Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect and inventor.   William James Clayton, who was born in London in 1844, trained as an architect under WILLIAM GERATY.& WILLIAM GERATY.& #160; It was presumably during his pupillage, when he was living or working at Geraty's address, 40 Waterloo Road, that he made a cardboard model of Lissadell, Co. Sligo.  The model, which is signed and dated 1 March 1865, combines elements from the design for the house as published by FRANCIS GOODWIN  FRANCIS GOODWIN in his Domestic Architecture (1833-34) with features from the house as built.(1)

Clayton does not appear to have practised as an architect for long, if at all. He became instead the inventor and patentee of a successful mobile telescopic fire escape ladder, which appears to have sold widely throughout Ireland and Europe.   He is described as 'gentleman' on the 1870 certificate of his marriage to Mary Ida Lee of Rydal Mount, Milltown, Co. Dublin, and on the birth certificates of his sons John James Clayton (b. 1871), WILLIAM GERATY CLAYTON  WILLIAM GERATY CLAYTON (b.1872) and Thomas Whitaker Clayton (b. 1874).   In his 1901 census return he describes himself as 'Merchant'.   He died in 1910, survived by his wife and sons.

Address:  81 Bushfield Avenue, 1870-1871;  Rydal Mount, Milltown, 1874;  Kimmage Manor, Co. Dublin, 1901.


All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for was kindly supplied by Clayton's great-grandson Brendan Jennings, Jan 2012.

(1)   Photograph in IAA.