In this view of the impressive Cathedral Church in Ely we see the flying buttresses of the nave, the central octagonal tower with its inner octagonal turret and the square west tower located between the transepts. Between the turreted porch at the west end and the south porch in the centre is a ruined wall. ‘South East View of the Cathedral Church of Ely’, an aquatint after a design by artist and architect John Buckler, was engraved by brothers Frederick and George Lewis and published by the artist in 1808. From 1799 to 1814 Buckler produced a series of views of English cathedrals and churches.
John Buckler was born on the Isle of Wight. In 1785 he became a steward of Magdalen College, Oxford. For seven years he was also apprenticed to architect and surveyor Charles Thomas Cracklow. In about 1801 he became Bailiff and Collector of Rents for Magdalen College in Freemason’s Court and Southwark. His post with Magdalen allowed him spare time, which he spent working on his own architectural perspective drawings. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1796 to 1849. In 1799, Buckler published an engraving of one of his drawings of Lincoln Cathedral. For the next five years he made a series of views of English cathedrals and churches. By the end of his career, he had produced some 13,000 architectural perspective drawings.
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