The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Events Archive

Seely and Paget London Walk




Seely and Paget London Walk

9 March 2024

Start time/place: 10.00 /outside St. Bartholomew the Great Church/41 Cloth Fair, London EC1A 7JQ

Finish time/place: 15.30/St Mary’s church, Upper Street, Islington, N1 2TX

The buildings of the architectural practice of Seely and Paget, between 1920s-c.1970, were not greatly celebrated in their time, then largely overlooked as modernism became dominant through the second half of the twentieth century. In recent years, architecture of the time has become more appreciated. Based in London, their best known project is Eltham Palace.

John Seely (1899-1963) and Paul Paget (1901-85) met at Cambridge around 1920 and were inseparable: known as ‘The Partners’, they worked and lived together. John Seely, later 2nd Baron Mottistone, was a qualified architect while Paul Paget was the business manager. Labelled sometimes as architecturally incompetent, the walk will demonstrate the strengths of some of their work.

Their City of London restorations include The Charterhouse, St. Andrew’s, Holborn and All Hallows-by-the-Tower. They were also Surveyors to the Fabric of St. Paul’s Cathedral, undertaking the first cleaning in the 1960s.

Morning led by Peter Forsaith will finish about 13.00 at All Hallows-by-the-Tower church, Byward St, London EC3R 5BJ.  The café is open for light lunches.

Afternoon about 14.15, Robert Drake will lead the group from All Hallows via Great Tower St and Eastcheap to Monument bus stop. The group will travel by 43 bus from north side of London Bridge (Monument stop) to St Mary’s church bus stop opposite the church on Upper St.  The journey takes about 20-25 minutes. (bus fare not included).

Only the tower and porch of St Mary, Islington, survived wartime bombing. The fine interior by Seely and Paget has black neo-Egyptian columns (recently restored) and decorative murals by the architects frequent collaborator Brian Thomas.


Peter Forsaith is Research Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History, Oxford Brookes University, where the campus buildings were designed by Seely and Paget.

Robert Drake has had a long involvement with the C20 Society and has led many national and foreign events for the society with an emphasis on places of worship.


C20 Members’ £30      Non-members’  £35

Excludes travel cost and lunch

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The Twentieth Century Society is an IHBC (Institute of Historic Building conservation) recognised CPD provider.

The Twentieth Century Society is a registered charity, no 1110244

Above: Seely and Paget at 41 Cloth Fair Image: The Templewood Archive; colorisation by Thomas Dobson, Oxford Brookes University