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HUDDERSFIELD & DISTRICT HISTORY
ARCHITECTS OF HUDDERSFIELD AND DISTRICT TO 1860
Edward J Law
No knowledge has come down to us of any architects who designed buildings in Huddersfield prior to the 19th century. Indeed the number of buildings which would call for a professional architect was very small. In the town of Huddersfield there were few buildings other than housing and small trade premises - the Parish Church, Seed Hill school, the Cloth Hall, the Shambles and the chapels at Chapel Hill and Highfields.
We know nothing of the architectural origins of the first two Parish churches; the architect for the third was J P Pritchett, (qv).
We have little knowledge of the Shambles, which were erected where Marks & Spencer's New Street store now stands, some time about 1771. We may, however, imagine a range of simple building quite capable of being designed by the butchers who were to be accommodated there.
Nor would the two chapels call for much ability in design. The records of Highfield Chapel1 inform us that the building was let on 9th June 1771 at Longroyd Bridge, but are silent as to the architect.
The housing of the town was, by and large, quite modest, and it is probable that, any design was undertaken by the builder in conjunction with his client. The drawings of the market place of c.1790 show typical Georgian facades but, with the exception of the George Hotel, with no real style. The George is thought to have been erected in 1787, and it is possible that it was designed by John Carr, who had worked for the Ramsden family at Byram Hall. The facade of the George of that time is preserved on the corner of St. Peter's Street and Byram Street, where it was re-erected in 1852.
The Cloth Hall was very much a functional building, with little aesthetic appeal. It was erected in 1765 by Sir John Ramsden to encourage the development of Huddersfield as a textile marketing centre and to secure to himself a source of income from the letting of the shops within the hall. The principle aspects which were considered in the design were security, hence the absence of external windows and lighting, achieved by an open interior. However, the east entry did have character, and it is part of this which has been preserved in the attractive feature in Ravensknowle Park. It is this entry which perhaps stakes for the Cloth Hall an even stronger claim to have been the work of John Carr. A comparison with the stables at Heath Hall, Wakefield, by Carr, and those attributed to him at Ormesby Hall, Teeside, discloses marked stylistic similarities.
Our judgement of past architects is confined almost exclusively to the external appearance of their surviving works, their decorative qualities, aesthetic appeal etc., perhaps naturally, but we should bear in mind that they were not necessarily engaged to produce a decorative or attractive building. In most instances their principal objective would be to design a functional, economical building, practical for its purpose, whether a house, church, office block or whatever. Judgement of any architect's work should therefore take into account such matters as lighting, heating, ventilation, and suitability of internal layout. Because of the
difficulties of evaluation which this presents to the layman these points are seldom considered; in this the present article is no exception!
The notes which follow refer to architects who practised in Huddersfield prior to 1860, or who were born in the Hud
dersfield area and continued their local connections professionally.
WILLIAM COCKING. (1817-1874)
William Cocking was born in Huddersfield in 1817; the son of John Cocking who is recorded in 1830 as a joiner at Albion Street. The census return for 1841 shows that William was brought up as a joiner, whilst his younger half-brother, John, was listed as an architect. By 1851 William had become the architect of the family and John was a clerk in an attorney's office. One can only surmise that John's aptitudes lay elsewhere, and indeed he became in due course the Clerk to the Huddersfield Board of Guardians. In 1851 John Cocking Senior was shown to be employing three men and two boys, which would indicate that William could have continued in the joinery trade had he so wished. It would seem therefore that he had made a conscious decision to become an architect.
His obituary notices2 in 1874 state that he established himself as an architect "about thirty years ago." However, he does not appear as such in the directory of 1845, and a deed of that year describes him as a builder. He is first noted as an architect in the census of 1851, and two years later is noted with offices in Albert Buildings, which his obituary records as one of his first designs.
Over the next twenty years he was to be responsible for a good deal of housing in the area, as well as warehouses and schools. His most impressive buildings, however, were commercial properties in Huddersfield town centre; a feature of many of them is the decorative stone carving. Particularly fine are the West Riding Union Bank premises (now Williams & Glynn's Bank) in the Market Place, Messrs Eddison's auction mart and offices in High Street, and Britannia Buildings, St. George's Square. The latter, one of the more important of Huddersfield's buildings, has been attributed by several writers to a London architect, William Tite, but there is no doubt that it is William Cocking's work; it is recorded as such in his obituary and in a contemporary report3 of a 'rearing supper' for the contractors and workmen involved on the building.
Dan Cocking, another son of John Cocking, appears to have had aspirations to emulate William, with whom he had perhaps gained some experience. In 1857 he was one of the unsuccessful applicants for the post of Surveyor and Clerk of Works to the Huddersfield Improvement Commissioners4, and in 1859 and 1860 he was advertising himself as an architect at 13 Albert Buildings. I have no knowledge of any buildings which he may have designed.
