© All rights reserved. Building News 7 February 1890 

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Basic Biographical Details

Name: Basil Champneys
Designation: Architect
Born: 17 September 1842
Died: 5 April 1935
Bio Notes: Basil Champneys was born in Whitechapel, London, on 17 September 1842, the fourth son of the Rev William W Champneys, rector of St Mary's, Whitechapel and later vicar of St Pancras and Dean of Lichfield. He was educated at Charterhouse and Trinity College Cambridge, and about 1862 was articled to John Pritchard of Llandaff. He commenced practice in London in 1867, his father having secured for him a commission to design St Luke's Oseney Crescent, Kentish Town in a brick-built early French manner.

Once back in London Champneys quickly became acquainted with William Morris, Henry Holiday who was commissioned to provide the stained glass for St Luke's, and with Dante Gabriel Rossetti. But in 1872 he was commissioned to design the Eel Brook School in Harwood Road, London, his first essay in the Queen Anne manner with which he established his reputation. Newnham College followed in 1874, commencing a long career as a university architect, particularly for women's colleges, in Cambridge, Oxford and London where he designed the original buildings of Bedford College. His most ambitious work was the Tudor gothic John Rylands library in Manchester 1890-1905.

Champneys was awarded the Royal Gold Medal in 1912. He wrote poetry and had extensive artistic and literary interests, publishing 'A Quiet Corner of England', 1875; Henry Merritt: Art Criticism and Romance' (1879); editing the 'Memoirs and Correspondence of Coventry Patmore' and writing the introduction to 'The Poems of Coventry Patmore' (both 1915).

Champneys died in London at the then great age of 93 on 5 April 1935. For a time he was assisted by his son Amian L Champneys.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1London, EnglandBusiness   

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 Pritchardc. 1862 Apprentice 

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 1Henry Thomas Sandy18891891Assistant 

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 21888Tantallon Castle  East LothianScotlandAdvised on restoration with J M Dick Peddie
Item 2 of 2189630 Marmion RoadNorth Berwick East LothianScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 5Contemporary architects and their work1912Contemporary architects and their work: Mr Basil Champneys Builder 1912 
Item 2 of 5Girouard, Mark1977Sweetness and Light: The Queen Anne Movement   
Item 3 of 5Gray, A Stuart1985Edwardian Architecture: A Biographical Dictionary   
Item 4 of 5Grove Dictionary of Art Grove Dictionary of Art   
Item 5 of 5New International Year Book1935New International Year Book   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Builder12 April 1935  Obituary
Item 2 of 2RIBA Journal27 April 1935v42London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp737 - obituary by Reginald Blomfield


© All rights reserved. Building News 7 February 1890 

© All rights reserved. Building News 7 February 1890