Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect and missionary, of Belfast. William Roome was born in Birmingham on 16 April 1865, the son of the Rev. W.J.B. Roome. He was educated at Mill Hill School, Hendon, before being articled to Thomas Wonnacutt of Farnham, Surrey, from 1884 to 1887. He also studied at  the Royal Academy Schools, where he won a scholarship, and at the Architectural Association. He set up in independent  practice in Maidenhead and London in 1890 and in 1895 he moved to Belfast,(1) where he entered into a short-lived partnership with HERBERT SYKES.& HERBERT SYKES.& nbsp;  From 1897 he practised on his own in Belfast. A man of strongly-held Christian convictions, his works reflect his involvement in philanthropic and improving projects. He designed several buildings for the Belfast developer and philanthropist A.W. Vance, and was secretary to Vance's Homes of Rest organization. He also designed a number of Soldiers' Homes in Ireland for Elise Sandes (1851-1934); these buildings, which were attached to barracks in Ireland, England and India, were intended to provide soldiers with opportunities for self-improvement and harmless recreation. Other commissions included a church, a large mission hall, several private houses and some industrial and commercial buildings; according to the Irish Builder, it was Roome who introduced the Hennebique system of ferro-concrete construction into the north of Ireland.(2)

In 1911 Roome formed a partnership with ROBERT STEVEN BOAG ROBERT STEVEN BOAG . He may have felt it necessary to do so because of his increasing interest in missionary work abroad, for it was in this year that he first went to Africa to visit missionary stations in the Sudan. In 1914 he gave up his architectural practice to make a second visit to Africa and in 1916 joined the staff of the British and Foreign Bible Society, which appointed him its agent in Kampala. During the following years he travelled vast distances in Africa on foot and by bicycle, collecting ethnographic material in addition to his missionary activities. According to his entry in Who's Who in Architecture for 1923, he designed some buildings in Africa in connection with his work. In 1928 he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, placing a bible just below the summit as a symbol of the pre-eminence of the Christian message for Africa. The following year he retired to Swanage in Dorset, where he spent his time writing books about his African experiences. He died on 31 March 1937 at Tangier, where he had gone to recuperate from illness brought on by overwork, though his family believed that his true desire was to lay his bones in African soil. He had married Grace, eldest daughter of Isaac J. Swan, a shipowner in Newcastle-on-Tyne, in 1901. There were two sons and three daughters of the marriage.

Roome's pupils and assistants included ALBERT J. CLARKE. ALBERT J. CLARKE.

RIAI: elected member, 20 April 1903, proposed by WILLIAM JOHN GILLILAND WILLIAM JOHN GILLILAND , seconded by WILLIAM JOHN& WILLIAM JOHN& nbsp; FENNELL  FENNELL and NICHOLAS FITZSIMONS NICHOLAS FITZSIMONS ;(3) ceased membership, 1918;(4) reinstated, 1919;(5) resigned, 1930.(6)
Society of Architects: elected member, 1894.(7)

Addresses:(8) Whitehall Buildings, Ann Street, Belfast, 1896;(9) Kingscourt, Wellington Place, Belfast, 1901ca->=1918.
Home: Meroc, Greenisland, Co. Antrim, 1902c-1928; Kur, Cecil Road, Swanage, Dorset, 1929 until death.

See WORKS; see also works of ROOME & ROOME & amp; BOAG.



References

All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the entry on Roome in R.M. Young, Belfast and the Province of Ulster(1909), 601, and Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 45-49. Both are illustrated with portrait photographs. Larmour's article also contains two photographs of Roome in Africa.

(1)
  Additional details about Roome's training and early career are from his application for membership of the RIAI, 1903, in IAA, RIAI office archives (Acc. 93/136), membership forms 1878-1909 (extremely fragile).
(2)
IB 47, 1 Jul 1905, 446; see also, Paul Larmour, 'A pioneering reinforced building in Belfast: Somerset's building in Hardcastle Street', Ulster Architect Sep 1984, 10-11.
(3)
See note 1, above.
(4)
JRIAI (1919), 10.
(5)
JRIAI (1920), 4.
(6)
JRIAI (1931), 16.
(7)
A.C. Freeman, ed., The Architect's & Surveyor's Directory & Referendum (1910), 185.
(8)
From RIAI lists of members unless otherwise attributed.
(9)
Directory of British Architects 1834-1914 (RIBA 2001), II, 502.


