Stephen Dykes Bower
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|Stephen Dykes Bower|
18 April 1903|
|Died||11 November 1994(aged 91)|
|Alma mater||University of Oxford; Architectural Association School of Architecture|
Stephen Ernest Dykes Bower (18 April 1903 – 11 November 1994) was a British church architect and Gothic Revival designer best known for his work at Westminster Abbey, Bury St Edmunds Cathedral and Lancing College chapel. As an architect he was a devoted and determined champion of the Gothic Revival style through its most unpopular years. He rejected modernism and continued traditions from the late Victorian period, emphasising fine detail, craftsmanship and bright colour.
Early life and education
Dykes Bower was born in Gloucester as one of four brothers, including John Dykes Bower, later the organist at St Paul's Cathedral. Stephen was educated as organ scholar at Merton College, Oxford and at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. He set up his own practice in 1931, focusing on church building and restoration. Dykes Bower was a craftsman architect a rare breed of professional gentleman; humble for the teams he led, especially at Lancing College with its rose window noted as being the largest in England. He was also a stonemason and his tools were in the boot of his Rolls Royce. He was a scholar and master of colourful ornamentation.
Surveyor of the Fabric
From 1951 to 1973, Dykes Bower was the official Surveyor of the Fabric for Westminster Abbey; in charge of restoring, repairing, and maintaining the interior. Restoration work included the tombs, Pearson-designed organ cases, Bore-designed pulpitum, choir stalls, Scott-designed reredos, vestments, ornaments etc.
- All Saints' Church, Hockerill, Hertfordshire, 1937
- St John the Evangelist Church, Newbury, Berkshire, 1950
- Holy Spirit Church, Southsea, Hampshire: 1958 major rebuild, now substantially altered.
- Norwich Cathedral: the new organ case, furnishing of Norfolk Regiment Chapel, St Saviour's Chapel, restoration of medieval throne and choir stalls.
- 1958 apse at St Paul's Cathedral including the baldacchino (ciborium), high Altar and American Memorial Chapel  executed in association with Godfrey Allen 
- Priory and Parish Church of St Nicholas, Great Yarmouth: 1961 rebuild of the largest parish church in England after wartime destruction; design of every fitting.
- post-war restoration of Sir Christopher Wren's St Vedast Foster Lane, completed 1962
- St Edmundsbury Cathedral From 1960, extension of parish church into a cathedral, including the rebuilding of the chancel and the creation of transepts and side chapels. In his will he left £2 million towards the building of a tower (completed 2005).
- Completion of Lancing College Chapel including the great rose window, 1977.
- Carlisle Cathedral: Consulting architect 1947–75; work included the Border Regiment Chapel and general refurnishing.
- various new works and restorations for colleges at Oxford and Cambridge, including University College, Oxford, Merton College, Oxford, Magdalen College, Oxford, Trinity College, Oxford, Queen's College, Cambridge, Magdalene College, Cambridge, St John's College, Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
- Chelmsford Cathedral: restoration and redecoration.
- Exeter Cathedral: Architect for library and bishop’s palace.
- Peterborough Cathedral: silver gospel lights.
- Wells Cathedral: altar rails.
- Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford: embellishment, new altar ornaments and lowering of Bodley-designed reredos.
- Canterbury Cathedral: William Temple Memorial Chapel.
- Gloucester Cathedral: nave altar and ornaments, decoration of Scott-designed reredos, tombs, pulpit, canopy.
- Ely Cathedral: Consulting architect work including restoration of lantern and furnishing of Lady Chapel.
- Rugby School: organ case, grille and fittings in Butterfield-designed chapel.
- St Martin-in-the-Fields: restoration after war damage 
- Parish church fittings and restorations all over England.
- Church of St. Laurence, Hawkhurst: Designed the imposing and highly detailed font cover, 1960.