Home » Heritage » Our Pugins » Edward Pugin

Edward Pugin

Edward Pugin designed the original two-storey parish school. His work is still the core of the community centre now named Pugin Place, though it has been extended at both front and rear.

On 11th March 1834 Edward Pugin was born in Ramsgate into the family of Augustus Welby Pugin and Louisa Button. He was Augustus Pugin’s eldest son and second child. He was not sent away to school and at an early age became his father’s assistant, working alongside the slightly older John Hardman Powell, Augustus Pugin’s chief assistant, helping to make cartoons for many stained glass windows that Pugin was designing whilst in Ramsgate.

In 1852 he inherited his father’s practice at the age of only 18. He was a prolific architect. He had offices in Ramsgate, Liverpool and London. He was responsible for a vast number of buildings, designed or partly-designed educational and religious institutions, orphanages, country houses, terraces and other residences, including the spectacular castle of Loppem, near Bruges in Belgium. He was solely or partly responsible for the Roman Catholic Cathedrals in Shrewsbury, Northampton, and Cobh (Ireland), and more than hundred Roman Catholic Churches and Chapels, most of them in England but more than twenty in Ireland, a few in Scotland, and one in Wales. Initially, his work was similar to his father’s, but later he developed a more personal style influenced by French Gothic. His designs were sometimes very attenuated and tended to be strongly vertical. He designed open sight-lines to the high altar, seldom using rood screens, reflecting the sort of Catholic liturgy that was becoming popular in the 1860s, a peak period of his works.

In 1873 he became bankrupt. It is believed that his tendency to elaboration and extravagance of detail, fully indulged in the Granville Hotel, contributed to his bankruptcy. In 1875 he died in London.

One assessment of him is that “As the eldest of Pugin’s sons, E. W. Pugin seems to have inherited some of his father’s talent without his genius, something of the scale of his vision without its refinement, and much of his edginess without his passionate enthusiasm.”