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Nicholas Hawksmoor

Nicholas Hawksmoor (1661-1736) was Britain's greatest baroque architect. From about 1684 to about 1700 he worked with his teacher, Christopher Wren, on projects including Chelsea Hospital, St. Paul's Cathedral (London), Hampton Court Palace, and Greenwich Hospital. During that time, Hawksmoor was named Clerk of the Works at Kensington Palace (1689) and Deputy Surveyor of Works at Greenwich (1705).

He then worked for a time with Sir John Vanbrugh, helping him build Blenheim Palace for John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, and Castle Howard for Charles Howard, 3rd Earl of Carlisle.

Hawksmoor conceived the idea of a round library for the Radcliffe Camera but did not design that building himself. He did design the Clarendon Building at Oxford, All Souls College, Oxford, and six new churches in London. He also designed the west front of Westminster Abbey and became Surveyor of the Abbey when Wren died in 1723.

Unlike many of his contemporaries, Hawksmoor never traveled to Italy where he might have been influenced by the style of architecture there. He got his ideas from books that went back to the purer Greek and Roman styles, but he was versatile in his work, and all the buildings he designed are distinctly different from each other.

Hawksmoor's six London churches