Skip to main content

Burton, Decimus

Burton, Decimus (1800–81). British architect, who enjoyed success as a designer of villas, small country-houses, and several distinguished Greek Revival buildings. He acquired a reputation in the field of iron-and-glass conservatories. He was the tenth son of James Burton (or Haliburton) (1761–1837), a Scots builder and surveyor who settled in London and became a successful entrepreneur, laying out the new town of St Leonard's on-Sea, Sussex (1828–32), a development in which advanced Neo-Classical buildings, influenced by French precedents, can be found as well as a full eclectic mixture of styles. Decimus trained in his father's office and then with George Maddox (1760–1843) before entering the Royal Academy Schools in 1817. Under Nash's supervision he designed Cornwall and Clarence Terraces, Regent's Park. At the age of 23 he designed and built the Colosseum, Regent's Park (1823–7), a vast Pantheon-like domed structure bigger than the dome of St Paul's Cathedral, with a Greek Doric portico. Important commissions followed for the Royal Parks, including the Ionic screen at Hyde Park Corner and the lodges at Cumberland, Grosvenor, and Stanhope Gates (1824–5), and then the prestigious Athenaeum Club, Waterloo Place (1827–30), with its fine frieze and handsome interiors. His dignified arch on Constitution Hill (1827–8), intended as a Royal entrance to Buckingham Palace from the north, was moved to its present position in 1883.

He had considerable success as an architect of villas and modest country-houses. He laid out the Calverley Estate, Tunbridge Wells, Kent (from 1828), in which the Classical and the Picturesque, clearly derived from the work of Nash, are judiciously mingled. He designed the new town, including St Peter's Church, the North-East Hotel, the Queen's Terrace, the Custom House, and two light-houses, at Fleetwood, Lancs. (1836–43), which fell on hard times when the railway was extended to Carlisle and then Scotland, passing it by. Burton was interested in the problems of design using iron and glass: his finest essays were the (demolished) Great Stove or conservatory, Chatsworth (1836–40, with Paxton); the conservatory (1845–6, with Richard Turner (1798–1881)—demolished) at Regent's Park; and the palm-house (1845–8 again with Turner) at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


Britton (1829);
Colvin (1995);
Funnell (1982);
Hyde (1982);
Miller (1981);
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004);
Summerson (ed.) (1993);
Whitbourn (2003)

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Burton, Decimus." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . 20 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Burton, Decimus." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . (April 20, 2019).

"Burton, Decimus." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Retrieved April 20, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.