Were they, weren’t they? Seely and Paget: architects and partners

Seely & Paget worked on some of our most famous buildings, but their relationship often gains more attention. Delve into their work and relationship as Dr Forsaith explores ‘Were They, Weren’t They?’.

Image copyright of Templewood archive

The architectural firm of Seely and Paget designed the new Oxford buildings for Westminster College
in the late 1950s – now the Harcourt Hill campus of Oxford Brookes University. Recent writing has
alleged that they were not competent architects and also that John Seely and Paul Paget, who were
known personally and professionally as ‘the Partners’ had a gay relationship.

This lecture will address those questions in the light of more recent study, and is part of growing
awareness and appreciation of both them and their buildings, but also architects and their buildings
of both the ‘interwar’ and ‘postwar’ periods (1920s/30s and 1950s).

The lecture will be followed by a brief guided tour of the buildings, pointing out aspects of the

Dr Forsaith has spent most of the first 30 years of his working life in catering (institutional food service). He has since published on the portraiture of John Wesley, and been researching 18th-20th century social history, including that of Westminster College, for the past 25 years. He has been involved with advising on listed churches for nearly 30 years.

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