Exploring Sir John Ninian Comper’s church of St Mary the Virgin, Wellingborough


The week before last, several Undergraduate and taught Masters students joined Dr Ayla Lepine and David Lewis in a visit to St Mary the Virgin, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. As an extension of the topics discussed in the module ‘Religion, Architecture and Visual Culture in Britain from 1851 to 1951,’ the trip provided students with an exploratory and practical seminar inside one of Sir John Ninian Comper’s churches of the Twentieth Century.

Comper (1864 – 1960) has been hailed as “the greatest British church architect of the twentieth century” and one of his finest achievements was the design of St.Mary’s. A committed Gothic revivalist, Comper experienced his own personal epiphany on trips made to Europe in the early 1900’s, when he realised that the beauty he sought to embody in Christian Architecture need not be found exclusively in the English Medieval but could incorporate the very best of other architectural traditions and…

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