Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

English-born architect, who worked in Ireland for the greater part of his career. John Dewhurst, the son of John Dewhurst of Southport, Lancashire, was born on 18 November 1869. From 1885-1889 he was articled to Henry Sumners of Liverpool, who used to invite him for weekends at his cottage at West Kirby in the Wirrall, and from 1889-90 he worked in the office of Willoughby & Woodhouse of Manchester as an improver. During his time with Sumners, he visited Antwerp, and was to visit Belgium again while he was still working in England. In 1890 he entered the employment of A.E. Corbett of Manchester, then of Stanley Percy Silcock of Warrington, before moving to Belfast in 1894 to join the office of JOHN LANYON JOHN LANYON . He remained in Ireland for the rest of his working life. While in Belfast he became one of the founders of the Ulster Society of Architects, of which he was elected first assistant honorary secretary on On 28 May 1901.(1) According to his friend ALBERT EDWARD RICHARDSON ALBERT EDWARD RICHARDSON , he left Lanyon's office to take up the appointment of architect in the department of the chief engineer of the Great Northern railway, but by 1911 he had moved south to join the architect's department of the Great Southern & Western railway, based in Inchicore, Dublin.(2)   The census of April 1911 records him as living with his sister Anne in Kilmainham.   He was soon promoted to the post of chief assistant and remained with the Great Southern & Western until his retirement in 1930. After his retirement he lived in Chester, where he occupied himself with a study of the architect Thomas Harrison.(3) He died on 5 December 1947.  He does not appear to have married.

Dewhurst's architectural interests extended beyond the immediate demands of his job. Urban improvement was one of his preoccupations, and he attended the Town Planning Conference in London in 1910(?). According to Richardson, it was Dewhurst's zeal for architectural education which led to the founding of the School of Architecture in the National University. He was a supporter and admirer of RUDOLF MAXIMILIAN BUTLER ' RUDOLF MAXIMILIAN BUTLER ' and never failed to bring items of constructional interest to the notice of the School'. Richardson recalls visiting Dewhurst in the 'Trollopian' setting of his house at Donnybrook, where 'we discussed the nineteenth century, waxed enthusiastic over the work of Gandon, Mulvany and the rest of them, spoke of England as a distant country and indulged in dreams'.

AAI:(4) elected member, 1913; vice-president 1919-1920; president,1920-1921.
RIBA: elected associate, 1895; elected fellow 28 February 1921, having been proposed by A.E. Richardson, S.D. Adshead & Stanley C. Ramsey;(5) retired fellow, 1930.
RIAI: elected member 5 April 1897, having been proposed by GEORGE WILLIAM CROWE  GEORGE WILLIAM CROWE and VINCENT CRAIG VINCENT CRAIG ;(6) allowed membership to lapse; re-elected 29 July 1920;(7) fellow, 1922;(8) resigned, 1930.(9)

Addresses: 11 University Street, Belfast, 1897-98;(10) 31 Laurence Street, Belfast, 1901;(11) 96 Circular Road South, Kilmainham, Dublin, 1911;  37 Eglinton Road, Donnybrook, <=1915-1929.(12)



All information not otherwise accounted for is from the obituary of Dewhurst by A.E.Richardson in RIBAJ 55 (1947-48), 175, from the entry on him in the Directory of British Architects 1834-1914 (RIBA 2001), I, 533, and from the affectionate anonymous verses in Hiawatha metre on 'Our President' in AAI Green Book (1921), 9-12). The poem is accompanied by a portrait photograph of Dewhurst; another photograph is in AJ 52, 3 Nov 1920, 489.

(1) IB 43, 30 Jan 1901, 611; RSUA Jubilee Year Book 1951-1952, 15-17.
(2) This is the address given in AAI list of members for 1914. Dewhurst exhibited 'some fine designs for cottages for the G.S. & W. Railway' at the AAI Annual Exhibition, 1915 (Freeman's Journal, 20 Feb 1915) 
(3) Richardson says 'John Harrison' but must surely mean Thomas Harrison of Chester (1744-1829).
(4) Lists of officers and members in AAI Green Books.
(5) RIBAJ 1920-21, 147, 207.
(6) RIAI council meeting minutes, 1 Feb, 5 Apr 1897, 340,344.
(7) IB 62, 14 Aug 1920, 536.
(8) JRIAI (1923), 5.
(9) JRIAI (1931), 16.
(10) RIAI council meeting minutes, 1 Feb 1897, 340; RIAI list of members 1898.
(11) RIAI list of members, 1901.
(12) Thom's Directories.

2 work entries listed in chronological order for DEWHURST, JOHN CADWALLADER

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Date: 1920?
Nature: JCW designs 'a neat addition...without disturbing the symmetry of Sancton Wood's designs, the porter's lodge and the carriage way being exceptionally good, simple as it is'.
Refs: AJ 51, 28 Apr 1920, 561

Date: 1924
Nature: Restoration, 1924, for Great Southern & Western Railway Co..after station had been 'entirely gutted by the big fire about two years ago'.  Roof altered and dining-room added.
Refs: Irish Times, 22 May 1924(illus.).

Author Title Date Details
Dewhurst, John Cadwallader 'The education of the architect' 1920;1922 IB 62, 6,20 Nov 1920, 686-690 (editorial comment on pp. 721-22); AJ 52, 3 Nov 1920, 489; AAI Green Book (1922), ?-30. (Presidential address to AAI, 26 Oct 1920.)
Dewhurst, John Cadwallader 'Architecture in relation to the arts' 1921 IB 63, 7 May 1921, 318-9. (Valedictory address to AAI, 26 Apr 1921.)
Dewhurst, John Cadwallader 'Christ Church Cathedral. The two 19th century restorations' 1928 IB 71, 2 Feb 1929, 95-98. (Lecture given in cathedral 26 Dec 1928.)