Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Decorators, glass merchants, ironmongers, plumbers, marble and stone merchants, of Dublin. According to their advertisement in The Industries of Dublin of 1888,(1) the firm was founded 'at the remote date of 1747'. In 1759 a Henry Sibthorpe was admitted a freeman of Dublin by virtue of service to a glazier named Richard Eaton; he was presumably the Henry Sibthorpe who had a glazier's business at 12 Copper Alley in 1775.(2) He was also very probably the father of another Henry Sibthorpe who was admitted a Freeman of the City of Dublin by virtue of birth as a member of the Smith's Guild at Michaelmas 1786.(3) The younger Henry had a glazier's business at 18 Exchange Street. He remained at this address until 1814, but by the following year he had changed the description of his trade to 'painter and glazier' and had moved to 12 Cork Hill. He died in 1824.(4)

The directories indicate that before his death Henry Sibthorpe had taken a son into partnership. The firm of 'Henry Sibthorpe & Son' continued to trade under this name for about a century and a half until it eventually closed in the 1970s. It remained in Cork Hill until at least 1883, first expanding into Castle Street, then acquiring a marble yard in Great Brunswick Street and building a store in Upper Exchange Street on the site where Henry Sibthorpe had had his original premises. Later in the 1880s it moved to a new showroom and offices at 33 Molesworth Street. By this time, according to The Industries of Dublin, the firm was employing 'a constant staff of about three to four hundred men' and enjoying a trade 'of colossal dimensions'. This probably represents the peak of the firm's activities, for the Great Brunswick Street marble yard was given up within ten years, making way for St Andrew's Boys' School. The store was moved from Exchange Street to Fishamble Street during the same period.

As the firm did not change its name for well over a century, it is difficult to identify the individual members of the family who were successively in charge of it. If LUKE SIBTHORPE  LUKE SIBTHORPE was Henry Sibthorpe's brother, as seems possible, his family could also have been involved in it. The son who was taken into partnership by Henry Sibthorpe circa 1826 may have been the John Sibthorpe who appears fleetingly at 12 Cork Hill in Wilson's Dublin Directory for 1826 or the William Sibthorpe of Cork Hill who was a subscriber to William Stitt's The Practical Architect's Ready Assistant; or Builder's Complete Companion (Dublin, 1819). Thomas S. Sibthorpe, later a JP, was probably head of the firm in the 1860s; his addresses were given as Cork Hill, Great Brunswick Street and Leeson Park when he was elected a non-professional associate of the RIAI on 21 January 1869, having been proposed by JAMES HIGGINS OWEN  JAMES HIGGINS OWEN and JAMES BELL JAMES BELL , seconded by EDWARD HENRY CARSON  EDWARD HENRY CARSON and CHARLES GEOGHEGAN. CHARLES GEOGHEGAN. (5) In the 1870s the firm was headed by John Sibthorpe, who died suddenly on 21 April 1878 and was buried at Mount Jerome Cemetery.(6)  Later the firm was headed by another John Sibthorpe, also a JP, who was a member of the Master Painter's Association of Ireland in 1910,(7) and is probably the same person as the octogenarian John Sibthorpe who was consulted by C.P. Curran when he was preparing his book on Dublin plasterwork.(8) Draughtsmen employed by the firm included H.S. Rogerson, active in the first two decades of the 20th century, and Con O'Sullivan, active in the 1930s.

After the firm closed in the 1970s, the contents of the office were thrown out. Much of this material was rescued from a skip and subsequently dispersed. Some of the drawings which were retrieved are in the Irish Architectural Archive, Acc. 78/22, Acc. 96/145, Acc. 2001/142, Acc. 2002/33; there are also some photographs of the firm's work in the Reading Room Box Files and a number of 35mm. slides of churches, Acc. 2000/46. Written material from the same source - correspondence, letter books, ledgers, receipts and other documents - dating from 1823 to 1963 is in the National Archives, Acc. 1046 (photocopy of handlist in IAA, RP.B.22.6).

See WORKS, for works of which the Irish Architectural Archive has drawings and photographs only.



References

All information not otherwise accounted for is from Wilson's, Post Office, Pettigrew & Oulton's and Thom's Dublin directories.

