Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect, of Kilkenny. On 28 July 1855 The Builder reported: 'Mr R. Burnham's plans for the additions to the County Court House, Kilkenny, having been approved of in competition for a premium of £22-10s. the Grand Jury proposed that the premium should be deducted from the percentage for superintendence, and furnishing working drawings &c. As Mr Burnham declined the proposition, they decided on having no architect, leaving the building in the hands of the contractor and clerk of works!'(1)

Burnham subsequently left Kilkenny, moving circa 1865 to Rathmines, Dublin, and circa 1869 to England. He, his wife Mary (née Roche) and nine of their children appear in the 1871 census returns for Lee, Kent, where he is described as a retired architect. By the time of the next census he had a tenth and final child, and his wife was dead; in this census he is described as a retired timber merchant.(2)

Kilkenny Archaeological Society : elected member, 18 May 1853, having been proposed by JAMES GEORGE ROBERTSON. JAMES GEORGE ROBERTSON. (3)

Addresses: Coalmarket, Kilkenny, 1854;(4) Rathmines, Dublin, 1865c->=1867;(5) 21 Northbrook Road, Lee, Kent, 1871; 4 Lodge Road, Croydon, Surrey, 1881.


(1) B 13, 28 Jul 1855, 359.
(2) Information about Burnham's later movements has been extrapolated from the 1871 and 1881 census returns, and data from www.familysearch.org.
(3) JRSAI 2 (1852-53), 357.
(4) JRSAI 2 (1852-53), list of members, corrected to Mar 1854.
(5) See note 2, above.

1 work entries listed in chronological order for BURNHAM, RICHARD

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Date: 1855
Nature: RB wins competition for additions but declines to accept terms by which premium of £22-10s was to be deducted from fees. Grand Jury decided to have no architect, 'leaving the building in the hands of the contractor and clerk of works'.(In 1875 a judge declared that it was 'the most disgusting and abominable court-house he was ever in'.) Rebuilt 1895 after being partially destroyed by fire.
Refs: B 13, 28 Jul 1855, 359; IB 17, 1 Aaug 1875, 216; Architect 53, 8 Feb 1895, suppl. p.17