Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect and builder, of Sligo, Downpatrick and Belfast. John Lynn, who is said to have been an Englishman, is first heard of in Ireland as clerk of works for the building of Rockingham House, erected in 1810 for Robert, 1st Viscount Lorton to designs by JOHN NASH. JOHN NASH. (1) According to Thomas Bell,(2) 'Mr Lynn was …engaged by Lord Lorton in the construction of Rockingham house. He was originally a Carpenter by trade, but the Patronage of the noble Lord has it would appear transfused into his mind the theory of his profession, and converted him into an Architect.' Lynn was the contractor for the erection of Sligo gaol in 1815(3) and probably for Kilmacallane Church of Ireland church in Co. Sligo, from 1817, and Boyle Church of Ireland church in Co. Roscommon, from 1818.(4)  He may also have been involved in the building of Emlaghfad church at Ballymote, Co. Sligo, for which he supplied windows in 1818.(5)  Domestic commissions in Co. Roscommon included work at Castle Tenison,(6) and, in 1819, at Strokestown.(7) During the 1820s the focus of Lynn's activities shifted to Co. Down, where he was involved in the design and building of the county gaol at Downpatrick from 1821 until 1831. As contractor for the gaol, he opened a stone quarry on land leased from the 3rd Earl Annesley above Newcastle, Co. Down. He is listed as an architect at English Street, Downpatrick, in Pigot and Co.'s City of Dublin and Hibernian Provincial Directory (1824), though the same directory still lists him at Union Street, Sligo, in this year, which may indicate that he had not entirely given up his interests there. Apart from a three-year interval between 1832 and 1835 when he moved to Newcastle in order to carry out various works for Earl Annesley, he lived in Downpatrick until 1837, when he sold the handsome house he had built for himself in English Street some two years previously and moved to Belfast in order to carry out the contract for building the first eight-mile section of the Ulster Railway between Belfast and Lisburn under the supervision of JOHN GODWIN JOHN GODWIN . He is said to have retired soon after this work was completed in 1839. He may be the John Lynne, engineer, who is listed as living at 1 Stanley Street, Belfast, in Henderson's Belfast and Province of Ulster Directory for 1843-44.

John Lynn died at his residence in Lynn Place, Sligo on 21 January 1864, leaving an estate of under £3,000.(8) His chief legatee was his son, CHARLES LYNN CHARLES LYNN , architect of Sligo. By his wife, Martha, who predeceased him, he was also the father of JOHN LYNN [2]  JOHN LYNN [2] and of a daughter who married a Mr Beckett of Downpatrick.

See WORKS.



References

All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from Gordon Wheeler, 'John Lynn - Architect/Contractor/Engineer', Lecale Miscellany (1997), 24-46. Wheeler, pp, 27-28, suggests that John Lynn of Sligo and John Lynn of Downpatrick were not the same person, but Thomas Bell's brief account of Lynn in his MS 'Rambles Northward in Ireland' (1827) (NLI MS Joly 12, p. 72) makes it clear that they were.

(1) NLI MSS 3775,8810 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
(2) Bell, loc. cit., above.
(3) NA/SPO 560/439/28 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44); see also Bell, loc. cit., above, and A.P.W. Malcomson, The Clements Archive (Dublin: Irish Manuscripts Commission, 2010), 689.
(4) RCB Library, 'An account of of all sums of money levied for building and repairing of churches...June 1824' (information from Frank Keohane).
(5) See note 4, above.
(6) NLI MS 8810 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
(7) Ainsworth Report, 925, and Weld's Roscommon, which also describes Lynn as an Englishman (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
(8) Information from Gordon Wheeler, letter to A.M. Rowan, 15 Jan 1999, citing Indices of Wills in PRONI.


28 work entries listed in chronological order for LYNN, JOHN [1]


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Building: CO. ROSCOMMON, ROCKINGHAM (BOYLE)
Date: 1810
Nature: JL clerk of works.
Refs: NLI, MSS 3775, 8810, MS. Joly 12, p. 72 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44)

Building: CO. SLIGO, SLIGO, RIVERSIDE, COUNTY GAOL
Date: 1815-18
Nature: JL contractor. Cost: £38,000.
Refs: NA/SPO 560/439/28 and MS Joly 12, p. 72 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44);William Gregory Wood Martin, History of Sligo, county and town, from the earliest ages to the close of the reign of Queen Elizabeth (to the present time) (Dublin, 1882-92), III, 156-8;  Tadhg Kilgannon, Sligo  and its surroundings (Sligo, 1926), 141; A.P.W. Malcomson, The Clements Archive (Dublin: Irish Manuscripts Commission, 2010), 689.     

