Friday, 9 September 2016

Week 36: Architects, Part One

I love walking downtown.  I love seeing the old architecture, the doric columns, the arched windows, the fancy moldings. There is something so beautiful about these old buildings, a timeless grace if you will.

I am thrilled to share information about eight important architects that are in our family tree.

For those of you in my blood line, our fourth great grandfather was Richard Kirk.  His daughter Frances married Thomas Penson in 1814.  He was a surveyor and an architect and designed many bridges that are still standing today. (Richard Kirk’s other daughter Margaret married John Dickenson and their daughter Mary Eleanor Dickenson married William Palin)

Penson's work as a bridge builder in Montgomeryshire has been surveyed in detail and there are 62 bridges that are credited to him.  Some of these bridges include:
  • ·         Caersws Bridge, at Caersws, 1821, three elliptical masonry arches
  • ·         Long Bridge, at Llanidloes, 1826, three-span masonry arch bridge which replaced a wooden bridge
  • ·         Long Bridge, at Newtown, 1827, masonry arch widened by Penson with cast iron arches in 1857
  • ·         Felindre Bridge, at Mount Severn, 1848, segmental or elliptical masonry arch bridge
  • ·         Short Bridge, at Llanidloes, 1849, masonry arch bridge
  • ·         Brynderwen Bridge, at Abermule, 1852, 33m span cast iron arch bridge,
  • ·         Cilcewydd Bridge, 1861, masonry arch bridge
  • ·         New Bridge over the river Dee
  • ·         Llanymynech Bridge over the River Vyrnwy.
  • ·         Sontly Bridge, Wrexham. Dated 1845. Ironwork cast R & W Jones of the Ruabon Foundry

Long Bridge (1827) in Newtown, Powys
Thomas and Frances Penson had five children and two of the sons became architects as well.

Thomas Mainwaring Penson, 1818–1864 was born in Flintshire was also a surveyor and architect and he trained in his father's practice.  Some of his buildings still stand today.
  • ·         Holy Trinity Church    Oswestry, Shropshire
  • ·         Holy Trinity School    Rhyl, Flintshire, Wales           
  • ·         St Agatha's Church     Llanymynech, Shropshire
  • ·         Church of St Agatha, Llanymynech, Powys
  • ·         Ruabon railway station           Ruabon, Wrexham, Wales
  • ·         Rossett railway station            Rossett, Wrexham, Wales                   1         
  • ·         Gobowen railway station        Gobowen, Shropshire
  • ·         Baschurch railway station       Baschurch, Shropshire
  • ·         Gates, gate piers and bridge over drive          Overleigh Cemetery, Chester, Cheshire
  • ·         Shrewsbury railway station     Shrewsbury, Shropshire
  • ·         Powis Market  Oswestry, Shropshire
  • ·         Castle Park House       Frodsham, Cheshire
  • ·         Church Stretton railway station          Church Stretton, Shropshire
  • ·         Previous Town Hall    Rhyl, Flintshire, Wales                       
  • ·         Monument       Overleigh Cemetery, Chester, Cheshire
  • ·         Militia Barracks           Mold, Flintshire, Wales                                  
  • ·         School Northop Road, Flint, Flintshire, Wales                                  
  • ·         Queen Hotel    Chester, Cheshire
  • ·         National School          Worthenbury, Wrexham, Wales                     
  • ·         St John the Baptist's Church   Chester, Cheshire
  • ·         Grosvenor Hotel         Chester, Cheshire 

St Agatha's parish church, Llanymynech

Richard Kyrke Penson, 1815 –1885, was born in Flintshire was also a surveyor and architect and he trained in his father's practice.  His work consisted mainly of church restorations, of which over 35 were in S.W. Wales, but he also did other buildings as well.
  • ·         Town Hall at Llandovery
  • ·         Gate Lodge to Nanteos
  • ·         Alliance Assurance Company Building High Street, Wrexham
  • ·         Cilyrychen lime kilns  Llandybie 

Cilyrychen lime kilns, built by Richard Kyrke Penson in 1858

I have written before about our connection to Fry’s Cocoa, but did also know there was an esteemed architect in that family?  Mary Ann Palin married Thomas Fry in Birkenhead in 1840.  In 1845 they had six sons, two of which were architects, Herbert Fry (1844-1885) and Arthur Parry Fry (1845-1919).

I was unable to find anything more about Herbert other than he ended his partnership with his brother, Arthur, in 1883 because he was going to retire.  I had thought perhaps that this Herbert Fry was the same that that wrote the wonderful guide books – but they are two different people.  The Herbert Fry that wrote the great London guidebooks died in London on March 17 1885 and our Herbert Fry died April 25 1885.

I was able to find a couple of structures that were credited to H & A P Fry.
  • ·         Liverpool School Board, Butler Street Schools 1874
  • ·         Christ Church Bwlchgwyn 1879
  • ·         St Gabriel's Church, Toxteth. Architect H & AP Fry, 1884
  • ·         St John the Baptist, Greatham 1875
 After Herbert died in 1885, Arthur continued to design other buildings.
  • ·         Mary Clark Home, Ullet Road 1892
  • ·         Street lamp and fountain in front of Croxteth Park entrance, Almonds Green 1894

All of this research becomes so timely, when some of the structures are being replaced and torn down.  I had found an article where Arthur Fry had designed the Andrew Gibson House circa 1906 and there was a petition to stop it from being torn down.
Andrew Gibson House
 As of May 6, 2016 it was reported that the building was going to be saved and turned into flats!

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