The Gothic Revival in Britain


Why in the 19th century was the new industrial technology of iron and steam dressed in medieval costume? The Gothic Revival began as ‘Gothick’ – fashionable park follies for the aristocracy and the popular ‘Gothick’ novels parodied by Jane Austen.

We will explore the origins, philosophy and social context of the Revival while studying specific buildings and the life of careers of architects who worked in this style.

Programme details

Session 1

That pointed arch! An introduction to Gothic architecture

Session 2

From ‘Gothick’ to ‘Gothic’

Session 3

‘Gothic equals Christian.’ Pugin and the moral agenda of Gothic

Session 4

The Palace of Westminster and the ‘Battle of the Styles.’

Session 5

Some principal architects of the Gothic Revival

Session 6

The Gothic House

Session 7

The Gothic Church

Session 8

Trains, Transepts and Tracery

Session 9

The Arts and Crafts Movement

Session 10

Gothic Goes Global!

Session 11

Twentieth-Century Gothic

Session 12

Presentations and Conclusions


Description Costs
Programme Fee (No Accommodation - inc. Tuition, Lunch & Dinner) £850.00
Programme Fee (Standard Single Room - inc. Tuition and Meals) £1485.00
Programme Fee (Standard Twin Room - inc. Tuition and Meals) £1245.00
Programme Fee (Superior Single Room - inc. Tuition and Meals) £1600.00
Programme Fee (Superior Twin Room - inc. Tuition and Meals) £1345.00


Dr Andrew Lacey


Andrew Lacey holds a doctorate for work on King Charles I and has been teaching in adult education for over 25 years. Currently, he is a Tutor for the Continuing Education departments at both the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford and his historical interests range from the English Civil War to 19th and 20th century British and European history.

Course aims

This course aims to introduce some of the reasons for the popularity of the Gothic Revival between c.1750 – c.1950. Students will explore, in class, Gothic revival buildings and their architects and also consider the influence of the Gothic Revival around the world and on associated movements such as the Arts and Crafts movement etc.

Teaching methods

All summer school courses are taught through group seminars and individual tutorials. Students also conduct private study when not in class and there is a well stocked library at OUDCE to support individual research needs.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be expected to understand:

  • What the main features of Gothic Revival architecture are
  • Something of the philosophical basis of Gothic Revival architecture
  • Something of the life and careers of well-known Gothic Revival architects
  • Something of the influence of the Gothic Revival on later artistic and architectural movements and styles
  • Why the Gothic Revival style ‘went global’ in the 19th century

Assessment methods

Students are assessed during the summer school by either a 1500 word written assignment or a presentation supported by individual documentation. To successfully gain credit (10 CATS points) students should attend all classes and complete the on-course assignment. There is also a pre-course assignment of 1000 words set. Although this does not count towards credit, it is seen as an important way of developing a student's ideas and therefore its completion is mandatory.