INWOOD, William
(b. 1766, London, d. 1843, London)

Exterior view

St. Pancras New Church, London

Until the mid-eighteenth century, British architecture was wholly dominated by Palladianism. However, the supremacy of the Palladianism was on the wane in the second half of the century. The roughly simultaneous "discoveries" of both Greek Antiquity and the Middle Ages (the Gothic architecture) around the mid-eighteenth century brought with them a a basic, revolutionary change in historical perceptions of the time. When British architects and patrons now looked for a model for the design of their buildings, there was no longer a universally valid standard such as there had been in Palladianism up to the beginning of the eighteenth century. Now there were different styles of equal status from which one could choose.

After the beginning of the 19th century, it became increasingly fashionable to make accurate copies of Greek architecture, leading to a notably purist Greek Revival in Britain that affected all areas of building. The Greek Revival influenced also English church building which saw renewed activity in 1818, after the end of the Napoleonic war. New parish churches were constructed in the expanding suburbs of London. Many parishes with wealthy members were able to finance lavish structures.

One church built at this time was St. Pancras New Church in London, designed by William Inwood and his first son Henry William. Although its ground plan closely followed the pattern for English church construction that had been rigorously followed since the early 18th century, i.e. a long nave and aisles structure, an altar niche at the east end, and a portico, lobbies and tower at the west end, individual features of St. Pancras closely follow specific Athenian models of Greek Antiquity, wholly in the spirit of the Greek Revival. The portico with its fluted Ionic columns is based on the Erechtheion on the Acropolis, the west tower on the Tower of the Winds, and the sacristies at the east end are adorned with caryatids like those on the Erechtheion.