Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect and engineer, of Derry City. Matthew Alexander Robinson was born in Ballykelly, Co. Derry, on 26 March 1872, the eldest son of the Rev. William C. Robinson, Presbyterian minister, of Ballykelly and a brother of JAMES MOORE CALDWELL ROBINSON JAMES MOORE CALDWELL ROBINSON . He was educated at Ballykelly National School, Limavady Intermediate School and Foyle College, Derry. After serving his apprenticeship with YOUNG & YOUNG & amp; MACKENZIE  MACKENZIE in Belfast, then working as an assistant to  JOHN LANYON  JOHN LANYON and PETER CHALMERS COWAN  PETER CHALMERS COWAN and as clerk of works for the building of the Slieve Donard Hotel, designed by JAMES JOSEPH FARRALL JAMES JOSEPH FARRALL , he set up in practice in Derry in 1898.(1) A number of public appointments soon followed: as architect to the Derry Board of Guardians, to the District Asylum and to the Temperance Council, and as engineer to the Derry No. 1 Rural District Council. On 23 February 1909 he was elected city surveyor, engineer and architect for Derry City from among fifty candidates.(2) His salary as city surveyor was increased by £200 per annum in 1915.(3)

Robinson died early in 1929 after an illness lasting only a few days. According to his obituary in the Irish Builder, 'it was the generally expressed opinion of the citizens that the deceased had over-spent his strength in a tireless devotion to the excessively burdensome duties of his dual office'. He had married Isabella, daughter of C. McClurg of Downpatrick in 1898 and had two daughters.(4) The year after his death the Corporation granted his widow a gratuity of £2,200, the equivalent of two years of his salary.(5) His pupils and assistants included JAMES VALENTINE JOHNSTON  JAMES VALENTINE JOHNSTON and HENRY MITCHELL.  HENRY MITCHELL.

RIAI: elected member, 1899, having been proposed by James Joseph Ferrall and seconded by WALTER GLYNN DOOLIN.  WALTER GLYNN DOOLIN. (6)
Surveyors' Institute: member by 1900.(7)
Royal Sanitary Institute: member.
Royal Meteorological Society: fellow.

Addresses: Work:(8) Richmond Street, Derry, <=1899-1909; Guildhall, Derry, 1909->=1928.
Home: 4 Crawford Square, Derry, <=1909->=1911.(9)

See WORKS.



References

All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from IAA, RIAI office archives (Acc. 93/136), membership forms 1878-1909 (extremely fragile), the biography of Robinson in Robert M. Young, Belfast and the Province of Ulster (1909), 601, which is illustrated with a portrait photograph, and the brief obituary in IB 71, 2 Mar 1929, 186.

(1) IAA, RIAI office archives (Acc. 93/136), membership forms 1878-1909 (extremely fragile). 
(2) IB 51, 6 Mar,17 Apr 1909, 154,225.
(3) Building News 109, 25 Aug 1915, 224.
(4) Information from Young, op. cit., above; he may eventually have had more children.
(5) IB 72, 16 Aug 1930, 709.
(6) IAA, RIAI office archives (Acc. 93/136), as above.
(7) IB 42, 15 Oct 1900, 510.
(8) See note 5, above.
(9) 1911 census of Ireland, http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/ (last visited Oct 2009).


52 work entries listed in chronological order for ROBINSON, MATTHEW ALEXANDER


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Building: CO. DERRY, DERRY, PARK AVENUE, PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH *
Date:
Nature: see above, CO. DERRY, DERRY, NORTHLAND RD, CLAREMONT PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Refs:

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWCASTLE, SLIEVE DONARD HOTEL
Date: 1896-98
Nature: MAR clerk of works for same.
Refs: IAA, RIAI office archives (Acc. 93/136), membership forms 1878-1909 (extremely fragile)

