Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

County surveyor for Co. Louth, 1840-1886. John Neville, who may have been the son of JOHN NEVILLE [1] JOHN NEVILLE [1] , was born in in Co. Limerick in 1813 or 1814.   His training and early career is not known, apart from the fact that he was employed on the Shannon navigation between 1836 and 1838(1) and as a road contractor at some time between March 1838, when he first attempted the county surveyorship examinations, and August 1840, when he sat them again, this time successfully.   He gives his address as Limerick in June, 1840, when he wrote a letter to the Civil Engineer & Architect's Journal on the subject of Sutfliffe's patent rotatory pump and its use at Limerick docks.(2)   In September 1840 he was appointed county surveyor for Co. Louth in succession to FRANCIS DUBOURDIEU FRANCIS DUBOURDIEU , remaining in the post for forty-six years. He was also borough surveyor for Drogheda from 1852 or earlier until 1869(3) and for Dundalk from 1861 or earlier until 1871, when he was succeeded by JOHN MURRAY[2] JOHN MURRAY[2] . He described himself as surveyor to Dundalk & Dunleer Turnpike Trust in 1856(4) and was engineer-in-chief to the Dundalk Harbour Commissioners from 1864 until 1886.(5) He also engaged in private practice, designing five convents in various parts of the country as well as undertaking domestic and commercial work. He was the author of a successful manual, Hydraulic Tables, Coefficents and Formulae for finding the discharge of water from orifices, notches, weirs, pipes and rivers, which was first published in London in 1853 and ran to three editions. In the same year that the book was first published, he was seriously injured in a railway accident near Straffan, Co. Kildare, which killed sixteen people and injured many more.(6)

Neville resigned the county surveyorship in March 1886 on account of ill-health and went to live with his eldest son, William, a gynaecologist, in Dublin. He was succeeded by PATRICK JOHN LYNAM PATRICK JOHN LYNAM . He died in Dublin on 10 June 1889 aged seventy-six. According to Casey, 'single-mindedness to the point of ruthlessness was the hallmark of his character' , nor was his manner ingratiating.(7) He was the subject of adverse comment in the Dundalk Democrat of 4 June 1881 for his eviction of tenants on land which he held in Crossmaglen, Co. Armagh.(8)   A Catholic by denomination, he had married Constance, daughter of John Cox, of Bruree, Co. Limerick, a member of the Church of Ireland, at Bruree parish church on 21 June 1849.(9) His two daughters, Barbara and Mary, both became nuns; of his three sons, the second, Edward, worked as an engineer in India. His pupils and assistants included WILLIAM SIDNEY COX WILLIAM SIDNEY COX , JAMES GASKIN  JAMES GASKIN and Eugene O'Brien McSwiney, a mechanical engineer.

ICEI: elected member, 1845; (10) council member, 1846-47, 1850-51, 1856; vice-president, 1864.
RIA: elected member, 1844.
GLFI:(11) member of Lodge 47 (Dundalk), 1852; senior warden 1855; worshipful master, 1856.

Addresses:  Clonmel, 1836;  Jocelyn Street, Dundalk, <=1855(12)->=1886; 71 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin, at time of death.(13)

See WORKS and BIBLIOGRAPHY. BIBLIOGRAPHY.



References

All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from Brendan O'Donoghue, The Irish County Surveyors 1834-1944 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007), 264-269, Christine Casey, 'John Neville: Louth County Surveyor', County Louth Archaeological and Historical Journal 21, no. 1 (1985), 23-30, which both give further details about Neville's career and character, and from Jones's transcripts from Pettigrew & Oulton's and Thom's directories in Jones file N14. 



(1)   B.O'D., citing House of Commons Parliamentary Papers 1865, XI, 469.
(2)   Civil Engineer & Architect's Journal 3 (Aug, 1840), 273.
(3) IB 11, 1 Mar 1869, 62.
(4) House of Commons Parliamentary Papers, Turnpike Inquiry Ireland 1856, 4 (B.O'D.).
(5) He read a paper on the means adopted for the improvement of the navigable channel of Dundalk at the meeting of the British Association at Belfast in 1874. (Architect 20, 29 Aug 1874, 106 and IB 16, 15 Sep 1874, 259, in both of which he is referred to as Thomas Neville).
(6) The Times, 8 Oct 1853.
(7) See IB 19, 1 Sep 1877, 252.
(8) In 1776 he also owned 776 acres of land in Co. Tipperary.
(9) Marriage certificate (B.O'D.).
(10) IB 12, 15 Aug 1870, 197.
(11) GLFI archives.
(12) Civil Engineer and Architect's Journal 19 (Jan 1856), 26.
(13) Drogheda Argus, 15 Jun 1889 (B.O'D.). 


