Bucknall  
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Subject: Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, Gothic Revival architecture, Fairford, Woodchester Mansion, Rodborough, Charles Francis Hansom, Abbotskerswell Priory
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Benjamin Bucknall

Benjamin Bucknall
Born 1833[1]
Rodborough, Gloucestershire[2]
Died 16 November 1895(1895-11-16)[1]
Nationality British
Buildings Woodchester Mansion

Benjamin Bucknall (1833–16 November 1895) was an English architect of the Gothic Revival in Southwest England and South Wales, and then of neo-Moorish architecture in Algeria. His most noted works include the uncompleted Woodchester Mansion in Gloucestershire, England[2] and his restoration of the Villa Montfeld in El Biar, Algiers.[3]


In 1851 Bucknall began work as a millwright, but in 1852 the architect William Leigh helped him to start work for the architect Charles Hansom in Clifton, Bristol.[2] Hansom was a Roman Catholic and in 1852 Bucknall converted to Catholicism.[2]

Bucknall admired the work of the French architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, and travelled to visit him in France in 1861[2] and in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1872.[4] Between 1874 and 1881 Bucknall translated five of Viollet-le-Duc's works into English.[4]


Bucknall was the fifth of seven sons born to Edwin and Mary Bucknall of Rodborough, Gloucs.[2] In 1862 Bucknall was married to Henrietta King.[4] After 1864 they moved to Swansea where by 1869 he was living in Oystermouth.[4] The Bucknalls had four children: Mary, Charles (born 1864), Edgar (born 1868) and Beatrice (born 1870).[4] Josephine became a nun at St Rose's Convent, Stroud.[4]

Bucknall's health deteriorated and he spent the winter of 1876-77 in Algiers.[3] In 1878 he settled there permanently, leaving Henrietta and the children in Gloucestershire.[3] The 1881 Census recorded Henrietta and Mary living at Bisley, Gloucestershire.[3] Some of their children visited Bucknall in Algiers, and Edgar died there in a boating accident in 1889.[3]

In Algiers Bucknall changed completely to neo-Moorish architecture, in which he built villas, notably in the El Biar district of Algiers.[3] His works include a restoration of the Villa Montfeld, which is now the residence of the US Ambassador to Algeria.[3] He died in Algiers in 1895 and is buried there.[3] A road in Algiers was named Chemin Bucknall in his honour, but since independence it has been renamed.[3]



Churches and monastic houses

Other buildings

Translations from French into English



External links

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