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Philip Webb
1831 - 1915


In the Lady Chapel:
Isaiah (Tracery)
John (Tracery)
Martyrs' Window (Tracery)

Evangelists' Symbols

Webb also painted the Canopy of Honour above the altar.


Philip Webb, Architect and Designer, 1831 - 1915

(b Oxford, 12 Jan 1831; d Worth, W. Sussex, 17 April 1915).

Philip Webb was the son of the physician Charles Webb and M. Elizabeth Speakman, and he attended Aynho Free Grammar School, Northamptonshire.

He was articled from 1849 to 1852 to the architect John Billing (1818-63) of Reading. Billing retained him as assistant until 1854 when Webb joined the firm of Bidlake & Lovatt in Wolverhampton. Appalled by the effects of heavy industry in that city, he left after four weeks, returning to Oxford to work for G. E. Street.

In 1856, while working as Street's chief clerk, he was made responsible for a new pupil, William Morris, with whom he formed a close friendship. (It was to be Webb who, when Morris died in 1896, designed his tomb (Kelmscott, Oxon, St George) after a Viking ridged tomb-house.) Later that year Webb and Morris moved with Street to London, where both became closely involved with the Pre-Raphaelite circle.

This group and its patrons provided Webb with a steady supply of clients after 1859 when he set up his own practice, his first commission being the design for Morris's new home, Red House (1859), Bexleyheath, Kent, which established his reputation. (below)

Red HouseBlue PlaqueWebb played an important role in the early work of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. His contribution to the firm's stained glass, as well as decorative details in the windows was especially important. He renounced his active involvement in Morris & Co. in 1875.

Webb was the architect of a number of substantial private buildings, for example, 1 Palace Green, Kensington, for George Howard (1843-1911). With Morris in 1877, he founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB). In his later years, his financial situation deteriorated and he retired to live in Sussex.