Building: CO. SLIGO, KILMACALLANE, CHURCH (CI)
Date: 18171820
Nature: 'Mr Lynn' paid total of £93 in 1819-20 'on account of new church' and a further £1.5s.6d. for 'Wire lattice, and altering round window in front of church', 1822.
Refs: RCB Library, 'An account of of all sums of money levied for building and repairing of churches...June 1824' (information from Frank Keohane).

Building: CO. ROSCOMMON, BOYLE, CHURCH (CI)
Date: 1818p
Nature: Enlargement and improvement of church of 1770.  'Mr Lynn' paid  £1.4s. for coals, 1818, and £104.8s.3d. 'against sundries' 1819. Final payment of £5, 1821.
Refs: RCB Library, 'An account of of all sums of money levied for building and repairing of churches...June 1824' (information from Frank Keohane);  Claude Costegalde & Brian Walker, The Church of Ireland: an illustrated history (2013), 347(illus.)

Building: CO. ROSCOMMON, STROKESTOWN HOUSE
Date: 1819
Nature: Adds., designed by JL for Lt. Gen. Thomas Mahon.
Refs: Ainsworth Report 425 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44); Isaac Weld, Statistical Survey of Co. Roscommon (1832), 330

Building: CO. MAYO, SWINFORD, GLEBE HOUSE (KILCONDUFF PARISH)
Date: 1819
Nature: New glebe house and out offices for Rev. Joseph Burrowes.
Refs: Undated plans, elevations, signed specification dated 22 Mar 1819, in Representative Church Body Library, Dublin, GH/17, see RCB Library - Architectural Drawings, https://archdrawing.ireland.anglican.org/items/show/4635-47 (last visited, Mar 2017).

Building: CO. SLIGO, COLLOONEY, GLEBE HOUSE (BALLYSADARE PARISH)
Date: 1819-20
Nature: Proposed 2-storey, 3-bay glebe house for Thomas Kingsbury, Archdeacon of Killala. (According to Lewis, 'glebe-house was built by aid of a gift of £400 and a loan of £400, in 1819, from the late Board of First Fruits'.)
Refs: Signed, undated plan and elevation, inscribed on verso:'Plan of Glebe House & Offices for the Parish of Ballisodare in the Diocese of Achonry approved of by the Lord Bishop of Killalla[sic], 29th April 1820', in Representative Church Body Library, GH/11 (see also GH/12, below);  letter from John Lynn to Bishop of Killala, Sligo, 27 Feb 1819, suggesting alterations to design and possiible site for house, Rpresentative church Body Library, GH/22;  Samuel Lewis, A Topographical dictionary of Ireland (1837), I, 184.

Building: CO. ROSCOMMON, STROKESTOWN, CHURCH OF ST JOHN (CI, BUMLIN PARISH)
Date: 1820
Nature: Octagonal church designed by JL. Dedicated 27 Aug 1820.
Refs: Information from Terence Reeves-Smyth (in conversation with David Griffin), citing Pakenham-Mahon papers in NLI; date of dedication on drawing for later adds. in RCB Library, portfolio 16.

Building: CO. SLIGO, COLLOONEY, GLEBE HOUSE (BALLYSADARE PARISH)
Date: 1820
Nature: Alternative proposed design for new 2-storey, 3-bay glebe house and out offices for Thomas Kingsbury, Archdeacon of Killala..
Refs: Signed plans and elevations (inscribed, 'I approve of this Plan for a Glebe House & offices for the Parish of Ballisodare[sic] 29 April 1820 J.Killala') in Representative Church Body Library, Rathgar, Dublin (information from Siobhan Sexton, Architectural Conservation Officer, Mayo County Council, Feb 2015).


