Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Builder, carpenter and architect, apparently based at Blessington, Co. Wicklow.(1) John Hartwell may be the person of the same name who was admitted to the Dublin Society's School of Drawing in Architecture on 17 July 1766.(2) During the 1780s he was employed as a carpenter on work for Archbishop Fowler at his residences at St Sepulchre's, Dublin, and Tallaght.(3) In about 1796 he was awarded a premium of twenty guineas for his design for the reconstruction of St Andrew's Church, Dublin, carried out between circa 1796 and 1807.(4) He was also responsible for carpentry work in the church.(5) He may have died during the course of the work, for the church was completed by FRANCIS JOHNSTON. FRANCIS JOHNSTON. (6)

Hartwell may also have been a builder-developer, as Bryan Bolger records measuring 'brickwork for Messrs Smith and Hartwell at their new buildings[houses] in Baggot Street' in 1790,(7) while Casey names 'Waldridge[sic] & Hartwell as the principal developers of the east end of Baggot Street a little later in the same decade.(8) According to the recollections of his fellow tradesmen in 1834, he was 'in very extensive business' , employing thirty men, and died wealthy.(9)  He subscribed to George Richardson's A Book of Ceilings (1774-6), J.C. Murphy's Plan, elevations, sections and views of the church of Batalha (1795), and James Lewis's Original designs in Architecture (1797).(10)



(1) PRONI D671/v360 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44); this could account for the fact that Hartwell does not appear in Wilson's Dublin Directory.
(2) Royal Dublin Society minutes (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
(3) E.McP, who infers that Hartwell was probably in the office of Robert Parkes.
(4) DB 2, 1 Feb 1860, 195, quoted in APSD, IV, H, 27-8. In Bolger MS, NA/PRO 1A/58/126, Bolger refers to 'drawing made by Mr Hartwell' in his estimate of March 1797 for coppering the roof and gutter of St Andrew's (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
(5) In Bolger MS NA/PRO 1A/58/128, Bolger records measuring 'carpenter's work by John Hartwell and Timothy Doyle' in August 1800 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
(6) The APSD appears to infer from the article in the Dublin Builder (see note 4, above) that Hartwell died circa 1800, but there is no evidence for this in the article.
(7) Bolger MS NA/PRO 1A/58/127 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
(8) Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 567; 'Waldridge' was more probably George Wildridge [1], qv.
(9) Royal Irish Academy Haliday MS 4B 31.
(10) IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44.

1 work entries listed in chronological order for HARTWELL, JOHN

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Date: 1795-97
Nature: JH awarded premium of £20 for his plan for reconstruction of church following its destruction on 8 Jan 1860. Builder: William Pemberton. (JH resigned in 1800 and work was completed by Francis Johnston.)
Refs: Bolger MSS NA/PRO 1A 58 126,127,128;  Irish Ecclesiastical Gazette 2, no. 7 (15 Jan 1860), 145-6;  DB 2, 1 Feb 1860, 195, quoted in APSD, IV, H, 27-8; H.A. Wheeler and M. Craig, Dublin City Churches (1948), 9.