The Big Story of Pugin

When Augustus Pugin visited Oscott College seminary in Birmingham on 27th March 1837, it changed the direction of his life and the future of the growing industrial town.  

He was appointed to design Oscott’s chapel and interiors, and became one of the college’s professors at the age of twenty-five.  

Pugin also established a museum at the college to teach the seminarians about medieval Christian art and design.

This remarkable museum and Pugin’s stunning interiors have survived and they are the inspiration for The Big Story of Pugin project.

Pupils from Oasis Academy, Short Heath, Court Farm Primary School, Saint Margaret Mary’s RC Primary School, and Story Wood Primary School, all located close to Oscott College, have been discovering what Pugin’s legacy means for the identity of their community and city. 

Pugin and John Hardman of Birmingham became life long friends and collaborators after meeting at Oscott College. Pugin helped to transform Hardman’s button making factory in the Jewellery Quarter into a workshop that made the stained glass windows and metal work for the new Houses of Parliament. 

Virtually all of the interior fittings in the Houses of Parliament were made in Birmingham and the West Midlands, to Pugin’s designs.

Pugin is one of most significant men of the Nineteenth Century, but he had to overcome great personal difficulties. The school pupils have recorded the stories of local people and seminarians who, like Pugin, are overcomers, and many of them have been inspired by Pugin’s designs. 

The pupils have made connections between heritage, faith, and community, and they invite you to discover how Pugin’s powerful legacy can inspire you too. 

Read more about Pugin's life on The Big Story of Pugin Timeline.

Contact Us