CTX157_FINAL_150dpi

40 C O N T E X T 1 5 7 : N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8 and the remainder of the 1720 fabric. The junctions of the two architectures is brutally clear at the two northern corners; the return of the single low string course back from the north- east corner in the 1720s build, while failing to continue this in the 1892 extension, only highlights the effect. The north frontage and tower would have demanded an exceptionally high skill level of design, dimensioned drawing(s), and supervi- sion, whereas all the other elements to the rear of this frontage could have been set out and executed by competent local builders. Indeed, certain views even from the public green give the impression of a thin stage-set frontage not entirely happily integrated with the main body and functions of the almshouse. Such a sharp and visible contrast would be unusual if intended. An architect of ability who had designed the facade of the building would not have planned or accepted this, unless circumstances, finances or client had otherwise determined. The two-storey wings are projected boldly forward, but their architecture lacks much of the confidence and boldness of the tower and its side ranges, having much simpler dressings than those adjacent to the central chapel tower. Their ashlar does not course with that of the flanking ranges, and painted internal corner lead downpipes do not fully conceal this change. The first-floor windows of the wings are set in simply moulded stone surrounds, not Gibbs surrounds; and while these match those in the flanking ranges for pattern and size, there is an uncomfortably large area of plain ashlar above them beneath the pediment. The doors of the inward return elevations are markedly different from the richly elaborated stonework of the Gibbs surround doors to the passages. The masonry above the door and under the returned parapet with cornice and blocking course is blind, again emphasising the contrast to the windows with rich surrounds of the flanking ranges adjacent. The inconsistencies between the wings and the side ranges appear to be part of the original build and thus intended, rather than later 18th- century additions, but might be a result of cost-saving measures needed during construc- tion, again suggesting changes of style, design/ designer, build date or funding crisis. The con- trast between the architecture and construction of north frontage and the remainder of the 1720 fabric is also highly suggestive of a change of both designer and builder. In fact, recent research reveals that, in lawsuits following the death of Fountaine, the Fountaine family heirs had challenged the actions of the executors, their use of the deceased’s assets, and the money spent on the almshouse, whose construction had already begun in 1723. A key executor had died in 1724, coinciding with these legal and financial disputes. These events would be totally consistent with the evidence that the building itself provides of a removal of the original architect and team. The research also reveals that Richard Fountaine made his money as a merchant of haberdashery, and as a moneylender; that he married into the eminent Jekyll family; and that he had connections to many of the powerful persons of the City of London of his time. For many years, he lived close to, and worshipped at, the church of St Lawrence Jewry, near the Guildhall – a church rebuilt by Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of 1666. Although he did not prescribe baroque style for his commemorative almshouse, was its baroque architecture his favoured taste? Did those who commissioned the almshouse in his memory know that this was the style that he would have chosen for his imposing memorial? The almshouse has been variously attributed to architects JohnVanbrugh, Nicholas Hawksmoor, William Wakefield and William Etty. No defini- tive proof of the designer could be found in the documents, but the most likely candidate is William Etty, designer of Holy Trinity Church, Leeds, the Moot Hall, Leeds (demolished) and the Mansion House,York (attributed). An article in a future issue of Context will tell the story of how the history of Fountaine Hospital Almshouse was investigated. The architecture of the north-east side wing References Michael Devenish and Jane Houlton (2018) The Fountaine Hospital Almshouse, Linton-in- Craven: an architectural history . Unpublished study for the FHA Trust. Copy available at the British Library, and at the RIBA Library. Jane Houlton (2018) An Almshouse for Linton: Richard Fountaine’s Legacy , Devenish Press. Available online from CL Hawley Books, http:// www.clhawley.co.uk/ richard-fountaines-legacy. Jane Houlton is a retired business and economic development consultant, who worked with her late husband, Michael Devenish, 1949–2016, director of CoDA Developments, on a research study into the architectural history of the Fountaine Hospital Almshouse. She completed the study for the FHA trustees after his death. The north-east corner of the almshouse

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy MjgyMjA=