12 Facts About Augustus Pugin


Augustus Pugin was born on 1 March 1812 at his parents' house in Bloomsbury, London, England.


Between 1821 and 1838, Augustus Pugin's father published a series of volumes of architectural drawings, the first two entitled Specimens of Gothic Architecture and the following three Examples of Gothic Architecture, that not only remained in print but were the standard references for Gothic architecture for at least the next century.


In 1831, at the age of 19, Augustus Pugin married the first of his three wives, Anne Garnet.


Augustus Pugin had a further six children, including the future architect Edward Welby Pugin, with his second wife, Louisa Burton, who died in 1844.


In 1834, Augustus Pugin converted to the Roman Catholic Church and was received into it the following year.


Shrewsbury commissioned him to build St Giles Roman Catholic Church, Cheadle, Staffordshire, which was completed in 1846, and Augustus Pugin was responsible for designing the oldest Catholic Church in Shropshire, St Peter and Paul Church, Newport.


In 1836, Augustus Pugin published Contrasts, a polemical book which argued for the revival of the medieval Gothic style, and "a return to the faith and the social structures of the Middle Ages".


Augustus Pugin visited Italy in 1847; his experience there confirmed his dislike of Renaissance and Baroque architecture, but he found much to admire in the medieval art of northern Italy.


In February 1852, while travelling with his son Edward by train, Augustus Pugin had a total breakdown and arrived in London unable to recognise anyone or speak coherently.


Augustus Pugin attempted to popularize advocacy of the neo-gothic, and repudiation of the neoclassical, by composing and illustrating books that contended the supremacy of the former and the degeneracy of the latter, which were published from 1835.


Augustus Pugin arrived in Ireland in 1838 at a time of greater religious tolerance, when Catholic churches were permitted to be built.


Eastlake, writing in 1872, noted that the quality of construction in Augustus Pugin's buildings was often poor, and believed he was lacking in technical knowledge, his strength lying more in his facility as a designer of architectural detail.