The Baroque Age of Hawksmoor

Though he was a less inspired architect than Wren or Vanbrugh, writes Tudor Edwards, Hawksmoor’s life and work are inextricably interwoven with theirs and he contributed largely to their great achievement.

In the year in which Christopher Wren was appointed Savilian Professor of Astronomy at Oxford, there was born to Fanner Hawksmoor and his wife near Tuxford in Nottinghamshire a son, Nicholas. It was 1661, the second year of the Restoration; the year of Charles the Second’s coronation; and the Great Fire of London, when, in Evelyn’s words, “the Stones of St. Paul’s flew like Grenades,” was but five years off, although the significance of this event and the opportunities it was to bring could not then be apparent to either the Hawksmoors or their son.

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