Baroque architecture

St Paul's Cathedral (Photo Robert Viau)Shell-headed stone buffet from a house in BathThis style with its lavish, heavy decoration and curvaceous, complex forms, evolved in Rome c.1620-60 as an expression of Catholic resurgence. Baroque was adopted in Britain with a certain insular reserve, but finds a glorious expression in St Paul's Cathedral by Sir Christopher Wren. Domes were favoured.

An English Baroque school flowered from Wren's work in the hands of his assistant Nicholas Hawksmoor (1661-1738) and Hawksmoor's collaborator John Vanbrugh (1664-1726), who designed the grandiose Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard.

The style was naturally favoured by Catholics and Lulworth Castle Chapel is a good example. Designed in 1786 by John Tasker, it was the first free-standing Roman Catholic Church built after the Reformation.

Baroque was revived in the Edwardian period for some exuberantly confident public buildings.