Basic Biographical Details

Name: Peter Frederick Robinson
Designation: Architect
Born: 1776
Died: 24 June 1858
Bio Notes: Peter Frederick Robinson was born in 1776 and was apprenticed to William Porden in 1790 moving to become an assistant to Henry Holland. In 1801-4 he supervised the latter’s work at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton. Robinson had a busy practice particularly designing country houses and picturesque cottages. He offered his clients a choice of style – for example ‘Old English’, ‘Tudor’ or Elizabethan. He even drew up plans for a ‘Norman’ villa in Hampshire with elements derived from a variety of specific church sources. He also designed an ‘Egyptian Hall’ in Piccadilly as a museum for the naturalist and antiquarian William Bullock which is the first time Egyptian features were used in an English building. Elsewhere he used Greek elements to good effect. After a study tour on the Continent during which he visited Italy and Switzerland, he added the ‘Swiss chalet’ to the style of villa he offered.

Robinson was also employed to develop layout plans for various estates including that of E Wiles in 1823-6 for Leamington Spa. The streets around Beauchamp Square were developed under his direction in 1825-6. At about the same time he planned the development of the Park Estate on the outskirts of Nottingham for the 4th Duke of Newcastle. His proposals for a rigid grid of street were not executed but some villas were built to his designs in Park Terrace.

Various other Robinson designs remained unexecuted. He drew up plans for re-erecting the portico of Carlton house as a memorial to the Duke of York in 1827. In 1831 he made designs for a building on the north side of Trafalgar Square to house the Royal and Antiquarian Societies. He also competed unsuccessfully for the Houses of Parliament competition. There is also an unexecuted design for a castle style house for Pryse Powell.

Robinson published widely and a list of his publications is below. In 1826 he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and was one of the first presidents of the Institute of British Architects. He regularly exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1795 to 1833. Later in his life he was in straightened circumstances and went to live in Boulogne from about 1840. He died there in 24 June 1858, aged 82.

‘Woburn Abbey’ (1827), ‘Hatfield House’ (1833), ‘Hardwicke Hall’ (1835), ‘Castle Ashby’ (1841) and ‘Warwick Castle’ (?1842) published for projected continuation of ‘Vitruvius Britannicus’
‘Rural Architects; or a Series of Designs for ornamental Cottages’ (1823) (5th edition 1850 with landscapes re-drawn by J D Harding)
‘Designs for ornamental Villas’ (1827, 1836, 4th edition 1853)
‘Village Architecture, being a Series of Designs…illustrative of the Observations contained in the Essay on the Picturesque by Sir Uvedale Price’ (1830, 4th edition, 1837)
‘Designs for Farm Buildings’ (1830, 3rd edition 1837)
‘Designs for Lodges and Park Entrances’ (1833, 3rd edition 1837) (This series of designs was frequently re-used by others)
‘Domestic Architecture in the Tudor Style’ (1837)
‘A New Series of Designs for Ornamental Cottages and Villas’ (1838)
‘An Attempt to ascertain the age of Mickleham Church in Surrey’ (1824)
Papers read to the Institute of British Architects: ’The Newly Discovered Crypt at York Minster’ (6 July 1835) and ‘Observations relating to the proposal for removing the choir screen’ and ‘Oblique Arches’ (5 December 1836).

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1London, EnglandBusiness 1838 


RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 2Anthony Salvin25 April 1836for Fellowship
Item 2 of 2Thomas Henry Wyatt7 January 1839for 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 21831Toll HouseBlair Drummond PerthshireScotland 
Item 2 of 2Before 1848Kemble House and estate buildings  Wiltshire/GloucestershireEnglandVarious works, as the Gordons' architect at Kemble (see nomination paper)


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 3APSD The Dictionary of Architectureed Wyatt PapworthThe Architectural Publication Society (8v 1852-1892) 
Item 2 of 3British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   
Item 3 of 3Colvin, Howard2008A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 London: YUP. 4th edition 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Builder1858xvi p458

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1Public Record OfficeGeneral recordsApp.Reg 1/34p188