28 work entries listed in chronological order for NEVILLE, JOHN [2]


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Building: CO. CLARE, ENNIS, O'CONNELL SQUARE, O'CONNELL MONUMENT
Date:
Nature:

JN 'is credited...with the design of the O'Connell monument at Ennis...believed to be one of the first such monuments raised by nationalists to a public figure'.

Refs: Brendan O'Donoghue, The Irish County Surveyors 1834-1944 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007),268.

Building: CO. LOUTH, ACLINT, BRIDGE
Date: 1842c
Nature:

New bridge.  Badly built , according to report by Samuel Ussher Roberts, 1844.

Refs: Christine Casey, 'John Neville: Louth County Surveyor', County Louth Archaeological and Historical Journal 21, no. 1 (1985), 24;  Brendan O'Donoghue, The Irish County Surveyors 1834-1944 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007), 266

Building: CO. LOUTH, DUNDALK, ARDEE ROAD, COUNTY GAOL
Date: 1845-53
Nature: New prison on the separate system. Italianate. Cost about £23,000.  (O'Donoghue agives date as 1849-1854.)
Refs: Civil Engineer and Architect's Journal 16 (Apr 1853), 121(illus. with plan and perspective view); DB 5, 1 Aug 1863, 131; John D’Alton & J. R. O’Flanagan, The History of Dundalk (1864), ? (B of I); Christine Casey, 'John Neville: Louth County Surveyor', County Louth Archaeological and Historical Journal 21, no. 1 (1985), 25(illus.); Christine Casey & Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North Leinster (1993), 270, Pl.111;  Brendan O'Donoghue, The Irish County Surveyors 1834-1944 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007), 267.

Building: CO. LOUTH, DUNDALK, MARKET SQUARE, COUNTY COURT HOUSE
Date: 1846;1855
Nature: Adds. to provide extra offices and Grand Jury accommodation (£500 loan from Board of Works), 1846. Improvements including rebuilding of arches in walls of hall vestibule, lowering of galleries., &c., 1851
Refs: Co. Louth Grand Jury Query Books (B of I); 15th Annual Report of Commissioners of Public Works (Ireland) (1841), 26; P.J. Geraghty, 'Urban improvement and the erection of municipal buildings in County Louth during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries', County Louth Archaeological and Historical Journal 25, no. 3 (1995), 314

Building: CO. LOUTH, DUNDALK, JOCELYN STREET, ST MALACHY'S CONVENT OF MERCY
Date: 1847;1857-1860
Nature: Gothic chapel(1857-60) and adjoining 5-bay Gothic range(1857?) 'very probably' designed by Neville. Convent dedicated, Nov 1860. Contractor: Thomas Regan.
Refs: Dundalk Democrat, 27 Oct,15 Nov 1860 (B of I); John D’Alton & J. R. O’Flanagan, The History of Dundalk (1864), ? (B of I); Christine Casey & Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North Leinster (1993), 274

Building: CO. LOUTH, DUNDALK, NATIONAL SCHOOL
Date: 1849
Nature: Plan for same 'furnished gratuitously' by JN (Demolished)
Refs: Dundalk Democrat, 24 Nov 1849

Building: CO. LIMERICK, LIMERICK, O'CONNELL AVENUE, MOUNT ST VINCENT, CONVENT & ORPHANAGE
Date: 1851
Nature: New convent, chapel and orphanage in Early English and Tudor styles for Sisters of Mercy.  FS laid 5 Jul 1851. Occupied by Nov 1852. Contractor: Duggan & McLean ( £5,100);  total cost expected to be 'about' £6000.
Refs: MS letters & estimates, principally concerning plastering and finishing of convent, for sale by B. Weinreb Architectural Books Ltd, 1976 (Catalogue 31, no. 706); B 8, 26 Oct 1850, 512; 9, 21 Jun,19 Jul,9 Aug 1851, 393,453,502; 10, 3 Apr,27 Nov 1852, 219,757;  Civil Engineer and Architect's Journal 14, 30 Aug 1851, 469(illus.);  M. Lenihan, Limerick; its history and antiquities (1866), 494.

