Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

County surveyor for Co. Monaghan, 1892-1900, and Co. Down, 1900-1920. James Heron, a son of Professor James Heron of the Assembly's College, Belfast,(1) was born on 24 July 1863. He attended the Royal Belfast Academical Institution in 1882 and studied engineering at Queen's College, Belfast, from 1882 to 1885, receiving the BE degree from the Royal University of Ireland in 1885. After working under BERKELEY DEANE WISE BERKELEY DEANE WISE , engineer to the Belfast and County Down Railway Company, from 1885 to 1886, he became an assistant to the Belfast City Surveyor, JOSIAH CORBETT BRETLAND JOSIAH CORBETT BRETLAND . While he was in Bretland's office he was engaged, among other works, in preparing the plans for the Albert Bridge. He remained in this position until 1891 when he successfully sat the Civil Service examination for Irish county surveyorships and was appointed county surveyor for Co. Monaghan in January 1892. He was transferred to the surveyorship of Co. Down in August 1899.(3) He resigned on account of ill-health in 1920 and died at his home in Belfast four years later on 16 February 1924, 'having recently suffered an irreparable loss by the death of his wife'.(4)  According to his 1911 census return, he had married his wife, Mary Lyster, in 1895 or 1896 and at that stage had four children.   His pupils and assistants included JAMES GILBERT WILKIN JAMES GILBERT WILKIN , who succeeded him as country surveyor for Down. SAMUEL HERON  SAMUEL HERON was his younger brother.

Inst.CE: elected member, 23 April 1912.

Address: Home: Dillon, Ardglass, co. Down, 1911;  48 Wellington Park, Belfast, 1921.



All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the obituary of Heron in IB 66, 23 February 1924, 130, from Heron's candidate's circular for the Inst.CE, 7 December 1911, with other information from the records of the Inst.CE, kindly supplied by Mrs Carol Morgan, Archivist, and from Brendan O'Donoghue, The Irish County Surveyors 1834-1944 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007), 207-8, which gives the fullest account of Heron's career.

(1) IB 41, 1 Sep 1899, 116.
(2) O'Donoghue; his obituary says he was appointed to the Monaghan post in 1891.
(3) See note 1, above.
(4) According to IB 67, 18 Apr 1925, 294, 'James Heron, MICE, Killyleagh, Co. Down, formerly County Surveyor for Monaghan and afterwards of Down' left £51,905, 'a record fortune for an Irish engineer'; the writer may have been confusing the county surveyor with James Heron, JP, of Tullyveery, Killyleagh, father of James Heron[2], who died in April, 1924 (see Burke's Irish Family Records(1976), 583).

4 work entries listed in chronological order for HERON, JAMES [1]

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Date: 1902;1907;1909
Nature: Iron isolation hospital, 1902; sewage purification & disposal, 1907; new waterworks scheme (by 'R. Heron, CE'), 1909.
Refs: IB 43, 10 Apr 1902, 1108; 49, 21 Sep 1907, 670; 51, 6 Mar 1909, 154; IB 58, 5 Aug 1916, 373(illus. of water tower in advertisement); 52nd Report on…Lunatic Asylums (1903), 550

Date: 1904;1906
Nature: Repairs, 1904; concrete wall, 1906.
Refs: IB 46, 27 Feb 1904, 120; 48, 30 Jun 1906, 538

Date: 1909-1910
Nature: New waterworks; concrete water tower. Contractor (for tower): R.D. Pollock, Bangor, Co. Down.
Refs: IB 51, 1 May 1909, 285; 52, 26 Nov 1910, 736

Date: 1911
Nature: -
Refs: IA & C 1, 29 Apr 1911, 187