John Cocking the father is known to have designed at least one building, the Masonic Hall, South Parade, but it is thought this would be purely incidental to his principal occupation and that such ancillary activities would not be unusual for builders and joiners during and prior to the early Victorian era.
WORKS - a selection.
c.1852 Albert Buildings, New Street.
1854 Methodist New Connexion Chapel, Paddock.
1858 Britannia Buildings, St. George's Square.
1858 Fenton Memorial School, Rashcliffe.
1859 Bath Mills, Lockwood.
1862 Rose & Crown, Longwood.
1862 West Riding Union Bank, Market Place.
1863 Methodist Chapel, Sheepridge.
1866 National School, Skelmanthorpe.
1869 House and stables, New North Road.
1870 Chronicle Office, Lord Street.
1871 Yorkshire Bank, Market Place.
1874 Chemical works, Smithy Lane, Moldgreen.
WILLIAM HENRY CROSSLAND. (c1834-
The most illustrious of our local architects, William Henry was the son of Henry Crossland, a stone merchant and quarry master. In the 1850s the family lived at Longwood House, Netheroyd Hill, where the father had conducted extensive quarries since 1845 when the Ramsden estate let of a quarry at Cowcliffe to "a respectable stone merchant6."
By 1856 Crossland was a pupil in London with the celebrated architect George Gilbert Scott. It is probable that this favourable opening may have come about through the connection of the Rev. J Bateman, Vicar of Huddersfield from 1840 to 1855, with Scott. Bateman had known Scott from his youth7, when Scott's father had been Bateman's tutor, and could have made a recommendation, or an introduction might have been effected when Scott came to Huddersfield in 1852 to design St. Thomas's Church, Longroyd Bridge, for the Starkey family.
Crossland is said to have practised in Huddersfield though no evidence has been met with to confirm this. If it was so then it is probable that it was between 1856, when he was in London, and 1861, when he was in practice in Halifax. In 1863 he was working in Leeds and by 1870 he was in London, and receiving the patronage of the Ramsden family.
One of his earliest designs must have been Netheroyd Hill Church of England Schools at Cowcliffe which he designed gratuitously, whilst still a pupil in London8.
1855-6 Cowcliffe and Netheroyd Hill Church of England Sunday School.
1861 School, Hillhouse.
1861 Almshouses, Almondbury.
1862 Church, Moldgreen.
1862 Parsonage house, Hopton.
1863 Gate lodge, Woodfield House, Lockwood.
1863 St. Thomas's Church, Bradley.
1864 House, Taylor Hill.
1865 Restoration Elland Parish Church.
1866 Church, Flockton.
1866 Church, Marsden.
1868 Ramsden Estate Office, Huddersfield.
1868 Pair of semi-detached villas at Huddersfield.
1869 St. Andrew's Church, Leeds Road.
1870 Byram Buildings, Huddersfield.
1871 Church, Newsome.
1872 St. Andrew's Schools, Leeds Road.
1873 Laundry and kitchen, George Hotel.
1873 Post Office and warehouse, Northumberland Street.
1878 Kirkgate Buildings.
1880 Byram Arcade.
1883 Bulstrode Buildings, Kirkgate.
ISAAC HORDEN (1830-1912)
Isaac Hordern was not a professional architect; he was an employee of the Ramsden estate in its Huddersfield office, and as such was very much involved with the Ramsdens' major town centre developments in the last quarter of the 19th century.
He would appear to have had some natural architectural ability, for from a manuscript volume of notes9 which he made of events on the Ramsden estate we learn that in 1855 Longley Hall barn and stables were rebuilt from his plans; he records that "Mr Matthews, Sir William Tite's representative spoke very well of them". Sir William Tite was an eminent London architect who was retained by the Ramsden estate. Again in 1856 he notes that an old part of Bay Hall was pulled down and rebuilt as a school for St. John's Church "from a plan I prepared".
Hordern also prepared the plans of the Primitive Methodist Chapel, Primrose Hill10, the corner stone of which was laid March 1869, and of Lindley Conservative Club, Holly Bank Road in 1890.
JOSEPH KAYE (c1779-1858)
Best remembered as a builder, Kaye included architecture amongst his numerous activities. He was not, however, the architect that (Sir) John Betjeman made him out to be11; he did not design either the Infirmary or St. Paul's church, both of which were by John Oates (qv). Indeed no evidence has been found that he designed any public buildings or any buildings of architectural interest. He had great experience in building housing and no doubt prepared what plans were necessary for many of them. Probably he was responsible also for the plans of buildings which he erected for himself - his house in Buxton Road, shops, offices and warehouses in the town, and his mills at Folly Hall.
