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BUTTERFIELD, William

Born: 1814
Died: 1900

Architect


A well-known and influential English architect whose links with South Africa were based on his acquaintance with Bishop Gray, whose Diocese covered 200 000 square miles, with no churches, and whose red granite memorial cross outside St George's Cathedral in Cape Town Butterfield designed in about 1872. Butterfield is famous for his church design and is credited with supplying designs to Sophia GRAY from time to time. He is said to have designed the Lady Grey Infant School, opposite the St George's Grammar School in Cape Town, in 1857. Radford (1979:211) describes this building as 'fairly typical of Butterfield's early work', no plans of it survive. Butterfield was also approached by Bishop Bousfield, recently appointed to a new Bishopric of the Transvaal Republic, who asked him to prepare plans for a cathedral in Pretoria; Butterfield's plans, according to Greig (1971:159), are dated 1878 and Bousfield must have brought them with him. However, on his arrival in Pretoria in January 1879, he found that the foundations for the cathedral had already been laid to the plans of another architect (cf W WHITE). Brown (1969) mentions cathedral work by Butterfield at Port Elizabeth and in Cape Town but this is unspecified. According to records (Langham-Carter MS) of St Saviour's Church, Claremont in Cape Town, Butterfield designed additions to this church in about 1880. According to Radford (1979:207) the Church of St John, Victoria West, is attributed to Butterfield. The Holy Trinity Church at Belvidere is also often attributed to him or to Sophia GRAY influenced by him although Radford attributes this building to HJ UNDERWOOD.

(DSAB I; Greig 1971; Langham-Carter MS; Radford 1979; SAAR Mar 1929:9-10)

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All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Books citing BUTTERFIELD

Brown, SM. 1969. Architects and others: an annotated list of people of South African interest appearing in the RIBA Journal 1880 1925. Johannesburg: Unpublished dissertation, University of the Witwatersrand. pp

Greig, Doreen. 1971. A Guide to Architecture in South Africa. Cape Town: Howard Timmins. pp 50, 79, 103

Herholdt, AD. 1994. Eight beautiful Gothic revival churches of Port Elizabeth. Port Elizabeth: Ad Hoc Publishers. pp 69

Oxley, John. 1992. Places of Worship in South Africa. Halfway House: Southern Book Publishers. pp 61

Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1989. Historical Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: Struikhof Publishers. pp 42

Placzek, Adolf K (Editor in Chief). 1982. Macmillan encyclopedia of architects (Volume 1 of 4). New York: The Free Press. pp 359-360