Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

English architect, of London and later of Petersfield, Hampshire, for whom see Directory of British Architects 1834-1914 (RIBA 2001), II, 857. William Frederick Unsworth was the favoured architect of John and Emerson Tennent Herdman, proprietors of Herdman's flax spinning mills at Sion Mills, Co. Tyrone. From the 1880s onwards the Herdmans commissioned Unsworth to design a series of half-timbered buildings in the model village of Sion Mills. Unsworth also transformed Emerson Tennent Herdman's own stuccoed Italianate house at Sion Mills into a half-timbered Tudor mansion in 1884.(1) His last work in the village was the Church of the Good Shepherd (C of I), 1907-1909.(2)  He also prepared designs for a school at Baronscourt, Co. Tyrone, in 1887.(3)

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References



(1) Might Unsworth also have had a hand in the enlargement of John Herdman's 'vaguely Elizabethan style' house at Carricklee, near Strabane, 1891 (North West Ulster, 496).
(2) For Unsworth's contribution to the village of Sion Mills, see North West Ulster, 485-489.
(3) Sections, plans and elevations, Jul 1887, in PRONI, D623/D/5/19 (see PRONI e-catalogue).


6 work entries listed in chronological order for UNSWORTH, WILLIAM FREDERICK #


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Building: CO. TYRONE, SION MILLS, RECREATION HALL
Date: 1882
Nature: New hall, opened Oct 1882. Built for Mssrs. Herdman for the benefit of their employees. Permanent stage at one end with scenery supplied by Mr Warden of Theatre Royal, Belfast. Attr. to Unsworth by Rowan.
Refs: IB 24, 1 Nov 1882, 310; Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster (1979), 488

Building: CO. TYRONE, SION MILLS, SION HOUSE
Date: 1884a
Nature: Remodelling of stuccoed Italianate house as half-timbered Tudor mansion. FWU also designed entrance gate, bridge, grounds, fittings and principal furniture. Style described by IB as one of 'absurd heterogeneousness'. Completed end 1884. For Emerson Tennent Herdman.
Refs: Design exh RA 1884, no. 1262; IB 26, 1 Dec 1884, 357; Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster (1979), 488

Building: CO. TYRONE, BARONSCOURT, SCHOOL
Date: 1887
Nature: Prepares plans for same. For James Hamilton, 2nd Duke of Abercorn.
Refs: Sections, plans and elevations, Jul 1887, in PRONI, D623/D/5/19-22 (see PRONI e-catalogue).

Building: CO. TYRONE, SION MILLS, INSTITUTE
Date: 1895
Nature: New institute containing billiard room with reading room above. Half timbered with balcony. Pebble dashed and half-timbered exterior with stone base. Fluted brick chimneys. Gift of the Herdman family.
Refs: IB 37, 1 Jul 1895, 157; Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster (1979), 488

Building: CO. TYRONE, SION MILLS, CHURCH OF ST SAVIOUR (CI)
Date: 1895a
Nature: New half-timbered church with red-brick bellcote, attr. by Rowan to Unsworth. Gift of Herdman family. Opened 29 May 1895. Builder: J. Ballantine, Derry.
Refs: IB 37, 15 Jun 1895, 155; Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster (1979), 488

Building: CO. TYRONE, SION MILLS, CHURCH OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD (CI)
Date: 1907-1909
Nature: Italianate Romanesque church by Unsworth, Son & Triggs modelled on a church at Pistoia. Local stone with Bath stone dressings. Tenders invited Jul 1907. Opened and dedicated by Dean of St Patrick's, 15 May 1909.. Contractor: Ballantine Ltd, Derry. Marble work by E. Luscombe & Sons, Exeter. Electrical fittings by Will. Fine & Co.  Door furniture by Thomas Elsey, London.
Refs: IB 49, 27 Jul 1907, 526; 51, 29 May 1909, 350; Charles Nicholson & Charles Spooner, Recent English Church Architecture (1910), 142-145; Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster (1979), 486-7; Clergy of Derry & Raphoe (Ulster Historical Foundation, 1999), 106(illus.);  exterior also illus. in Claude Costegalde & Brian Walker, The Church of Ireland: an illustrated history (2013),