Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect and land agent, of Newry, Warrenpoint and Rostrevor, Co. Down. According to his 1901 census return, William James Watson was born in England in about 1845.  His early training is not recorded. He had opened his own office in Newry by the beginning of 1872(1) and developed what appears to have been a thriving and varied practice, working almost exclusively in south Co. Down. He is described as a land agent in the Post Office Directory for 1881.(2) The Irish Builder gives his address as Newry until 1886, as Warrenpoint from 1888 and as Rostrevor from 1898. It reports no works by him after 1902, apart from a shelter in the park at Warrenpoint which was to be built to designs by 'Mr Watson' in January 1909.(3)  He was a JP for Co. Down from 1890(4) or earlier until at least 1907.(5) 

In about 1910 Watson acquired a residence in London, though he still retained his house in Rostrevor. He died suddenly at home in Rostrevor on 18 August 1911, leaving an estate of £4527.  By his wife, Elizabeth (néeTodd), he had a son, Rowland David Todd Watson, and a daughter, Janet.  His wife and daughter were living in London at the time of his death  

RIAI: elected associate, 25 Febrary 1875;(6) elected member, 28 November 1878, having been proposed by GEORGE CARLISLE HENDERSON GEORGE CARLISLE HENDERSON , seconded by ALBERT EDWARD MURRAY  ALBERT EDWARD MURRAY and JAMES HIGGINS OWEN JAMES HIGGINS OWEN ;(7)

Addresses:(8) Needham Place, Newry, 1872;(9) 13 Sugar Island, Newry, 1881;(10) Aughavilla Lodge or House, Warrenpoint, 1875(11)-1897; Benvenue, Rostrevor, 1898-1911; 38 & 39 Piccadilly, London, 1910-1911.

See WORKS.



References

All information in this entry not otherwise attributed, is from the brief notice of Watson's death in Irish Times, 26 Aug 1911, and from FamilySearch, www.familysearch.org (last visited, Feb 2019).


(1) IB 14, 15 Jan 1872, 32.
(2) Information from Ros Davies's Co. Down Website onwww.freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com.
(3) IB 51, 23 Jan 1909, 50.
(4) IB 32, 15 Jul 1890, 166.
(5) Thom's Directory (1907), 1171.
(6) RIAI council meeting minutes, 4 Jan 1875, 188; general meeting minutes, 25 Feb 1875, 263.
(7) RIAI council meeting minutes, 13 Nov 1878, 213-4.
(8) From RIAI lists of members unless otherwise stated.
(9) IB 14, 15 Sep 1872, 260.
(10) See note 2, above.
(11) See note 5, above.


58 work entries listed in chronological order for WATSON, WILLIAM JAMES


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Building: CO. DOWN, ROSTREVOR, HOUSES (004)
Date: 1872
Nature: 4 new houses 'which are to form the first portion of a terrace', for Edward Greer. Tender of Wheelan for £1550 accepted.
Refs: IB 14, 1,15 Sep 1872, 234,260; (Are these the houses illus. in IB 16, 15 May 1874, 141?)

Building: CO. DOWN, DRUMINDONEY, HOUSE
Date: 1872
Nature: New house and out-offices to be erectedfor R.W. von Stieglitz. Tender of Collen Bros. (£2200) accepted.
Refs: IB 14, 15 Jan 1872, 32

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWRY, UNION WORKHOUSE
Date: 1872
Nature: Drainage and other works. Tender of Wheelan & Rantin (£1080) accepted.
Refs: IB 14, 15 Jan 1872, 32

Building: CO. DOWN, ROSTREVOR, QUEEN'S ARMS HOTEL
Date: 1872
Nature: Enlargement, for Mr Sanxter(sic). Tender of Wheelan (£454) accepted..
Refs: IB 14, 1,15 Sep 1872, 234,260

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWRY, MANSE (METHODIST)
Date: 1872
Nature: New. Tender of of Rantin(sic) for £539 accepted.
Refs: IB 14, 15 Sep 1872, 260

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWRY, CORN STORE (WALKER)
Date: 1872
Nature: To be enlargedl, for A.R. Walker, Esq. Tender of O'Hare (£475) accepted?
Refs: IB 14, 15 Sep 1872, 260

Building: CO. DOWN, ROSTREVOR, HOUSE
Date: 1872
Nature: Single-storey cottage for Edward Greer. Tender of Rantin(sic) for £306 accepted.
Refs: IB 14, 15 Sep 1872, 260