48 work entries listed in chronological order for ROOME, WILLIAM JOHN WATERMAN


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Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, SHANKILL ROAD, ALBERT HALL
Date: 1895-98
Nature: For Rev. Henry Montgomery. Large amphitheatre to seat about 2,000, medical mission , soup kitchent, 4 shops fronting road &c.. For Rev. Henry Mongomery. Designed 1895, FS laid 23 Oct 1897, and completed (in a simplified form) in 1923. Contractor: McLaughlin & Harvey.
Refs: Builder 73, 30 Oct,6 Nov 1897, 355,378; Building News 74, 4 Mar 1898, 305 (illus.); Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 45;  illus. in  Laurence Kirkpatrick, Presbyterians in Ireland: an illustrated history (Booklink, 2006), 157.


Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, ADELAIDE PARK, NO. 036
Date: 1898
Nature: Large half-timbered house, for William Clarke.
Refs: Paul Larmour, The Architectural Heritage of Malone & Stranmillis (UAHS, 1991), 27; Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 46

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, QUEEN STREET, WAREHOUSE
Date: 1898
Nature: New warehouse for John McCullough.
Refs: PRONI, W.H. Stephens & Sons papers, D1898/1/29

Building: CO. ANTRIM, LISBURN, MOIRA ROAD, ROSEVALE HOME
Date: 1898
Nature: Alterations and extensions to home for 'Fallen Young Women' , for T.J. Porter, engineer for committee in charge of home.
Refs: Plans by W.J.W.Roome in office of W.J. Law & Co., present (2017) occupants of building (information from J.K. Dean, Oct 2017).

Building: CO. DOWN, BANGOR, HAMILTON ROAD (& PROSPECT ROAD), PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (3RD)
Date: 1898-1899
Nature: New horseshoe shaped church to accommodate about 700 in course of erection. FS laid Jun 1898. Opened: Autumn, 1899. First ontractor: James Colville, Bangor. Clerk of works: Mr Bailey. Second contractor: McLaughlin & Harvey. Additional transept will give accommodation for a further 300. Opened 1899.
Refs: Building News 74, 10 Jun 1898, 814; IB 41, 1 Oct 1899, 140; 42, 1 Feb 1900, 256; Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 45-6,47(illus.); Marcus Patton, Bangor: an historical gazetteer (UAHS, 1999), 91

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, EGLANTINE AVENUE, NO. 049-65
Date: 1898-99
Nature: Red brick terrace, for A.W. Vance.
Refs: Paul Larmour, The Architectural Heritage of Malone & Stranmillis (UAHS, 1991), 62

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, MALONE AVENUE, NO. 062-114
Date: 1898-99
Nature: Red brick and roughcast terrace, for A.W. Vance, built in portions over 2-year period and showing minor variations in design..
Refs: Paul Larmour, The Architectural Heritage of Malone & Stranmillis (UAHS, 1991), 93-4

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, CASTLEREAGH ROAD (& LEITRIM STREET), MCQUISTON MEMORIAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH LECTURE HALL & SCHOOL
Date: 1898-99
Nature: New. FS laid, Jan? 1899.  'The general idea is that of an amphitheatre, with a central platform and classrooms radiating from the external wall towards this platform. Provision has thus been made for ten separate class-rooms, divided from each other by sliding partitions.'  Large lecture hall, committee room, offices, kitchen, &c. on ground floor. Contractor: William Dowling. lEC
Refs: PRONI, W.H. Stephens & Sons papers, D1898/1/29;  B 76, 28 Jan 1899, 98; Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 46.