With the experience that he gained from erecting and running the mills at Folly Hall it is likely that he was engaged to design and build many of the mills in and around Huddersfield. A handbill12 of 1844 circulated by John Whitacre of Woodhouse, after a theft, mentions "prize plans and elevations of the proposed new mill by Joseph Kaye", which is interesting as the only firm evidence of Kaye's architectural activities. However, strong circumstantial evidence that Kaye, or his office, were very much involved in designing mills is found in the obituary of James Leech13(qv). Leech commenced as a clerk in Kaye's office and continued there until Kaye's death, The obituary records "as an architect for the erection of mill property, he (Leech) stood at the head of all his compeers in the district".
Kaye died in 1858 and, was interred, in the parish churchyard where his substantial tomb still stands.
JOHN KIRK (1817-1886)
John Kirk was born in 1817 and baptised at Queen Street Wesleyan Chapel, the son of John and Elizabeth Kirk, who had moved to Huddersfield from York. John Kirk senior is noted in 1830 as a joiner at 'top of green', no doubt close to the area of the present day Kirk's Yard, off Trinity Street. Both he and his second wife died in 1843, leaving three children, a son, John junior, and two daughters, Elizabeth and Mary, both under the age of ten. John who was already married with two infant sons probably had to take immediate responsibility for his two sisters, and certainly they were living with his family in 1851. The census of that year would seem to indicate that he was prospering for he is described as a master builder employing thirty men. He had been brought up as a joiner, and the move to builder is a natural and understandable progression, though indicating an organisational and entrepreneurial flair. The move to architect is more difficult to understand, and it may have been that the building enterprise was not as successful as appears. The thirty employees quoted in the census could be somewhat misleading, as labour would be engaged for specific works and increased or decreased as the work on hand required. It could have been that his constitution was not sufficiently robust for the work, or it may have been that he chose the profession to match his talents.
His obituary notice14 records that he took up the profession of architect in 1850 with offices in John William Street, though I have not been able to substantiate this. In White's 1853 directory he is recorded as a joiner, and in the same year he was acting as clerk of works for the erection of a chapel and schools in Fitzwilliam Street16, and he was still describing himself as a builder in 1854. It does, however seem probable that he was working as an architect as a subsidiary part of his enterprise prior to 1854 for in 1855 he gave up the building and joinery side to devote the whole of his time to his architectural practice16, and one must assume that he had already met with some success in that line
In 1860 he opened a branch office in Dewsbury17. That expansion which was probably prompted by his eldest son, then twenty, following the same profession, seems to have been timely; certainly in later years much work was gained in the Dewsbury and Mirfield areas.
The number and scope of the projects for which the firm of John Kirk and Sons were responsible up to 1886 is quite amazing. An extensive but far from exhaustive list of works is given in Dr Linstrum's West Riding Architects. An examination of building contracts which were advertised for tender locally reveals numerous projects for which the Kirks were architects. These cover a very wide range including mills, warehouses, working-class housing, villas, chapels, churches schools, a town hall and co-operative stores.
Declining health apparently led to Kirk's retirement from business in 1883, when the management of the two offices passed to his two eldest sons, Albert at Dewsbury and James at Huddersfield. At the time of his death in March 1886 he was the oldest architect in Huddersfield, and almost certainly the most prolific. He designed several chapels in the Huddersfield area, as the following list shows, but he was responsible also for others at Skipton, Calverley, Pudsey, Dewsbury, Heckmondwike, Shipley and Wombwell, and for churches at Dewsbury and Thornton Hough on the Wirral.
A SELECTION OF WORKS.
1856 Independent Chapel, George Street.
1857 Warehouse, Upperhead Row.
1858 Wesleyan Chapel, Firth Street.
1862 Spa Mill, Lepton.
1864 Baptist Church, Meltham.
1884 Baptist Church, Birkby.
1868 Wesleyan Chapel, Netherton.
1868 Wesleyan Chapel, Linthwaite.
1866 Meltham Memorial School.
1867 Mirfield Town Hall.
1869 Workhouse, Crosland Moor.
1860 Reservoir, Gosport Mill, Outlane.
1889 6 Almshouses, Wilshaw.
1870 Wesleyan Chapel and Day Schools, Holmfirth.
1871 Congregational Church, Paddock.
1871 Primitive Methodist Chapel on Titus Salt's estate.
1872 Schools at Wilshaw in connection with St. Mary's Church.
1872 Free Wesleyan Church, Hillhouse.
1874 16 Houses, Netherton.
1875 Woollen mill, Thirstin Honley.
1883 Craighmohr, Greenhead Road.
JAMES LEECH (1806-1870)
James Leech has already been noted briefly in connection with Joseph Kaye by whom he was employed19, initially as a bookkeeper, until the time of the latter's death in 1858. It is believed that Kaye undertook in his office the design of many local mills, though there is no hard evidence to substantiate this. We do know, however, that Leech was a designer of mills, his obituary20 records "as an architect for the erection of mill property he stood at the head of all his compeers in the district."
