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New York City  |  Thursday April 20

Lecture   "Make Thy Castles High and Fair" Medieval Castles to Modern Fantasies

General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen    20 W 44 St  |  6:15 PM

photo of the lecturer Dr. Jonathan Foyle
Architectural Historian

Dr. Jonathan Foyle was a Curator of Historic Buildings at Hampton Court for eight years, and took his Ph.D. on reconstructing Wolsey's palace prior to Henry VIII's adoption of it.

Having headed the British branch of the New York-based World Monuments Fund for eight years at projects including Coventry and St. Paul's Cathedrals, Stowe House and Hawksmoor's St. George's Church in Bloomsbury, he is now an author, presenter and consultant.

Since 2012, he has been a frequent writer for the Financial Times on issues of architecture, history and craft, and is currently completing his fourth cathedral monograph: Canterbury, Lincoln, Lichfield- now Peterborough.

A presenter of numerous series on UK and US television, including BBC's 15-part Climbing Great Buildings – he co-presents a new series, Restoration of the Year on Channel 4 this spring.

He lives in an old house in Somerset, near Bath.

"Make Thy Castles High and Fair" Medieval Castles to Modern Fantasies

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What is a 'castle'?

At first the answer may seem obvious, but it evades close definition. To what extent were castles defensible, and against whom? Why does the western block of Lincoln Cathedral look like a castle? Why did many tombs use the militant language of crenellations when their inhabitants were already dead?

Architectural historian Dr. Jonathan Foyle will explore the changing associations in castle design over the last thousand years using images from the Royal Institute of British Architects' extensive collection. He will revisit the events of the Norman Conquest and the religious and political purposes of buildings as representation of a new authority.

We review the language and purpose of later medieval castles, using Bodiam in Sussex (NT) as an example. Then, given Cardinal Wolsey was never a warrior, why does his Hampton Court (1515-28) look like a castle, complete with a moat?

From the later 16th century, defensible overtones inform many grand houses but two hundred years ago a particular set of romantic associations emerged to inform designs of the Georgian and Victorian age - and, by extension, our modern preconceptions.

New York City  |  Thursday April 20

Lecture   "Make Thy Castles High and Fair" Medieval Castles to Modern Fantasies

General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen    20 W 44 St  |  6:15 PM

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Royal Institute of British Architects
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This lecture is followed by a reception




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