Architects & arcitecture
Until very late included with civil engineers
Britain's historic railway buildings: an Oxford gazetteer of structures and sites. OUP. 2003. 759pp.
Includes extremely concise biographies of architects. The structure is dictated by what is Listed (in confined meaning of that term): thus there are some considerble gaps in the coverage and some rather strange entries. Thus Truro, a city of some character, and with a pleasant if not spectacular station, has an entry limited to stumps of an early viaduct. Welwyn Garden City which lost an attractive station which matched the original new town has no entry for that, but does have one for the White Bridge which no longer crosses any railway line. Nevertheless, within its defined limitations it is a very useful work. Reviewed J. Rly Canal Hist. Soc., 2003, 34, 486...
Railway Architecture (Shire Library). 2015
Not existent in Norfolk's sub-standard library (presumably mentions train station in "City" of Norwich)
Britain's 100 best railway stations. Viking, 2017. 326pp.
Reviewed by CH jn Backtrack, 2018, 32, 574
This is the latest book from Simon Jenkins, which lists his favourite railway stations. It continues a theme from earlier publications, which includes England's 1,000 Best Churches, England's 1,000 Best Houses and England's 100 Best Views.
Jenkins is eminently qualified to produce a book which celebrates British railway architecture, having served as a trustee of The Architecture Foundation and a board member of both British Rail and London Transport. In 1984 he founded the Railway Heritage Trust, persuading British Rail Chairman Sir Bob Reid to fund the body to the tune of £1 million for five years.
The first 40 pages of the book are an introduction to the subject. Jenkins touches on the days of 'Railway Mania', when a number of the great railway stations featured in the book were constructed. He moves on through the years to the mid-twentieth century, which he describes as the period of devastation. The era of Beeching and the fanatical destruction of some of the country's most important railway heritage, supported equally by Conservative and Labour governments. He recalls his meetings with John Betjeman and other like-minded souls who slowly moved opinion away from demolition to conservation and restoration.
The book is then divided geographically with stations selected from the main line, London Underground and Heritage Railways. London's major termini dominate, but there is a sufficient spread of locations to prevent any suspicion of southern bias. Each station's narrative includes at least one colour photograph.Jenkins has relied on the work of Gordon Biddle for dates, architects and general accuracy, but gaffs still occur. For example, he states that Yorks station's 'York Tap' was built as a pub in 1906: wrong, it was a tea room, a clue is in its location, Tea Room Square!
The author gives awards of stars to each station, which he states is now the custom for public attractions. The stars are determined by his response to each particular location. Maximum five stars go to ten stations, including Bristol Temple Meads, Glasgow Central, St. Pancras, Paddington, York, Newcastle and James Miller's wonderful Wemyss Bay. Strangely, Charles Holden's iconic Southgate station on London's Piccadilly Line must have been giving really bad vibes when Jenkins visited as he assesses it as one star!
The author breaks his rules by including two stations which are no longer operational. The first Manchester Liverpool Road is now part of the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry. He bemoans the fact that due to the museum education officer's desperation to 'engage' young children the station is bloodless. A charge some level against the National Railway Museum, also part of the Science Museum Group. Secondly he includes the ex-Wolferton station on the evidence of a one thousand signature petition to reopen the Hunstanton branch.
On a more positive note there are glowing testimonials for new construction and modernisation at St. Pancras and King's Cross and the sympathetic fit to the original station fabric. He also congratulates work at George Osborne's northern powerhouse figurehead, Manchester Victoria, including its connectivity to the Manchester Arena, which was sadly in the news in 2017. During the introduction Jenkins draws on John Schlesinger's 1961 film 'Terminus', describing Waterloo station as living theatre as People Rush, People Work, People Wait. So it is surprising that many of the book's photographs are completely devoid of human activity, let alone trains! Consequently the images, though technically excellent, become nothing more than a sterile record, lacking both scale and drama.