Building: CO. DERRY, DERRY, EBRINGTON, PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH HALL
Date: 1899
Nature: Lecture hall completed after Barker's death by M.A. Robinson. Contractor: Robert Colhoun, Strand Rd.
Refs: IB 41, 15 Nov 1899, 185; (?42, 15 Aug 1900, 451); W.S. Ferguson, A.J. Rowan, J.J. Tracey, Historic Buildings…in and near the City of Derry (1970), 34; Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster (1979), 388

Building: CO. DERRY, DERRY, BROOK PARK
Date: 1899-1900
Nature: Plans, 1899. Boundary wall, railings, gates, 1900. Contractor for latter: William Cooke, Miller St..
Refs: IB 42, 1 Mar,15 Nov 1900, 292,548

Building: CO. DERRY, DERRY, UNION WORKHOUSE
Date: 1899-1900
Nature: Infirmary to be extended by addition of wings to rear for sanitary annexes. To cost about £2,000. For Londonderry Board of Guardians.
Refs: IB 41, 1 Dec 1899, 199; 42, 1 Mar 1900, 292

Building: CO. DERRY, BANAGHER, DISPENSARY & RESIDENCE
Date: 1900
Nature: -
Refs: IB 42, 15 Apr 1900, 334

Building: CO. DERRY, DERRY, GREAT JAMES'S STREET, 3RD PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Date: 1900
Nature: Obelisk and memorial table in memory of J.M. Rodgers, DD. Contractor: James Haslett, Carlisle Rd. Also heating,lighting and ventilation.
Refs: IB 42, 1 Apr,15 Oct,15 Nov 1900, 324,510,548

Building: CO. DERRY, DERRY, WATER STREET, TEMPERANCE CAFÉ
Date: 1900
Nature: To be built for Derry Temperance Council. Tenders invited.
Refs: IB 42, 15 Nov 1900, 545(or 543?); B 79, 24 Nov 1900, 475

Building: CO. TYRONE, SIXMILECROSS, MANSE
Date: 1900
Nature: Tenders invited for carrying out alts. & adds. to church and manse.
Refs: B 78, 17 Mar 1900, 278; IB 42, 1 Apr 1900, 324

Building: CO. TYRONE, SIXMILECROSS, PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Date: 1900
Nature: Reseating, renovation. Contractor: John Thompson, Newmills, Dungannon..
Refs: B 78, 17 Mar 1900, 278; IB 42, 1 Apr,15 Nov 1900, 324,545

Building: CO. DERRY, DERRY, GREENBANK, PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Date: 1900
Nature: Reroofing & new ceiling. Contractor: W.G. Macney, Strand Rd.
Refs: Architect 63, 29 Jun 1900, suppl. p.8; IB 42, 15 Nov 1900, 549

Building: CO. DONEGAL, LETTERKENNY, SHIRT FACTORY (MCINTYRE, HOGG, MARSH & CO.)
Date: 1900
Nature: New. Contractor: Robert Colhoun, Derry.
Refs: IB 41, 15 Nov 1899, 185; 42, 1 Mar 1900, 292

Building: CO. DERRY, FAUGHANVALE, PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Date: 1900
Nature: Boundary walls, gates, &c.
Refs: IB 42, 15 Feb,1 Mar 1900, 286,294

Building: CO. DERRY, BANAGHER, PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH LECTURE HALL
Date: 1900
Nature: New lecture hall in grounds of church. Contractor: J. Deeny, Dungiven (£700)
Refs: IB 42, 15 Apr,15 Aug,15 Nov 1900, 334,458,543; Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster (1979), 294

Building: CO. DERRY, DERRY, INFIRMARY ROAD, COUNTY INFIRMARY
Date: 1900
Nature: Adds. Tenders invied Mar 1900.
Refs: B 78, 3 Mar 1900, ?

