Robert Abraham (1774-1850) trained initially as a surveyor and is listed in directories of 1811 and 1829 in Keppel Street, London. He was connected with John Nash’s (1752-1835) Regent Street project – the County Fire Office at Piccadilly Circus was his, but by the 1820s he had come to specialise in housing, notably designs for and alterations to country houses in a variety of styles. His clientele was mainly Roman Catholic and included the Duke of Norfolk, for whom he worked at Arundel and elsewhere. In 1839 he was living in Torrington Street, London (Pigot’s Directory) and in 1841 at York Terrace, Regent’s Park.
Lit: BAL Biog file; Obit: The Builder 8 (1850) p602; DNB
Restored: Arundel, Fitzalan Chapel (1836)
Antoine Theodore M Acket (1918-81) was active as a painter by 1952, when he exhibited a flower piece at the RA, and he continued to exhibit there at least until 1963. At the earlier date his address was in Dulwich. In the 1950s, he was also involved in an interior design business in London, where he was involved in the design of at least one cafe. He later moved to Kent and spent the rest of his life in the Canterbury area. He was of Dutch origin though there are instances of the name in Belgium, but his background and training are unknown. His work in glass was noted for its use of bright colours and his first recorded design at Holy Epiphany, Bournemouth dates from 1953, though earlier work may exist. Much of his glass, as at St Wilfrid, Haywards Heath, was undertaken for C E Welstead Ltd of Croydon and for Wainwright and Waring.
Glass: Haywards Heath – St Wilfrid
Ken Adams is known only from one window that he designed for Cox and Barnard in c1950.
Adams Johns Kennard
This long-established Hastings practice of architects and quantity surveyors, which also has a branch in Tunbridge Wells, has several partners who have been especially interested in projects involving the renovation of historic buildings. More recently, they have concentrated mainly on schools and other educational buildings. It is not known whether the partner named Kennard is connected with either of at least two architects of this name who practised in London in the early C20 (KD/L).
Restored/adapted: Hastings, – St Mary in the Castle (1990-98)
Thomas Adye (also found as Ady) first appears in 1712 and died before 1762, when there is a reference to his widow. His antecedents are not known, but from 1737 to 1744 he was sculptor to the Society of Dilettanti. His monuments are characterised by large medallion portraits, held by putti, a motif derived from James Gibbs.
William Aikman (1868-1959) was the son of a landscape painter in Edinburgh, where he was apprenticed to the well established glass-making firm of James Ballantine, before moving to London in 1892. There he worked for J Powell and Sons as a painter with J W Brown and trained J H Hogan. He was also skilled as a mosaicist, for during this early period he assisted Sir W Richmond, who designed the mosaics (and also the glass) in St Paul’s, which were made by Powell”s. Aikman worked for the company until 1913, when he established a studio of his own in Camden Square, London and also started to teach at the Camberwell School of Art. There his pupils included G Cooper-Abbs and A E Buss, who became his assistant. According to CCL 1920, he also designed memorial tablets and there are paintings by him of 1930 at Pennington, Hampshire. He moved to Sutton, Surrey in 1934, where he continued to work until his death.
Obit: JBSMGP 13/1 (1959) pp364-65
J S Alder
John Samuel Alder (1848-1919) was born in Birmingham and from 1867-72 was articled to G C Haddon and his brother Henry Rockliffe Haddon (1823-93) in Malvern and Hereford. Thereafter he became chief assistant to F Preedy, who originated in Worcester but was by this time working mainly in London, where Alder established his own practice in 1886 – in WWA 1914 he gives his address as Effingham House, 1 Arundel Street, Strand, where he was still to be found in 1919 (KD/L). Between 1898 and his death (ibid) he had a partner, John Turrill, who continued the practice without changing the name until at least 1924, though he kept an independent entry for himself alone in KD/L. Turrill is J Turrill who worked on St Mary, East Grinstead in 1928. Alder’s churches were numerous and mostly in the expanding north London suburbs; though in addition to his work in Sussex he made alterations to Claverton church, Somerset. The churches he designed won praise from contemporaries because they were economical yet spacious, built in a simple and dignified late gothic style. In fact the detail of at least one of his churches, St George, Headstone, is mostly C14, which was conservative for the end of the C19. He was also responsible for designing church fittings, including a reredos of 1907 at Potton, Bedfordshire, though no names of makers are known as well as for several restorations of a drastic nature Apart from his work on churches, during and after his time in Preedy’s office he designed and extended several country houses, including Madresfield Court, Worcestershire (1890) and Warleigh manor, Somerset (1907-08).
