Fascinated by the restoration work on All Hallows by the Tower (see previous blog post), I asked Junior Warden Stephen Wagstaffe who the architect was. Stephen, an expert guide to the architecture of the City, told me it was Lord Mottistone who turns out to be John Seely, partner with Paul Paget in the firm of Seely and Paget, founded in 1926.
One of their first commissions involved transforming Eltham Palace into a modern home for Stephen and Virginia Courtauld, their art collection and their pet ring-tailed lemur.
The practice restored many damaged church buildings, and several of the houses in Little Cloister, Westminster Abbey, after the war. They also re-built the Deanery which had been blitzed in 1941. In a niche in the wall of one of these clergy houses overlooking St Catherine's chapel garden is a fibreglass statue of St Catherine by Edwin Russell which forms a memorial to Mottistone. The firm was surveyor to St Paul’s Cathedral, where the candles on the choir stalls are called ‘Mottistone candles'.
Mottistone Manor on the Isle of Wight was gifted by the architect to the National Trust . The Shack in the grounds was used by the architects as a retreat and country office.
Mottistone died on 18 January 1963.
Peter Murray - Upper Warden