Although he is noted as an architect in the 1845 directory his first recorded project was Gosport Mill at Outlane in 1860. He also designed housing, and was called in to report on the crypt of Huddersfield Parish Church21.
He practised from the Woolpack Yard, no doubt in premises owned by Kaye's executors, who owned the Woolpack, and that location seems to confirm that at times he worked with a partner, for references are found to Messrs Leech & Beaumont, architects, of Ramsden Street and Woolpack Yard. An advertisement of a contract in 1871, after Leech's death, for the pulling down and rebuilding of dyehouses etc., at Albert Mills, Lockwood, by Mark Beaumont, architect, Woolpack Yard, indicates the Beaumont half of the partnership. Mark was probably the son of Benjamin Beaumont of Paddock, a builder, and is noted as a draughtsman at Paddock in 1852 and 1859, and as an architect in Huddersfield from 1863. In 1881, the year before his death, he was renting an office in Woolpack Yard from Joseph Kaye's executors. It is possible that Beaumont had also been an employee of Joseph Kaye.
There was a son, James Harold Leech, born c1853 who was initially trained as an architect but who subsequently went into partnership with Robert Skilbeck as woollen manufacturers22.
1860 Gosport Mill, Outlane.
1862 Warehouse and offices, Stainland.
1862 Mill, Lockwood.
1863 3 Houses, Primrose Hill.
1863 Mill, Taylor Hill.
1864 Mill, Almondbury.
1864 Residence, Outlane.
1864 Residence, Lees Mill, Linthwaite.
LEECH & BEAUMONT'S WORKS.
1861 Houses at Birkby.
1864 Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Crosland Moor.
1866 Mill at Albert Mills, Lockwood.
1867 3 Shops and a cottage and enlargement of the, Green Cross Inn, Moldgreen.
1867 Villa at Quarmby.
1868 Raising a woollen mill and enlarging a reservoir at Quarmby.\
1869 2 Houses at Outcote Bank.
1871 Rebuilding dyeworks, Albert Mill, Lockwood.
1872 Finishing 8 houses at Lindley.
1875 Boilerhouse at Deadwaters, Folly Hall.
JOHN OATES. (1793-1831)
Possibly the most accomplished of the early 19th century architects working in Huddersfield. It has been suggested that he came from Manchester, but in fact he was born at Salterhebble near Halifax, and probably trained in Manchester where he was noted23 in 1813.
The period during which he practised in Huddersfield was short; he was known to be working in Halifax from 1822 to 1827, and is noted in Huddersfield in 1830 and 1831, though it is probable that he moved to the area in 1828 when his three local churches were all being built. His output included a number of churches over a very wide area, many of which were commissioned by the Church Building Commissioners.
Like W H Crossland, arguably the most talented of Huddersfield architects, Oates was the son of a quarry owner, and the knowledge of stone working and the properties of the material would be a most useful asset for the architect.
Of his secular work in Huddersfield the Lockwood Baths have been defaced from an aesthetic view, but the Huddersfield and Upper, Agbrigg Infirmary, his final building remains a fitting memorial to an outstanding talent. The design for the infirmary was selected by competition, and Oates's obituary24 records "he bore away the palm from some of the most celebrated architects of' the day, particularly at the Huddersfield Infirmary.
The minutes of the Infirmary25 contain what little evidence is known of Oates in Huddersfield; shortly before his death in May 1831 he was living at Springwood when the practice was known as Oates, Pickersgill & Oates. The two surviving partners, his brother Matthew and Thomas Pickersgill completed the works which the firm had in hand, but practised in York.
An episode which shows the stature of Oates is recorded in the Infirmary minutes when in 1830 the Committee were asked to consider the following letter:-
|March 16 1830,|
|I beg to
inform you that I will attend the meeting of the
Committee of the Huddersfield & Upper Agbrigg
Infirmary on the evening of Thursday next the 18th inst.
when I hope the Committee will take into consideration
the circumstances of the Longwood Edge stone introduced
by Mr Joseph Kaye contrary to his agreement instead of'
the Radcliffe delf stone & decide whether the same
shall be permitted to remain or must be taken down.
|I am sir, yours very respectfully,|
|To J C Laycock Esq.|
We have already noted Oates's background which would enable him to detect the deception, and the credit which accrues to him is not from the detection of the departure from specification, but rather in pursuing the matter. Joseph Kaye (qv), the celebrated Huddersfield builder, was already a man of some standing, a major employer in the town and not without influence. He was in fact on the Committee of the Infirmary, and Oates had worked extensively with him on three churches. To have pursued the matter appears as the action of a principled and fearless man. The decision of the Committee "that Mr Oates the architect and under his directions the Clerk of Works are hereby instructed to see the terms of the contract and the specification strictly observed", reflects well on that body.
