Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

English surveyor and engineer, for whom see A.W. Skempton et al., A Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers in Great Britain and Ireland I (2002), 539, which gives details of some of his activities under the account of his father, the engineer Henry Provis (1760-1830). In 1834 Henry Thomas Provis provided the flawed first design for the new lake in the Powerscourt Deer Park in Co. Wicklow. Soon after the completion of the lake, a bank collapsed and the water in the new lake emptied itself down the valley, causing considerable damage in its descent to Bray.(1) At this time Provis was living in Sandymount, Dublin, which is also given as his address in the list of subscribers to Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland(1837). He subsequently returned to England(3) and was still active in 1851, when he was presented with a silver snuff box by the Shropshire Union Railways and Canal Company. The English census for that year records him as living in Chester.

Provis's map and estimates for the lake at Powerscourt, dated 25 Junee 1834, are in the Powerscourt Albums in the Irish Architectural Archive (Acc. 89/62, 1/54/1 & 1/57/1).


(1) See E. Malins & P. Bowe, Irish Gardens and Demesnes from 1830 (1980), 92-3.
(2) A civil engineer named Henry Provis is recorded at Whitby, Yorkshire, in the English census of 1841; his age is given as forty-five. The 1851 census gives the age of Henry Thomas Provis as fifty-seven; this is likely to be correct as his place of birth is stated to be Wimpole, Cambridgeshire, where his father worked only until February 1795.

1 work entries listed in chronological order for PROVIS, HENRY THOMAS #

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Date: 1834
Nature: New lake in Deer Park, which emptied itself soon after construction because of the bursting of a bank.
Refs: Map and estimates, dated 25 Jun 1834, in IAA, Powerscourt Albums, Acc. 89/62, 1/54/1 & 1/57/1; E. Malins & P. Bowe, Irish Gardens and Demesnes from 1830 (1980), 92-3.