Initially working in the Gothic style, he later employed round-arched forms. He spent several years in Egypt. He acted as decorative architect to the Great Exhibition of 1851, and designed the Grimsny Dock Towe, completed in 1852.
After a considerable break in his career he worked on designs for the South Kensington Museum, and designed the British Embassy in Tehran. He was curator of the Sir JOhn Soane's Museum from 1878 until his death in 1892.