Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Director of Works for the Northern Ireland Government. Percy Shepherd was born in Romford, Essex, on 8 August 1878 but was brought up in the north of England, where he attended school at the College, Buxton, Derbyshire from 1891 to 1894. On leaving school he spent a year in the millwright's department of Armstrong, Whitworth & Co. of Manchester, and then served a four-year pupilage with BERKELEY DEANE WISE  BERKELEY DEANE WISE in Belfast. During his pupilage, which lasted from 1895 until 1899, he was engaged in work for the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway, including the re-arrangement of the Belfast terminus and the erection of the new railway hotel. He then worked for ten years as an assistant to W.B. Worthington on the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway before setting up in independent practice in Manchester. Following the outbreak of the First World War, he enlisted in the Royal Engineers. By the end of the war he had been given command of the construction of the national shipyard at Portbury on the Avon. He was retained on Government service after the war, when he was sent to Danzig as technical adviser to the High Commissioner who had charge of the apportionment between Danzig and Poland of former German and Prussian property. On his return from Danzig he spent a year with the Office of Works in London before being offered the position of chief engineer to the newly-established Northern Ireland Ministy of Finance. He remained in the service of the Northern Ireland government for the rest of his life, from 1933 or earlier in the role of Director of Works.(1) During his years in office he was responsible for a number of important drainage schemes, including the Bann and Lough Erne schemes. He was still in his post at the time of his death in March 1948.

Inst.CE: elected associate member, 4 April 1905; (2) chairman of Belfast and District Branch, 1934.(3)


All information in this entry is from the biography of Shepherd in IB 76, 27 Jan 1934, 58, and from the brief obituary in IB 90, 20 Mar 1948, 206. Information about Shepherd career until 1904 and his date of birth is from his candidate's circular for admission as an associate member of Inst.CE, from Inst CE archives, courtesy of Susannah Roberts.

(1) Thoms Official Directory (1933), 1064 ; by this time he had also been awarded the OBE.
(2) Min.Proc.Inst.CE 162 (1904-5, Pt. IV), 211.
(3) IB 76, ? ? 1934, 58.