Building: CO. DERRY, DERRY, UNION WORKHOUSE
Date: 1900-03
Nature: Adds. & alts. to nurses' apartments at infirmary. Contr: Robert Colhoun. For Londonderry Board of Guardians.
Refs: B 78, 3 Mar 1900, 224; IB 42, 15 Nov 1900, 548; 44, 23 Oct,20 Nov,4 Dec 1902, 1452,1490,1506; 45, 30 Jul,13 Aug 1903, 1904,1932

Building: CO. OFFALY, BANAGHER, LECTURE HALL
Date: 1900p
Nature: To be erected in grounds of Presbyterian church. Toncost about £900.
Refs: IB 42, 15 Aug 1900, 451; Architect 64, 6 Jul 1900, suppl. p.15

Building: CO. DERRY, DERRY, ?, LECTURE HALL
Date: 1901
Nature: Alts.
Refs: IB 43, 4 Jul 1901, 784

Building: CO. DONEGAL, GLENCROW (MOVILLE), HOUSE
Date: 1901
Nature: Tenders invited for erecting same.
Refs: B 81, 24 Aug 1901, 182

Building: CO. DERRY, BROIGHTER (LIMAVADY), HOUSE
Date: 1901
Nature: Tenders invited for erecting house for Rev. W. Kane.
Refs: B 80, 4 May 1901, 454

Building: CO. DERRY, DONAGHEADY, PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Date: 1901
Nature: Tenders invited for building works.
Refs: IB 43, 13 Feb 1901, 638; B 80, 16 Feb 1901, 172

Building: CO. DERRY, DERRY, MARLBOROUGH ST
Date: 1901
Nature: Extension & completionof Marlborough St and Beechwood Ave.
Refs: IB 43, 24 Oct 1901, 906

Building: CO. DERRY, DERRY, WATERLOO STREET, NO. 044-46 (IRVINE'S PRINTING WORKS)
Date: 1902
Nature: 3-storey, with half hexagonal red-brick piers and bay windows. Builder: J. Ballantine.
Refs: W.S. Ferguson, A.J. Rowan, J.J. Tracey, Historic Buildings…in and near the City of Derry (1970), 44 (no.111)

Building: CO. DERRY, DERRY, BISHOP STREET, COUNTY COURT HOUSE
Date: 1902
Nature: Alts. & repairs.
Refs: IB 44, 8 May 1902, 1241

Building: CO. DERRY, BALLYARTON, CREAMERY
Date: 1902
Nature: New. Tenders received.
Refs: IB 43, 19 Jun,3,17 Jul 1902, 1290,1306,1326

Building: CO. DERRY, SHANTALLOW, WATER SUPPLY
Date: 1902-03
Nature: Deepening of well, new pump. For Londonderry No. 1 RDC.
Refs: IB 44, 11 Sep 1902, 1404; 45, 29 Jan 1903, 1578

Building: CO. DERRY, GRANSHA, DISTRICT LUNATIC ASYLUM (NEW)
Date: 1902-1905
Nature: New block of buildings 'which forms a most interesting architectural feature of a delightful landscape'. 1st sod cut, 1 Jun 1903. Completed by May 1905. Contractor: McLaughlin & Harvey, Belfast.
Refs: IB 44, 2 Jul,23 Oct,6,20 Nov,4 Dec 1902, 422,1446,1470,1490,1506; 45, 12 Mar 1903, 1632; 46, 16 Jan,12 Mar,2 Jul,13 Aug,10,24 Sep,19 Nov,31 Dec 1904, 22,158,422,526,586,624,786,886; 47, 20 May 1905, 350; 53rd Report on District, Criminal and Private Lunatic Asylums (1905), 583

Building: CO. DONEGAL, RATHMULLEN, WATERWORKS
Date: 1903
Nature: Extension of pipe line.
Refs: IB 45, 24 Sep 1903, 2002

Building: CO. DERRY, CLAUDY, CEMETERY
Date: 1903
Nature: Fences, roadways, pathway at new cemetery, for Derry No. 1 RDC.
Refs: IB 45, 29 Jan,12 Feb 1903, 1576,1596