Oates died in 1831 and is interred at All Saint's, Paddock, beneath a handsome monument fitting to his talents, with the inscription:-
Here lie the remains of John Oates
of Springwood, Architect, who died May 16 1831 in the 37th
year of his age.
In private life he was a kind husband an affectionate father and a sincere friend.
Under his superintendence the Infirmary and St Paul's Church, Huddersfield and this adjoining church were built.
1827 Lockwood Baths.
1828 St. Stephen's Church, Lindley.
1828 All Saint's Church, Paddock.
1828 St. Paul's Church, Huddersfield.
1829 The Infirmary, Huddersfield.
JAMES PIGOTT PRITCHETT.
Jams Pigott Pritchett had practised in London but moved to York c1813. In partnership with Charles Waterhouse he was responsible for the Ramsden Street nonconformist chapel erected in Huddersfield in 1824, and ten years later was the architect for the town's third parish church. He worked extensively for Earl. Fitzwilliam of Wentworth Woodhouse, but unfortunately seems to have committed some professional blunder which caused him to be excluded from consideration in the design for any building for the Ramsden estate at a time when they were reshaping Huddersfield. The Hon. Isabella Ramsden wrote26 in 1844 "about Mr Pritchett, we must steer clear of him, in his profession as an architect he has given the Ramsden family a lesson not to be forgotten (in the work he performed at Brotherton Church) of the instability of his buildings".
However, Pritchett did work in the town quite extensively for others, and is represented most importantly by the railway station; that example of his work was no doubt responsible for bringing in other commissions such as the Lion Arcade in 1852. James Pigott Pritchett & Son, architects, are noted at New North Road in 1845, and later had an office in New Street.
Pritchett designed a Town Hall for Huddersfield in the mid-1850s, not at the behest of the Ramsden family as has been stated (we have already noted their opinion of him), but at the joint expense of the Chamber of Commerce and the Town's Improvement Commissioners27. The project did not come to fruition.
Pritchett married twice and had a large family28. His eldest son, following family tradition, entered the ministry, another son, John Benson, was a surgeon and became Huddersfield's first Medical Officer of Health; and it seems from the style of the firm in 1854 that two sons at least became architects. In 1861 one of the sons must have left the practice for it became Pritchett & Son, and by 1863 they appear to have withdrawn from Huddersfield. Whilst they continued to obtain commissions in the town it was in the person of the son, James Pigott Pritchett junior, of the firm of Pritchett &.Son of Darlington. The father died at York in May 1868.
1824 Ramsden Street Nonconformist Chapel.
1834 St. Peter's Parish Church, Huddersfield.
1838 St Jamlding Brotherton Church.
1842 Huddersfield Vicarage.
1846 Railway Station, Huddersfield.
1852 Lion Arcade, Huddersfield.
1857 House, lodge and stabling at Hopton.
1858 Christ Church, Helm.
1861 Alterations St Luke's Church, Milnsbridge.
1863 Congregational Chapel, Hillhouse.
1864 Congregational Church, Clayton West.
1866 Schools, Hillhouse.
1867 Congregational Church, Ravensthorpe.
1871 Congregational Church, Holywell Green.
JAMES RADCLIFFE (c.1818- )
Noted as an architect in the town from 1843 to 1872, he was a member of the family which founded the present building firm of John Radcliffe & Son in the early years of the 19th century.
It is possible that he worked extensively with the building firm, for in the local papers which through the 1860s carried advertisements for the letting of contracts by architects there is only one instance for James Radcliffe, in 1869, when he was letting the rebuilding of Bankhouse Mill, Milnsbridge.
About 1844 he had produced plans for enlarging a mill dam associated with John Whitacre's Woodhouse Mill29. Whitacre had about that time been' commissioning a new mill, and although the names of several parties who were involved in the planning are known, Radcliffe was not amongst them. He was, however, involved with some of the ancillary works; in 1845 he presented estimates for completing eight cottages at Woodhouse mill, and the year before for a "willey-place" a room for a willowing-machine.
In the 1850s he acted for the Thornhill estate. We may imagine from what few details we do know of him that he was another of the mill architects, in the mould of James Leech, a class of architect for whom little evidence appears.
JOSEPHUS JAGGER ROEBUCK.
Roebuck presents yet another example of the typical development from joiner to architect (see also William Cocking and John Kirk.)
He is noted in directories of 1830, a joiner, and 1845, a partner in the firm of J J & W H A Roebuck, cabinet makers and upholsterers. But it appears that even prior to this latter date he was acting as an architect, or possibly a clerk of works, for in 1844 the letting of the building of two shops and a warehouse opposite the Rose & Crown Inn, in Kirkgate, invited applications to The Rose & Crown, or to 'M J J Roebuck, Manchester Road. In 1853 he was listed at that address as an architect, and the same year was letting the mason work of a gothic villa to be built in New North Road, possibly his own residence, Goderich Villa, named no doubt after Viscount Goderich who was elected Member of Parliament for the town in that year.
