One of the few non-classical and amongst the more unusual buildings in the gardens at Kew, the construction of the Gothic Cathedral is testament to the growing interest in the art and architecture of the medieval period in the mid and late 18th century. The whimsical structure, with its statues of saints in recessed niches, towers and numerous pinnacles, was designed by Johann Heinrich Müntz, who had previously worked for Horace Walpole and for Thomas Hudson. Built only of plaster and wood, it was continuously repaired until its demolition in 1807.
Gothic style at Kew was reattempted with the construction of a new ‘Crenallated Palace’ in 1801 but the project, designed by James Wyatt, was abandoned after astronomically spiralling building costs and the King’s growing insanity. This plate is part of the King’s Topographical Collection.