Abbey of Saint Scholastica, Teignmouth (1863), designed George Goldie. Sandstone. Woodcut by O. Jewitt from Eastlake, facing p. 348. Image scan and text by George P. Landow. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL.]

Commentary by Charles L. Eastlake (1872)

The Roman Catholic Abbey of St. Scholastica at Teignmouth is a very creditable example of Mr. Goldie's skill. Symmetrical in its general plan, broad and massive in its constructive treatment, and pure in its decorative details, it wears an appearance at once of grace and solemnity eminently characteristic of the purpose for which it was erected, and well adapted to its picturesque site, on a hill overlooking the coast of South Devon. The principal front faces the sea and consists of three stories, whereof the second is enriched by mural arcuation, the alternate voussoirs of each arch as well as the engaged shafts on which they are carried being of red sandstone. From this front two wings project southwards. That on the left hand (including some of the reception rooms, &c.) presents a well-proportioned gable on which the arcade is repeated, with a trefoil-headed window above. The right wing is a chapel, from the end of which rises a cleverly treated bell- turret. Between these two wings, which reach a lower level on the site than the intermediate block, a broad terrace walk is formed, intersected in the centre by a flight of steps. Fastidious critics have pointed out that these steps lead to no entrance doorway, that a blank dormer on the left wing is improperly used as a chimney shaft, and that the uppermost windows on the same side are unfortunately close to the eaves; but these are minor faults amply redeemed by more prominent excellences in the work, which without the slightest approach to archaism or pedantry realises some of the most valuable and attractive qualities of Mediaeval art.

References

Eastlake, Charles L. A History of the Gothic Revival. London: Longmans, Green; N.Y. Scribner, Welford, 1972. [Copy in Brown University's Rockefeller Library]


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