Previous News - Pugin Success

22/02/11

The Pugin family was clearly a group of remarkable individuals. At the head was Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-1852) architect and designer, is best remembered for rebuilding the Palace of Westminster in Gothic Revival style. Naturally, eldest son Edward Welby Pugin (1834-1875) followed in his footsteps, inheriting the family architectural business at the aged of 18 on his father’s untimely death at home in Ramsgate.

From offices in London, Liverpool and Ramsgate, Edward designed and built more than 70 churches as well as schools, convents, and presbyteries for the Catholic Church, but in 1867, he became a partner in an entrepreneurial scheme to build a terrace of luxury town houses.

The partnership comprised local businessmen Robert Sankey, George Burgess and John Barnett Hodgson and together they and Pugin paid £9,250 – then a huge sum – to Mount Albion Estates for a tract of land on the East Cliff, overlooking Ramsgate. However, the plan seemed set to fail when the following year it was agreed that housing would not succeed. Instead, Pugin redesigned the proposed building, together with all its furniture, turning it into a private hotel. The overall furnishing was supervised by Messrs J D Davidson & Co. Ramsgate and the opening of The Granville Hall Hotel in December 1869 was celebrated with a grand ball.

This single 19th century Gothic oak bar back dining chair is a rare survivor from the hotel and was snapped up by a telephone bidder for £1,700 against an estimate of £ 600-800 in our recent sale.

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