Building: CO. LIMERICK, LIMERICK, MULGRAVE STREET, CORN EXCHANGE
Date: 1852-53
Nature: 'Neville' (John, or Parke?) placed 2nd in competition (£35 prize)
Refs: B 10, 9 Oct 1852, 645

Building: CO. LOUTH, DROGHEDA, SCARLET STREET, GAOL
Date: 1852;1854;1858;
Nature: Adds. and alts.
Refs: B 10, 17 Jul 1852, 460; 12, 10 Jun 1854, 305; 16, 30 Jan 1858, 73; DB 3, 1 Mar 1861, 448

Building: CO. LOUTH, ARDEE, CONVENT OF MERCY
Date: 1855ca-57ca;1871
Nature: Gothic. Tenders for painting convent woodwork sought 1857. Carpenters' tenders for convent chapel sought 1871 Convent chapel dedicated 1873..
Refs: Estimate for plastering new convent at Ardee among papers of John Neville, c. 1851-63, in Ben Weinreb Architectural Books Ltd Catalogue 31 (1976), no. 706; Dundalk Democrat 16 May 1857 (advt. for tenders for painting woodwork); Drogheda Argus, 22 Apr 1871 (advt. for carpenters' tenders for chapel); IB 15, q Nov 1873, 298; Christine Casey, 'John Neville: Louth County Surveyor', County Louth Archaeological and Historical Journal 21, no. 1 (1985), 28-29(illus.); Christine Casey & Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North Leinster (1993), 119,Pl.126

Building: CO. LOUTH, DUNDALK, CROWE STREET, EXCHANGE & MARKET
Date: 1857;1858
Nature: Competition entrant. Winner of 2nd prize in first competition, 1857, and of 3rd prize in second, limited competition, 1858.
Refs: B 15, 18 Jul 1857, 409; 16, 1 May 1858, 291; DB 1, 1 Feb 1959, 19; Christine Casey, 'John Neville: Louth County Surveyor', County Louth Archaeological and Historical Journal 21, no. 1 (1985), 29-30; P.J. Geraghty, 'Urban improvement and the erection of municipal buildings in County Louth during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries', County Louth Archaeological and Historical Journal 25, no. 3 (1995), 314

Building: CO. LOUTH, SHANLIS HOUSE (ARDEE)
Date: 1858
Nature: Italianate villa, for Henry Milling.
Refs: Drawings and builder's account book in the possession of Stuart McKeever, Dowdstown, Co. Louth (2009);   Drogheda Argus 6 Feb 1868; Christine Casey, 'John Neville: Louth County Surveyor', County Louth Archaeological and Historical Journal 21, no. 1 (1985), 26-28; this may be the 'new house near Ardee' of which there is a pencil drawing among the collection of letters and estimates relating to Neville's practice c.1851-63 in B. Weinreb Architectural Books Ltd Catalogue 31 (1976), no 706; Christine Casey & Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North Leinster (1993), 121

Building: CO. TYRONE, OMAGH, BROOK STREET, LORETO CONVENT & SCHOOLS
Date: 1859
Nature: JN stated to be architect (i.e.supervising architect?) for new convent & schools. Builder: W. Doolin.
Refs: DB 1, 1 Sep 1859, 115

Building: CO. ROSCOMMON, ROSCOMMON, ST MARY'S CONVENT OF MERCY
Date: 1859-1861ca
Nature: To be built, 1859. In progress, 1860. Builder: Gardiner, Carrick-on-Shannon. Lawsuit anticipated, Feb 1862, re Gardiner's claim for payment of balance of contract witheld by Trustees as result of JN's refusal to certify that work had been properly completed.
Refs: DB 1, 1 Apr 1859, 43; 2, 1 Feb 1860, 204; 4, 1 Feb 1862, 34; B 18, 3 Mar 1860, 141