Building: CO. DOWN, DOWNPATRICK, IRISH STREET, NO. 095
Date: 1820ca
Nature: 'Built perhaps by J. Lynn as the entablatures over the upper windows are similar to those on Downe Infirmary.'
Refs: D. Dunleath, P.J. Rankin, A. Rowan, Downpatrick (UAHS, 1970), 19

Building: CO. DOWN, DOWNPATRICK, COUNTY GAOL (NEW)
Date: 1824-1831
Nature: Described as 'now erecting on a very extensive Plan, by Mr John Lynn, the builder of Sligo Gaol'.  See also letter from Rev. J.R. Moore, 10 Nov 1840: 'I cannot refer you to any person who has experience in the quarrying business, except to Mr. Lynn the architect of the County Prison which has been built at a cost of £73,000 from the quarries of Newcastle.'  JL was probably the supervising architect, see Dunleath, Rankin & Rown.
Refs: Letter from Rev. J.R. Moore, Castlewellan, to W. Freeman, Haytor Mining Co., London, in PRONI 10 Nov 1839, in PRONI, D1854/6/1 (see PRONI e-catalogue);  MS Joly 12, p. 72; E.M. Jope, ed., An Archaeological Survey of County Down (HMSO, 1966), 401,pl.192; D. Dunleath, P.J. Rankin, A. Rowan, Downpatrick (UAHS, 1970), 17(illus.),31; Gordon Wheeler, 'John Lynn - Architect/Contractor/Engineer', Lecale Miscellany (1997), 28-31(illus.)

Building: CO. DOWN, DOWNPATRICK, CHURCH LANE, METHODIST MEETING HOUSE
Date: 1828
Nature: Built (and designed?) by JL. Partly collapsed in 1839.
Refs: Gordon Wheeler, 'John Lynn - Architect/Contractor/Engineer', Lecale Miscellany (1997), 31-32

Building: CO. DOWN, DOWNPATRICK, CHURCH LANE, DOWNPATRICK LITERARY SOCIETY LIBRARY
Date: 1828
Nature: Built (and designed?) by JL. Collapsed in 1839.
Refs: Gordon Wheeler, 'John Lynn - Architect/Contractor/Engineer', Lecale Miscellany (1997), 31-32

Building: CO. DOWN, DOWNPATRICK, SAUL STREET, DIOCESAN SCHOOL
Date: 1829
Nature: JL builder 'and in all probablilty the architect'.
Refs: Gordon Wheeler, 'John Lynn - Architect/Contractor/Engineer', Lecale Miscellany (1997), 32-33

Building: CO. DOWN, DONARD LODGE
Date: 1829-1832
Nature: JL designs and builds garden front and builds entrance front to designs by Duff and Jackson.
Refs: Hugh Dixon, Ulster Architecture 1800-1900 (UAHS, 1973), 11(no.16,illus.); Gordon Wheeler, 'John Lynn - Architect/Contractor/Engineer', Lecale Miscellany (1997), 33-35(illus.)

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWCASTLE, CHURCH OF ST JOHN (CI)
Date: 1831-32
Nature: New church, built for Earl Annesley as a chapel-of-ease for Kilcoo parish. First service held 18 Nov 1832 but not consecrated until 1 Dec 1853.
Refs: Hugh Dixon, Ulster Architecture 1800-1900 (UAHS, 1973), 17(no.62);  Fred Rankin, ed., Clergy of Down and Dromore (Ulster Historical Foundation, 1996), 223(illus.); Gordon Wheeler, 'John Lynn - Architect/Contractor/Engineer', Lecale Miscellany (1997), 35-36(illus.);  exterior of church also illus in Claude Costegalde & Brian Walker, The Church of Ireland: an illustrated history (2013), 201.

Building: CO. DOWN, DOWNPATRICK, DOWN FEVER HOSPITAL
Date: 1831-34
Nature: Infirmary and fever hospital designed by J.B. Keane and built by John Lynn..
Refs: E.M. Jope, ed., An Archaeological Survey of County Down (HMSO, 1966), 401-2; Gordon Wheeler, 'John Lynn - Architect/Contractor/Engineer', Lecale Miscellany (1997), 37-38(illus.)

