Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Salvin, Anthony

SALVIN, ANTHONY (1799–1881), architect, born at Worthing on 17 Oct. 1799, was son of Lieut.-general Anthony Salvin of Sunderland Bridge, Durham, a scion of the ancient family that has held Croxdale manor in uninterrupted possession since 1474 [see Salveyn, Sir Gerard]. The name is written Salveyn and Salvein in the Durham visitation pedigrees of 1575 and 1666. Having completed his education in Durham school, he chose architecture as a profession, and entered the office of John Nash (1752–1835) [q. v.] He commenced practice in the metropolis, which he carried on for about sixty years in Somerset Street, Savile Row, and Argyle Street successively. He was gradually recognised as the greatest authority on mediæval military architecture, and a large number of ancient fortresses or castles passed through his hands, either for restorations or additions. Of these, the most important were the Tower of London, where he was engaged upon the Beauchamp Tower, the White Tower, St. Thomas's Tower, the Saltery, and Traitor's Gate; Windsor Castle, where, under the auspices of the prince consort, he was entrusted with restoring the Curfew Tower, the Hundred steps, the Embankment, Henry VII's library, and the canons' residences; the castles of Carisbrook, Carnarvon, Bangor, Newark-upon-Trent, and Durham; and those at Warwick, Naworth, Warkworth, and Alnwick, which last was in his hands for several years. As early as 1829 he was commissioned to restore the great hall in Brancepeth Castle; and Rockingham, Greystoke, Dunster, Petworth, and West Cowes castles were among other similar structures placed in his care.

His practice, however, was not confined to this branch of architecture. Many residential halls and manor-houses in different parts of the country received from him restoration and improvements, notably those at Muncaster, Patterdale, Thoresby, Harlaxton, Encombe, Marbury, Parham, Cowsby, Warden, Flixton, Kelham, Congham, Crossrigge, Foresby, Whitehall in Cumberland, and Somerford. He also built many new country seats. In 1828 Mamhead was designed by him for Sir R. Newman, and Morby Hall was commenced; the latter cost 40,000l. In 1830 he was employed on Methley Hall by the Earl of Mexborough; in 1835 he designed Barwarton House; and Keele Hall, Staffordshire, was another of his important works.

He built a new castle at Peckforton, in the strictest Plantagenet manner; and, as in the rebuilding of the great keep of Alnwick Castle, the question whether the accommodation of the middle ages was appropriate for a residence in the reign of Victoria was widely discussed; but Salvin's masterly skill and minute archæological knowledge were never disputed.

New churches were built from his designs at Runcorn, Doncaster, Shepherd's Bush, Alnwick, Acklington, South Charlton, and three in Tynemouth; and his restorations of ancient churches include St. Michael's, Alnwick, Headley, Betshanger, Northallerton, Patterdale, Lower Peeover, Rock, and Arley Hall chapel. He built schools at Portsmouth, Finchley, Danesfield, and Bangor; parsonages at Keswick, Denton, and Seaton Carew; the County Hotel, Carlisle; White Swan, Alnwick; Gurney's Bank, Norwich; and clubhouses at Queenstown and West Cowes. He directed the necessary precautions to be taken to prevent further dilapidations to the priory buildings at Lanercost and Holy Island. In addition to the great works at Alnwick Castle, he was commissioned by Algernon Percy, fourth duke of Northumberland, to make many improvements on his estate, including lodges, bridges, and cottages. He also designed the monument placed to the memory of Grace Darling in Bamborough churchyard.

Salvin was elected a fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1836. In 1839 he was chosen a vice-president, and in 1863 the gold medal of the Institute was conferred upon him. He was a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries from 1824 till his death. Between 1823 and 1836 he exhibited eight architectural subjects in the Royal Academy. In 1831 he illustrated a work on Catterick Church by James Raine [q. v.] He competed unsuccessfully for the new houses of parliament commission with a set of designs of Tudor character, and for the Fitzwilliam museum at Cambridge.

Salvin resided for many years at Finchley and subsequently in Hanover Terrace, Regent's Park. In 1864 he took up his residence at Hawksfold, Fernhurst, near Haslemere. In the last year of his life he interested himself in the restoration and enlargement of the church at Fernhurst. He died at Hawksfold on 17 Dec. 1881, and was buried at Fernhurst. A stained-glass window was placed to his memory and that of his wife in Fernhurst church.

He married his cousin Anne, sister of William Andrews Nesfield [q. v.], on 26 July 1826. They had two sons and two daughters. The elder son, Anthony, who was also an architect, predeceased his father in the year of his own death. Mrs. Salvin died on 5 Nov. 1860.

[Sessional papers of the Royal Institute of British Architects, 1863; Dictionary of Architecture, vol. vii. p. 9; Graves's Dictionary of Artists, p. 205; Hutchinson's History of Durham, ii. 419; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Building News xli. 818 and 893; Builder, 31 Dec. 1881, p. 809; Durham visitations, 1575, 1615, and 1616, ed. J. Foster, 1887.]

S. W-n.