Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect, of Belfast. John Seeds, a younger son of Robert Seeds, house and land agent, of 4 Grasmere Terrace, Hopefield, Belfast, was born in Belfast on 8 June 1881 and was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and, from September 1894 until July 1896, at the newly-founded Campbell College, Belfast.(1) His architectural training is not recorded. He appears to have established an independent practice in Belfast by 1907(2) and by 1909 had an office at 7 Donegall Square West (in the Scottish Provident Buildings), where he was to remain for the rest of his career. His output, as reflected in the pages of the Irish Builder, consisted chiefly of domestic and commercial work and Congregational churches. He was assessor of the Enniskillen Masonic Hall competition in 1930.(3) In the same year he delivered an address on town and country planning to the Womens' Citizens Union in Belfast.(4) He retired in 1961 and died on 18 November 1966.(5)   He was unmarried at the time of the 1911 census.

Seeds had a lifelong interest in Irish antiquities and in 1934 was appointed the RIBA's representative on the ancient monuments advisory committee for Northern Ireland. Commenting on the appointment, the Irish Builder noted that he had made surveys of three ruined churches at Loughinisland, Co. Down, published in the Ulster Journal of Archaeology, and of the abbeys of Killydonnell and Balleghan in Co. Donegal, and had 'continued his researches in the Hebrides where he goes nearly every summer in his yacht'.(6) As a member of the advisory committee's Georgian subcommittee he made a survey of Georgian architecture in the six counties. A collection of photographs and other documents relating to his survey is in the Monuments and Buildings Record of the Northern Ireland Department of the Environment.(7) He was also a member of the Northern Ireland committee of the National Trust.

Seeds's pupils included THOMAS CALLENDER. THOMAS CALLENDER.

RIBA: elected fellow, 1928.(8)
RSUA: member for over 60 years at the time of his death in 1966 or 1967;(9) president, 1926, 1927;(10) representative of the society on the Architects' Registration Council of the United Kingdom, 1939;(11) representative of the society on the Northern Ireland Planning Advisory Board from 1942.(12)

Addresses: Work: 7 Donegall Square West, 1909(13) onwards.
Home: 67 Cavehill Road, Clifton, Belfast, 1911;  24 Downview Avenue, Belfast, 1957(14) until death.

See WORKS.



References

All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from Directory of British Architects 1834-1914 (RIBA 2001), II, 577.

(1) Information from Keith Haines, Campbell College archivist. According to this source, he had an elder brother, James Seeds (11879-1954) who was an estate agent.
(2) Paul Larmour, The Architectural Heritage of Malone & Stranmillis (UAHS, 1991), 97.
(3) IB 72, 29 Mar 1930, 287; 74, 31 Dec 1932, 1158; Architect & Building News 124, 25 Apr 1930, 525.
(3) IB 72, 22 Nov 1930, 1038.
(4) RSUA Year Book (1968), 78.
(5) See note 1, above.
(6) IB 76, 10 Mar 1934, 185.
(7) Seeds Collection, Y92237/ARC (on loan from PRONI).
(8) RIBA Kalendar 1957-1958, 479.
(9) See note 3, above.
(10) According to list of past office bearers in RSUA Jubilee Year Book 1951-1952, 5, Seeds was president in 1927 only, but see IB 68, 20 Feb 1926, 138 and IB 70, 21 Jan 1928, 75, also IB 81, 2 Sep 1939, 744.
(11) IB 81, 24 Jun 1939, 540.
(12) Belinda Jupp, introduction to Seeds Collection list, see note 6 above.
(13) IB 51, 25 Dec 1909, 818.
(14) See note 5, above.