(1) The Industries of Dublin (Spencer Blackett, London, n.d.), 138.
(2) Wilson's Dublin Directory (1775) (information from Dr Nessa Roche.
(3) 'An alphabetical list of the Freemen of the City of Dublin, 1774-1824', The Irish Ancestor XV (1983), Nos. 1 & 2, 110; a child of a Henry Sibthorpe of Werburgh Street was baptised at St Werburgh's church in 1761 (Rev. S.C. Hughes, The Church of S. Werburgh, Dublin (1889), 104).
(4) Register of St Werburgh's church,www.irishgenealogy.ie (last visited Jun 2010). The burials of Eliza and Sarah Sibthorpe, also of 12 Cork Hill, are recorded on the same page. He was described as 'the late Henry Sibthorpe' in 1830 when his former apprentice Henry Martin was refused admission to the franchise because he had converted to Catholicism (information from Dr Nessa Roche).
(5) RIAI general meeting minutes, 17 Dec 1868, 226; council meeting minutes, , 7 Nov 1868, 116; general meeting minutes, 21 Jan,20 May 1869, 227,231.
(6) Ireland Calendar of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1920, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KZ54-QM4 : accessed 3 Dec 2015); Irish Ecclesiastical Gazette 20, no. 230, 1 May 1878, 137, which describes him as having 'a kind heart, discrimination in the exercise of his benevolence' and 'in all concerns  where judgment and charity could be brought in requisition,,,the sense of half-a-dozen men'.
(7) Building News98, 10 Feb 1910, 206; the IAA has a photograph of a salver presented to Mr and Mrs John Sibthorpe by the Association in Feb 1935.
(8) See C.P. Curran, Dublin Decorative Plasterwork of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (1967), 14,37,74,76.


48 work entries listed in chronological order for SIBTHORPE, HENRY & SON *


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Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, COLLEGE GREEN, BANK OF IRELAND
Date: 1863-65;1870-71
Nature: Painting work.
Refs: IAA, PKS B02/07, B03/30, B05/08

Building: CO. MONAGHAN, CORVALLEY, CHURCH OF ST PATRICK (CI, ARDRAGH PERPETUAL CURACY)
Date: 1867ca
Nature: Marble sculptural work.
Refs: Kevin V. Mulligan, The Buildings of Ireland: South Ulster (2013), 295.

Building: CO. CAVAN, KILNAVART (TEMPLEPORT), CHURCH OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION (RC)
Date: 1867ca
Nature: Altars.
Refs: Kevin V. Mulligan, The Buildings of Ireland: South Ulster (2013), 552.

Building: CO. ARMAGH, KEADY, CHURCH STREET, CHURCH OF ST MATTHEW (CI)
Date: 1872p
Nature: Monument to John Robert Irwin (d. 1872).
Refs: Kevin V. Mulligan, The Buildings of Ireland: South Ulster (2013), 365.

Building: CO. CORK, MALLOW, CHURCH OF ST JAMES (CI)
Date: 1876
Nature: Pulpit supplied by Mssrs. Sibthorpe.
Refs: IB 18, 1 Nov 1876, 323

Building: CO. CORK, DOUGLAS, CHURCH OF ST LUKE (CI)
Date: 1876
Nature: New pulpit and reading desk by Sibthrope & Son inaugurated.
Refs: Irish Ecclesiastical Gazette 18, no. 206, 23 Jun 1876, 187.

Building: CO. GALWAY, GALWAY, MARKET STREET, CHURCH OF ST NICHOLAS (CI)
Date: 1877
Nature: Stone and marble, pulpit, prayer desk and lectern erected.
Refs: Irish Ecclesiastical Gazette 19, no. 217, 1 May 1877, 151.

Building: CO. MONAGHAN, HILTON PARK
Date: 1877ca
Nature: Encaustic tiles in entrance hall supplied by HS & Son, for John Madden
Refs: Kevin V. Mulligan, The Buildings of Ireland: South Ulster (2013), 354.

Building: CO. GALWAY, BALLINASLOE, CHURCH OF ST JOHN (CI, CREAGH PARISH)
Date: 1881
Nature: Pulpit of Caen stone with Cork marble pillars and capitals, inaugurated 31 Jul 1881 (also reading desk?). Pedestal carved by Mr Beegan, Ballinasloe.
Refs: Irish Ecclesiastical Gazette 23, no. 84, 6 Aug 1881, 540.

Building: CO. WEXFORD, NEW ROSS, CHURCH STREET, CHURCH OF ST MARY (CI)
Date: 1882
Nature: Monument to Charles D. Boyd, designed and exexcuted by Sibthorpe & Son. Erected by New Ross YMCA.
Refs: IB 24, 15 Dec 1882, 365

Building: CO. KILDARE, CASTLEDERMOT, CHURCH (RC)
Date: 1897
Nature: Stained glass windows by Sibthorpe & Barnett.
Refs: Clonliffe College Archive, MS p 1/2

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, LEESON STREET BRIDGE, TRIUMPHAL ARCH
Date: 1900
Nature: For visit of Queen Victoria, Apr 1900. Probably executed by Sibthorpe & Son.
Refs: Photographs from Sibthorpe collection in IAA

