Charles Robert Cockerell RA PRIBA (1788-1863)

Hanover Chapel, Regent St, by C.R. Cockerell.

The architect C. R. Cockerell was born in London and trained there in the architectural practice of his father, Samuel Pepys Cockerell. Later he was an assistant to Robert Smirke in rebuilding of Covent Garden Theatre, and continued his aesthetic education by touring widely in Europe. He set up his own practice on his return to London in 1817, and became highly successful, with many honours at home and abroad, including becoming ARA in 1829, full RA in 1836, and President of the RIBA in 1860. His chosen style was classical, with a fondness for the Baroque.

Cockerell was the architect of the Ashmolean Museum and Taylorian Institute (1839-42) in Oxford. In London he built the Office for the Sun Life Assurance in Threadneedle Street at about the same date - it was barbarously pulled down in 1970. From 1833 he was Architect to the Bank of England, and in this capacity built several Bank buildings - in Courtney Street, Plymouth (1835), in Broad Street, Bristol (1844-7), in King Street, Manchester (1845) and in Castle Street, Liverpool (1851-4). Also in Liverpool, Cockerell completed St George's Hall after the untimely death of Elmes.

Cockerell had a great interest in antiquity, and showed at the Royal Academy restorations of classical buildings, also writing on the subject, and discovering the reliefs from the temple of Phigalia, now in the British Museum.

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