This is an entertaining and informative book and will attract a wide audience. Hopefully it will encourage railway traveller to confine their mobile phones to their pockets and instead wonder at some of the most stunning railway architecture in the world
KPJ has some reservations: 1. no Glasgow & South Western Railway stations are listed in spite of James Miller's excellent station at West Kilbride (he produced stations for all three of the major Scottish railways) and W. Curtis Green's extraordinary streamlied station at Girvan. 2. Includes Dolau a sort of Welsh West Runton (much loved by volunteers, but lttle used), but no building worthy of inclusion; also Porthmadog given 3 stars but no named architect why not Weybourn?
Lloyd, David and Donald Insall
Railway station architecture. Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1978. 60pp.
First published in Industrail Archaeology in August 1967 and reprinted by David & Charles in 1967. David Lloyd contributed the main text and Donald Insall contributed an examination of St. Pancras then under dire threat of demolition and a quaint look at stations in the Wye Valley which he had hoped could be transferred to the National Trust. Liverpool Street was then under threat and Euston had gone with no hint of how it might have been saved.
Andrews, George Townsend
1805-1855: architect of North Eastern Railway stations: see review of superb book published by NERA in Backtrack, 2012, 26, 510. Biddle Victorian stations pp. 56-60... Another review by Gordon Biddle in J. Rly Canal Hist. Soc., 2012, 58. See also Hartley in Early main line railways and Jenkins who includes several of his stations.
Banister, Frederick Dale
Born 15 March 1823 and baptised at St. Andrews Church in Holborn. Family left London for Preston in Lancashire in 1830s and Fred was educated at Preston Grammar School and then articled to John James Myres, a Preston civil engineer.
Born in Hackney, London in 1814; died in Ipswich on 6 December 1898. Educated at Christs Hospital School where his father was master. Articled to architect Sydney Smirke (1798-1877) working in London, and then worked in Liverpool for several years before coming to Ipswich in 1843 to assist his friend John Medland Clark (1813-1849) on the new Custom House building. In 1850 opened his own practice from 13 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich where he lived with his wife. He later moved his office to Hatton Court and in 1888 had one of the largest architect practices in the town, his most notable buildings were the railway stations which he designed for the Great Eastern Railway in a Tudor Gothic style, the best of which survive are at Needham Market, Stowmarket and Bury St Edmund's: this last according to Jenkins also shows tthe work of Sancton Wood..
Bonomi, Ignatius Richard Frederick Nemesius
Born in London on 31 October 1787 and died in Wimbledon on 2 January 1870. Baptised in the Sardinian Chapel in London. Main work in County Durham where he became Surveyor of Bridges for the County in 1824. George Stephenson brought him in to design the Skerne Bridge: one of the first railway bridges in the UK (over the River Skerne, near Darlington), for the Stockton and Darlington Railway, (hence he is sometimes referred to as 'the first railway architect'). See Hartley in Early main line railways
Culverhouse, Percy Emerson
Born 20 August 1871; died 7 May 1953. Chief Architect Great Western Railway 19291945. When 21 he was registered as a clerk at Paddington Station, working for the Great Western Railway. He progressed to Architectural Assistant to the New Works Engineer and in April 1929 was appointed Chief Architect to the Great Western Railway. He retired in September 1945 and was succeeded by Brian Lewis. The concourse of Cardiff Central station of 1923-35 receives commendation from Jenkins who also suggests that the art deco style at Leamington Spa station may be due to his influence.
Manchester architect responsible for the 1909 frontage and offices for the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway at Victoria Station. Following a major reconstruction which included a new tram station it received three stars from Jenkins
Dobson, John duplicate
Born on 9 December 1787 at Chirton near North Shields in Northumberland. Died in his home at 15 New Bridge Street, Newcastle on 8 January 1865. Plaque in main entrance to Newcastle Central station (his masterpiece) see Humm J. Rly Canal Hist. Soc.,, 2015, 38, 252... ODNB entry by T.E. Faulkner. Excellent concise biography by Gordon Biddle in Oxford Companion, usual thorough biography by R.W. Rennison in Chrimes. Highly pertinent, if somewhat rambling, comment by Christian Barman:.
