Imperial Gothic:
Religious Architecture and High Anglican Culture in the British Empire, 1840-1870

G. A. Bremner

Publicaton Date
May 2013
Standard Number
Yale University Press
364 pages

The Gothic Revival movement in architecture was intimately entwined with 18th - and 19th - century British cultural politics. By the middle of the 19th century, architects and theorists had transformed the movement into a serious scholarly endeavour, connecting it to notions of propriety and "truth", particularly in the domain of religious architecture. Simultaneously, reform within the Church of England had worked to widen the aesthetic and liturgical appeal of "correct" gothic forms. Coinciding with these developments, both architectural and religious, was the continued expansion of Britain's empire, including a renewed urgency by the English Church to extend its mission beyond the British Isles. In this groundbreaking new study, G. A. Bremner traces the global reach and influence of the Gothic Revival throughout Britain's empire during these crucial decades. Focusing on religious buildings, he examines the reinvigoration of the Church of England's colonial and missionary agenda and its relationship to the rise of Anglican ecclesiology, revealing the extraordinary nature and extent of building activity that occurred across the British world.

Winner of the Alice Davis Hitchcock Medallion of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain.

About the author

  • G. A. Bremner is professor of architectural history at the University of Edinburgh, where he specialises in the history of Victorian and Edwardian architecture, with a particular focus on British imperial and colonial architecture and urbanism.