STUART, James
(b. 1713, London, d. 1788, London)

Temple of Theseus

1758
Photo
Hagley Hall, Worcestershire

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.

The first faithful copy of a Greek Doric temple was built in the park of Hagley Hall, as a garden feature, and was placed picturesquely on a wooded hill. It is considered the first in the Neo-classical style, constructed by Stuart soon after his return from Athens.