John Alfred Gotch

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John Alfred Gotch
Born(1852-09-28)28 September 1852
Died17 January 1942(1942-01-17) (aged 89)
Kettering, Northamptonshire
Alma materUniversity of Zurich
King's College London
BuildingsKettering Grammar School, Rothwell Market House

John Alfred Gotch (28 September 1852, Kettering, Northamptonshire – 17 January 1942, Kettering, Northamptonshire)[1][2][3] was a noted English architect and architectural historian. His brother was the Pre-Raphaelite painter and illustrator Thomas Cooper Gotch, who painted his portrait.

He attended Kettering Grammar School and later studied at the University of Zürich and at King's College London.[4]

In 1879 Gotch set up a private architectural practice in Kettering, Northamptonshire, which developed into the firm Gotch & Saunders by entering into partnership with Charles Saunders in 1887. They were later joined by Henry Ralph Surridge and they jointly retired in 1938. The practice still exists as Gotch, Saunders & Surridge LLP, or GSSArchitecture.[5]

As well as designing many buildings (especially for the Midland Bank) Gotch had a special interest in Elizabethan and Jacobean architecture, and became a national authority on the subject through his writings.[citation needed] He was the author of nine books in this field (two of which were reissued), as well as editor of a book on the history of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).[6] Apart from his renown as an architectural historian, he also achieved eminence as a public figure and representative of the architectural profession.

He was President of the Architectural Association in 1886-7, Vice-President of the RIBA in 1914-9, and President of RIBA in 1923-5: the first provincial architect to be appointed President since the formation of the Institute in 1834. In addition, he was Vice-President of the Society of Antiquaries, a founder member of the Royal Fine Art Commission, a Trustee of the Soane Museum, and President of the Northamptonshire Association of Architects in 1911-22. In 1924 he received an honorary M.A. degree from the University of Oxford. John Alfred Gotch was appointed the first Charter Mayor of Kettering in 1938.[7]

Notable works[edit]

Rothwell Market House


  1. ^ "John Alfred Gotch". Dictionary of Scottish Architects. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  2. ^
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  5. ^ "History". GSS Architecture. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  6. ^ The Growth and Work of the Royal Institute of British Architects edited by J.A.Gotch PPRIBA, 1934.
    This publication was of particular note firstly because it was published on the occasion of the centenary of the RIBA, and secondly because it came at a time of controversy over the registration of architects. Those concerns were conveniently summarised by one of the contributors, Harry Barnes FRIBA, then chairman of the Registration Committee, who wrote:
    ...... I do not conceive the purpose of the Registration Act to be that of protecting the Architectural profession. The interests of the Profession are of course legitimate but are best served by the Architectural Associations in which some 80 per cent of those practising architecture are to be found.
    The object of the Registration Act is to ensure to the public that the architects they employ possess capacity and character.
    Under the purview of the Board of Architectural Education no one will enjoy the title of "Registered Architect" without giving evidence of his capacity, and under that of the Discipline Committee no one will retain the title whose character has been weighed in the balance and found wanting.
    The Architects' Registration Council of the United Kingdom can never, therefore, on this view be a rival of any Architectural Association and least of all of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
    The Architects' Registration Council stands at the gateway of the realm of Architectural practice, but within that realm the affairs of the Architect are best administered by those voluntary Associations to which he has allied himself and over the actions of which he has complete control.
  7. ^ GSS news - The Life and Works of John Alfred Gotch, by Dr Roy Hargrave, held at Kettering Town Library.
  8. ^ "A walk in and around the Manor House Museum Gardens 9". Kettering Borough Council. Archived from the original on 16 July 2013. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  9. ^ "A walk in and around the Manor House Museum Gardens 10". Kettering Borough Council. Archived from the original on 16 July 2013. Retrieved 22 June 2013.