Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect, of Dublin and Johannesburg. John Francis Beardwood, third son of the builder WILLIAM HAUGHTON BEARDWOOD  WILLIAM HAUGHTON BEARDWOOD and brother of WILLIAM HENRY BEARDWOOD  WILLIAM HENRY BEARDWOOD and JAMES PATRICK BEARDWOOD JAMES PATRICK BEARDWOOD , was christened in St Andrew's church, Westland Row, Dublin, on 24 July 1853.(1) He was articled to GEORGE MOYERS  GEORGE MOYERS in Dublin. In 1885 he entered a design for industrial dwellings in a competition held in connection with the Irish Artisans Exhibition.(2) He was one of ten candidates who applied in 1893 for the post of city architect for Dublin which was given to CHARLES JAMES MCCARTHY. CHARLES JAMES MCCARTHY. (3)

In 1895, for reasons of health, Beardwood left Ireland in search of  a better climate.   After living for about six months in California,(4) he decided to move to South Africa.   He established an architectural practice in Johannesburg,(5) where he designed the Convent Schools(6) and the Catholic Club.(7) During the Boer War he moved to Durban, returning to Johannesburg when the war was over. Much of his work was for the Roman Catholic community of Transvaal. He was president of the South African branch of the Society of Architects, 1907-1909(8) and 'took a prominent part in securing the enactment of a Registration Act for the Union of South Africa'.(9) He died in 1923. He had married Genevieve O'Ratigan in 1888 and had four sons and three daughters.(10)

RIAI: application for membership put forward at Council meeting on 15 November 1893, but not elected in ballot held on 7 December 1893.(11)

Addresses: 29 Rathmines Road, 1885; 16 Leinster Road Rathmines, 1893.(12)



All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from www.sahra.org.za, the website of the South African Heritage Resource Agency, which see for further details of Beardwood's works and career in South Africa.

(1) Information from Dr C.J. Beardwood, Capetown, grandson of J.F. Beardwood, May 2010.
(2) IB 28, 15 Jan 1886, 29 (illus.).
(3) Irish Times, 5 Dec 1893; IB 35, 15 Dec 1893, 287.
(4) See note 1, above.
(5) IB 46, 31 Dec 1904, 877.
(6) IB 47, 20 May 1905, 337.
(7) IB 48, 27 Jan, 24 Feb 1906, 49,142(illus).
(8) IB 51, 3 Apr 1909, ?.
(9) IB 72, 22 Nov 1930, 1040.
(10) See note 1, above.
(11) Council meeting minutes, 15 Nov 1893, 307.
(12) Irish Times, 5 Dec 1893.

3 work entries listed in chronological order for BEARDWOOD, JOHN FRANCIS

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Date: 1904
Nature: Large extension. FS laid, 7 Jan 1904.
Refs: Irish Times, 4 Feb 1904.

Date: 1905
Nature: New
Refs: IB 47, 20 May 1905, 337

Date: 1905
Nature: An 'imposing structure', completed 1905.
Refs: IB 48, 27 Jan,24 Feb 1906, 49,142(illus)