Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

English architect, for whom see Simon Houfe, Sir Albert Richardson, the Professor (1980) and Simon Houfe, Alan Powers and John Wilton-Ely, Sir Albert Richardson 1880-1964 (RIBA, Heinz Gallery, 1999). In 1910 Richardson visited Dublin, when preparing for his Monumental Classic Architecture in Great Britain and Ireland during the 18th and 19th centuries, staying with his friend RUDOLF MAXIMILIAN BUTLER RUDOLF MAXIMILIAN BUTLER . Other visits followed, some presumably in a purely personal capacity as his wife, Elizabeth Byers, whom he married in 1903, came from the neighbourhood of Newry, Co. Down. In 1955 he received an Honorary D. Litt. from Trinity College, and in 1962, when he was in his eighties, he made a last visit to Dublin to give his support to the unsuccessful movement to prevent the demolition of sixteen houses in Lower Fitzwilliam Street by the Electricity Supply Board. Most of Richardson's Irish work dates from after the Second World War, but relatively early in his career, in 1912, he designed the plinth for the statue of Lord Kelvin in the Botanic Gardens, Belfast.(1) Many years later, in 1947, he remodelled Baronscourt, Co. Tyrone, for the Duke of Abercorn, considerably reducing it in size.(2) In 1951 he designed the oak altar rails for St Columb's Cathedral, Derry, as well as the chancel carpet and four sets of frontals, falls and markers.(3) During the 1950s he also restored Hillsborough church, Co. Down,(4) and Florence Court, Co. Fermanagh, after it had been damaged by fire.(5) He also advised on the restoration the Provosts's House at Trinity College(6) and of Emo Park, Co. Laois, although work on the latter did not begin until after his death. Shortly before his death he produced an unrealised scheme for the conversion of Castlewellan Castle, Co. Down, into a hotel and sporting club.(7)

A manuscript notebook ('Notebook No 102') containing Richardson's notes for his lectures to the Regent Street Polytechnic in 1909-10, with sketches and newspaper cuttings, is in the Irish Architectural Archive (R.M. Butler Collection, Acc.95/138, Box 5).


(1) IB 54, 30 Mar 1912, 199.
(2) North West Ulster, 131.
(3) W.S. Ferguson, A.J. Rowan, J.J. Tracey, Historic Buildings…in and near the City of Derry (1970), 18.
(4) C.E.B. Brett, Buildings of North County Down (UAHS, 2002), 40.
(5) Mark Bence-Jones,  Burke’s Guide to Country Houses. Volume I, Ireland. (London, 1978),126.
(6) Information from David Griffin.
(7) Perspective view exhibited at RA, 1963  (No. 1146) and sold at Christie's, 18-19 Sep 2013.

4 work entries listed in chronological order for RICHARDSON, ALBERT EDWARD (SIR) #

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Date: 1912
Nature: Plinth for same designed by AER..
Refs: IB 54, 30 Mar 1912, 199

Date: 1929
Nature: AER designs 'handsome pavilion in the North-East Coast Exhibition at Newcastle', opened Jun 1929.
Refs: Irish Times, 13 Jun 1929.

Date: 1947
Nature: House reduced in size and remodelled. (Further alts. & adds, 1969-72, by Erith & Terry, see British Architectural Library Catalogue.)
Refs: Watercolour view exh. RA 1948, no. 1157; Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster (1979), 131

Date: 1955p
Nature: Restoration after fire for National Trust of Northern Ireland.
Refs: Mark Bence-Jones, Burke’s Guide to Country Houses. Volume I, Ireland. (London, 1978), 126

Author Title Date Details
Richardson, Albert Edward Monumental Classic Architecture in Great Britain and Ireland during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries 1914 London: BT. Batsford, [1914]
Richardson, Albert Edward Georgian Architecture 1949 London: Art & Technics, 1949.