51 work entries listed in chronological order for SEEDS, JOHN


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Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, TENNENT STREET, J. WHITE MEMORIAL CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
Date: 1903;1928-30
Nature: New church 'in the style of the Classic Renaissance'. Red brick with Giffnock stone dressings. Contract price: £1,800. FS laid late Summer, 1903. Gallery added 1930.
Refs: B 85, 10 Oct 1908, 368; IB 70, 4 Aug 1928, 672; 72. 15 Mar 1930, 251

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, MALONE PARK, NO. 016 & 18 (WOOLSEY VILLAS)
Date: 1907
Nature: Addition of roughcast gabled central bays to pair of semi-detached houses of 1871
Refs: Paul Larmour, The Architectural Heritage of Malone & Stranmillis (UAHS, 1991), 97

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, MILLFIELD, NO. 064-84 (FARMERS' YARD)
Date: 1909
Nature: New farmers' yard, with stabling for 60 horses and vehicles, dining room, stores, 'little short of a farmers' paradise'. For Mssrs. Kelly, Millfield, Belfast.
Refs: IB 51, 29 May 1909, 341; Marcus Patton, Central Belfast: an historical gazetteer (UAHS, 1993), 236

Building: CO. ARMAGH, PORTADOWN, THOMAS STREET, HOUSES & SHOPS (004)
Date: 1909
Nature: 8 houses & shops in Thomas St completed; 4 designed by J. Seeds (Contractor: Collen Bros.), 4 by J.W. Walby (Contractor: R. Lutton).
Refs: IB 51, 24 Jul 1909, 469

Building: CO. DOWN, BALLYNAHINCH, DROMARA ROAD, INDEPENDENT CHURCH
Date: 1909-1910
Nature: New church opposite Montalto demesne. Red brick with Giffnock stone dressings. FS laid 20 Oct 1909. Completed Sep? 1910. Replaced iron structure destroyed by heavy snowstorm in 1908. Builder: Thomas McKelvey, Ballynahinch (£1000)
Refs: IB 51, 23 Jan,29 May,13 Nov 1909, 49,341,725; 52, 1 Oct,12 Nov 1910, 615,700

Building: CO. ANTRIM, LARNE, CURRAN ROAD, CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
Date: 1909-1910
Nature: Tenders invited Dec 1909. Completed by Oct 1910. Belfast brick & Giffnoch stone. Builder: Hewett & Clark, Ballyhackamore. Cost: £930.
Refs: IB 51, 11,25 Dec 1909, 790,818; 52, 30 Apr,1 Oct 1910, 281,613(illus.); B 97, 25 Dec 1909, 704

Building: CO. ANTRIM, LARNE, POUND STREET, GETTY MISSION HALL
Date: 1910
Nature: Tenders invited for repairs, alts. & adds.
Refs: IB 52, 19 Mar,30 Apr 1910, 182,277

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, LANCASTER STREET, GRACEY BROS.
Date: 1911
Nature: New business premises, stores. Contractor: C. & W. McQuoid, Roden St.
Refs: IA & C 1, 4 Mar 1911, 74; IB 53, 4,18 Mar 1911, 146,178

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, BEERSBRIDGE ROAD, BELFAST CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY
Date: 1913
Nature: Taenders invited for erecting new premises.
Refs: IB 55, 11 Oct 1913, 656

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, DOWNVIEW AVENUE, HOUSE
Date: 1919
Nature: Tenders invited for erecting villa.
Refs: IB 61, 20 Dec 1919, 578

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, HAWTHORNDEN ROAD, KNOCK RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB
Date: 1919
Nature: Tenders invited for erecting memorial stand and pavilion.
Refs: IB 61, 13 Sep 1919, 394

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, NEWFORGE LANE, NO. 029 (THE CRAGS)
Date: 1920
Nature: 'A fine grey roughcast house in a plain Arts & Crafts style'
Refs: Paul Larmour, The Architectural Heritage of Malone & Stranmillis (UAHS, 1991), 141

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, SYDENHAM ROAD, FACTORY
Date: 1920
Nature: Tenders invited for erection of same.
Refs: IB 62, 3 Jan 1920, 18

