The partnership of Harold Ainsworth Peto (1854-1933) and Sir Ernest George (1839-1922) lasted from 1876-1892. According to Robin Whalley, "The firm became one of the most successful in London during the 1880s"; in fact, Hilary Grainger says, they enjoyed "spectacular success." Grainger explains: "Their superbly conceived designs represent the extreme point of late Victorian individualism, and were inspired by old Flemish and German town houses, sketched and painted in watercolour so stylishly and evocatively by George in his tours of Europe."

Peto resigned from the partnership for health reasons, and also because he wanted to live in the countryside. He became better known as an influential garden designer. George went on, with other partners, to design some large country houses and some important London buildings, including the Royal Academy of Music in Marylebone (1910-11). He was the president of RIBA from 1908-10. According to Grainger, he was "[e]ssentially a picturesque architect."

Writing in 1950, when taste was only just turning in favour of the Victorians, Reginald Turnor says of the various houses by Peto and George, Norman Shaw and Stevenson in and around Cadogan Square: "Relentless vermilion caked with London soot — or even uncaked — overwhelms even a good design" (102). But these houses have aged well and are in great demand now. — Jacquelne Banerjee, PhD, Contributing Editor, Victorian Web

Houses and Shops in London

Country Houses

Commercial buildings outside London

Miscellaneous

References

G. “The Revival of English Domestic Architecture. V. The Work of Mr. Ernest George.” . The Studio 8 (1896): 27-32. [Complete text in the Victorian Web.]

G. “The Revival of English Domestic Architecture. V. The Work of Mr. Ernest George.” . The Studio 8 (1896): 203-15. [Complete text in the Victorian Web.]

Grainger, Hilary. "George, Sir Ernest (1839-1922)." The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Online ed. Viewed 14 June 2008.

Hitchcock, Henry-Russell. Architecture: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1963.

Turnor, Reginald. Nineteenth Centrury Architecture in Britain. London: Batsford, 1950.

Whalley, Robin. "Peto, Harold Ainsworth (1854-1933)." The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Online ed. Viewed 14 June 2008.


Victorian Web Victorian Architecture Classicism in Victorian Architecture

Last modified 3 April 2012