Building: CO. ARMAGH, PORTADOWN, HOUSE
Date: 1872
Nature: Alts., for Richmond Pepper, Esq. Tender of Collen Bros. for £161 accepted.
Refs: IB 14, 1,15 Sep 1872, 234,260

Building: CO. DOWN, ROSTREVOR, HOUSE
Date: 1872
Nature: Alts., for Edward Greer. Tender of Wheelan (£234) accepted.
Refs: IB 14, 15 Sep 1872, 260

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWRY, NEWRY GAS CONSUMERS' CO.
Date: 1872
Nature: New offices. Tender of McShane & Lavery (£349) accepted.
Refs: IB 14, 1,15 Sep 1872, 234,260

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWRY, NEWRY SALT WORKS
Date: 1872
Nature: Alts. and new offices, for Charles Lamprey , Esq. Tender of Wheelan (£730) accepted.
Refs: IB 14, 15 Sep 1872, 260

Building: CO. DOWN, WARRENPOINT, HOUSES (003)
Date: 1873
Nature: Tenders received for erecting 3 cottages for Mr Crossen. Lowest (£303) from McShane & Lavery.
Refs: IB 15, 15 Apr 1873, 114

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWRY, SPINNING MILLS (WILSON'S)
Date: 1873
Nature: Tenders received for extensions and improvements, for Mr A. Wilson. Lowest tender (£2800) from Collen Bros..
Refs: IB 15, 15 Apr 1873, 114

Building: CO. DOWN, BALLYLESSON, CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY (CI, DRUMBO PARISH)
Date: 1873-74
Nature: Alts., including new roof, enlarged nave windows and new pews. Tenders invited Sep 1873. Contractor: Thomas McKeown,. cost: £1000. Church reopened 10 Jul 1874.
Refs: IB 15, 1 Sep 1873, 227; 16, 15 Jul 1874, 205; B 31, 6 Sep 1873, 714; J. Fred Rankin, The Heritage of Drumbo(1981), 67-68; Fred Rankin, ed., Clergy of Down and Dromore (Ulster Historical Foundation, 1996),108-9 (illus.);  exterior and interior of church illus. in Claude Costegalde & Brian Walker, The Church of Ireland: an illustrated history (2013), 191.

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWRY, CANAL QUAY (& NEW STREET), FLOUR MILLS (SINCLAIR & SON) & GRAIN STORE
Date: 1873;1879
Nature: New flour mills on site of old mill destroyed by fire Dec 1872. Venetian with E. English details. Begun Jan 1873. Contractor: John O'Hare, Mary St. Clerk of Works: W. Lyons. Machinery by Newry Foundry Co. Total cost: £10,000. Also grain mstore at Canal Quay, 1879. Contractor: Whelan & Watson.
Refs: IB 15, 15 Apr,1 Aug 1873, 114,203; 21, 15 Jul 1879, 219

Building: CO. DOWN, WARRENPOINT, PARSONAGE
Date: 1874
Nature: New, 2-storey parsonage. Castle Espie brick with moulded string courses of Dungannon stone . FS laid 14 Sep 1874 by Master Robert Hall, son of Major Hall, Narrow Water Castle. Contractor: Alex. Whelan, Newry. will cost about £1,100.
Refs: IB 16, 15 Sep 1874, 250

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWRY, ARTHUR STREET, HOUSES
Date: 1874
Nature: Tender of Mahood of £1250 for erecting same for Marquess of Downshire accepted.
Refs: IB 16, 15 Apr 1874, 120; B 32, 18 Apr 1874, 342

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWRY, BRIDGE STREET, HOUSES (002)
Date: 1874
Nature: Tender of Wheelan of £260 for erecting 2 cottages for James Fennell, Esq., accepted.
Refs: IB 16, 15 Apr 1874, 120; B 32, 18 Apr 1874, 342

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWRY, BARRACK STREET, HOUSES
Date: 1874
Nature: Tender of Wheelan of £1098 for erecting houses for Viscount Newry accepted.
Refs: IB 16, 15 Apr 1874, 120; B 32, 18 Apr 1874, 342

Building: CO. DOWN, ROSTREVOR, HOUSES (004)
Date: 1874?
Nature: Terrace of 4 houses illus. in IB.
Refs: IB 16, 15 May 1874, 141

