Graphical version

Brunel University Library

Gilbert Blount collection


Reference code(s): GB 3245 BLOU

Held at: Brunel University Library

Title: Gilbert Blount collection

Date(s): 1837-1849

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 1 box

Name of creator(s): Blount | Gilbert R | 1819-1876 | architect


Administrative/Biographical history:

Gilbert Blount was an English Catholic architect born in 1819 and active from about 1840-70. He received his earliest training as a civil engineer under Isambard Kingdom Brunel (c 1825-28) for whom he worked as a superintendent of the Thames Tunnel works. After a period in the office of Sydney Smirke, Blount was appointed as architect to Cardinal Wiseman, the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster.

Blount's mature work coincided with the resurgence of Catholic church building in England. His activity as an architect was largely in service of the need for new churches and related ecclesiastical institutions.


Scope and content/abstract:

Correspondence between Blount and his father concerning his career, J Charlier (Clerk to the company) concerning business and Brunel concerning his resignation. The letters date from December 1840 to October 1842 and show Blount's career progress and give insight into his work. Personal Notebooks/Diaries covering 1842-July 1843 and 1847-1849. Various notes and excerpts from material and guides pertaining to Blount's profession. Also included are transcripts of letters.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Numbered files.

Conditions governing access:

Available to researchers, by appointment. Please email:, giving at least two working days notice.

Further details about access to our collections are available on our website.

Access to archive material is subject to preservation requirements and must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act and any other appropriate legislation.

Conditions governing reproduction:

At the discretion of the Special Collections Librarian.

Finding aids:

There is a finding aid available.



The collection is complete and further accruals are unlikely.

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The collection was given to Brunel University Library by Michael May, the grandson of Gilbert Blount, in 1976


Related material:

The Architectural Archives at the University of Pennsylvania hold material related to Gilbert Blount's later career as a church architect.


Archivist's note:

Collection arranged and described by Tom Elliott-Aston, with additions by Katie Flanagan.

Date(s) of descriptions: 2013-06-26

Architects | Artists
Building design | Construction engineering
Tunnelling | Civil engineering | Construction engineering
Tunnels | Transport infrastructure
Architectural design x Building design

Personal names
Blount | Gilbert R | 1819-1876 | architect
Brunel | Isambard Kingdom | 1806-1859 | engineer
Charlier | Joseph
May | Michael
Smirke | Sydney | 1798-1877 | architect
Wiseman | Nicholas Patrick Stephen | 1802-1865 | Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster

Corporate names
Thames Tunnel Company