Dobson, who inspired but did not design the Newcastle portico as we now see it, had absorbed the grand tradition in the office of Sir Robert Smirke, but Vanbrugh was another powerful influence. Within two years of his return to Newcastle he was engaged on the restoration of Seaton Delaval for Sir Jacob Astley after the great fire; it was one of his first commissions. By a rare coincidence, one of his last was concerned with the same building; a later owner, Lord Hastings, called him into consultation when more work had to be done after a second fire. Newcastle Central station is his acknowledged masterpiece; the circumstances in which this building came to be finished by another hand makes it also a memorial of one of the great personal tragedies in our architectural history. Dobson, when he was working out the de- sign for the York, Newcastle &Berwick and the Newcastle & Carlisle railways, foresaw inevitable developments and combina- tions in railway operation and planned his station accordingly. The directors made him reduce the size of his building. The walls were halfway up when they decided to transfer their head office from York to Newcastle; enlargements had to be hurriedly improvised and the great portico had to be omitted. It was added many years later, during Dobson's last, fatal illness, by Thomas Prosser, the architect of Leeds (1869) and York ( 1877) stations The design is manifestly inferior to Dobson's own; no wonder an obituary notice speaks of his 'grief and disappointment' as he lay dying. The place of Newcastle Central in English railway architecture is great and assured; with Dobsori's own portico it would have stood in the front rank with the best of all our public buildings. .
Driver, Charles Henry
Born 23 March 1832; died 27 October 1900, at the age of 68. He was a recognised authority on ornamental cast ironwork. He began his career as a draughtsman in the office of Frank Foster, Engineer to the Commissioners of Sewers, London. From 1852 to 1857, he filled a similar position with Messrs. Liddell and Gordon, under whom he was engaged on designs for bridges and stations on the Leicester and Hitchin Railway. He was next, from 1860 to 1863, a draughtsman in the Engineer's Office of the London and Brighton Railway, under R. Jacomb-Hood. From 1864 to 1866, he assisted the late Sir Joseph Bazalgette, Past-President, in preparing designs for the masonry of the landing stages and the ornamental masonry of the Thames Embankment, and for the Pumping-stations at Abbey Mills and Crossness. From 1873 to 1892, he assisted the late Sir James Brunlees. McKerrow in preparing designs for King's Lynn Bridge, Clifton and other stations, and Llandudno, Nice and Southend Piers. From 1882 to 1894, he assisted Sir Douglas Fox, Past-President, and Mr. Francis Fox in preparing designs for Preston Station on the West Lancashire Railway, and for Southport and other stations on the Cheshire lines extension; between 1868 and 1870, he assisted Edward Woodsin preparing designs for Santiago Market, and stations on the Boca and Ensenada Railway; and from 1894 to 1895, he assisted A.C. Pain in preparing designs for stations on the Tottenham and Forest Gate Railway. Amongst other things, he designed for the late Mr. R. P. Birch the West Pier Pavilion at Brighton, and during the past three years acted as Architect for the stations (including the Main Central Station) on the Sao Paulo Railway, under the direction of the Consulting Engineers to the Company, D.M. Fox and A. Mckerrow, and James Pforde.
Born in 1786; died in 1846. Studied under Jeffry Wyatt in London. In 1809 travelled in Eastern Mediterannean and 1810-11 accompanied C.R. Cockerill and two German archaeologists to Aegina and Bassae to study the temples. Designed the Moorish arch installed at Edge Hill on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. See Hartley in Early main line railways
Baptised on 15 February 1913 in Horsley, Northumberland; son of John Green, an architect. Pupil of Augustus Charles Pugin and the became a partner of his father. Died in Dinsdale Park on 14 November 1858. (Peter Leach in ODNB). Gordon Biddle (Victorian stations pp. 69-71) devotes a section to him and considers that some of the smaller stations on the Newcastle & Carlisle Railway may have been his designs. The stations on the Newcastle & Berwick Railway were his work with Tweedsmouth being his chef d''oeuvre according to Biddle. Hartley in Early main line railways notes that had used laminated timber arches on the Newcastle & North Shields Railway in 1839. Hexham receives a single star from Jenkins (a view without a shack on the track Pacer might have been better
Green, William Curtis
Born on 16 July 1875 in Alton; died 25 or 26 March 1960 in London. Designed Girvan station for LMS in late 1930s, but station not completed until 1951 when was a late example of the moderne style. Not in Jenkins
Hadfield, Matthew Elison
Born 8 September 1812; died 9 March 1885. Practice formed with John Gray Weightman which lasted from 1838 to 1858. Gothic revival. Major works include St. John's Cathedral in Salford and Wicker Viaduct in Sheffield where practice located. Hartley in Early main line railways
Hamlyn, Willaim Henry
Born in Wigan on 16 February 1883; died in Devon in 1969. Trained under Reginal Wynn Owen in Liverpool and then at the Royal Academy School. Joined LNWR in 1911 and in 1934 appointed chief architect of LMS. Plans for a new Euston in 1936 which remained unfulfiiled. Rebuilt concourse at Leeds City station and adjoining Queen's Hotel. Also Derby LMS School of Transport (see Maxwell Craven J. Rly Canal Hist. Soc. 2017 (230), 156), Hoylake station and prefabricated structures installed at Queen's Park and at Bootle New Strand and oddest of all work at the Prestatyn Holiday Camp. He retired in 1949.