Building: CO. DOWN, ROSTREVOR, MOURNE HOTEL (GREAT NORTHERN)
Date: 1875-76
Nature: New hotel on site formerly occupied by Old Quay Hotel Domestic Gothic. 150 frontage to Carlingford Lough. Centre one storey higher than wings. Centre roof 'towers up in a most pleasing manner' and will comprise 'a kind of promenade'. FS laid 3 Apr 1875. Approaching completion, Apr 1876. Contractor: Alexander Wheelan, Newry. Proprietors Mssrs. Norton and Shaw.(mr Shaw has purchased Oakwood House and intends erecting gasworks and Turkish bath in connection with hotel.)
Refs: Down Recorder, 10 Apr 1875; IB 18, 1 Apr 1876, 97

Building: CO. DOWN, LOUGHBRICKLAND, CHURCH OF ST MELLAN (CI, AGHADERG PARISH)
Date: 1876-78
Nature: Church reopened, 1 Jan 1878, after extensive improvements and enlargement. (addition of chancel, replacement of plaster ceiling with pitch-pine timber roof, new bench ends, font, tiling &c.). Contractor: Whelan & Watson, Newry. Cost nearly £700. Caen stone font presented by Dean's daughters.
Refs: Irish Ecclesiastical Gazette 20, no. 227, 1 Feb 1878, 45;  IB 20, 15 Jan 1878, 29-30; Clergy of Down and Dromore (Ulster Historical Foundation, 1996), 161.

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWRY, PARSONAGE
Date: 1877
Nature: Tenders invited for erection of new parsonage; for Trusteesof Kilmorey estate.
Refs: IB 19, 1 May 1877, 133

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWRY, HILL STREET, VICTORIA HOTEL
Date: 1878
Nature: To be rebuilt.
Refs: IB 20, 1 Apr 1878, 112

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWRY, SANDYS STREET, PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (1ST)
Date: 1878
Nature: Tender of Wheelan & Watson of £692 for carrying out internal alts. & imps.accepted.
Refs: IB 20, 15 Feb 1878, 63

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWRY, MARGARET SQUARE (& MARGARET STREET), SHOPS & HOUSES
Date: 1879
Nature: Large block of 3-storey buildings for mixed commercial and domestic use in process of erection. Gothic. Belfast brick and Dungannon freestone. For Felix O'Hagan. Contractor: Adam McGriffin.
Refs: IB 21, 15 Apr 1879, 125

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWRY, HILL STREET, SHOP & WORKSHOP (JOHN MCAREVEY)
Date: 1879
Nature: New workshops and warerooms being built for John McArevey, cabinet maker. Contractor: Adam McGriffin.
Refs: IB 21, 15 Apr 1879, 125

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWRY, MALL, MARTIN, NESBITT & IRWIN
Date: 1879
Nature: Grass seed stores and warehouses, engine house in course of erection for Mssrs. Martin, Nesbitt & Irwin. Belfast brick frontage with bands of coloured brickwork. To be completed by mid-June. Contractor: Adam McGriffin.
Refs: IB 21, 15 Apr 1879, 125

Building: CO. DOWN, ROSTREVOR, WATERWORKS
Date: 1881
Nature: Tender of £2,734 of Gregg, Mooney & Co., Dublin, for construction of same accepted, Mar 1881.  Opened by Countess of Kilmorey, 25 Oct 1881.
Refs: IB 23, 15 Mar 1881, 82;  Irish Times, 27 Oct 1881, 3.

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWRY, HILL STREET, HALL
Date: 1883
Nature: New hall for use of Young Men's Societies completed 4 storeys with large meeting room and reading room. Contractor: Isaac Cunningham, Newry.
Refs: IB 25, 15 Oct 1883, 330 (also 302?)

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWRY, HILL STREET, YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN INSTITUTE
Date: 1883
Nature: New institute for Newry Church of Ireland and Presbyterian Young Men's Societies completed. Contractor: Isaac Cunningham, Newry.
Refs: Irish Times, 15 Oct 1883 (described).