Building: CO. LOUTH, DROGHEDA, WEST STREET, THOLSEL
Date: 1861
Nature: About to be modified to plans by JN.
Refs: DB 3, 1 Mar 1861, 448; P.J. Geraghty, 'Urban improvement and the erection of municipal buildings in County Louth during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries', County Louth Archaeological and Historical Journal 25, no. 3, 306

Building: CO. LOUTH, DROGHEDA, WEST STREET, COURT HOUSE
Date: 1861
Nature: Tenders sought by Grand Jury for 'remodelling and altering the Drogheda Court-house according to plans and specifications prepared by J. Neville'.
Refs: P.J. Geraghty, 'Urban improvement and the erection of municipal buildings in County Louth during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries', County Louth Archaeological and Historical Journal 25, no. 3, 306

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CARLISLE BRIDGE (NEW)
Date: 1862
Nature: Competition entrant.
Refs: Brendan O'Donoghue, The Irish County Surveyors 1834-1944 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007),  266.

Building: CO. LOUTH, DROGHEDA, ST DOMINICK'S BRIDGE (1863)
Date: 1862-63
Nature: New cast-iron and timber bridge. Opened 1863. For Drogheda Corporation; 'one of the flimsiest structures of its kind'. Contractor: McCloud (who died immediately after completion of bridge). (Closed to traffice, 1872 and replaced by iron bridge in early 1890s.)
Refs: Plaque on bridge; B 20, 31 May, 21 Jun 1862, 396,439; 21, 15 Aug 1863, 583; DB4, 1 Mar 1862, 58; 5, 15 Jul 1863, 120;  Brendan O'Donoghue, The Irish County Surveyors 1834-1944 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007), 266

Building: CO. LOUTH, ARDEE, BRIDEWELL
Date: 1863
Nature: New.
Refs: Dundalk Democrat, 29 Aug 1863; Christine Casey, 'John Neville: Louth County Surveyor', County Louth Archaeological and Historical Journal 21, no. 1 (1985), 26; Christine Casey & Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North Leinster (1993), 117

Building: CO. LOUTH, DROGHEDA, ST MARY'S BRIDGE
Date: 1863-1868
Nature: New stone bridge of 80 ft span leading from railway to Shop St. First contractor, Buxton, of Leeds went bankrupt after failing to construct coffer dams.. 2nd contractor, Brennan & Costello, Dublin, finished early 1868, but bridge still not open to traffic in May 1868.(Rebuilt 1984)
Refs: DB 5, 1 Sep,1 Nov 1863, 148,181; 6, 15 Mar,1 Oct 1864, 49, 201; 7, 15 Aug 1865, ?; 8, 15 Jan,1 Mar,1 May 1866, 28,66,119; IB 10, 1 Mar,1 May,15 Jul 1868, 64,116,182

Building: CO. LOUTH, CARDISTOWN HOUSE (ARDEE)
Date: 1865
Nature: New house for Michael Caraher.
Refs: Dundalk Democrat, 29 Apr 1865; Christine Casey, 'John Neville: Louth County Surveyor', County Louth Archaeological and Historical Journal 21, no. 1 (1985), 28; Christine Casey & Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North Leinster (1993), 204, Pl.114

Building: CO. LOUTH, DUNDALK, CLANBRASSIL STREET, NO. 078 (N. MARTIN & CO.)
Date: 1868
Nature: New wine stores, for N. Martin & Co. Masonry by Nicholas Haughey. Plastering by Alexander Brown. Painting by Bernard Finnegan. Plumbing by P. Lamb.
Refs: IB 10, 15 Apr 1868, 96(illus.); Christine Casey, 'John Neville: Louth County Surveyor', County Louth Archaeological and Historical Journal 21, no. 1 (1985), 26(illus.);

Christine Casey & Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North Leinster (1993), 272


