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27th April 2009

The Arts and Crafts architect Philip Webb, friend of William Morris and one of the most important architects of the 19th century, will be the subject of a talk by Dr Sheila Kirk, world expert of Webb and his work, to Ripon Civic Society on Thursday 7 May.

Philip Webb is probably best known today for The Red House in south-east London, designed in 1858 for William Morris and his new wife Jane and now in the care of the National Trust. He also designed another National Trust House, Standen near East Grinstead in Sussex. In Yorkshire he worked for the Bell family in Middlesbrough, including designing a set of offices, now known as Webb House, and a house in Redcar. He also designed two country houses for members of the Bell family – the mostly-demolished Rounton Grange near Northallerton and Smeaton Manor at Great Smeaton. He was also a great supporter of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, founded by Morris in 1877.

Dr Kirk, who lives in North Yorkshire, is a freelance architectural historian and has been researching Webb’s life and work for more than 25 years. She is the author of ‘Philip Webb – Pioneer of Arts and Crafts Architecture’.

David Winpenny, Chairman of Ripon Civic Society, says, ‘Philip Webb may not be as well-known as some of the other Victorian Architects, but he was probably one of the most influential, especially in his design for comfortable country houses, from which Lutyens learned many lessons. We are very pleased to have Dr Kirk come to speak to us about Webb, who was by all repute a charming and modest man.’

The meeting takes place at Allhallowgate Methodist Church Hall, Victoria Grove, Ripon, on Thursday 7 May, starting at 7.30 pm. There is a charge of £2.00 for non-members.

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