Ewan Christian, 1814-1895

Famous architect - president of RIBA in 1884; Most famous for restoration of Carlisle Cathedral though responsible for more than 2,000 ecclesiastical buildings.
Family link to Archdeacon Joseph Christian Moore, hence invitations to design various Manx Churches. Also cousin to Joseph Henry Christian (architect of Bride Church).

The following obituary notice appeared in the Manx Church Magazine 5 #4 April 1895:

Born 20th September, 1814; died 21st February, 1895.
Mr Ewan Christian, the eminent architect, was a Manxman by descent, belonging to the family of Christian, of Milntown. During his long and busy life he designed about 40 new churches, 200 parsonage houses, besides numerous schools, country houses, banks, and business premises. He also restored nearly 150 churches. But these figures by no means give the full extent of his influence in the ecclesiastical buildings of the last half century. Mr Christian since 1850 had been the consulting architect to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners of England, and he reported to that body on an average of nearly 220 designs annually; giving himself trouble far beyond the necessary work of the office in pointing out to young architects not only the defects of the plans, but taking infinite pains to show how those defects might be remedied. In this Diocese Mr Christian was the architect of S. Thomas' Church Douglas; of Marown Parish Church; of Christ Church, Laxey; and of the Chapel of Ease at Cronkbourne. His last important work was the addition to the National Gallery, London, to form a National Portrait Gallery, at a cost of £80,000, this work is still in progress, and will be completed in June. In 1887 he received the gold medal given by the Royal Institute of British Architects. In replying he said: " Mine has been a life of independent service, not of exploits. My highest ambition has been that of doing to the best of my ability the duty from time to time set before me to accomplish, and of maintaining unsullied in every sense the high character of an honourable and independent architect. " This describes his character and his aim in life worthy of all respect, worthy of imitation by all.




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© F.Coakley , 2001