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, ?, WAREHOUSE (WILSON, JORDAN & ALEXANDER)
Date: 1923
Nature: Tenders invited for erection of same.
Refs: IB 65, 21 Apr 1923, 301

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, BALMORAL AVENUE, HOUSE
Date: 1923
Nature: Villa for Mr A.W. Stewart. (Is this no 83?)
Refs: IB 65, 15 Dec 1923, 972

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, BALMORAL AVENUE, NO. 083 (KILLEARN)
Date: 1923
Nature: Arts & Crafts style house.
Refs: Paul Larmour, The Architectural Heritage of Malone & Stranmillis (UAHS, 1991), 31

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, DOWNSHIRE AVENUE, HOUSE
Date: 1923
Nature: New house, for Mssrs. R. Seeds & Son. Plans approved.
Refs: IB 65, 11 Aug 1923, 620

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, LANSDOWNE ROAD, HOUSE
Date: 1923
Nature: Extension, for Mr A.H. Muir. Plans approved.
Refs: IB 65, 14 Jul 1923, 544

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, UNIVERSITY STREET, GARAGE (CHAMBERS MOTOR CO.)
Date: 1923-24;1926
Nature: Plans approved for new garages.
Refs: IB 65, 20 Oct 1923, 812; 66, 26 Jan 1924, 66; 68, 9 Jan 1926, 21

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, AGNES STREET, PREMISES
Date: 1924
Nature: Addition.
Refs: IB 66, 17 May 1924, 442

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, ANTRIM ROAD, SHOP & STORES
Date: 1924
Nature: New.
Refs: IB 66, 12 Jan 1924, 25

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, DALTON STREET, PREMISES
Date: 1924
Nature: Alts. or reconstruction.
Refs: IB 66, 9,23 Aug 1924, 690,739

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, DOWNVIEW AVENUE, HOUSES (002)
Date: 1924
Nature: 2 new villas.
Refs: IB 66, 20 Sep 1924, 821

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, HARBERTON ESTATE
Date: 1924
Nature: JS involved in Malone Road Improvement and building of roads and footpaths, laying sewers, etc, on Lord Harberton's estate at Malone.
Refs: Letters from JS and others, estimates, etc, relating to above, 1924, in PRONI, D971/33/C/6 (see PRONI e-catalogue).

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, BROOMHILL PARK, NO. 003
Date: 1925
Nature: Arts & Crafts style house.
Refs: IB 67, 27 Jun 1925, 522; Paul Larmour, The Architectural Heritage of Malone & Stranmillis (UAHS, 1991), 36

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, GREAT GEORGE STREET, MILL
Date: 1925
Nature: New mill.
Refs: IB 67, 16 May 1925, 401

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, HILL STREET, PREMISES
Date: 1925
Nature: Adds.
Refs: IB 67, 7 Mar 1925, 189

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, AGNES STREET, PREMISES
Date: 1926
Nature: Alts. for Mr J. Kelly. Plans approved by City Surveyor.
Refs: IB 68, 7 Aug 1926, 619

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, CORPORATION STREET, PREMISES (MCNEILL LTD)
Date: 1926
Nature: Adds. Plans approved.
Refs: IB 68, 15 May 1926, 294

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, MILLFIELD, STORES
Date: 1926
Nature: For Mr J. Kelly. Plans approved.
Refs: IB 68, 11 Dec 1926, 921

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, CAVEHILL ROAD, HOUSE
Date: 1927
Nature: Alts. & adds. for Mr S.J. Seeds. Plans approved by City Surveyor.
Refs: IB 69, 29 Oct 1927, 801

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, CAVEHILL ROAD, HOUSES (002)
Date: 1927
Nature: Two villas, for Mrs E.J. Leith and Miss J.W. Patrick. Plans approved by City Surveyor.
Refs: IB 69, 8 Jan 1927, 23

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, HEMSWORTH STREET, STORES
Date: 1927-28
Nature: New stores, for Mr J. Kelly. Plans approved by City Surveyor.
Refs: IB 69, 6 Aug 1927, 578; 70, 21 Jan 1928, 69