Building: CO. MEATH, OLDBRIDGE, OBELISK BRIDGE
Date: 1868-69
Nature: New single span iron lattice girder bridge replacing wooden bridge which collapsed in 1867. Responsibility for design of same shared by John Neville (as Co. Surveyor for Co. Louth) , Samuel Searanke (as Co. Surveyor for Co. Meath) and Alexander Tate, civil engineer (but only Neville's name appears on plaque on bridge). Contractor for prefabricated girders: Grendon & Co. 'The bridge…is gratecfully designed of iron and stone. Heavy piers of limestone at either end are united by latticed iron sides…The iron is painted so white that it proves an irresistible temptation to the younger visitors, who use it as an album for recording tender and political sentiments…' (Bassett)
Refs: Plaque on bridge; IB 9, 1 Jun 1867, 134; 10, 15 Jun 1868, 157; George Henry Bassett, Louth County Guide and Directory (1886), 127; R.C. Cox & M.H. Gould, Civil Engineering Heritage: Ireland (1998), 80-81(illus.);   Brendan O'Donoghue, The Irish County Surveyors 1834-1944 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007), 267 

Building: CO. LOUTH, DUNDALK, HARBOUR
Date: 1869
Nature: Improvements, including graving dock.
Refs: IB 11, 1 May,1 Nov 1869, 111,240

Building: CO. LOUTH, BALTRASNA (ARDEE)
Date: 1870ca
Nature: Attr. to JN by Casey in 1985 but not in 1993.
Refs: Christine Casey, 'John Neville: Louth County Surveyor', County Louth Archaeological and Historical Journal 21, no. 1 (1985), 28 (but see Christine Casey & Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North Leinster (1993),

Building: CO. LOUTH, DUNDALK, WATER SUPPLY
Date: 1881
Nature: Proposal for same submitted in competition (with Eugene O'Brien McSwiney).  Scheme by Richard Hassard adopted instead.
Refs: Brendan O'Donoghue, The Irish County Surveyors 1834-1944 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007), 269.

Building: CO. LOUTH, RATHBRIST (ARDEE)
Date: ?
Nature: Attr. to JN by Casey.
Refs: Christine Casey, 'John Neville: Louth County Surveyor', County Louth Archaeological and Historical Journal 21, no. 1 (1985), 28

Building: CO. LOUTH, DOWDSTOWN (ARDEE)
Date: ?
Nature: Possibly attributable to JN on basis of similarity to Shanlis House.
Refs: Christine Casey & Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North Leinster (1993), 120-121;  information from Stuart McKeever, 2009.

Author Title Date Details
Casey, Christine 'John Neville, Louth County Surveyor' 1985 County Louth Archaeological and Historical Journal 21 (1985), 23-30.
Neville, John 'Grand Jury Laws and County Public Works, Ireland' Dublin University Magazine, March 1846.
Neville, John 'On the pressure of water and the strength of coffer-dams'
1840 Civil Engineer & Architect's Journal 3 (Mar 1840), 78-83.
Neville, John 'Sutcliffe's patent rotatory pump and general lewis'
1840 Civil Engineer & Architect's Journal 3 (Aug, 1840), 273.
Neville, John 'Investigation of some formulae for finding the maximum amount of resistance required to sustain banks of earth' 1845 TICEI 1 (1844-45), 108.
Neville, John 'On the resistance requred to sustain banks of earh or other materials'
1845 Civil Engineer and Architect's Journal 8 (Aug 1845), 242 (see also Vol. 9 (Apr 1846), 109, and  (May 1846), 135).
Neville, John 'Grand Jury laws and county public works, Ireland' 1846 Dublin University Magazine 27, No. 159 (Mar 1846), 346-355.
Neville, John Hydraulic Tables, co-efficients, and formulae for finding the discharge of water from orifices, notches, weirs, pipes, and rivers 1853 London, 1853 (reviewd in Civil Engineer and Architect's Journal 16 (Jun 1853), 227-7); 2nd ed., London, 1860-61; 3rd ed.1875 (reviewed in IB 17, 15 Apr 1875, ?).
Neville, John Office Hydraulic Tables for the use of engineers engaged in Water-works, giving the discharges and dimensions of river channels and pipes 1854 [London, 1854.]
Neville, John Water Supply. Mr. Neville's Report. To the Town Commissioners of the County of the Town of Drogheda.
1855 N.p., n.d. [1855]. 8 pp. (Information from Noel Ross.);  also publised in Civil Engineer and Architect's Journal 19 (Jan 1856), 22-26.
Neville, John The Hydrodynamics of Blue Books and of the Metropolitan Drainage Reports 1858 Dublin: Alex. Thom & Sons, 1858.
Neville, John 'The Shannon Drainage' 1874 IB 16, 1 Nov 1874, 301. (Letter to editor.)