Lit: BAL Biog file
Competed alterations: Nuthurst (1907)
Geoffrey Aldred trained as a stone carver and worked initially in the field of restoration. In 1988 he established his own studio in Lewes and his work as a stone carver and letter cutter is to be found all over southern England. He has subsequently moved to Wivelsfield Green.
F E Allen
Frances E Allen is described as ARIBA on the inscription recording her work in Henfield church in 1969, but the only mention of her in RIBA records is her thesis on mediaeval painting in Sussex, written in 1947. It thus seems clear that she was connected with the county.
Designed: Henfield, screen
G P Allen
George Pemberton Allen (1872-1956) was the son of a manufacturing engineer, who owned a works in Bedford, though he seems only to have lived there at a later date – in 1881 the family was living in London and in 1891 at Cowfold, including in both cases the father. The son trained under F W Hunt of Baker Street, surveyor to Lord Portman’s estate, and was also a pupil of Sir A W Blomfield, with whose sons he worked on occasion, e g at All Saints, Bedford (1909). He practised mainly in the Bedford area, designing churches and a few schools. He also worked around 1897 on a house nearby that his father had acquired. From 1902 to 1911 he was a partner in the practice of Law and Allen, which also did work at Pagham church; nothing certain is known of Law, though on the assumption that, as was common, the practice retained the name of its deceased member, he could conceivably be Edmund Law (1840-1904), the son of the prolific Northamptonshire architect, Edmund Francis Law (1810-82). In 1914 Allen briefly had an office on his own in Craven Street, Strand (KD/L) and thereafter disappears from London. His family latterly lived at Aldwick, then in the parish of Pagham, though according to his minimal obituary in The Builder he died at Welwyn Garden City, which suggests that his own primary loyalties remained north of London.
Lit: BAL Biog file; Obit: The Builder 191 p81
Refitted: Pagham (1899)
Alleyn and Mansel
This practice first appears in Henley-on-Thames in 1935 and by 1946 was in London at Staple Inn, Holborn. Directories show it remained there until about 1955, when it is listed on one occasion only at an office in High Street, Crawley. Alleyn must be Justin Henry Alleyn (known as Tim) (1908-83), who is known from other sources to have had an address at Staple Inn in 1948. He was educated at Ampleforth and Liverpool University and his early years in practice were interrupted by World War II. He designed schools and churches, particularly Roman Catholic ones, before becoming mainly active in later life as an arbitrator and expert witness. There is no other trace of a partner named Mansel, but during the period before 1980 Alleyn was working with P J C Durling at an address in Merstham, Surrey, which is quite close to Crawley. During this time they worked on a number of churches locally.
Lit: BAL Biog file (for Alleyn); Obit (for Alleyn): RIBAJ 90 (Sept 1983) p123
Repaired: Stedham (1948-49)
Charles Allwork, described as a local builder, though possibly primarily a carpenter, undertook repairs and alterations to Rottingdean church in 1818 and also repaired Ovingdean church in 1826, with a possibility that he did further work lasting until 1828. He is not known outside these dates, but David Allwork who was a builder in Rottingdean in 1839 (PD) is probably connected.
Repaired: Ovingdean (1826); Rottingdean (1818)
Sir L Alma-Tadema
Sir Laurence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912) was of Dutch birth and studied in Antwerp, before spending some time in Paris. In 1870 he moved to London, where he settled and became highly successful – he was buried in St Paul’s. He specialised in Roman scenes, often inspired by excavations at Pompeii, with tastefully undraped maidens and each of his works received an opus number. He is not known for his designs for stained glass, though he made a number for furniture, including that destined for his own residences. Possibly the glass at West Stoke came from existing work rather than new designs.
