Published: 06:00, 07 March 2021
An architect who shaped the look of a large part of Victorian Britain - including Parliament - did so from the comfort of his home in Kent.
Augustus Pugin, a man credited with playing a huge role in designing stunning buildings and interiors which are still admired today, built and lived in a grand house in Ramsgate.
The library of his former home, The Grange in St Augustine's Road in the town, is where he designed not only important buildings such as churches and stately homes, but also the furnishings inside them, many of which are still there.
Pugin was born in Russell Square, London, on March 1, 1812. His flair for design was spotted at an early age and when he was just 15 he designed furniture for George IV at Windsor Castle.
Throughout his career he created interiors and furniture for more than 100 churches, schools, private homes such as Alton Towers - the stately home that provides the backdrop for the theme park - and, of course, the interiors of the Palace of Westminster.
The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place for both the House of Commons and the House of Lords and both houses form Parliament.
In 1843, Pugin settled in Ramsgate and built The Grange between 1843 and 1844 in the Gothic Revival style and the home is one of the giants of the Victorian age.
He would use the library to complete drawings for his commission for the Palace of Westminster, much of his finest work.
Other designs completed in Ramsgate included parts of the House of Lords and for the Medieval Court at the Great Exhibition which took place in Hyde Park, London in 1851.
The Grade I-listed Grange has now been restored to its former glory and is run by the Landmark Trust, a building preservation charity.
In 2004, when the restoration was underway, Prince Charles, a patron of the trust, met staff involved in the work.
Pugin built few domestic homes but The Grange is a rare and largely unaltered example of his work.
It was created as the ideal home for his family and proved influential in Victorian architecture.
He also began the construction of St Augustine’s monastery and parish church next door.
He designed and built St Augustine's Church in 1845 and it was the only church he built entirely with his own money.
Just a few days ago, on the anniversary of Pugin's birthday, March 1, Parliament posted on Instagram about some of his many designs which are still to be found in the Palace of Westminster.
The post also pointed out Pugin was a cat lover.
It said: "As well as an architectural prodigy, Pugin was also a cat owner - for a time.
"He had two cats, but they were stolen by Spanish sailors to whom Pugin had given hospitality. The sailors took the cats to help keep down mice and rats on their ship."
The post went on to highlight some of the historic furniture and decorative arts collection which is still housed in Parliament which includes some of Pugin’s furniture from The Grange, including a cupboard, a towel horse, a dressing table mirror and a dressing table.
Pugin died in 1852 at the age of just 40.
People can have a look around The Grange as guided tours of the ground floor happen each week (when lockdown restrictions allow).
Tours are at 2pm and 3pm. Places are limited and must be booked in advance and entry is £4.
The exterior of the building and the garden can also be viewed on certain days.
To find out more about the house, click here.