The Goddard Trail - Chronology to 1914

Joseph Goddard (b.1751) came to Leicester from Kirby Muxloe and settled around Belgrave Gate. Henry Goddard was born in 1792, an era before the idea of an architect, as we know it, existed. Like Joseph, he would have to have been a jack of all trades - carpentry, surveying, etc. - and in 1807 he was articled to father. Henry's first known work was in 1817 when he designed some tenements in Belgrave Gate for his father. Various other houses and farm buildings followed including the Fish and Quart pub in 1832. In 1840 Henry's son Joseph was born and 16 years later he was articled to his father (this story is complicated slightly by the main characters all having the first names Henry or Joseph - pay attention). The 1860s saw an upturn in the fortunes of the practice and in 1862 Joseph became a partner in the firm, but a few years later in 1868 Henry died and Joseph was in business by himself. Buildings of this period include Tur Langton church 1865-6 and the Clocktower 1868, and Joseph often worked in a Gothic style, as in the schools of the 1860s and '70s. Up to this point a lot of the practice's work was church restoration, but things became more varied into the 1870s. Joseph became a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1871, the same year as he designed Tintern House. The Leicestershire Banking Co HQ followed in 1872-4 and marked the high point and end of his use of Gothic for secular work. In 1874 AH Paget became a partner in the practice, which became known as Goddard & Paget. Joseph became President of the Leicester & Leicestershire Society of Architects in 1879-81 and buildings of this period including Brookfield 1876-7, the first use of half-timbering in Leicester and a pointer to the Domestic Revival of the future.
Around this time there was a definite movement among younger architects away from the Victorian Gothic towards an eclectic pick and mix of styles influenced by the Renaissance and traditional English housing. There was a need for change and from 1875 'Queen Anne' elements were introduced into some of Goddard and Paget's buildings, and the Domestic Revival was exemplified by Goddard's own house, Knighton Spinneys 1886. The commercial buildings of the practice were also being influenced by the arrival in 1888 of Joseph's son, Henry, in the practice, which became known as Goddard, Paget & Goddard. Henry had toured Europe and now brought a Renaissance enthusiasm to bear, resulting in buildings such as the Thomas Cook offices 1894, the General News Room 1898, and several Jacobean-style houses in both city and county. This influence was also present in Henry's St James the Greater , Leicester 1914 (although designs go back as far as 1895). The versatility of the practice in this period is demonstrated by churches such as Melbourne Hall 1880-81 and St John the Baptist 1884-5.
Paget retired around 1897 and WA Catlow became a partner - the practice became Goddard & Co. Catlow designed the Tudor Hotel in 1900-01. Joseph Goddard died in 1900 and after this the practice came to specialise in country house work, such as the houses built in Horninghold 1905-1913. In 1914 Henry went to fight in France and the practice did little during the war. However, his son Henry continued the family business, as does Anthony Goddard to this day.
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