The other buildings designed by Wren were very numerous.
In May 1666 Wren submitted his report and designs (in the All Souls collection), for this work; the old cathedral was in a very ruinous state, and Wren proposed to remodel the greater part, as he said, "after a good Roman manner," and not, "to follow the Gothick Rudeness of the old Design."
From Inigo Jones's designs, and in that of Queen Anne from designs by Sir Christopher Wren; and behind these buildings are on the west those of King William and on the east those of Queen Mary, both from Wren's designs.
From 1668 to 1670 attempts were being made by the chapter to restore the ruined building; but Dean Sancroft was anxious to have it wholly rebuilt, and in 1668 he had asked Wren to prepare a design for a wholly new church.
As a scientific engineer and practical architect Wren was perhaps more remarkable than as an artistic designer.
Wren also designed a colonnade to enclose a large piazza forming a clear space round the church, somewhat after the fashion of Bernini's colonnade in front of St Peter's, but space in the city was too valuable to admit of this.
Wren was an enthusiastic admirer of Bernini's designs, and visited Paris in 1665 in order to see him and his proposed scheme for the rebuilding of the Louvre.
The western towers of Westminster Abbey are usually attributed to Wren, but they were not carried out till 1735-1745, many years after Wren's death, and there is no reason to think that his design was used.
See also Clayton, Churches of Sir C. Wren (1848-1849); Taylor, Towers and Steeples of Wren (London, 1881); Niven, City Churches (London, 1887), illustrated with fine etchings; A.
In the library of All Souls at Oxford are preserved a large number of drawings by Wren, including the designs for almost all his chief works, and a fine series showing his various schemes for St Paul's Cathedral.
Although these conclusions were arrived at independently, and, as it would seem, several years previous to their publication, they were in great measure anticipated by the communications on the same subject of John Wallis and Christopher Wren, made respectively in November and December 1668.
But though the plans of Wren and Hooke were not adopted, it was to these two fellows of the Royal Society that the labour of rebuilding London was committed.
Sir Christopher Wren added certain staircases and a doorway.
Some of its characteristic mammals and birds are the long-eared desert fox, four-toed kangaroo rats, Sonoran pocket mice, big-eared and tiny white-haired bats, road runner, cactus wren, canyon wren, desert thrashers, hooded oriole, black-throated desert sparrow, Texas night-hawk and Gambels quail.
The extensive additions and alterations made by Wren according to the taste of the King resulted in a severely plain edifice of brick; the orangery, added in Queen Anne's time, is a better example of the same architect's work.
The true order of discovery, however, was as follows: (a) Sir Christo p her Wren made many experiments before the Royal Society, which were afterwards repeated in a corrected form by Sir Isaac Newton in the Principia, experimentally proving that bodies of ascertained comparative weights, when suspended and impelled against one another, forced one another back by impressing on one another opposite changes of velocity inversely as their weights and therefore masses; that is, by impressing on one another equal and opposite changes of momentum.
The woodcock, partridge, hawk, water-ousel, magpie, jay, raven, various kinds of owls, wood-pigeon, golden-crested wren, tufted lark and titmouse are among the birds which breed here.
It is, however, as an architect that Wren is best known, and the great fire of London, by its destruction of the cathedral and nearly all the city churches, gave Wren a unique opportunity.
Wren apparently did not himself approve of this second design, for he got the king to give him permission to alter it as much as he liked, without showing models or drawings to any one, and the actual building bears little resemblance to the approved design, to which it is very superior in almost every possible point.
After the destruction of the city of London Wren was employed to make designs for rebuilding its fifty burnt churches, and he also prepared a scheme for laying out the whole city on a new plan, with a series of wide streets radiating from a central space.
In the design of spires Wren showed much taste and wonderful power of invention.
Only a few of the principal ones can be mentioned: - the Custom House, the Royal Exchange, Marlborough House, Buckingham House, and the Hall of the College of Physicians - now destroyed; others which exist are - at Oxford, the Sheldonian theatre, the Ashmolean museum, the Tom Tower of Christ Church, and Queen's College chapel; at Cambridge, the library of Trinity College and the chapel of Pembroke, the latter at the cost of Bishop Matthew Wren, his uncle.
For further information the reader should consult the Parentalia, published by Wren's grandson in 1750, an account of the Wren family and especially of Sir Christopher and his works; also the two biographies of Wren by Elmes and Miss Phillimore; Milman, Annals of St Paul's (1868); and Longman, Three Cathedrals dedicated to St Paul in London (1873), pp. 77 seq.
Stratton, The Life, Work and Influence of Sir Christopher Wren (1897); Lena Milman, Sir Christopher Wren (1908).
Madeira has also its peculiar golden-crested wren (Regulus maderensis), and its peculiar pigeon (Columba trocaz), while two allied forms of the latter (C. laurivora and C. bollii) are found only in the Canaries.
After the Great Fire of 1666 he constructed a model for the rebuilding of the city, which was highly approved, although the design of Sir C. Wren was preferred.
The Monument (1677), Fish Street Hill, City, erected from the designs of Wren in commemoration of the great fire of 1666, is a Doric column surmounted by a gilt representation of a flaming urn.
As to the Temple of Diana, Sir Christopher Wren formed an opinion strongly adverse to the old tradition of its existence (Parentalia, p. 266).
Within a few days of the fire three several plans were presented to the king for the rebuilding of the city, by Christopher Wren, John Evelyn and Robert Hooke.
Although the spiritual wants of the city were amply provided for by the churches built by Wren, the large districts outside the city and its liberties had been greatly neglected.
He then removed to Bury St Edmunds, where he acted as lecturer for ten years, retiring when his bishop (Wren) insisted on the observance of certain ceremonial articles.
In January 1684 Sir Christopher Wren, Halley and Hooke were led to discuss the law of gravity, and, although probably they all agreed in the truth of the law of the inverse square, yet this truth was not looked upon as established.
From this point (considered as a building merely) it appears only as a secondary unit in a magnificent group. Seen from the west, however, it is the dominant unit, but here it is impossible to overlook the imperfect conception of the "Gothic humour" (as he himself termed it) manifested by Wren, from whose designs the western towers were completed in 1740.
Sir Christopher Wren, the famous architect, determined the length of the arc and its centre of gravity, and Pierre Fermat deduced the surface of the spindle generated by its revolution.
The picturesque building by Wren stands in extensive grounds, which include the former Ranelagh Gardens.
After the Restoration a fence was erected on the inside of the great north door to hinder a concourse of rude people, and when the cathedral was being rebuilt Sir Christopher Wren made a strict order against any profanation of the sacred building.