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, DAWSON STREET, MANSION HOUSE (INCLUDING ROUND ROOM)
Date: 1900a
Nature: Decoration of Round Room.
Refs: Photograph of redecorated room from Journal of Decorative Art May 1900 from Sibthorpe collection in IAA (009/069 Y1)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, TEMPLE ROAD (RATHMINES), NO. 026 (THE CHALET)
Date: 1905ca
Nature: Interior decoration.
Refs: Sibthorpe collection photographs in Irish Architectural Archive, Reading Room Box Files (038/052 Y1,2)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, LEESON PARK, CHRIST CHURCH (CI)
Date: 1908
Nature: Decorative scheme for chancel. (NB The chancel was redecorated according to this scheme by Graham & Phil Scanlon in the 1990s)
Refs: Perspective view of chancel in IAA, Acc. 2009/121. Photographs and coloured postcard from Sibthorpe collection in IAA (010/060 1,Y1,Yy1)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, MERRION SQUARE, NO. 008
Date: 1908ca
Nature: Decoration of return in Turkish style. For R.W.W. Cryan.
Refs: Coloured design in Irish Architectural Archive, Sibthorpe Collection, Acc. 79/22 C1; S. O'Reilly, 'The Eighth Plot - a House in the Square' in J. Graby, ed.150 Years of Architecture in Ireland: RIAI 1839-1989 (1989), 48,49(illus.)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, FITZWILLIAM SQUARE, NO. 022
Date: 1909
Nature: Decorative scheme for drawing room.
Refs: Painting, s. 'WWD.09', in IAA, Sibthorpe Collection Acc. 78/22.A21

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, DAWSON STREET, MANSION HOUSE (INCLUDING ROUND ROOM)
Date: 1910ca
Nature: Decoration of drawing room
Refs: Photograph of redecorated room from Sibthorpe collection in IAA (009/069 Y1)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, ELY PLACE, NO. 007
Date: 1912
Nature: Decorative scheme for first floor front drawing room.
Refs: Sketch by H. Rogerson in in IAA, Sibthorpe Collection Acc. 78/22.A2

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, AILESBURY ROAD, AILESBURY HOUSE
Date: 1912
Nature: Proposed decoration.
Refs: Photograph of drawing by H.S. Rogerson, 1912, showing 'suggested treatment of front bedroom' from Sibthorpe collection in IAA (007/083 P1)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, BLACKHALL PLACE, BLUE COAT SCHOOL
Date: 1930ca
Nature: Replacement in papier maché of stucco ceiling in boardroom after damage of original by fire, 1930ca.
Refs: Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 253.


Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, KILDARE STREET, LEINSTER HOUSE (DAIL EIREANN)
Date: 1930s
Nature: Proposed decorative scheme for Seanad Chamber.
Refs: Drawing in Irish Architectural Archive, Acc. 96/145

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, COLLEGE GREEN, BANK OF IRELAND
Date: 1936
Nature: Proposed decorative scheme for Cash Hall.
Refs: 2 drawings by C. O'Sullivan in IAA, Sibthorpe Collection Acc. 78/22.A5(a,b) also photographs of former House of Lords chamber in IAA (009/033 Y1, Y2)

Building: CO. MAYO, WESTPORT HOUSE
Date: ?
Nature: Decoration of hall. For Marquess of Sligo.
Refs: Drawing in IAA, Sibthorpe Collection Acc. 78/22.A1; Westport House- Historical Sketch - Description of Adam and other Decorations restored by H. Sibthorpe & Son, Ltd, pamphlet, n.d.(copy in Irish Architectural Archive, RP.D.22.9)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, JAMES'S STREET, ST JAMES'S GATE BREWERY (A. GUINNESS, SON & CO.)
Date: ?
Nature: Decorative scheme for 1st Class Refreshment Room.
Refs: 2 drawings in IAA, Sibthorpe Collection Acc. 78/22.A3,A4

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, HARDWICKE PLACE, ST GEORGE'S CHURCH (CI)
Date: ?
Nature: Proposed painting scheme.
Refs: Drawings in IAA, Sibthorpe Collection Acc. 78/22.A6,A7, also coloured postcard of chancel as executed in IAA (030/064 P1)

Building: CO. WICKLOW, ENNISKERRY, CHURCH OF ST PATRICK (CI, POWERSCOURT PARISH)
Date: ?
Nature: Proposed alterations.
Refs: Drawing in IAA, Sibthorpe Collection Acc. 78/22.A8

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CHAPELIZOD, CHURCH OF ST LAURENCE (CI)
Date: ?
Nature: Decoration of interior.
Refs: Drawing in IAA, Sibthorpe Collection Acc. 78/22.A9

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, DONORE AVENUE, CHURCH OF ST VICTOR (CI)
Date: ?
Nature: Decoration of chancel.
Refs: Drawing in IAA, Sibthorpe Collection Acc. 78/22.A10

Building: CO. WATERFORD, WATERFORD, CATHEDRAL SQUARE, CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL (CI)
Date: ?
Nature: Proposed decorative scheme.
Refs: Drawing in IAA, Sibthorpe Collection Acc. 78/22.A11

