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Lugar, Robert (1772/3–1855), architect, was born at Ardleigh, Essex, the son of Edward Lugar, a carpenter of Colchester. He established himself in London c.1799, and exhibited at the Royal Academy from that date on; in due course he developed a very widespread practice as a country-house architect, which extended to Scotland and Wales as well as throughout much of England. He also published a number of books of his designs, which doubtless served to publicize his name. The first two—Architectural Sketches for Cottages, Rural Dwellings, and Villas (1805; repr. 1815 and 1823) and The Country Gentleman's Architect … Designs for Farm Houses and Farm Yards (1807)—were purely pattern books, but the subsequent volumes were records of executed projects: Plans and Views of Buildings Executed in England and Scotland, in the Castellated and other styles (1811; 2nd edn, 1823) and Villa Architecture: A Collection of Views, with Plans, of Buildings Executed in England, Scotland (1828). The last of these was dedicated to the south Wales ironmaster William Crawshay, for whom Lugar designed his largest work, Cyfarthfa Castle, Glamorgan (1825).

Lugar was a practitioner of the Picturesque after the manner of John Nash and Humphry Repton, working in a wide variety of architectural styles including the ‘Grecian’, the Tudor Gothic, and that of the cottage ornée as well as the castellated. At Gold Hill (later Dunstall Priory), Shoreham, Kent (1806), he produced a notably early example of a villa in the Italianate vernacular style of Nash's Cronkhill, Shropshire, and at Balloch Castle, Dunbartonshire (1809), he was among the first to introduce the picturesquely asymmetrical castle form into Scotland; but he was a designer of only limited ability, who frequently reduced the process of picturesque composition to a meagrely detailed routine formula of only marginal asymmetry.

Lugar also served as county surveyor for Essex from 1812 to 1816, and became a freeman of Colchester in 1812. The architect Archibald Simpson of Aberdeen was his pupil. He married on 17 June 1829 Susanna (d. 1860), eldest daughter of John Coles. He died in Pembroke Square, Kensington, where he lived in retirement, on 23 June 1855, aged eighty-two.

Peter Leach, rev.


Colvin, Archs. · [W. Papworth], ed., The dictionary of architecture, 11 vols. (1853–92) · The Standard (19 June 1829) · census returns, 1851