Raymond Erith

I missed this account of Raymond Erith in the May issue of Apollo. It’s good to read a reappraisal of Erith’s work, so thoughtful in its stripped-back and austere interpretation of classicism, as Holland rightly recognises, particularly in Great House, Dedham, but also, which Holland doesn’t mention, his ingenious design of the Provost’s Lodging for Queen’s College, Oxford in the late 1950s.

The only thing I am not persuaded by is Holland’s characterisation of him as a complete outsider. He was, after all, commissioned to redesign 10, Downing Street. Although a committed classicist, he was elected an RA and was a long-standing member of the Royal Fine Arts Commission. His entry in DNB was written by John Summerson, who clearly greatly admired his work. I’m not convinced that architecture in the 1960s was quite as completely dominated by the modernists as Holland implies.



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