Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect and rating surveyor, of London. William Patrick Ryan was born in 1852, the son of JOHN RYAN [2] JOHN RYAN [2] , architect, of Dublin. He was articled to his father and studied civil engineering at Trinity College, Dublin, though there is no record of his having graduated. At some stage he also studied in Rome and, according to the inscription on his tombstone, served with the Papal Zouaves, who fought in defence of the Pqpal States until 1870 and and then supported the French government in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71.  According to his obituary, he joined the civil branch of the Royal Engineers, becoming surveyor in the Limerick district and, as such, responsible for the erection of a number of buildings in the Limerick area. He appears in Bassett's Limerick City Directory for 1879, where he is described as clerk of works in the Royal Engineers' office, and in Francis Guy's Directory of Munster for 1886, described simply as an architect.

The commanding officer of the Royal Engineers in Limerick while Ryan was there had a relation named John Warrington Morris,(1) an architect and rating surveyor of Richmond, Surrey, who died in the mid- or later 1880s. He apparently persuaded Ryan to move to London and take on Morris's practice under the name of MORRIS & MORRIS & amp; RYAN.  Ryan moved to England circa 1890 and appears in the English census for 1891 living at a house named 'Warrington' in King's Road, Richmond, with his wife, Gertrude (née Bernal), widowed mother, six daughters, who were all born in Ireland, and seven-month-old son Bernal John, who was born in Richmond.   In Richmond, according to his obituary,  'he became an active member of the Vestry and JP for the Borough'. In 1906, as Morris & Ryan, he entered and won the competition for the design of the Limerick Technical Institute. His obituary states that his other buildings 'consisted principally of some R.C. church work, convents and schools, in Kilrush, Kilkee, Ballymahon, and others in Ireland, and some in the east end of London'. However it was rating surveying rather than architecture that was the staple of his practice.   According to a family tradition, he had some association with the architect John Francis Bentley and spent some time in Italy procuring marble for Bentley's Westminster Cathedral, begun in 1895..

Ryan, who was an active member of the Irish community in London, died on 31 May 1921 at home in Hampstead, where he had lived from 1911 or earlier.  He was buried in Hampstead Cemetery.   His son, Bernal John, carried on his practice.

AAI: committee member, 1872.(2)
Society of Architects: member, 1884.
Surveyors' Institute: fellow, 1891;(3) member of council.

Addresses: Work: Pery Street, Limerick, 1879; 20 Glentworth Street, 1886; 1 Metal Exchange Buildings, Whittington Avenue, London EC, 1905.
Home: Mentona Villa, Laurel Hill, Limerick, 1879; Warrington, King's Road, Richmond, 1891;  18 Ellerdale Road, Hampstead, at time of death.



All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the obituary of Ryan in IB 63, 18 Jun 1921, 422 (his death is also noted on 4 Jun 1921, 397), Directory of British Architects 1834-1900 (RIBA, 1993), 703 and from Ryan's great-great-great-grandson, David A. Reed (Mar 2009).

(1) See Morris Origins, http://www.geocities.com/jccglass/scotnz/wyt2info4a.html (last visited Mar 2009).
(2) IB 14, 15 May 1872, 149.
(3) A.C. Freeman, ed., The Architect's & Surveyor's Directory & Referendum (1910), 139.

4 work entries listed in chronological order for RYAN, WILLIAM PATRICK

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Date: 1870-1878
Nature: Plans for gymnasium by Wm. G. Ryan (sic).
Refs: Buildings of Ireland files, citing National Archives (Kew), MDHH383

Date: 1907;1909-1911
Nature: Morris & Ryan winners of competition originally open to 'RIBA fellows of at least 5 years standing'. (Assessors: R.M. Butler & P.J. Lynch). Tenders invited Oct 1909. 1st sod turned by Mayor on 21 Jan 1910. Ready for occupation, Aug 1911. Builder: John Kenny & Sons, Cecil St, Limerick..
Refs: IB 49, 13,27 Jul 1907, 490, ?; 50, 18 Apr,2 May,11 Jul,22 Aug 1908, 247,?,421,523; 51, 6 Feb(illus. in supplement),16,30 Oct,25 Dec 1909, 662,645,670,677,828; 52, 22 Jan,5 Feb 1910, 53,85; 53, 5,19 Aug 1911, 530,562; 56, 24 Oct 1914, 589; 64, 4 Nov 1922, 748; B 92, 11 May 1907, 582; 97, 9 Oct 1909, 396; Freeman's Journal, 9 Oct 1909.

Date: ?
Nature: WPR 'mainly responsible for the extensive block of married quarters built at the new barracks, Limerick, and gymnasium there, and at Fermoy, &c.'
Refs: Obituary of WPR in IB 63, 18 Jun 1921, 422

Date: ?
Nature: WPR 'mainly responsible for the extensive block of married quarters built at the new barracks, Limerick, and gymnasium there, and at Fermoy, &c.'
Refs: Obituary of WPR in IB 63, 18 Jun 1921, 422