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, MARLBOROUGH PARK CENTRAL, NO. 045 & 47
Date: 1899
Nature: Pair of red-brick semi-detached houses built by W.J.W.R for himself as developer.
Refs: Paul Larmour, The Architectural Heritage of Malone & Stranmillis (UAHS, 1991), 129

Building: CO. DOWN, BANGOR, DOWNSHIRE ROAD, HOMES OF REST
Date: 1899-1900
Nature: For A.W. Vance. 2 blocks, one for men and lads, one for mothers and children. Builder: James Kidd. Followed(?) by third block for cripples.
Refs: PRONI, W.H. Stephens & Sons papers, D1898/1/29; Building News 77, 8 Sep 1899, 298(illus.),300(illus.); IB 42, 1 Feb,15 Sep 1900, 256,482; Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 45; Marcus Patton, Bangor: an historical gazetteer (UAHS, 1999), 70

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, WELLINGTON PLACE, KINGSCOURT
Date: 1899p
Nature: Seven-storey building at corner of Queen's St (where WJWR established his office). For Alex King, coal merchant (Patton) or John McCulloch (Larmour (1991)). Foundations being piled in Oct 1899. Contractor: McLaughlin & Harvey.
Refs: IB 41, 1 Oct 1899, 140; Paul Larmour, The Architectural Heritage of Malone & Stranmillis (UAHS, 1991), 146; IB 41, 11 Oct 1899, 140; Marcus Patton, Central Belfast: an historical gazetteer (UAHS, 1993),334; Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 45(illus.),46;

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, ?, FACTORY (MILFORT WEAVING & FURNISHING CO.)
Date: 1900
Nature: Re-roofing. Contractor: McLaughlin & Harvey.
Refs: IB 42, 1 Feb 1900, 256

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, ?, ROBERT HOGG & CO.
Date: 1900
Nature: Remodelling of premises. Contractor: McLaughlin & Harvey.
Refs: IB 42, 1 Feb 1900, 256

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, MARLBOROUGH PARK CROSS AVENUE, NO. 011
Date: 1900
Nature: One of pair of semi-detached houses (with 60 Marlborough Pk S).
Refs: Paul Larmour, The Architectural Heritage of Malone & Stranmillis (UAHS, 1991), 133

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, MARLBOROUGH PARK SOUTH, NO. 060
Date: 1900
Nature: One of pair of semi-detached houses (with 11 Marlborough Pk Cross Ave).
Refs: Architect 44, 18 Aug 1890, 69(illus.); Paul Larmour, The Architectural Heritage of Malone & Stranmillis (UAHS, 1991), 133

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, SPRINGFIELD ROAD, MILL (MACKIE'S)
Date: 1900
Nature: New mill.
Refs: Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 46

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, DUBLIN ROAD, BANKMORE BUILDINGS
Date: 1900-1908
Nature: New shops and warehouse, for J. Thompson, TC.
Refs: PRONI, W.H. Stephens & Sons papers, D1898/1/34

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, DERAMORE DRIVE, NO. 022
Date: 1901
Nature: Red brick. Symmetrical.
Refs: Paul Larmour, The Architectural Heritage of Malone & Stranmillis (UAHS, 1991), 49(illus.), 51

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, OSBORNE GARDENS, NO. 006 (FAIRY HILL)
Date: 1901
Nature: Red brick and roughcast house for John McCulloch.
Refs: Paul Larmour, The Architectural Heritage of Malone & Stranmillis (UAHS, 1991), 146,149(illus.); Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 46

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, DERAMORE DRIVE, NO. 014 (TARA)
Date: 1902
Nature: Red brick and roughcast 'free style' house, for William Clarke.
Refs: Paul Larmour, The Architectural Heritage of Malone & Stranmillis (UAHS, 1991), 49(illus.),51; Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 46(illus.)

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, DERAMORE DRIVE, NO. 020
Date: 1902
Nature: Red brick and roughcast.
Refs: Paul Larmour, The Architectural Heritage of Malone & Stranmillis (UAHS, 1991), 49(illus.),51

Building: CO. ANTRIM, GREENISLAND, MEROC
Date: 1902
Nature: New house for himself, overlooking Belfast Lough.
Refs: Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 47,48(illus.)