Building: CO. DERRY, DERRY, NORTHLAND ROAD, CLAREMONT PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Date: 1903-05
Nature: New Gothic church replacing Park Ave Presbyterian Mission Hall. To seat 500 with provision made for later addition of galleries. Completed early summer 1905. Builder: Robert Colhoun, Strand Road. FS laid May 1904?
Refs: IB 45, 12,26 Feb,16 Jul 1903, 1596,1618,1860; 46, 7 May 1904, 286; 47, 3 Jun 1905, 382(illus.); B 86, 30 Apr 1904, 472; W.S. Ferguson, A.J. Rowan, J.J. Tracey, Historic Buildings…in and near the City of Derry (1970), 30(no.59); Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster (1979), 388

Building: CO. DERRY, DERRY, PARK AVENUE, ROSEMOUNT FACTORY
Date: 1904
Nature: 4-storey red brick building, classical in conception. Contractor: H. Laverty & Son, Belfast.
Refs: W.S. Ferguson, A.J. Rowan, J.J. Tracey, Historic Buildings…in and near the City of Derry (UAHS, 1970), 47(no.123); Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster (1979), 401

Building: CO. DERRY, GRANSHA, DISTRICT LUNATIC ASYLUM (NEW)
Date: 1904;1906;1908
Nature: 4 attendants' houses, 1904 (Contractor: Crooks & Ferguson, Derry, £1168.12s); heating, 1906; alts. & imps., weighbridge, 1908
Refs: IB 46, 16 Jan,12 Mar,2 Jul,13 Aug,19 Nov,31 Dec 1904, 22,158,422,526,786,886; 48, 13 Jan,22 Sep 1906, 34,782; 50, 11 Jan,5 Sep 1908, ?, 552

Building: CO. DERRY, DERRY, NORTHLAND ROAD, MAGEE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE
Date: 1905
Nature: Adds. & alts.
Refs: IB 47, 21 Oct 1905, 746

Building: CO. DONEGAL, CONVOY, CONVOY WOOLLEN CO.
Date: 1905
Nature: Alts. & adds. Contractor: H. Laverty & Sons, Belfast (£8,108).
Refs: IB 47, 6 May,3 Jun,29 Jul 1905, 314,394,534

Building: CO. DONEGAL, ST JOHNSTOWN, MASONIC HALL
Date: 1905-06
Nature: New. Contractor: R. J. Fleming. Cost: £600.
Refs: IB 47, 6 May 1905, 314; 48, 10 Mar 1906, 198

Building: CO. DERRY, DERRY, DIAMOND, AUSTIN'S DEPARTMENT STORE
Date: 1906
Nature: Rebuilding after fire; 'an imaginative, flamboyant design, with bold modelling which admirably expresses the function of the place'.
Refs: W.S. Ferguson, A.J. Rowan, J.J. Tracey, Historic Buildings…in and near the City of Derry (1970),20(no. 22)

Building: CO. DONEGAL, KILLEA, CEMETERY
Date: 1906
Nature: Drainage.
Refs: IB 48, 14 Jul,20 Oct 1906, 577,861

Building: CO. DERRY, DERRY, FERRYQUAY STREET, CARNEGIE LIBRARY
Date: 1906-09
Nature: Proposed new library 'in the style of the Italian renaissance'. Not executed.
Refs: IB 48, 24 Feb,29 Dec 1906, 154,1046(illus.); 51, 9 Jan 1909, 18;  Brendan Grimes, Irish Carnegie Libraries: a catalogue and architectural history (1998), 24.

Building: CO. DERRY, PARK, WATER SUPPLY
Date: 1907
Nature: -
Refs: IB 49, 4 May 1907, 334

Building: CO. DERRY, DERRY, CRAWFORD SQUARE, DOMESTIC SCIENCE SCHOOL
Date: 1907
Nature: New school, adjacent to Victoria High School, for Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction. 46 ft frontage, 76 ft deep. 'feature...will be the fine circular bay windows which will give a flood of light to all the apartments'.. Tenders invited Feb 1907.
Refs: B 92, 2 Feb 1907, 136; IB 49, 9 Feb,1 Jun 1907, 100,394

