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Mr Henry Hakewill

Henry Hakewill was a prominent English architect and surveyor of the early 19th century, known for his contributions to ecclesiastical architecture and his meticulous attention to detail. Born on June 7, 1771, in Exeter, England, Hakewill demonstrated an early interest in architecture, likely influenced by his father, James Hakewill, who was also an architect.

Hakewill received his formal education at Blundell's School in Tiverton, Devon, before apprenticing with his father. He later moved to London to further his studies and career prospects. In 1791, he enrolled at the Royal Academy Schools, where he studied under the renowned architect Sir William Chambers.

After completing his studies, Hakewill embarked on his architectural career, focusing primarily on ecclesiastical projects. He gained recognition for his ability to blend classical and Gothic architectural elements, creating unique and striking designs. One of his notable early works is the redesign of the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Exeter.

In 1800, Hakewill published "A Series of Views of the Churches of London," a collection of engravings showcasing the architectural diversity of London's churches. This publication helped to establish his reputation as a skilled architect and furthered his career prospects.

Throughout his career, Hakewill worked on numerous church restoration projects across England, earning praise for his sensitive approach to preserving historical integrity while incorporating modern improvements. His expertise in church architecture led to commissions from various dioceses and wealthy patrons.

One of Hakewill's most significant projects was the restoration of Lichfield Cathedral in Staffordshire, undertaken between 1820 and 1823. His careful restoration work helped to preserve the cathedral's medieval character while ensuring its structural stability for future generations.

Hakewill's architectural style evolved over time, influenced by changing tastes and architectural trends. He embraced the Gothic Revival movement, championed by architects such as Augustus Pugin and John Ruskin, and incorporated Gothic motifs into his later works.

In addition to his architectural practice, Hakewill was also a respected surveyor and published several works on surveying and land management. His expertise in this field earned him appointments to various public offices, including serving as a magistrate and deputy lieutenant for the county of Devon.

Henry Hakewill's contributions to English architecture and surveying were significant and enduring. His legacy lives on through his architectural designs, which continue to inspire and influence architects to this day.


  1. Curl, James Stevens. A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Oxford University Press, 2006.
  2. Colvin, Howard. A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840. Yale University Press, 2008.
  3. "Hakewill, Henry (1771–1830), Architect." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.

Colvin, Howard, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840, 3rd edition (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1995), pp. 444-446.

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