He was described as an architect to the year of his death in 1861, but his will30 shows him to have been something more, for he gave instructions for the winding up of his trade in Australia. He would also appear to have been the Victorian equivalent of a property developer, for his assets, amounting to some £l6,000, included extensive property, located in Manchester Road, on both sides of John William Street, Church Street, Back John William Street, both sides of New North Road and Belgrave Terrace, as well as a one-sixth reversionary interest in the White Hart estate in the town.
1844 Shops and warehouse opposite Rose & Crown Inn, Kirkgate.
1853 Villa, New North Road.
1853 3 shops and 3 houses, Honley.
1861 Warehouse, St. Peter's Street.
JOHN RUSHFORTH. (c.1822- )
It is possible that Rushforth was yet another of the Huddersfield architects who came to the profession from the trade of joiner. There was in 1834 a firm of joiners, Shaw & Rushforth, operating from the Fleece Yard, and some twenty years later, in 1857, Mr John Rushforth, architect, 'was also situated in that yard, at which date he was advertising the letting of contracts for a farmhouse and four cottages at Wymington, Bedfordshire. This is an isolated reference to John Rushforth, architect, who is not then noted until 1888, from which time he appears to have had a thriving practice in Huddersfield.
Between 1857 and 1888 there are several references to John Rushforth, variously a joiner or builder, culminating with his bankruptcy31 in 1885. It seems possible therefore that Rushforth was primarily a joiner/builder, and turned extensively to architecture only following his bankruptcy, for most of the noted works are after 1888.
John Rushforth is noted in the 1871 census return living at Hallas Farm, Kirkburton, where he farmed 10 acres; the same source shows that he was also practising as an architect and that his 14 year-old son was employed in the office.
1857 Farmhouse and cottages, Wymington, Bedfordshire.
1868 7 Houses in Church Street and Highroyd Lane, Moldgreen.
1867 Huddersfield Temperance hall.
1887 Villa, Halifax Old Road.
1887 10 Houses and a shop, Bradford Road.
1887 12 Houses and 2 shops etc., St. John's Road.
1868 Taking down and re-erecting 8 cottages, Oxford Road, Lindley.
1888 2 Semi villas, St John's Road.
c.1889 2 semi villas, Sunny Bank Road.
1869 Public house, 2 shops and slaughterhouse, Kirkburton.
1869 7 Villas near Clough House.
1869 Residence in Trinity Street
1870 5 houses in Cliffe Lane near Longwood Railway Station.
1870 Villa at Golcar.
1870 House at Marsh.
1870 2 Houses and alterations to Grove Inn, Long Lane, Dalton.
EDWARD WYNDHAM TARN.
Tarn appears to have the distinction of being the first architect practising in Huddersfield to have been a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects, to which body he was elected in l85532.
From an advertisement of 1865 when he announced his removal to London33 we learn that he had had "eleven years experience in the erection of buildings in Yorkshire." Like William Wallen (qv) he was born in London, and we have no evidence to suggest what it was that brought him to Huddersfield. He is first noted in the town in 1855 in Trinity Street, inviting tenders for the erection of National schools at Milnsbridge. His work was quite varied, including villa residences, warehouses, schools, churches and a town hall. He removed to London in 1865, is thought to have ceased practice in 1876, and was best remembered, as his obituary in the Builder34 records, as the author of quite a number of architectural treatises.
1855 St Luke's National School, Milnsbridge.
1858 Boundary walls, St Peter's Church, Huddersfield.
1861 St Saviour's Church, Parsonage and School, Bacup, Lancashire.
1862 Warehouse, Dewsbury.
1863 Warehouse, Batley.
1863 St. Bartholomew's Church, Deanhead.
1863 Warehouse, Fitzwilliam Street.
1864 School, Outlane.
1864 School, Marsh.
1865 Market House & Town Hall, Farnham, Surrey.
1872 All Saint's Church, Thornton.
1872 Schools and parsonage, Dewsbury.
William Wallen and James Pigott Pritchett were the only architects working in Huddersfield in the 1840s who had architectural training35. Wallen was born in London and probably trained with his father, John, who was also an architect. The first mention of Wallen in this locality is in 1838 when he presented a report on the condition of Almondbury Parish Church36; by 1841 he was in practice in Manchester Road. His earliest recorded work was the design for a church at Farsley near Bradford in 1842, and his first local work the National School at Kirkheaton.