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, UPPER ARTHUR STREET, PREMISES
Date: 1928
Nature: Add.s.
Refs: IB 70, 4 Aug 1928, 671

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, MALONE ROAD (NEW AVENUE OFF)
Date: 1928
Nature: Drainage to houses.
Refs: IB 70, 29 Sep 1928, 836

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, MALONE ROAD, HOUSE & STORES
Date: 1928
Nature: New. (Is this no 175, q.v.?)
Refs: IB 70, 27 Oct 1928, 923

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, MALONE ROAD, NO. 175
Date: 1928
Nature: Roughcast house with hipped roofs and small-paned windows.
Refs: Paul Larmour, The Architectural Heritage of Malone & Stranmillis (UAHS, 1991), 111

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, MALONE ROAD, HOUSE
Date: 1929
Nature: Drainage.
Refs: IB 71, 8 Jun 1929, 533

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BALLYMENA, BUS STATION
Date: 1930
Nature: New bus station, for Mssrs. Catherwood, Belfast.
Refs: IB 72, 30 Aug 1930, 756; 74, 19 Nov 1932, 1048

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, CORPORATION STREET, CEMENT STORE & WALL
Date: 1930
Nature: New cement store and boundary wall.
Refs: IB 72, 15 Mar 190, 251

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, ANN STREET, SHOPS (002)
Date: 1931
Nature: Conversion of 1 shop into 2.
Refs: IB 73, 23 May 1931, 465

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, CORPORATION STREET, PREMISES
Date: 1931
Nature: Additional storey.
Refs: IB 73, 17 Jan 1931, 66

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, HARBERTON PARK, HOUSES (003)
Date: 1931
Nature: 3 new houses.
Refs: IB 7a3, 10 Oct 1931, 884d

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, CASTLEHILL ROAD, HOUSE
Date: 1932
Nature: New house, for H. Anderson.
Refs: IB 74, 10 Sep 1932, 818

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, DONEGALL STREET, CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
Date: 1932-34
Nature: Reconstruction of church destroyed by fire in 1931. Lecture hall on ground floor with church above. Portland stone front well set back from street, 2 side wings. Opened 8 Dec 1934. Contractor: McQuoid. £15,000.
Refs: Bill of quantities, Oct 1932, in PRONI, D2000/5 (see PRONI e-catalogue); IB 73, 7 Nov,5 Dec 1931, 958,1063; 74, 18 Jun 1932, 568; 75, 22 Apr,15 Jul 1933, 344,586 ; 76, 15 Dec 1934, 1101; Architect & Building News 128, 27 Nov 1931, 268; 132, 11 Nov 1932, 186; Paul Larmour, Belfast: an illustrated architectural guide (1987), 95 (no. 225, illus.); Marcus Patton, Central Belfast: an historical gazetteer (UAHS, 1993), 128

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, AGNES STREET, PREMISES
Date: 1933
Nature: Alts., for John Kelly.
Refs: IB 75, 25 Feb 1933, 161

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, POTTINGER'S ENTRY, PREMISES
Date: 1934
Nature: Adds. to premises for Northern Ireland Publishing Office.
Refs: IB 76, 30 Jun,28 Jul 1934, 557,641

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, DOWNVIEW AVENUE, HOUSE
Date: 1938
Nature: Addition.
Refs: IB 80, 5 Mar 1938, 197

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, FREDERICK STREET (& YORK LANE), PREMISES
Date: 1938
Nature: Alts. & adds.
Refs: IB 80, 5 Feb 1938, 113

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, MALONE ROAD, HOUSE
Date: 1938
Nature: Alts. & adds.
Refs: IB 80, 28 May 1938, 457

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, MALONE ROAD, HOUSE
Date: 1939
Nature: Addition.
Refs: IB 81, 5 Aug 1939, 678