Building: CO. LOUTH, DUNDALK, BARRACK STREET, SANDES SOLDIERS' HOME
Date: 1902a
Nature: Has just been erected. For Miss Elise Sandes. Contractor: S. Parks & Son, Dundalk. Clerk of Works: J. Shankey. Cost: £2,500.
Refs: IB 43, 5 Jun 1902, 1274; see Bryan MacMahon, 'Sandes Soldiers' Homes', Irish Sword Vol. 25, No. 1 (Summer, 2007), 243(illus.)

Building: CO. DOWN, HOLYWOOD, SANDES SOLDIERS' HOME
Date: 1903
Nature: New. Close to Holywood Barracks. For Miss Elise Sandes. FS laid 12 May 1903 by Duke of Connaught. Contractor: McLaughlin & Harvey (£3,000).
Refs: IB 45, 9 Apr,21 May 1903, 1700,1765; see Bryan MacMahon, 'Sandes Soldiers' Homes', Irish Sword Vol. 25, No. 1 (Summer, 2007), 241-256

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, ALBERT BRIDGE ROAD (MOUNTPOTTINGER), YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION
Date: 1903
Nature: New premises on corner of Templemore Ave with shops beneath. Design for 3 blocks but only block A (6 shops and accommodation) to be built initially at expected cost of approx. £12,000. FS laid 14 Oct 1903. Contractor: McLaughlin & Harvey.
Refs: PRONI, W.H. Stephens & Sons papers, D1898/1/41; IB 45, 19 Nov 1903, 2090-2091(illus.); B 85, 21 Nov 1903, 528-9

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, MANOR STREET, OUR BOYS' HALL
Date: 1903
Nature: House and hall designed by WJWR 1903 but not built until 1915.
Refs: Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 45

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, WELLINGTON PLACE, NO. 058 (CRYMBLE'S MUSIC SHOP)
Date: 1903
Nature: New shop front for M. Crymble, Ltd.
Refs: Marcus Patton, Central Belfast: an historical gazetteer (UAHS, 1993), 335,339(illus.); Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 46,47(illus.)

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, DONEGALL ROAD, PEOPLE'S PALACE
Date: 1903-04
Nature: To be built on site of Malone Felt Works. To cost: £12,000. WJW.Roome hon. secretary and architect. A section opened 1904. Contractor:McLaughlin & Harvey.
Refs: Building News 85, 23 Oct 1903, 544; IB 46, 8 Oct 1904, 664 or 670(illus. in supplement); B 87, 24 Dec 1904, 673; Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 45

Building: CO. WICKLOW, KILBRIDE, SANDES SOLDIERS' HOME
Date: 1903a
Nature: Timber, bungalow type building at Musketry Camp, containing coffee room, reading room, social room &c. For Miss Elise Sandes. Contractors: McLaughlin & Harvey, Belfast.
Refs: IB 45, 3 Dec 1903, (illus. in supplement.); see Bryan MacMahon, 'Sandes Soldiers' Homes', Irish Sword Vol. 25, No. 1 (Summer, 2007), 241-256

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, CHLORINE GARDENS, NO. 021
Date: 1904
Nature: Addition of porch.
Refs: Paul Larmour, The Architectural Heritage of Malone & Stranmillis (UAHS, 1991), 41-2

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, HARDCASTLE STREET, LINEN FACTORY (THOMAS SOMERSET & CO.)
Date: 1904
Nature: To be erected for Thos. Somerset & Co., linen manufacturers. Contractor: J. & R. Thompson (£12,000). One of first buildings in Ireland to use the Hennebique system of reinforced concrete construction.
Refs: IB 46, 17 Dec 1904, 862; Paul Larmour, Belfast: an illustrated architectural guide (1987), 73 (no. 163, illus.); Marcus Patton, Central Belfast: an historical gazetteer (UAHS, 1993), 180-189; Paul Larmour, 'A pioneering reinforced building in Belfast: Somerset's building in Hardcastle Street', Ulster Architect Sep 1984, 10-11; Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 46

Building: CO. ANTRIM, GREENISLAND, THE INGLES
Date: 1905
Nature: New house with Art Nouveau details.
Refs: Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 47