He must have impressed the Ramsden family for he was commissioned for the new George Hotel; their main building in the development of Huddersfield which came with the railway. It has been said that the design for the George was in collaboration with C Childs, a Halifax architect, though the author has seen no evidence in support of such an assertion. The date of Wallen's death is also something of a mystery, it seems to have been in the 1850s, but not, I think, in 1853, as has been stated, for the report of the opening of the Aspley Lecture Room37 in March 1854 spoke of the architect as "our townsman Mr W Wallen," not, it should be noted, the late Mr Wallen.
Isaac Hordern (qv) in his notes38 records that Wallen did not see the completed Lecture Room "as he had to go to a private doctor's home," but does not give a date of death.
The first suggestion of a prospect tower upon Castle Hill was made by Wallen. On 10th July 1848 he wrote to the Trustees of the Ramsden estate to request "a site for a prospect tower on Castle Hill," a project which he stated he had had in mind some years. Locally the suggestion was taken up with enthusiasm, a model was prepared, a committee formed and finance organised40. The Leeds Mercury41 was able to report that Mr Wallen had not met with a single objector; however, there was an objector, a most important objector, for the Hon. Isabella Ramsden wrote42, in 1849 that her son's "antiquarian taste is quite shocked at the idea of the old fort, on Castle Hill being disturbed for a new erection of any sort or kind," and
the matter was dropped! A prospect tower was raised on Castle Hill, almost exactly 50 years after Wallen's first suggestion.
A project which did not come to fruition was the covering of the Market Place, the plans for which were prepared by Wallen in 1851. The idea seems to have originated with the Hon. Isabella Ramsden who felt that the ladies of the area, who brought their dairy and other produce for sale in the town, deserved some covered accommodation43. It is not known why the scheme was allowed tolapse; it may have been as a result of the controversy which surfaced the following year on the whole question of markets, fairs and tolls in the town.
1843 St John the Evangelist Church, Farsley, Bradford.
1843 National School and Master's House, Kirkheaton.
1845 St Luke's Church, Milnsbridge.
1845 Christ Church, Oakworth, Keighley.
1846 Riding School, Huddersfield.
1848 St Paul's Church, Shepley.
1848 Longley Hall Estate Office.
1849 George Hotel, Huddersfield.
1851 Castle Hill Hotel.
1852 Restoration of Holme Bridge Church.
1853 Lecture Room, Aspley.
Woodhouse practised in Bolton, Lancashire, for most of his life, but was born in Lindley, and retained strong links with the village.
He moved to Bolton whilst still in his teens and showed such talent and enthusiasm for his chosen profession that he was made a partner by his principal before his articles of training had expired44. By 1852 he had dissolved that partnership and was practising on his own account.
That he was one of the leading and most prolific architects in Lancashire appears from his obituary in the Bolton Chronicle45. We are informed that he had possibly been connected with the building of more mills than any other person in Lancashire, and the list of chapels for which he was responsible totals thirty, not only in Lancashire but in Yorkshire, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, and Warwickshire. He erected the first cotton mill to be built in the midlands, at Nuneaton and produced plans and specifications for overseas countries, including Canada.
That he retained strong links with his native village is evidenced by the several chapels which he designed in the locality. The only secular building in the Huddersfield area which has come to my notice is Royds Hall which he designed for Joseph Crosland in 1866.
1864 Chapel, Lindley.
1866 Royds Hall and lodge.
1866 Wesleyan Chapel, Lindley.
1867 Alterations Salendine Nook Baptist Chapel.
1867 Baptist Chapel, Oakes.
1872 Schools for Zion Chapel, Lindley.
Much of the information for this article has been obtained from the columns of the local papers which from c1858 carried advertisements for the letting of contracts, i.e. invitations to tender from masons, carpenters, plasterers, slaters etc. for the works involved in erecting premises to the architects plans. However, many buildings for whatever reason would not be put out to tender and therefore the architects dealt with above must not be considered an exhaustive list.
The following is a list of individuals who are known to have held themselves out as architects in the town prior to 1880 but for whom no architectural works have been noted.
Noted as an architect in the 1830 directory of the town at Bridge End, where the family kept the Star Inn. It is quite possible other members of the Brook family undertook architectural work but they were principally land agents, surveyors, and builders.
Advertisements were placed in the Huddersfield Chronicle in 1853 and 1854 by "Mr Thomas Carter, architect (late pupil of Messrs Weightman & Hadfield of Sheffield), 41 Trinity Street, Huddersfield, office New Street", which is the only evidence noted.
Brother to William Cocking (qv); first noted as an architect in 1858.
JOHN COCKING Jnr.
Half-brother to William Cocking (qv), he is described as an architect in the census of 1841.
Has been noted only from advertisements in the Huddersfield Chronicle in 1856. On 19th April persons wishing to take building ground were invited to apply to "Mr Charles Fielding, architect & surveyor, 1 New Street, Huddersfield", and the following week he was promoting himself as an "ecclesiastical and general architect & surveyor, late W H Brook, 1 New Street". The W H Brook to whom he had succeeded was probably of the same family as James Brook (qv), (see also Sugden & Brook).
