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Basic Biographical Details

Name: Stanley Davenport Adshead
Designation: Architect
Born: 8 March 1868
Died: 11 April 1946
Bio Notes: Stanley Davenport Adshead was born on 8 March 1868 at Bowdon, Cheshire, the son of an artist and he was educated at a local private school for his secondary education in Buxton where his family had settled. He was then articled to James Medland Taylor in Manchester in 1885, subsequently spending one year with Salomons & Steinthal. In 1890 he moved to London to join the office of George Sherrin where Edwin Alfred Rickards was also an assistant. He remained there for two years, subsequently working for short periods with Guy Dawber, Dunn & Watson, Ernest George and James Howard Ince, where he renewed his acquaintance with Rickards. In or about 1894 Adshead joined William Flockhart, spending one year in his office and three as clerk of works at Rosehaugh where he met his wife who was the village school mistress.

Adshead commenced independent practice in 1898 and was admitted FRIBA on 5 June 1905, his proposers being Charles Edward Mallows, Alfred William Stevens Cross and Frances William Bedford. In 1910 Adshead took on Stanley Churchill Ramsey as junior partner when he was invited to survey and make proposals for the Duchy of Cornwall Estate in Kennington. Ramsey was to support the work and maintain continuity in London while Adshead was in Liverpool. The report was presented in 1911; the partnership was maintained and subsequently worked on specific commissions. Adshead commenced his career as an educator in 1909 when he became first Associate Professor in Civic Design and in 1912 Lever Professor of Civic Design at Liverpool University. He moved back to London in 1914 as Professor of Town Planning at the University of London.

Adshead's early competition win for a public library at Hawick was unfortunately not realised, the Edinburgh firm of J N Scott & A Lorne Campbell being appointed. He was a brilliant draughtsman and a skilful exponent first of neo-Baroque and subsequently of late 18th century English and French neo-classicism. He was joint editor of the 'Town Planning Review' and author of 'Town Planning and Town Development'.

Adshead's daughter, Mrs Stephen Bone, remarked that one of the outstanding characteristics of her father's career was that he always did all his own perspectives and drawings and drew or superintended his plans himself. He continued to paint landscapes and watercolours to the end of his life.

Adshead died at Lower Ashley Hampshire on 11 April 1946.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 3ScotlandBusiness   
Item 2 of 3Bedford Row, London, EnglandBusinessBefore 19001902 
Item 3 of 346, Great Russell Street, London, EnglandBusinessc. 1902 Probably until at least 1942

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 12James Medland Taylor18851889Apprentice 
Item 2 of 12Salomons & Steinthal18891890Assistant 
Item 3 of 12Edward Salomons18901891Assistant 
Item 4 of 12George Campbell Sherrin18901892Assistant 
Item 5 of 12Dunn & Watson1892 Assistant 
Item 6 of 12James Howard Ince18921894Assistant 
Item 7 of 12(Sir) Edward Guy Dawber1892Before 1894Assistant 
Item 8 of 12Ernest George18941894AssistantFor a couple of months
Item 9 of 12William Flockhart18941894 or 1895Assistant 
Item 10 of 12William Flockhart1894 or 18951898Clerk of Works 
Item 11 of 12S D Adshead & E W Sloper1903 * Partner 
Item 12 of 12Adshead & Ramsey19101931Partner 

* earliest date known from documented sources.


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Francis William Bedford5 June 1905for Fellowship
Item 2 of 3Alfred William Stephens Cross5 June 1905for Fellowship
Item 3 of 3Charles Edward Mallows5 June 1905for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 5John Robert Atkinson29 November 1932For Associateship
Item 2 of 5John MacKenzie24 June 1912for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 5Vishwa Nath Prasad20 July 1936for Associateship
Item 4 of 5Douglas Woodville Rowntree3 March 1919for Associateship
Item 5 of 5Herbert McGregor Wood1913 For Associateship

Buildings and Designs

This architect was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 31894Rosehaugh HouseInverness (near) Ross and CromartyScotlandActed as resident architect for Flockhart
Item 2 of 31901Carnegie Free LibraryHawick RoxburghshireScotlandWon competition but commission was awarded to John Nichol Scott
Item 3 of 31903Carnegie Free LibraryHawick RoxburghshireScotlandCompetition design - not successful


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 6British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   
Item 2 of 6DNB Dictionary of National Biography   
Item 3 of 6Gray, A Stuart1985Edwardian Architecture: A Biographical Dictionary  p87
Item 4 of 6Powers, Alan (ed.)1981Architects I have known: the architectural career of S D Adshead Architectural History 24, 1981, pp103-123, plates 38-40 
Item 5 of 6Reilly, C H1931Representative British Architects of the Present Day London: Batsford Ltdpp14-26
Item 6 of 6Wright, Myles1982Lord Leverhulme's unknown venture London: Hutchinson Benham, Chapter 4 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1RIBA JournalMay 1946 London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp309


© All rights reserved.  National Portrait Gallery, London 

© All rights reserved. National Portrait Gallery, London