Born in London on 15 June 1792; died 28 December 1870. Architect noted for his magnificent Grecian Doric portico at Euston station which were wantonly demolished in 1963. He also designed the Curzon Street terminus of the London & Birmingham Railway in Birmingham. The Great Hall at Euston was also designed by him, but ill health led to it being completed under his son (below). Biddle in Oxford Companion and Hartley in Early main line railways
Hardwick, Philip Charles
Born in 1822 (son of Philip above); died 1892. See above, but also architect of Great Western Royal Hotel at Paddington. Biddle in Oxford Companion
Livock, John William
Born on 30 July 1814 at Hampstead, and had ceased to practice by 1877 (Dawn Smith). According to Biddle (Victorian stations pp. 60-2) an important architect whose best work was on the Blisworth to Peterborough line with stations at Northampton Bridge Street, Thrapston, Oundle, Wellingborough London Road, Irthlingborough and Wansford. The line opened in 1845. He was also responsible for stations on the Trent Valley Line, notably at Tamworth, and on the southern section of the North Staffordshire Railway. Died in London on 15 March 1883. Hartley in Early main line railways . See Baker and Fell Rly Archive, 2013 (40) 2. and Mathams and Barrett, Backtrack, 2014, 28, 4.
According to Jenkins Exeter architect who with Francis Fox was responsible for enlarging Exeter St. Davids station which he unjustly awards 2 stars (station is difficult to use by train operators and by the public: only Exeter Services somewhere off M5 are worse)
Born in 1860 at Auchtergaven, Perthshire. Miller trained with local architect Andrew Heiton, then in offices in Edinburgh. In 1888, he became staff architect for the Caledonian Railway Company, designing stations and hotels in the West of Scotland, e.g. Botanic Gardens Station, Glasgow (1894, demolished 1970) and Wemyss Bay Station (1903-4). In 1888, he joined the Caledonian Railway's Drawing Office in Glasgow, where he designed a number of railway stations under the supervision of the engineer-in-chief, George Graham, and his successor Donald Alexander Matheson. In 1892 he set up in full-time practice on his own, renting an office at 223 West George Street, Glasgow; where he continued to do work for the Caledonian Railway, as well as other Scottish railway companies. In 1894 he gained commissions for stations on the West Highland Railway. His work is also evident for the G&SWR at West Kilbride station and in the Turnberry Hotel. In 1896, he designed the exuberant St Enoch Square Underground Station. Winning the competition for the 1901 Kelvingrove Exhibition buildings (1898), he became associated with the sculptor Albert Hodge, employing him on the sculpture and plasterwork for the Industrial Hall. Both their reputations were made and further joint collaborations followed, including Caledonian Chambers, 75-95 Union Street (1901-3), Clydebank Municipal Buildings (1902) and the former North British Locomotive Company, 118 Flemington Street (1903-9). In 1907, Miller was awarded the commission for rebuilding Glasgow Royal Infirmary. Miller designed the palatial interiors for the RMS Lusitania. A remarkable late mansion was constructed for Euan Wallace, sometime Minister of Transport, at Kildonan near Barrhill in Ayrshire: this shows similarities to Castle Drogo in Devon, but is at risk for lack of continuous care. Latterly Miller lived in Stirling, at Randolphfield, and died there on 28 November 1947. See also feature on Wemyss Bay station in Rly Arch., 2009 (24) 19. A colour photgraph of Wemyss Bay forms the book jacket for Jenkins and is repeated inside with five stars. The Glasgow Art Nouveau style is evident in some of his work. Robert C. McWilliam in BDCE3.
