This lecture looks at the life and work of the greatest English architect, Sir Christopher Wren.
It begins with a summary of Wren’s life, including his education and his work as a medic, a scientist and as the leading astronomer of his day. This is followed by a review of Wren’s architectural influences and achievements, with digital photographs of all his major buildings, such as Trinity College Library in Cambridge, the royal hospitals at Chelsea and Greenwich and, of course, St Paul’s Cathedral.
The lecture then focuses in detail on Wren’s City churches, with their incredible variety and elegant steeples, a group of churches unique in the world and of exceptional originality and architectural merit, their interiors featuring the craftsmanship of the great woodcarvers, stonemasons and plasterers working alongside Wren in the post-Great Fire rebuilding programme.
Tony has an MA in Modern History from Oriel College, Oxford, and is a qualified City Guide, a former Chairman of the City of London Guide Lecturers Association and a trustee of the Friends of the City Churches (FCC).
He lectures to various City institutions, the FCC, U3A, and various historical associations. He leads regular guided walks for the City of London Corporation, the Friends of the City Churches and numerous private groups. Publications include The Visitor’s Guide to the City of London Churches (2006) and regular contributions to Cityguide magazine and the FCC Newsletter.
Books on Wren:
Wren, by Margaret Whinney
On A Grander Scale: The Outstanding Career of Sir Christopher Wren, by Lisa Jardine
His Invention So Fertile: The Life of Christopher Wren, by Adrian Tinniswood
The Architecture of Wren, by Kerry Downes
Books on the City of London Churches:
London: The City Churches, by Nikolaus Pevsner (updated by Simon Bradley)
The Visitors Guide to the City of London Churches, by Tony Tucker
To return to the 2018-19 lecture programme, click here.