Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

English civil engineer, for biography of whom see his obituary in Min.Proc.Inst.CE 16 (1856-57), 150-154. Thomas Jackson Woodhouse worked in Ireland from 1832 to 1836. He was resident engineer of the Dublin and Kingstown Railway under CHARLES VIGNOLES CHARLES VIGNOLES (1) from 1832 until 1834, when he sat the newly-established competitive examination held by the Irish Board of Public Works for the purpose of selecting county surveyors. As the result of gaining first place in the examination, he was allowed to choose his county and 'fixed upon Antrim, as the most important, because it included Belfast'. Following his appointment in May 1834,(2) he was also appointed engineer to the Belfast Ballast Board and to the Belfast to Lisburn Railway. He designed many of the sandstone bridges on the Belfast to Lisburn line.(3) He resigned in October 1836, when the latter line was completed, and, 'seeing no probability of railway works proceeding in Ireland for some time', returned to England to take up the appointment of resident engineer to the Midland Counties Railway.   He appears to have collaborated with JOHN FRASER  JOHN FRASER on the first designs for the Queen's Bridge in Belfast,(4) his place being taken by CHARLES LANYON CHARLES LANYON , who succeeded him in the Co. Antrim surveyorship. He did no further work in Ireland.

ICEI: founder member, 1835.(5)

See WORKS, for Irish work only.


All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the obituary in Min.Proc.Inst.CE 16 (1856-57), 150-154, and Brendan O'Donoghue, The Irish County Surveyors 1834-1944 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007), 327-328, which gives the fullest account of Woodhouse's career in Ireland.

(1) Second Annual Report of the Commissioners … of Public Works in Ireland (1834), map of railway 'as laid out…under the Immediate Superintendence of Charles Vignoles, Civil Engineer … Drawn under the direction of Thomas Woodhouse, Resident Engineer'.
(2) Dublin Evening Post, 20 May 1834.
(3) See R.C. Cox & M.H. Gould, Civil Engineering Heritage: Ireland (1998), 172-3.
(4) Civil Engineer and Architect's Journal I, (1837-38), 173.
(5) Photocopy of transcript of minutes of first meeting of Engineers' Society of Ireland, 6 Aug 1835, in IAA, Jones File F73.

2 work entries listed in chronological order for WOODHOUSE, THOMAS JACKSON #

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Date: 1838-39
Nature: Original station. Inadequate by 1848, when it was replaced by a new station designed by John Godwin.
Refs: Ulster Journal of Archaeology27, p.159 (B. of I.)

Date: 1839
Nature: Railway station for Ulster Railway. Contractor: William Dargan.
Refs: McCutcheon, 'Ulster Railway Architecture', Ulster Journal of Archaeology27 (3rd Series), 159

Author Title Date Details
Woodhouse, Thomas Jackson Reports on the improvement of Belfast Harbour Belfast, 1834.
Woodhouse, Thomas Jackson Plan for the improvement of Belfast Harbour 1834 Belfast, 1834.