Mulvany, John Skipton
Born: 1813 Died of cirrhosis in 1870. He was fourth son of the landscape and figure painter Thomas James Mulvany. He received his professional training with William Deane Butler. John, while still very young, was 'taken in hand by some of the first nobility and commercial men in Ireland'. He had established himself in private practice by 1836. In this year he received the commission to design an extension to the hotel at Salthill, Monkstown, for the Dublin & Kingstown Railway Company, and between 1837 and 1841 he designed stations at Salthill, Blackrock and Kingstown for the same company. He was later to be appointed architect to the Midland Great Western Railway Company at a salary of £450 per annum,and to the Dublin Trunk Connecting Line. He was also architect to the Dublin Board of Superintendence of City Prisons. Many of his important domestic commissions came from members of the Malcomson family of Portlaw. He was architect of Broadstone station in Dublin. Another transport enterprise with which Mulvany was involved was the Dublin & Kingstown Steam Packet Company, of which he was elected a director early in 1863. Mulvany was singled out for praise by Albert Edward Richardson in his Monumental classic architecture in Great Britain and Ireland during the 18th and 19th centuries (1914). 'If any building expresses the character of its purpose,' wrote of Broadstone station, 'it is this magnificent terminus, which so well illustrates the application of the monumental manner in a spirit of modernity.
Penson, Thomas Mainwaring
Born in 1817, son of an architect; died 1864. Employed by Shrewsbury & Chester Railway for stations at Shrewsbury and Gobowen and at Berwin on the preserved Llangollen Railway. Biddle and Jenkins
Born in London in about 1817. His father, also Thomas, evidently worked for Benjamin Dean Wyatt and his brother Philip, members of a noted architectural dynasty. Philip was able but indolent, one of his few individual commissions being the rebuilding of Wynyard Park, in County Durham, as a grand neo-classical country residence for the third Marquess of Londonderry. The elder Prosser moved north to supervise this work, which got underway in 1822, and remained with the Marquess as estate surveyor and, in a minor way, architect. Prosser senior died at Seaham on 24 February 1842. His son, Thomas Prosser was the first architect permanently employed by the NER. being appointed on 1 December 1854, four months after the merger which brought the North Eastern Railway into being. Prior to this, the companies which made up the NER had employed architects in private practice, such as G.T. Andrews, John Dobson and the Greens, or else made use of their engineering staff. After the Hudson debacle of 1849, the need for economy made the latter course the norm. Thus during 1849-53 the York & North Midland Railway relied on their Engineer, Thomas Cabry, only turning to Andrews for works at York Station and a modest hotel at Cattal.
The need for something different was seen by the NER Engineer in Chief, Thomas Elliot Harrison, who did much to shape the organisation of the new company. His initial proposal spoke of a 'clerk of works' to supervise repairs and alterations to existing buildings, but the concept was soon expanded into an architect, who could also handle a full range of new works. It was evidently Harrison who brought Prosser to the Board's attention, having encountered him serving as a clerk of works on the construction of John Dobson's Newcastle Central Station. Prosser went on to build up a substantial and effective office prior to his retirement, due to ill health, in 1874. He was immediately answerable to Harrison and the directors, and attended the meetings of their Locomotive & Works Committee, which scrutinised all building proposals, however trivial. Harrison and Prosser clearly enjoyed a good working relationship, the monument to which is York Station, even though this was not completed until 1877, three years after Prosser's departure. Prosser appears to have been the first architect appointed to a permanent post by any British railway, and the office he developed continued to serve the industry until the privatisation of British Rail in 1996. Fawcett
Born at Woodbridge in Suffolk on 25 July 1808. Francis Thompson was the architect of stations on the North Midland and Chester & Holhead Railways, including the noteworthy Chester Station and the masonry for the Conway Tubular Bridge. He was also architect for several significant structures in Canada. He died on 23 April 1895 back at Woodbridge. Daunt Backtrack, 2012, 26, 317 states that was grandfather of Edward Thompson, CME, LNER. See O. Carter: Francis Thompson... Backtrack, 1995, 9, 213. See also biography by John Rapley in Chrimes pp. 775-7. Biddle Victorian stations.. Hartley in Early main line railways