Building: CO. DERRY, PENNYBURN, DRAINAGE
Date: 1907-08
Nature: Drainage, sewerage for Shantallow, Ballynashallog and Pennyburn districts. For Londonderry District Council.
Refs: IB 49, 5 Oct 1907, 702; 50, 25 Jan,21 Mar 1908, 37,190

Building: CO. DERRY, BALLYNASHALLOG, DRAINAGE
Date: 1907-08
Nature: Drainage, sewerage for Shantallow, Ballynashallog and Pennyburn districts. For Londonderry District Council.
Refs: IB 49, 5 Oct 1907, 702; 50, 25 Jan,21 Mar 1908, 37,190

Building: CO. DERRY, SHANTALLOW, DRAINAGE
Date: 1907-08
Nature: Drainage, sewerage for Shantallow, Ballynashallog and Pennyburn districts, 1907-8. For Londonderry District Council.
Refs: IB 49, 5 Oct 1907, 702; 50, 25 Jan,21 Mar 1908, 37,190

Building: CO. DERRY, DERRY, UNION WORKHOUSE
Date: 1907-08
Nature: Alts. & imps. Sanitary annexes. External iron fire escape stairs. For Londonderry Union Board of Guardians.
Refs: IB 49, 18 May 1907, 369; 50, 11 Jan,8 Aug 1908, 21,493

Building: CO. DERRY, BALTEAGH, PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Date: 1907-08
Nature: Renovation of church dating from 1820s. Cost £950. Contractor: David Warke, Limavady. Work included reflooring, reseating, new pitch pine ceiling, removal of interior vestibule and construction of new vestibule outside. New windows of 'semi-Gothic design'. Church reopened, 21 Jun 1908..
Refs: IB 49, 4 May 1907, 326; 50, 27 Jun 1908, 405;  Julia E. Mullin, The Presbytery of Limavady (Limavady: North-West Books, 1989), 44.

Building: CO. DERRY, CASTLEROCK, GOLF HOTEL
Date: 1908
Nature: Reopened after extensive alts, including introduction of acetylene gas lighting. Furnishing by Millar & Beatty, Dublin. Contractor: Ballantine, Ltd.
Refs: IB 50, 27 Jun 1908, 405

Building: CO. DERRY, DERRY, SHIPQUAY PLACE, GUILDHALL
Date: 1909-1912
Nature: Rebuilding after destruction by fire on Easter Day 1908. Opened 10 Jan 1912. Builder: Henry Laverty & Sons, Belfast.
Refs: IB 50, 31 Oct 1908, 671; 51, 4 Sep,2 Oct,11 Dec 1909, 565,629,787; 52, 5 Mar,2 Sep 1910, 150,550,554(illus.); 53, 23 Dec 1911, 843; 54, 14 Sep 1912, (illus. in suppl.); IA & C 1, 4 Feb 1911, 30; W.S. Ferguson, A.J. Rowan, J.J. Tracey, Historic Buildings…in and near the City of Derry (1970), 35(no. 74)

Building: CO. DERRY, DERRY, WATER SUPPLY
Date: 1915-1929
Nature: Banagher water scheme proposed by MAR in 1915 and still in progress at time of his death in 1929.
Refs: Building News 108, 30 Apr 1915, 512; IB 71, 2 Mar 1929, 186

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CHANCERY STREET, NO. 019-20
Date: 1924
Nature: Reconstruction.
Refs: IB 66, 13 Dec 1924, 1057

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, BRUNSWICK STREET NORTH, NO. 077-91 (CHRISTIAN BROTHERS' SCHOOLS)
Date: 1924-25
Nature: Extension of annexe, new sanitary block.
Refs: IB 66, 17 May 1924, 445; 67, 10 Jan 1925, 13

Building: CO. DUBLIN, BLACKROCK, HOUSE
Date: 1925
Nature: New villa.
Refs: IB 67, 18 Apr 1925, 313

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, RATHFARNHAM, CASTLE GOLF CLUB
Date: 1925
Nature: New.
Refs: IB 67, 30 May 1925, 446