John Francis Bentley by Peter Howell


Widely recognised as the best Catholic architect of his time, Bentley built comparatively few complete churches, but did extensive work in adding to and furnishing other architects’ churches.

He had remarkable skill in the design of woodwork, metalwork, stained glass, and organ cases, all of which are discussed in the book. The climax of his career was the commission in 1894 to design Westminster Cathedral, which was almost complete when he died in 1902. Bentley was born in Doncaster, Yorkshire, and went to London to work in the office of Henry Clutton, a distinguished High Victorian architect who became a Roman Catholic in 1856. also converted, and, after setting up his own practice in 1860. His finest parish church is Holy Rood, Watford.

Peter Howell is a former chairman of the The Victorian Society.

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