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, DONEGALL PASS, NO. 018 (GIRLS' FRIENDLY SOCIETY)
Date: 1906
Nature: New 5-storey building with red brick main front. Built using Hennebique system of reinforced concrete.
Refs: B 93, 30 Nov 1907, 621; Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 46

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, BLADON DRIVE, NO. 007
Date: 1907
Nature: New red brick and roughcast villa in a form of Queen Anne Revival style.
Refs: Paul Larmour, The Architectural Heritage of Malone & Stranmillis (UAHS, 1991), 35; Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 46

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, CLIFTONVILLE GARDEN ESTATE EXHIBITION
Date: 1907
Nature: WJWR's house for William Kerr on Plot 1 accorded second place but disqualified owing to excess of cost.
Refs: Building News 93, 5 Jul 1907, 31

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, CLIFTONVILLE GARDEN ESTATE EXHIBITION
Date: 1907
Nature: Wins second prize in Class I (house costing no more than £240) for house built to his design by William Kerr, 'but owing to excess of cost, was disqualified from a place among the prizewinners'.
Refs: Building News 93, 5,26 Jul 1907, 31,107(illus.)

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, ORMEAU AVENUE, WAREHOUSE (RIDGEWAY, GREAVES & CO.)
Date: 1907-8
Nature: New 4-storey linen factory using Hennebique system of reinforced concrete. Under construction Dec 1907.
Refs: IB 49, 28 Dec 1907, 893; 51, 9 Jan 1909, 18; Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 46

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, KNOCKBREDA ROAD UPPER, NO. 013
Date: 1908
Nature: New red brick and roughcast villa.
Refs: Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 46

Building: CO. ANTRIM, GREENISLAND, UPPER ROAD, BEN VIEUNE (LAWNSIDE)
Date: 1908ca
Nature: Designed by WJWR for his father.
Refs: Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 47

Building: CO. ARMAGH, PORTADOWN, THOMAS STREET, HOUSES & SHOPS (004)
Date: 1909
Nature: Contractor: Collen Bros.
Refs: IB: 51, 24 Dec 1909, 469

Building: CO. KILDARE, NEWBRIDGE, MAIN STREET, MILITARY BARRACKS, SANDES SOLDIERS' HOME
Date: 1909
Nature: Designs for same. For Miss Elise Sandes. (But building actually erected to designs of Edwin Bradbury.)
Refs: IB 51, 18 Sep,2 Oct 1909, 597,630; see Bryan MacMahon, 'Sandes Soldiers' Homes', Irish Sword Vol. 25, No. 1 (Summer, 2007), 241-256

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, ?, PROSPECT MILL
Date: 1911
Nature: Works at same.
Refs: Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 46

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, ?, CLARENDON MILL
Date: 1911
Nature: Works at same.
Refs: Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 46

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, MARLBOROUGH PARK CROSS AVENUE, NO. 001
Date: 1912
Nature: New house for A.C. Browne..
Refs: Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 47; Paul Larmour, The Architectural Heritage of Malone & Stranmillis (UAHS, 1991), 129

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, MARLBOROUGH PARK CROSS AVENUE, NO. 007
Date: 1913
Nature: New. For A.C. Browne.
Refs: Paul Larmour, The Architectural Heritage of Malone & Stranmillis (UAHS, 1991), 129; Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 47

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, MYRTLEFIELD PARK, NO. 051
Date: 1913
Nature: Plain Arts & Crafts style house, for H. Riddell.
Refs: Paul Larmour, The Architectural Heritage of Malone & Stranmillis (UAHS, 1991), 139; Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 47

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, GREAT VICTORIA STREET, NO. 019-24 (KINEMA HOUSE)
Date: 1913-14
Nature: New cinema on site of Great Northern Railway terminus. Half-timbered old English style. Contractor: McRoberts & Armstrong.
Refs: IB 56, 17 Jan 1914, 47; Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 47,49(illus.)

Building: CO. ANTRIM, GREENISLAND, KNOCKAGH RESIDENTIAL ESTATE (PROPOSED)
Date: ?
Nature: Proposal for scheme of detached villas arranged round tennis courts. Unexecuted.
Refs: Paul Larmour, 'From building site to mission field', Perspective May/June 1997, 47