Hawksmoor and Gibbs

I have been asked about the relationship of Hawksmoor and Gibbs and whether or not St. Anne’s, Limehouse was influenced by St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields (or vice versa). I thought this would be easy to answer, but it is not, because I had forgotten that both served as Surveyors for the Commission for Building Fifty New Churches, Hawksmoor from when the Commission was first established in 1711, and Gibbs more briefly from 1713 to 1715, when he was ousted as a Tory and a Catholic. So, they would have sat round the table together, poring over the designs for the early churches built as a result of the Commission, including both St. Anne’s and St. Mary-le-Strand (St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields was the result of a separate Act of Parliament in 1720). Temperamentally, I see them as very different – Gibbs the product of a proper training in architecture in Rome under Carlo Fontana, Hawksmoor an apprentice and dogsbody to Wren. Maybe there was more of a crossover in ideas than I had thought.


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