HC Deb 19 February 1863 vol 169 c496

said, he rose to ask the First Commissioner of Works, Whether it is the intention of Government to institute any inquiry into the nature of the various Railway projects which propose to intersect the Metropolis, or to subject to any control the architectural character and construction of Bridges crossing the River Thames, or the streets and roads which are interfered with?


in reply said, that some of the great railways which brought travellers into the heart of the metropolis had been carried out at a sacrifice of appearance, and to the great disfigurement of several of our principal thoroughfares. The approach to London Bridge, which used to be handsome, was now intercepted by a huge mass of iron winding above the heads of persons on the level of the roadway, and obscuring St. Saviour's Church. The same disregard of beauty was seen in the bridges recently erected, and especially Lambeth Bridge, which, though doubtless very economical and convenient, was, in his (Mr. Cowper's) opinion, constructed in a manner unnecessarily plain, rude, and ugly. As regarded inquiries by the Government, he would beg to refer the hon. Member to the Report of the Board of Trade, which had been laid on the table of the House. The questions relating to the architectural character and construction of metropolitan works could not be in better hands than in those of the hon. Gentleman himself, whose eminence in his profession, and position as President of the Institute of British Architects, would give great weight to any suggestions which he might make. He also thought it very likely that Members representing the metropolis would be prepared with some proposal on the subject.