Wyatt, James, 1746–1813, English architect. He worked in many styles but is best known as one of the originators of the Gothic revival. Appointed surveyor at Westminster Abbey in 1776, he did cathedral restorations at Salisbury, Durham, and elsewhere and completed (1776–94) the Radcliffe Observatory, Oxford. He designed many residences in various parts of England. Fonthill Abbey, Wiltshire, built for William Beckford, was notable for its huge Gothic tower, which collapsed several times. Wyatt was also known for his interior decoration in the manner of Robert Adam.
See studies on James Wyatt by R. Turnor (1950) and A. Dale (1956).
His son and pupil, Benjamin Dean Wyatt, 1775–1850?, succeeded him as surveyor (1813–27) at Westminster Abbey. He began the rebuilding of Drury Lane Theatre and wrote Observations on the Design for the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane (1813).