Bonomi Family

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Bonomi Family. Joseph (1739–1808). Italian-born architect. Educated in Rome, he studied for a period with Antonio Asprucci and Clérisseau. In 1767 he came to England to work for the Adam Brothers, afterwards apparently assisting Thomas Leverton in the building of Bedford Square, London. For Lord Aylesford he designed the Neo-Classical interiors at Packington Hall (1785–8), and the Church of St James, Great Packington, both in Warwicks. (1789–90). A severe brick building with lunette windows, the church is the only English example of the advanced stripped Neo-Classicism favoured on the Continent. He also designed the pyramidal mausoleum at Blickling, Norfolk (1794–6). A regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy, he was also a fashionable architect for country-houses (e.g. Lambton Hall, Co. Durham (1796–7)), and is mentioned in chapter 36 of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility (1811).

His second surviving son, Ignatius (1787–1870), built up an extensive practice around Newcastle upon Tyne: he built one of the first railway-bridges in England, at Skerne, near Darlington (1824), and was a competent and prolific designer in many styles. His Burn Hall, Co. Durham (1821–34), was in an advanced French Classical style, while his Romanesque Revival Oxenhope Church, Yorks. (1849), had reasonably authentic detail. His pupil and assistant from 1831 to 1841 was J. L. Pearson. Joseph's youngest son, also Joseph (1796–1878), was a distinguished Egyptologist who became curator of Sir John Soane's Museum: his best works were the Temple Mills, Marshall Street, Leeds (1842), in a scholarly Egyptian Revival style; the Egyptianizing gate-lodges and gates at Abney Park Cemetery, Stoke Newington, London (1840); and the Egyptian Court, Crystal Palace, Sydenham (with Owen Jones), completed 1854.


Colvin (1995);
J. Gosby (1987);
J. Curl (2002a, 2005);
Meadows (1988);
Stillman (1988)