Basic Biographical Details

Name: Richard Cromwell Carpenter
Designation: Architect
Born: 21 October 1812
Died: 27 March 1855
Bio Notes: Richard Cromwell Carpenter was born in Middlesex on 21 October 1812 and educated at Charterhouse. He was articled to the London architect John Blyth c.1828 and began exhibiting at the Royal Academy in 1830 at the early age of seventeen. Although Blyth encouraged his interest in Gothic, he was essentially self-taught from the publications of John Britton and Augustus Charles Pugin, becoming a close friend of Pugin's son Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin. He commenced independent practice in London sometime before 1838 when he designed Lonsdale Square in Islington and quickly became the preferred architect of the newly founded Cambridge Camden (later Ecclesiological) Society. He made his name with two very Puginian churches in Birmingham in 1844-46, followed by the exceptionally refined St Paul's Brighton (1846-48), St Peter's Chichester (1848) and St Mary Magdalene's Munster Square, London (1849-52). His finest church, had it been completed, would have been St Stephen's at Burntisland, 1850-54, abandoned incomplete and subsequently demolished.

Carpenter was also responsible for two major educational complexes, both promoted by the Rev Nathaniel Woodward, Lancing College (designed 1848, built 1854 onwards) and St John's College, Hurstpierpoint (1851-53). His other main patron was Alexander John Beresford Hope for whom he redesigned Bedgebury Park Kent in a 17th century chateau manner.

Carpenter was admitted FRIBA on 12 December 1853, his proposers being Thomas Henry Wyatt, George James John Mair and Benjamin Ferrey, all of London. Carpenter died in London on 27 March 1855 at the early age of forty-two. His principal clients then arranged for his practice to be taken over by his pupil William Slater.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 24, Carlton Chambers, Regent Street, London, EnglandPrivate/business(?)   
Item 2 of 240, Upper Bedford Place, Russell Square, London, EnglandPrivate/business18631874 

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 1John Blythc. 1828Mid 1830sApprentice 

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 4William Slater18351840Apprentice 
Item 2 of 4William Slater18401855Assistant 
Item 3 of 4Alfred JenoureBefore 1847Before 1847Apprentice 
Item 4 of 4Edward Ingress BellAfter 1852Before 1860AssistantUncertain - more likely to be Richard Herbert


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Benjamin Ferrey12 December 1853for Fellowship
Item 2 of 3George James John Mair12 December 1853for Fellowship
Item 3 of 3Thomas Henry Wyatt12 December 1853for Fellowship

Buildings and Designs

This architect was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 61850Episcopal SchoolBurntisland FifeScotland 
Item 2 of 61850St Stephen's Episcopal Church and ParsonageBurntisland FifeScotlandChurch not completed - parsonage continued by Slater
Item 3 of 61855St Andrew's Episcopal CathedralInverness Inverness-shireScotlandCommissioned to design Cathedral by Bichop Eden of Moray but died having designed only plan and west froint
Item 4 of 61855St Mary's Episcopal ChurchBirnam PerthshireScotlandDesign
Item 5 of 6c. 1855St Serf Episcopal ChurchBurntisland FifeScotlandCommenced by Carpenter (built to a height of 15 feet and then abandoned) and completed by Slater after his death
Item 6 of 61865Memorial to Prince Consort  EdinburghScotlandCompetition design


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 5Anson, Peter1965Fashions in church furnishings2ndLondonpp75-78
Item 2 of 5APSD The Dictionary of Architectureed Wyatt PapworthThe Architectural Publication Society (8v 1852-1892) 
Item 3 of 5British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914  For full list of references.
Item 4 of 5Grove Dictionary of Art Grove Dictionary of Art   
Item 5 of 5Placzek, Adolf K (ed)1982Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architects New York: The Free Press/Macmillan Publishing Company 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Builder7 April 1855  Obituary p165

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers F v2 p134 (microfiche 79/D3)