Building: CO. DOWN, DOWNPATRICK, DOWN INFIRMARY
Date: 1831-34
Nature: Built by JL to designs by JBK.
Refs: E.M. Jope, ed., An Archaeological Survey of County Down (HMSO, 1966), 401-2,pl.194; D. Dunleath, P.J. Rankin, A. Rowan, Downpatrick (UAHS, 1970), 19; Gordon Wheeler, 'John Lynn - Architect/Contractor/Engineer', Lecale Miscellany (1997), 37-38

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWCASTLE, PIER (OLD)
Date: 1832
Nature: Repairs to old 'pier' (ie quay at foot of railway from JL's quarry.
Refs: Gordon Wheeler, 'John Lynn - Architect/Contractor/Engineer', Lecale Miscellany (1997), 36

Building: CO. DOWN, DOWNPATRICK, COURT HOUSE
Date: 1832-34
Nature: JL contractor for alterations & enlargement to design by J.B. Keane.
Refs: C.E.B. Brett, Court Houses & Market Houses of the Province of Ulster (UAHS, 1973), 66; Gordon Wheeler, 'John Lynn - Architect/Contractor/Engineer', Lecale Miscellany (1997), 38

Building: CO. DOWN, SEAFORDE HOUSE
Date: 1834a
Nature: North gate lodge designed by JL for Mathew Forde. (Dean suggests that E & W lodges were built after JL's design but at a much later date.)
Refs: Gordon Wheeler, 'John Lynn - Architect/Contractor/Engineer', Lecale Miscellany (1997), 38-39(illus.); J.A.K. Dean, Gate Lodges of Ulster (UAHS, 1994), 74,95

Building: CO. DOWN, BALLYNACRAIG (DOWNPATRICK), CHURCH OF ST PATRICK (CI, INCH PARISH)
Date: 1835
Nature: JL contractor for new ceiling and insertion of timber mullions in north windows and probably also for addition of tower and spire in same year.
Refs: Fred Rankin, ed., Clergy of Down and Dromore (Ulster Historical  Foundation, 1996), 128(illus.); Gordon Wheeler, 'John Lynn - Architect/Contractor/Engineer', Lecale Miscellany (1997), 41(illus.),42

Building: CO. DOWN, DOWNPATRICK, ENGLISH STREET, NO. 025-27
Date: 1835-36
Nature: Pair of 3-storey-over-basement houses with 2-storey bows, for himself.
Refs: Gordon Wheeler, 'John Lynn - Architect/Contractor/Engineer', Lecale Miscellany (1997), 40-41(illus.)

Building: CO. DOWN, INCH, SCHOOL HOUSE
Date: 1836-37
Nature: Built by JL for John Waring Maxwell of Finnebrogue for £800.
Refs: Letter and designs from JL re Inch school, 1836-37, in PRONI, Perceval-Maxwell Papers, D1556 (see PRONI E-catalogue, Perceval-Maxwell Papers);  Gordon Wheeler, 'John Lynn - Architect/Contractor/Engineer', Lecale Miscellany (1997), 42-43(illus.).

Building: CO. DOWN, FINNEBROGUE
Date: 1836ca
Nature: Works at gatehouse for John Waring Maxwell?
Refs: Letter and designs from JL re gatehouse at Finnebrogue and Inch school, 1836-37, in PRONI, Perceval-Maxwell Papers, D1556 (see PRONI E-catalogue, Perceval-Maxwell Papers). 

Building: CO. DOWN, DOWNPATRICK, UNION WORKHOUSE
Date: 1840-42
Nature: JL contractor.
Refs: Gordon Wheeler, 'John Lynn - Architect/Contractor/Engineer', Lecale Miscellany (1997), 44-45(illus.)

Building: CO. DOWN, ST JOHN'S POINT (KILLOUGH), LIGHTHOUSE
Date: 1841
Nature: JL supervising work on St John's Point lighthouse.
Refs: Downpatrick Recorder, 1 Jan 1841 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44)

Building: CO. ROSCOMMON, CASTLE TENISON
Date: ?
Nature: Work at same.
Refs: NLI, MS. 8810 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44)

Author Title Date Details
Wheeler, Gordon 'John Lynn - Architect/Contractor/Engineer' 1997 Lecale Miscellany (1997), 24-46.