The Architect: Benjamin Ferrey (1810-80)
Benjamin Ferrey was one of the first major architects to be associated with the Gothic revival of the first half of the 19th century.
After grammar school in Hampshire, he was articled to Augustus Charles Pugin, who pioneered this break from the neoclassical style of the 18th century. Ferrey studied with Pugin's son, Augustus Welby Pugin, one of our finest Victorian architects and they were closely associated until the latter’s premature death in 1852 when he was only 40. Indeed, Pugin is said to have died from overwork.
Meanwhile, Ferrey had set up his own practice in London in 1834 and had received great plaudits for his design of the fashionable St Stephen Rochester Row near Victoria. He was sympathetic to the Oxford Movement which emphasized the catholic heritage of the Church of England and was highly regarded by successive generations of church architects.
Ferrey’s churches are characterised by soaring spaces lit by large pointed windows and towers surmounted by lofty spires and the commission to build a new church in Bengeo arrived on his desk when he was at the height of his powers.