Born 1661 in Nottinghamshire, he went to London at the age of 18 to work as a clerk for Sir Christopher Wren. He became Wren’s assistant on several important projects such as Hampton Court Palace and St Paul’s Cathedral. Later he worked with John Vanbrugh on Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard. Following his experience on such prestigious projects, he began work on his own, concentrating on churches and university buildings, of which possibly his finest work is All Soul’s College in Oxford. On the death of Sir Christopher Wren in 1723, Hawksmoor succeeded him as Surveyor of Westminster Abbey, and at this point he began designing the West Front towers, although sadly the work was not finished until after his death in 1736.