Year 8 Visit - St Augustine's Church and The Grange
Year 8 have a first-hand look at the work of Pugin in order to inspire their tile designs
On the 12th of June 2019 the Royal Harbour Academy took 24 year 8 art students on a trip to see the work of Augustus Pugin at St Augustine’s church and The Grange in Ramsgate. This is part of our fantastic Pugin tile design project, which all of our year 8 and some of our year 9 students are working on. This project is being run by Ramsgate Town Team as part of a wider regeneration project for Ramsgate.
Before the trip, which was kindly funded by Historical England, students considered the work of Pugin along with inspiration from the local area to draft up some initial ideas for their tiles. There is however nothing like first-hand research so the trip was organised to allow a number of students to see Pugin’s work up close and personal.
The first port of call was St Augustine’s. After a very informative tour around the church students were given free time to make notes, sketch and photograph the areas that interested them the most. Many students chose to focus on the beautiful tile designs where others were taking inspiration from the stonework, stained glass and the architecture.
The second half of the trip students looked range Pugin’s house ‘The Grange’. After exploring every room and discovering hidden features such as secret doors, students continued documenting their ideas onto paper and through photography. Everyone commented on how well the students engaged with their environment and it was clear to see from the work being produced that they had gained a good understanding for the style of Pugin.
“I found his artwork so inspirational – anyone thinking about being an architect when they are older should go and see it! The work was amazing to see especially the tiles because of the details such as the birds along with the colours and repeated patterns as they gave me ideas for my own work.” – Courtney year 8
Since being back in the classroom the students have been developing their ideas and are now in the process of digitising work ready to send to Ramsgate Town team for consideration. Designs by RHA students will be considered alongside designs by Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School and the selected 32 tiles are to be manufactured and set into risers on steps that are part of the official Pugin trail in Ramsgate.
It is hoped that these tiles will be a lasting legacy for the students who design them and that they will remain a feature on the stairs for many decades to come. The designs are planned to additionally be sold on a range of merchandise and have the potential to be put into wider production for sale to the public.
Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1 March 1812 – 14 September 1852) was an English architect, designer, artist, and critic who is principally remembered for his pioneering role in the Gothic Revival style of architecture. His work culminated in designing the interior of the Palace of Westminster and its iconic clock tower, later renamed the Elizabeth Tower, which houses the bell known as Big Ben which is currently undergoing renovation. Pugin designed many churches across the world including St Augustine’s in Ramsgate. Find out more about Pugin and his work at http://www.thepuginsociety.co.uk/
Please follow the Twitter account @RHarbour_Art for updates on work by RHA art students including their designs for the Pugin tile project.