Lit: R Ash: Sir Laurence Alma-Tadema, 1989
Glass: West Stoke
Carl Almquist (1848-1924) was a pupil of H Holiday and H E Wooldridge (then associated with Holiday), who had come to study in London in 1870 from his native Sweden. He worked for Holiday after ceasing to be a pupil and settled permanently in England. By 1873 he was associated with Shrigley and Hunt of Lancaster and became chief designer the following year, though he worked exclusively in the company’s London premises after these were opened in 1878. He used the soft colours and delicate drawing of the aesthetic style of the 1870s and 1880s, derived from what he had learned from Holiday, and determined the firm’s style until well into the C20. He continued working until his sight began to fail after World War I, when he retired to Hove, where he died.
Lit: B R Lšvgren: Carl Almquist (1848-1924) His Life and Work, JSG 21 (1997) pp11-40
Glass: East Hoathly
Richard Duncan Andrews trained at Cambridge university and joined Carden and Godfrey (see under W E Godfrey) in 1976. He was elected to the RIBA in 1980 and is now a director of the practice. He conserved the ruins of Lewes priory and has worked extensively on churches in Sussex; those listed below are only the ones among many more on which the practice has worked that can be given specifically to him rather than any other of its members. However, the restoration of the vault at New Shoreham is likely to be among the most remarkable achievements of the practice anywhere.
Restored: East Guldeford (2009); Hardham (2016); New Shoreham (1998 onwards); Whatlington (2010-13)
Mark Angus (b 1949) comes from Bath. After training initially as a chartered surveyor, he studied architectural stained glass at Swansea School of Art. Since then he has produced glass mostly for churches in a modernistic style. Much of his work is to be found in Germany where he also teaches.
R Anning Bell
Robert Anning Bell (1863-1933) trained in London (RA Schools), Paris and Italy as a painter and architect, before taking a post as designer of stained glass with the leading Glasgow makers, John and William Guthrie in the early 1890s. He also illustrated books and designed other art works, as well as teaching at Liverpool University. He assisted Sir George Frampton (1860-1928) before in 1911 returning to Glasgow, where he lectured at the School of Art and resumed the designing of glass for John and William Guthrie. He was back in London by 1918, though he retained links with the Glasgow School of Art until 1931. After his return to London he was in addition professor of design at the Royal College of Art and, already a member of the Art Workers Guild (see this section below), he became master in 1921. He had earlier become a Royal Academician (ARA 1914 and advanced to RA in 1922) and was also well known as a mosaicist; his work is to be found in the Palace of Westminster and Westminster cathedral. Among other London glass-makers Lowndes and Drury, A J Dix and A A Orr used his designs.
Lit: NAL Information File
Architectural and Planning Partnership
See under J C T Warren
E L Armitage
Edward Liddall Armitage (1887-1967) trained under H Holiday, some of whose commissions he completed after Holiday’s death, and was for some years in the 1920s a partner of Victor Drury (of Lowndes and Drury). He is listed as a stained glass artist in KD/L at 43-45 Blenheim Crescent, W11 from 1930. Subsequently he became chief designer for J Powell and Sons from c1940 until c1960 and he also wrote about stained glass.
Glass: Bexhill, – St Mark, Little Common (made by J Powell and Son); Chailey, – St Peter; Horsham, – St Mary; Rustington; Slinfold (made by J Powell and Son?); West Dean (W); West Itchenor
John Armstrong (b1937) is a painter, who has specialised in Christian and other religious subjects and has taught at the University of Brighton. He lives in Hove and has produced a substantial number of church notice boards that display a figure of the appropriate saint, as well as painted altarpieces and other religious paintings. An example of his notice boards is to be found at Mayfield.
