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Francis Skidmore (1817-1896)

Francis Skidmore (1817-1896) was a leading figure in the Gothic Revival movement, which married Victorian craftsmanship and medieval design. His expertise made him perhaps the best-known craftsman in the country. At the height of his popularity his work could be found in hundreds of high-profile buildings across the country. In 1864 he produced metalwork for the Albert Monument in Kensington Gardens. Skidmore’s decline in fortunes was just as rapid as his rise to success. Brought about both by the declining popularity of the Gothic Revival movement, and his own poor business acumen, he lost control of his company in 1872, and died in poverty in 1896. Today his work is nevertheless celebrated and widely exhibited.

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Francis Skidmore, photograph, Gothic Revival, Coventry, Albert MemorialFrancis Skidmore, 1896.