A native of Hull he has been noted in Northumberland Street in 1851 and two years later in John William Street; he was able to employ a clerk so we must imagine that he had a reasonable practice.
Recorded in the directory of 1822 at Longley Hall as an architect, he was an employee of the Ramsden family, probably their land agent. In 1808 it was said46 that he was the general measurer of buildings in Huddersfield, had long and considerable experience in that line and had been for many years surveyor to Sir John Ramsden.
Noted only in the directory of 1830 where he is recorded as an architect of Shore Foot and Almondbury.
An architect in the town from 1848 to 1853, he is noted in the 1848 directory at Trinity Street. On 7th May 1853 he was advertising the letting of Bay Hall Cottage, but three weeks later there is a report of his examination as an insolvent debtor. That report notes that from March 1848 to March 1852 he resided at Bridge End in Almondbury and carried on the profession of an architect and since March 1852 had lived at Northgate in Almondbury, conducting his profession at King Street, Huddersfield.
His residence at Bridge End may indicate an association with the Brook family of the Star Inn (see James Brook).
SUGDEN & BROOK.
William Sugden and William Henry Brook who are listed in the directory of 1853 at 2 New Street, the latter probably of the family of builders etc. who lived at Bridge End (see James Brook and Charles Fielding.
The author acknowledges his indebtedness to Dr. Linstrum's West Riding Architects and Howard Colvin's A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects. His thanks are also due to the following who have provided information: Miss E K Alty of St. Albans, a descendant of the Oates family; Bolton Metropolitan Borough, Reference Library; The British Architectural Library, Royal Institute of British Architects; Lancashire County Council, Bacup District Branch Library.
1 Rev Robert Bruce, Centenary Memorial of Highfield Chapel, Huddersfield, 1872.
2 Huddersfield Weekly Examiner, 10.10.1874, Huddersfield Weekly Chronicle 10.10.1874.
3 Huddersfield Chronicle, 17.7.1858.
4 Huddersfield Central Library, Archives Department, KHT/9/2/1.
5 Huddersfield Weekly Chronicle, 10.10.1874.
6 Huddersfield Central Library, Archives Department, DD/RE/c/l0 8.3.1845.
7 Josiah Bateman, Clerical Reminiscences.
8 Huddersfield Chronicle, 29.3.1856.
9 Yorkshire Archaeological Society MS 491.
10 Huddersfield Chronicle, 6.3.1969.
11 John Betjeman, Huddersfield Discovered in Weekend Telegraph 2.10.1964.
12 West Yorkshire Record Office C296/232.
13 Huddersfield Chronicle, 20.8.1870.
14 Huddersfield Weekly Chronicle, 13.3.1886.
15 Huddersfield Chronicle, 28.5.1853.
16 Huddersfield Chronicle, 3.3.1855.
17 Huddersfield Weekly Chronicle, 13.3.1886.
19 Huddersfield Chronicle, 20.8.1870.
21 P Ahier, Three Parish Churches p.234.
22 Huddersfield Weekly Examiner, 25.5.1907.
23 Howard Colvin, A biographical dictionary of British architects.
24 Halifax and Huddersfield Express, 28.5.1831.
25 Huddersfield Central Library, Local Studies Section, Minutes of the Huddersfield & Upper Agbrigg Infirmary.
26 Huddersfield Central Library, Archives Department, DD/RE/c/3 20.8.1844.
27 Huddersfield Central Library, Archives Department, KHT/9/2/1.
28 Howard Colvin, A biographical dictionary of British architects.
29 West Yorkshire Record Office C296/233.
30 Wakefield Probate Registry 29.11.1861.
31 Huddersfield Chronicle, 5.8.1865.
32 The British Architectural Library, Royal Institute of British Architects.
33 Huddersfield Chronicle, 22.4.1865.
34 The Builder, 8.9.1900.
35 Huddersfield Central Library, Archives Department, DD/RE/c/103 15.12.1852.
36 C A Hulbert, Annals of Almondbury.
37 Huddersfield Chronicle, 4.3.1854.
38 Yorkshire Archaeological Society MS 491.
39 Huddersfield Central Library, Archives Department, DD/RE/c/50 10.7.1848.
40 Leeds Mercury 3.3.1849.
41 Leeds Mercury 17.2.1849.
42 Huddersfield Central Library, Archives Department, DD/RE/c/59 15.4.1859.
43 Huddersfield Central Library, Archives Department, DD/RE/c/90 2.11.1851.
44 Bolton Chronicle, 8.9.1883.
46 West Yorkshire Archives, Kirklees. KC/165/167.
© 1986 and 2004 Edward J Law.
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