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Clarendon Building, Oxford
18th Century

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Notes in italics from Oxfordshire by Jennifer Sherwood and Nikolaus Pevsner (1974)
Yale University Press, New Haven and London.




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North - South - East - West

The Clarendon Building was erected for the University Press in 1711-15 from the proceeds of the publication in 1702-4 of Clarendon's 'History of the Great Rebellion'. ... The designer was Hawksmoor; that can now be regarded as accepted. It is, as it is by Hawksmoor, an excessively grave and pretentious building for its purpose. The N side has in the middle a detached portico of four Tuscan giant columns, with a wider interstice in the middle. The portico carries a pediment. There are two storeys, but they are placed on a high basement, and so one reaches the portico nine steps up. The windows in the four bays each side are segment-headed and have broad, flat, projecting bands round, instead of the luxuriance of any moulding. Just one window either side has some, entirely abstract, decoration. ... Only in the middle, behind the portico, are round-arches windows. The S side is the same, except that the portico here has attached columns. The building is finished by a balustrade and lead statues of the Muses designed by Thornhill. ... On the W side in a niche statue of Clarendon, by Francis Bird, paid for in 1721. ... The Press moved out in 1830.


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