Building: CO. DOWN, WARRENPOINT, TOWN HALL
Date: 1884
Nature: New town hall to be built. Plans appr. by Local Government Board. For Warrenpoint Town Commissioners. Will seat 600.
Refs: IB 26, 15 Feb 1884, 46

Building: CO. WICKLOW, BRAY, RECTORY (CI, KILBRIDE PARISH)
Date: 1884
Nature: Large rectory house, stables, coach house, out-offices &c. rapidly approaching completion. Builder: Alexander Wheelan, Newry. (A new incumbent, Ernest Hamilton Whelan, had been instituted on 17 Jan 1883.)
Refs: IB 26, 15 Feb 1884, 46

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWRY, DUBLIN ROAD, HOUSES
Date: 1884
Nature: '..several semi-detached villa residences, for Mr. Collins, of Newry…are to be at once commenced' adjoining Dublin Rd. Builder: Isaac Cunningham.
Refs: IB 26, 15 Feb 1884, 46

Building: CO. DOWN, WARRENPOINT, METHODIST CHURCH (COKE MEMORIAL CHURCH)
Date: 1884-1885
Nature: New church on site occupied by existing chapel and several houses. Gothic style. Granite with Dungannon freestone. . FS laid 22 Aug 1884. Opened 6 Aug 1885. Contractor: Isaac Cunningham.
Refs: IB 22, 15 Oct 1880, 284; 25, 1 Jun 1883, 178; 26, 15 Mar,1 Apr,15 May,1 Sep 1884, 77(illus.),95,?,265; 27, 15 Aug 1885, 236

Building: CO. ARMAGH, BESSBROOK, COLLEGE SQUARE. TOWN HALL
Date: 1886
Nature: New town hall, 'very recently completed' in Mar 1886.. Granite. Contains hall to seat 800 on ground floor and smaller hall on 1st floor. For Mrs Richardson of Richardson & Co., whose workmen carried out the building.
Refs: IB 28, 15 Mar 1886, 85(illus.);  Kevin V. Mulligan, The Buildings of Ireland: South Ulster (2013), 202, Pl.103.


Building: CO. DOWN, NEWRY, DOWNSHIRE ROAD, MASONIC HALL
Date: 1887
Nature: New hall of English Gothic character drawing to completion. Freestone and brick. Centre gable 'rich with masonic devices'. Contractor: Alexander Wheelan, Newry.
Refs: IB 29, 15 Feb,15 Jun 1887, 60,164-5

Building: CO. DOWN, ROSTREVOR, HYDROPATHIC ESTABLISHMENT (PROPOSED)
Date: 1888
Nature: Plans being prepared for extensive hydropathic establishhment with 30 or 40 bedrooms, fresh and saltwater baths, Turkish baths, &c.. 3-storey frontage, 150 x 906 ft.  For Ulster Sanitarium Co. Cost of building expected to be £9000 and of fittings and furniture £3000.
Refs: IB 30, 15 Feb,1 Jun 1888, 51,151;  Irish Times, 11,12 May 1888.

Building: CO. DOWN, WARRENPOINT, CHURCH OF ST MARY (CI)
Date: 1889
Nature: New chancel, new roofs to nave and transepts, replacement of timber windows with stone mullioned ones, &c.. Tender of Alexander Wheelan, Newry (£1,085) accepted Jan 1890. Church reopened 9 Jul 1890. Cost over £1,100.
Refs: IB 27, ? ? 1885, 236; 31, 1 Nov 1889, 267; 32, 1 Jan,1 Feb,15 Jul 1890, 11,40,166; Architect 43, 10 Jan 1890, suppl.p.6; Clergy of Down and Dromore (Ulster Historical Foundation, 1996), 242(illus.).  (Incomplete specification for works at church, perhaps by WJW, in PRONI, D3783/B/10 and 10/1, see PRONI e-catalogue).

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWRY, MARCUS SQUARE, BELFAST BANK
Date: 1890
Nature: New bank premises.  Tenders invited Apr 1890. Contract obtained by Alexander Wheelan, Newry. Estimated cost nearly £4,000.
Refs: Irish Times, 19,22 Apr 1890; Architect 43, 25 Apr 1890, suppl. p.2; IB 32, 1,15 May, 15 Jun 1890, 112,116,147; PRONI, W.H. Stephens & Son papers, D1898/1/6.

Building: CO. DOWN, RATHFRILAND, CHURCH OF ST JOHN (CI, DRUMGATH PARISH)
Date: 1892
Nature: Church reopened 6 May 1892 after remodelling of interior. New chancel added with triplet window. New flooring, re-seating, new pulpit, reading desk, lectern. Builders: Alexander Wheelan & John Thompson.
Refs: IB 34, 15 May 1892, 114;   Fred Rankin, ed., Clergy of Down and Dromore (Ulster Historical Foundation, 1996), Part 1, 187(illus.);  exterior also illus. in Claude Costegalde & Brian Walker, The Church of Ireland: an illustrated history (2013), 198.