Tite, [Sir] William
Born in City of London on 7 February 1798. Articled to architect David Laing and then set his own practice in 1824. Died in Torquay on 20 April 1873. The Royal Exchange in London was probably his most significant work. Many important railway stations, notably for London & Southampton Railway and Lancaster & Carlisle Railway. See Biddle, Gordon Sir William Tite and railways. Part 1. Backtrack, 2008, 22, 530-6. and Part 2 Backtrack, 2008, 22, 630-5. Biddle also contributed the Tite entry in Chrimes and Tite's own section in Victorial stations pp. 62-7. ODNB biography by S.P. Parissien. Hartley in Early main line railways
Weightman, John Gray
Born at Bawtry on 29 March 1809; died Collingham 9 December 1872. Partnership with Hadfield. Natable buildings Collegiate School Sheffield, now University main building, St Mary Mulberry Street (Hidden Gem) in Manchester and many railway stations including at Glossop, Louth, Holton-le-Clay and Ludborough. Hartley in Early main line railways .
Wild, James William
Born 9 March 1814 in Lincoln; died on 7 November 1892. Architect who initially worked in the Gothic style, but 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 Grimsby Dock Tower, 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. Hartley in Early main line railways notes the Hydraulic Tower and includes a photograph of it.
Wood, Sancton duplicate
Born April 1815 in Hackney. Educated at a small private school in Devon, and then moved to a school at Hazelwood, Birmingham, run by T.W. Hill whose son Rowland Hill (1795-1879) was author of the penny postal system. The school was run To leave as much as possible, all power in the hands of the boys themselves a philosophy that failed to stimulate young Sancton Wood into serious study. Nevertheless his interest in drawing and family influence gained him a pupillage in the office of his cousin Sir Robert Smirke RA (1780-1867), followed by employment with Sydney Smirke RA (1798-1877). His contemporaries recalled his quiet retiring nature, sometimes excitable, but always courteous. Wood's classical training in architecture and presentation, learned in Smirke's office, gained him early recognition. In 1837 he designed one of London's first railway termini, at Shoreditch for the Eastern Counties Railway. Budget restraint limited the scope of work, but success in competitions followed, beginning with a prize for Ipswich station. Then in 1845 he headed a field of sixty-five competitors for the design of Kingsbridge terminus and company offices, Dublin (now known as Heuston station). The magnificent two-storey office block, nine bays wide by five bays deep, is dominated by attached Corinthian columns between the first-floor pedimented windows. The enclosing single-storey wing walls to the platforms are linked to the office block by an intervening domed turret at each corner. In 1846 he won the £100 prize for Blackburn station. Links with Irish railways led to further work for the Great Southern and Western, between Dublin and Cork, and the Limerick Junction line. Other railway commissions included stations on the Rugby and Stamford line (1846), and Syston and Peterborough route (1847). Jenkins argues that Sancton Wood had a hand in the design of the station at Bury St Edmunds, and possibly in Cambridge station. Wood was elected an associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1841, an associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1848, and an associate of the Institution of Surveyors, also in 1848. Commercial buildings, schools, churches, and estate development, principally in the London area, were credited to him. In 1850 Wood, his wife, and their two sons moved to 11 Putney Hill, London, a detached house of his own design where Wood died on 18 April 1886. From ODNB entry Oliver F.J. Carter
Wyatt, Sir Digby duplicate
Born on 20 July 1820 near Devizes. Involved both with the original Crystal Palace and its reconstruction at Sydenham. Responsible for the decorative ironwork in Paddington Station and the extension of Bristol Temple Meads. Appointed architect to the Council of India in 1855 and responsible for the ironwork on three major railway bridges there. Died on 21 May 1877 at Dimlands Castle, near Cowbridge in Glamorgan in 1877. Steven Brindle in Chrimes and Paul Waterhouse, revised John Martin Robinson in ODNB