Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Surveyor, of Derry city, active from circa 1815 or earlier. Robert Howard Nolan(1) and his brother David were apprenticed to the surveyor David McCool of Derry,(2) and established themselves in practice as his successors at 16 Fountain Street around 1815.(3) Robert drew up plans for the markets at Derry in 1822,(4) and in 1823 and 1824 was paid a total of £18.3s.5d. for making plans and a surveys for the Grocers' Company in Co. Derry.(5) He carried out surveying for the Goldsmiths' Company in Co. Derry in 1830,(6) and was still active in 1836(7) and perhaps many years longer. Without the date of Robert Howard Nolan's death, it is not possible to establish whether he was the father or grandfather of ROBERT H. NOLAN  ROBERT H. NOLAN and FOSTER NOLAN FOSTER NOLAN . If he was the father, he must have produced his sons relatively late in life, but it is just possible that the Robert H. Nolan who was active round the mid-century belonged to an intervening generation of the family. A Robert Nolan was active in Derry in the 1850s(8) and carried out a survey for the Fishmongers' Company in 1870(9) and for the Drapers' Company in 1873.(10)


(1) His second name is supplied by James Stevens Curl, The Londonderry Plantation, 1609-1914 (1986), 284.
(3) see J.H. Andrews, Plantation Acres (Ulster Historical Foundation, 1985),229.
(3) Peter Eden, ed. Dictionary of land surveyors and local cartographers of Great Britain and Ireland 1550-1850 (1979), 191; there seems to be no foundation for the claim in the obituary of Foster Nolan in IB 69, 11 Jun 1927, 418, that the family firm had 'been in existence since the end of the sixteenth century'.
(4) PRONI, special list 97 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
(5) Curl, op. cit., 165.
(6) Curl, op. cit., 284.
(7) Andrews, op. cit., 375,388n56.
(8) Andrews, op. cit., 398, cites the work diary of an apprentice of Robert Nolan kept in the 1850s (PRONI D.1197).
(9) Curl, op. cit., 274.
(10) Curl, op. cit., 227.

1 work entries listed in chronological order for NOLAN, ROBERT HOWARD

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Date: 1822
Nature: RHN prepares plans for same.
Refs: PRONI, special list 97 (E.McP)