Paintings: Brighton and Hove, – Chapel Royal, painted sign; – St Peter, altarpiece; Mayfield; notice board
Art Workers Guild
Though never involved in commissioning buildings or other works except for itself, the Guild has played a major part in the evolution of architectural thinking and creating a closer relationship between architecture and the decorative arts; stained glass artists in particular have been prominent among its members. Stained glass is perhaps above all other crafts intended to complement architecture so it may seem surprising that many later accounts of the Guild have underestimated its importance, all the more so in view of the numerous stained glass artists. .From its foundation in 1884, architects were well represented among its members – over 100 had been elected by 1910, when its influence on church architecture and design was at its height. Overall, approximately a third of the Guild’s members have been architects, which is unsurprising given that five pupils of R N Shaw, including M Macartney and Edward Schroeder Prior (1852-1932) were instrumental in setting it up. Their reasoning was in part that the RA did not exhibit crafts and partly that the RIBA was considered, in the words of an early member of the Guild, to have ‘lots of surveyors’. A problem apparent from the first was the London-centred nature of the guild, though even more than today most advanced thinking on artistic issues took place there. Particularly in the field of restoration, the principles of W Morris and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings were strong in the early years and Morris himself became Master. In the debate that reached a peak in the 1890s over whether architecture was a craft rather than a scientifically based discipline, they were on the former side. The early members of the Guild, even architects, spent disproportionate time in discussing crafts; in Margaret Richardson’s words, the architects ‘wanted contact with the crafts rather than vice versa‘ (p8). in later years the Guild never wavered in its object of ensuring the decorative arts were an integral part of designing buildings and of supporting training and high standards. Ironically, having been in the van of progressive thinking in the late C19, the Guild was seen for much of the C20 as a home for conservatives, even reactionaries, especially after the so-called International Style emerged in the 1920s, from which most post-war architecture derived. However, the widespread reversion in the late C20 to less doctrinaire thinking has given the Guild new life and today at least 50 different crafts are represented among its membership..
Lit: RIBA Gallery (ed R Gradidge): Architects of the Art Workers Guild, 1884-1984, 1984; M Richardson: Architects of the Arts and Crafts Movement, 1983; NAL Information file
E C Ash
‘Edith Clauders Ash’ designed a window in Heathfield church that was made in 1917 by Lowndes and Drury, in memory of Lt Col William Claudius Casson Ash (1870-1916), who fell in World War I. There are three Ediths at the right date in the Ash family – first, W C C Ash’s aunt, but she had married in 1889 and was thus no longer called Ash; next, his widow Edith Learoyd Ash (b c1865) and third their daughter Edith Claudia Kathleen Ash (1898-1990), who was born in Cannanore, South India, presumably as a consequence of her father’s military service. The last is far and away the most likely in view of her similar sounding second name of Claudia, despite her young age in 1917. In fact, a further argument in her favour is the design, which though striking, shows a number of weaknesses that would be consistent with it being the work of a beginner. The colouring shows a preponderance of green, purple and white, the colours associated with Mrs Pankhurst’s Women’s Political and Social Union, and as M Lowndes, the leading figure in Lowndes and Drury was a strong supporter, some connection could be inferred, though there can be no proof. The Ash family were prominent locally and successive generations made various donations to Heathfield church, both fittings and glass, as well as being prominent in local musical life. Edith Claudia married at Uckfield in 1922 and was thereafter known as Reed and died at Bath.
(My thanks to Pauline McIldowie of Heathfield, who has provided me with much of the above information about the Ash family)
Arthur Ashpitel (1807-69) was the son of an architect, from whom he received his training. In 1850 he entered into practice with John Whichcord (1823-85) and together they did extensive work in Kent, including churches; in Sussex Whichcord was responsible unaided for the Grand Hotel, Brighton, but no completed church by either is to be found there. Later, Ashpitel reverted to working on his own and wrote extensively on both practical and historical aspects of architecture. As regards churches, his sympathies lay with the evangelical party, including S S Teulon, with whom on occasion he collaborated. He made his position clear, even in the 1850s, by his use on occasion of the Perp style.
Consulted: Horsham, – St Mary (1865)
Arthur James John Ayres (1902-85) studied sculpture at the RA Schools, where he also taught for some years from 1947. Much of his work was religious in nature, including monuments and fittings – there is a pulpit by him at Bredon, Worcestershire that dates from 1939 amd at least one example in one of the rebuilt City churches in London. Ayres also produced purely decorative sculpture on buildings, particularly in the earlier part of his career. Late in life, his involvement in the restoration and proposed completion of the fragmentary mediaeval figures on the west front of Wells cathedral in the early 1970s aroused great controversy. This project was curtailed, though elsewhere he completed a figure on the main gable of the south transept of Westminster abbey. His studio was in Hampstead.
Lit: NAL Information file
Sculpture: Barlavington, carving.