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Pennethorne, Sir James

Pennethorne, Sir James (1801–71). English architect and planner, most of whose work was for Nash or the Government. Brought up in Nash's household, he entered Nash's office in 1820 and worked with A. C. Pugin. Later he completed the Picturesque Park Villages, Regent's Park. In 1832 he was employed by the Commissioners of Woods and Forests and in 1843 became Architect to the Commissioners. He designed Victoria Park, Bethnal Green, Kennington Park, and Battersea Park, and prepared many schemes for urban improvements. His best-known public building is the Public Records Office, Chancery Lane, London (1851–70), in which the module was arrived at by cells made of iron with shallow brick vaults, the whole of fire-resistant construction. He also designed the sumptuous State Ball Room, Buckingham Palace (1853–5), the Duchy of Cornwall Offices, Buckingham Gate (1854), and what is now the Museum of Mankind, London (1866–70). His brother John Pennethorne (1808–88), was also a pupil of Nash, and made detailed studies of the optical corrections at the Parthenon, Athens, which he published in 1844, and which prompted Penrose to pursue the matter.


Jane Turner (1996);
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004);
Tyack (1992)

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