This thesis examines architectural taste and patronage in Newcastle upon Tyne between 1870 and 1914. During this period, the city experienced dramatic expansion as the wealth generated in industry, finance and retail was channelled into commercial and public architecture. The overall aim is to determine whether Newcastle formed a distinctive architectural culture. Newcastle's economic and social profile gave rise to specific patterns of taste and patronage. The thesis explores the cultural networks that shaped the built form of the city, arguing that architectural patronage in Newcastle was dominated by a cultural oligarchy. This group formed an architectural culture, a relatively self-contained community in which particular styles and architects were favoured above others. Newcastle was a major centre of industry, finance and retail, and played a significant role in the national economy. The thesis seeks to reposition Newcastle within the context of the dynamic forces that were reshaping Britain's built environment. As the period progressed, the distinctive patterns of taste and patronage within the city were eroded by the increasingly national economy, the influence of the metropolis and the more active role played by the centralised state. The thesis relates the architectural culture under study to the national mainstream, thus shedding light on the relationship between provincial architecture and the metropolis. The thesis employs a range of methodological strategies in order to bring the different facets of architecture into focus. With clearly defined geographical and temporal boundaries, it seeks to clarify the economic, social and cultural factors that underpin architectural production, thus offering a new insight into architectural patronage.
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 4 Sep 2009|