Building: CO. DUBLIN, MONKSTOWN, CHURCH (CI)
Date: ?
Nature: Proposed 'allocation' of chancel.
Refs: 2 drawings in IAA, Sibthorpe Collection Acc. 78/22.A12(a,b) also photographs in Reading Room Box Files (017/093, Y1-3)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, MOLESWORTH STREET, NO. 017-18 (FREEMASONS' HALL)
Date: ?
Nature: Proposed decoration of Prince Mason's Room.
Refs: 4 drawings in IAA, Sibthorpe Collection Acc. 78/22.A13-16

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CIRCULAR ROAD NORTH, NO. 191-195 (FEMALE ORPHAN HOUSE)
Date: ?
Nature: Decorative scheme for chapel chancel.
Refs: Drawing by H. Rogerson in IAA, Sibthorpe Collection Acc. 78/22.A17, and photographs of completed work in IAA (009/027 Y1-3)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, SIMMONSCOURT ROAD, CHURCH OF ST MARY (CI, DONNYBROOK PARISH)
Date: ?
Nature: Decorative scheme for E end.
Refs: Painting by C. O'Sullivan in IAA, Sibthorpe Collection Acc. 78/22.A18, also photograph in IAA Reading Room Box Files (017/005 Y1)

Building: CO. WICKLOW, CHARLEVILLE
Date: ?
Nature: Proposed redecoration of staircase and hall ceiling.
Refs: Painting in IAA, Sibthorpe Collection Acc. 78/22.A19

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, WILLIAM STREET SOUTH, NO. 059 (POWERSCOURT HOUSE)
Date: ?
Nature: Proposed colour scheme for back drawing room ceiling.
Refs: Painting in IAA, Sibthorpe Collection Acc. 78/22.A20

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, RANELAGH, CHURCH OF ST COLUMBA (CI)
Date: ?
Nature: Alts &/or decoration?
Refs: Longitudinal section and elevation of window in IAA, Sibthorpe Collection Acc. 78/22.F8 (photograph in Reading Room Box Files, 012/076 Y1)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, TRITONVILLE ROAD (& SANDYMOUNT ROAD), PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Date: ?
Nature: Decorative scheme for chancel.
Refs: Coloured elevation in IAA, Sibthorpe Collection Acc. 78/22.F10

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUN LAOGHAIRE, HAIGH TERRACE, MARINERS' CHURCH (CI)
Date: ?
Nature: Carved altar and arcading on E wall?
Refs: Photograph from Sibthorpe collection in Irish Architectural Archive Box Files (017/061 Y1)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, GLENAGEARY, SILCHESTER ROAD, CHURCH OF ST PAUL (CI)
Date: ?
Nature: Decoration of chancel.
Refs: Photographs from Sibthorpe collection in IAA Reading Room Box Files (017/036 Y1,Y2

Building: CO. DUBLIN, BLACKROCK, CROSS AVENUE, CHURCH OF SS PHILIP & JAMES (CI, BOOTERSTOWN PARISH)
Date: ?
Nature: Decoration of chancel.
Refs: Photographs from Sibthorpe collection in IAA (017/055 P1,Y1,Y2)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, ST STEPHEN'S GREEN, NO. 120
Date: ?
Nature: Interior redecoration.
Refs: Photograph from Sibthorpe collection of redecoration in progress in Irish Architectural Archive, Reading Room Box Files (038/053 Y1)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, PEARSE STREET, ST MARK'S CHURCH (CI)
Date: ?
Nature: Decoration of chancel?
Refs: Photograph from Sibthorpe Collection in IAA Reading Room Box Files (012/057 Y1)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, KING STREET NORTH, ST PAUL'S CHURCH (CI)
Date: ?
Nature: Decoration of chancel.
Refs: Photograph of work as executed in IAA (010/056 Y1)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, PARNELL SQUARE, CHARLEMONT HOUSE
Date: ?
Nature: Decoration of entrance hall.
Refs: Photograph from Sibthorpe collection in IAA Reading Room Box Files (012/048 Y1,Y2)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, PARNELL STREET, ROTUNDA HOSPITAL
Date: ?
Nature: Redecoration of chapel.
Refs: Photograph of work in progress from Sibthorpe collection in IAA Reading Room Box Files (012/051 Y14)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CHRISTCHURCH PLACE, CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL (CI)
Date: ?
Nature: Proposed decorative scheme for nave.
Refs: Drawing from Sibthorpe collection in Irish Architectural Archive, Acc. 2002/33

Building: CO. KILDARE, RATHANGAN, CHURCH (CI)
Date: ?
Nature: Proposed decorative scheme, for Rev. R. Saunderson[illeg.}
Refs: Coloured design in Irish Architectural Archive, Sibthorpe Collection, Acc.78/22 E14