William Wynford


– 1405


Who was William Wynford?

William Wynford was one of the most successful English master masons of the 14th century, using the new Perpendicular Gothic style. He is first mentioned in 1360 when at work at Windsor Castle as warden of masons' work. He became master mason at Wells Cathedral on 1 February 1365 where he is believed to have designed the South West tower, it was probably here that he met William of Wykeham who was then a provost of the cathedral. He was made master of the works at Windsor Castle in 1364 under Wykeham, in 1372 Edward III granted Wynford a pension of £10 per annum. In 1375–76 he was at work at Abingdon Abbey and working for the crown at Corfe Castle in 1377–78 making new rooms in the keep. In 1378 Wynford was working with Henry Yevele at Southampton.

With the death of Edward III the new king Richard II of England favoured Wykeham, with newfound wealth he founded in 1379 New College, Oxford, which was designed by Wynford, who also designed Winchester College founded by Wykeham in 1382. There is a portrait of Wynford in the stained glass in the east window of Winchester College; this shows an old man with thinning hair, a long nose and dropping moustache and forked beard with the words 'Willms Wynfort lathomus' below. In 1389-90 he was repairing Winchester Castle, from 1392 he designed Wardour Castle, and in the 1390s he commenced his last major work, the remodelling of the Norman nave of Winchester Cathedral in the latest Perpendicular Gothic style.

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on July 23, 2013


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