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'Imperial Monumental Halls and Tower': Westminster Abbey and the Commemoration of Empire, 1854–1904

Medium: journal article
Language(s): English
Published in: Architectural History, , v. 47
Page(s): 251-282
DOI: 10.1017/s0066622x00001775

Among the many remarkable changes of the last generation, none is more remarkable than the change in the political ideas uppermost in the minds of men… Today the words ‘Empire' and ‘Imperialism' fill the place in everyday speech that was once filled by ‘Nation' and ‘Nationality'. In the never-ending struggle of political principles, authority rather than liberty seems for the moment to have the upper hand; power and dominion rather than freedom and independence are the ideas that appeal to the imagination of the masses; … the national ideal has given place to the Imperial.

In March 1904 John Pollard Seddon (1827–1906) and Edward Beckitt Lamb (1857–1932) published an extraordinary scheme entitled ‘Imperial Monumental Halls and Tower at Westminster'. Though never built, it was among the grandest and most visionary proposals London had ever seen and, next to Giles Gilbert Scott's Anglican cathedral at Liverpool (1904–79), one of the last monumental expressions of Gothic revival architecture in Britain. Designed to immortalize the achievement of the men and women who had laboured to promote and defend the nation's imperial interests, it was conceived as a lasting testament to the enthusiasm for empire that characterized late Victorian and Edwardian Britain (Figs 1-2).

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Structurae cannot make the full text of this publication available at this time. The full text can be accessed through the publisher via the DOI: 10.1017/s0066622x00001775.
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