Building: CO. DOWN, WARRENPOINT, STORES
Date: 1892
Nature: 'Large and important stores' being built for MR. R.A. Sims to replace those recently burned down. WJW supervising architect. Contractor: James Wilson, TC.
Refs: IB 34, 15 Jun 1892, 139

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWRY, SCHOOL & TEACHER'S RESIDENCE
Date: 1894
Nature: New school and teacher's residence to be built by intermediate school board.
Refs: IB 36, 1 Jun 1894, 133

Building: CO. DOWN, WARRENPOINT, BEACH HOTEL
Date: 1895
Nature: Adds. & imps. including addition of wing. For Irish Highlands Hotel Co. Tenders invited Apr 1895.
Refs: IB 37, 15 Apr 1895, 100; Architect 53, 19 Apr 1895, 10

Building: CO. DONEGAL, BUNDORAN, GREAT NORTHERN HOTEL
Date: 1895
Nature: Tenders invited for adds., including new wing and bathroom block, Dec 1895. For Irish Highlands Hotel Co.
Refs: Irish Times, 12 Dec 1895; IB 37, 15 Dec 1895, 290

Building: CO. DOWN, SAVALMORE HOUSE (NEWRY)
Date: 1895a
Nature: Advertised as being to let, furnished or unfurnished, by WJW, Apr 1895.  Does this imply that WJW was the architect?
Refs: Irish Times, 10 Apr 1895.

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWRY, DISPENSARY
Date: 1898
Nature: New dispensary to be built for Guardians of Newry Union.
Refs: IB 40, 1 Mar 1898, 39

Building: CO. DOWN, ROSTREVOR, MOURNE HOTEL (GREAT NORTHERN)
Date: 1898
Nature: Tenders invited for carrying out Enlargement and alterations, Sep 1898.
Refs: Irish Times, 6,10 Sep 1898.

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWRY, HOUSES (021)
Date: 1899
Nature: 21 artisans' dwellings for Newry UDC.
Refs: IB 41, 15 Oct 1899, 157,164

Building: CO. DOWN, ROSTREVOR, GIRLS' FRIENDLY SOCIETY HOUSE OF REST
Date: 1899
Nature: New central house of rest to be built at cost of £2000.
Refs: IB 41, 15 Oct 1899, 157

Building: CO. DOWN, WARRENPOINT, PRESBYTERIAN MANSE
Date: 1901
Nature: New. Tenders.
Refs: IB 44, 27 Mar 1902, 1082

Building: CO. DOWN, DROMALANE (NEWRY), HOUSES (024)
Date: 1902
Nature: Tenders invited for erecting 24 villa residences.
Refs: IB 44, 27 Feb 1902, 1060; B 88, 15 Feb 1902, 170

Building: CO. DOWN, ROSTREVOR, HOUSES
Date: 1902
Nature: Semi-detached residences.
Refs: IB 44, 14 Aug 1902, 1358

Building: CO. DOWN, CARNMEEN (NEWRY), HOUSE
Date: 1903
Nature: Tenders invited for erecting same (for Wickham Moorhead, Esq., Tudor Lodge, Newry?).
Refs: Irish Times, 4 Dec 1903, 8 Jan 1904;  B 85, 12 Dec 1903, 620

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWRY, ST MARY'S VICARAGE
Date: 1904
Nature: New vicarage.  Tenders invited for erecting and completing same, Jun 1904.
Refs: Irish Times, 1 Jun 1904.

Building: CO. DOWN, WARRENPOINT, PARK SHELTER
Date: 1909
Nature: Tio be built by UDC 'in accordance to plans by Mr Watson'.
Refs: IB 51, 23 Jan 1909, 50

Building: CO. DOWN, KILLOWEN (ROSTREVOR), NATIONAL SCHOOL
Date: 1909
Nature: New? school.
Refs: Plan and elevation, 25 Feb 1909, in PRONI, D1012/3/7 (see PRONI e-catalogue).

Building: CO. DOWN, WARRENPOINT, METHODIST MANSE
Date: 19880
Nature: New manse to be erected on ground adjoining Methodist church.
Refs: IB 22, 15 Oct 1880, 284