Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Cunningham
Designation: Architect
Born: 1799
Died: 2 October 1873
Bio Notes: John Cunningham was born in Leitholm in 1799, the son of a builder to whom he was initially apprenticed. He was then articled to Thomas Brown, Superintendent of Works in Edinburgh from 1819. In 1829 he designed the County Hall, Hotel and manse at Greenlaw, Berwickshire but in 1833 he married and then emigrated to New York. He appears to have returned to Edinburgh because the climate affected his health. By the following year as an obituary in the Liverpool Daily Courier states that he was invited 'to leave Edinburgh and come to Liverpool by ... Samuel Holme', a prominent Liverpool builder and politician who was an enthusiast for Greek architecture. He then entered into partnership with Holme's younger brother, Arthur Hill Holme (1814-57), a partnership which was dissolved in 1840. In 1842 he travelled to Belgium and France with Samuel Holme. He fell ill with cholera around this time but survived.

In Liverpool Cunningham built up a susbstantial practice, part of which was work as a water engineer. This was associated with an interest in geology. He was a Fellow of the Geological Society to which he contributed several papers.

Around 1860 he formed a brief partnership with the brothers W & G Audsley from A & W Reid's Elgin office but this was dissolved when they set up practice on their own account still in Liverpool in 1863. In 1873 Cunningham returned to Edinburgh and produced a scheme for the Glasgow Public Halls Company. He died at Laverockbank Terrace, Trinity on 2 October of the same year. Either on or prior to his death the Glasgow Public Halls scheme was completely taken over by Campbell Douglas & Sellars, who had been appointed associate architects from the outset. It was exhibited posthumously at the Glasgow Institute in 1875.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 510, Royal Exchange, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness(?)18321833 
Item 2 of 5New York, United States of AmericaPrivate18331833 or 1834 
Item 3 of 5Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate18341834 
Item 4 of 5Liverpool, EnglandPrivate18341873 
Item 5 of 52, Laverockbank Terrace, Trinity, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate18732 October 1873 

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 3Thomas Brown I  Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3Cunningham & HolmeAfter 18341840Partner 
Item 3 of 3Cunningham & Audsleyc. 18601863Partner 

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 31 Burton and Uttoxer BankBurton-on-Trent CheshireEngland 
Item 2 of 31c. 1816Marchmont House, LodgeMarchmont BerwickshireScotland 
Item 3 of 311829Castle HotelGreenlaw BerwickshireScotland 
Item 4 of 311829Greenlaw County Buildings and CourthouseGreenlaw BerwickshireScotland 
Item 5 of 311835Arrow HallBirkenhead CheshireEnglandMay have designed the original house - certainly made additions
Item 6 of 311836Court Hey HallKnowsley CheshireEnglandPerhaps designed the original house
Item 7 of 311836Lime Street Station  LiverpoolEngland 
Item 8 of 311836St Anne's ChurchAigburth LiverpoolEngland 
Item 9 of 31After 1836Court Hey HallKnowsley CheshireEnglandAlterations
Item 10 of 311837Crewe Railway Station  CreweEngland 
Item 11 of 311837Holy TrinityBirkenhead CheshireEnglandWith Holme
Item 12 of 31c. 1837The Apothecaries Hall  LiverpoolEnglandWioth Arthur Hill Holme
Item 13 of 311840s(?)Commercial Bank  LiverpoolEngland 
Item 14 of 311840Union Bank  LiverpoolEnglandWith Arthur Hill Holme
Item 15 of 31c. 1840Woodchurch  CheshireEngland 
Item 16 of 311842Railway CottagesCrewe CheshireEnglandDesigned cottages following layout of 1840 by Joseph Locke
Item 17 of 311842St Peter's (Scotch) Church  LiverpoolEngland 
Item 18 of 311843Christ ChurchCrewe CheshireEngland 
Item 19 of 311843Orphan's Asylum  LiverpoolEngland 
Item 20 of 311844Philharmonic Hall  LiverpoolEngland 
Item 21 of 311845Sailors' Home  LiverpoolEngland 
Item 22 of 311856OrphanageRipley LancashireEngland 
Item 23 of 311857Upton ManorBirkenhead CheshireEngland 
Item 24 of 311859Drumpark  KirkcudbrightshireScotlandStables and lodge designed. Maybe this is the East Lodge?
Item 25 of 311860Sailors' Home  LiverpoolEnglandResonsible for reconstruction using fireproof materials
Item 26 of 311862Moreton ChurchWallasey CheshireEngland 
Item 27 of 311863Backford Hall  CheshireEngland 
Item 28 of 311868Mason's Building  LiverpoolEngland 
Item 29 of 311868St Mary's Church, UptonBirkenhead CheshireEngland 
Item 30 of 311870Union Bank  LiverpoolEnglandRebuilding
Item 31 of 311873Glasgow Public Halls  GlasgowScotlandOriginal design - before job taken over by Campbell Douglas


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 4Holme, David (ed) Samuel Holme: an Autobiography   
Item 2 of 4Picton, J A1875Memorials of Liverpool2 pp23, 145, 229, 251, 328
Item 3 of 4Post Office Directories     
Item 4 of 4Scotlands People Website Wills & Testaments  Edinburgh Sheriff Court Inventories Sc70/1/165, 173 and Wills SC70/4/148

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 3Builder1873XXXI p821 Check exact date - probably about mid-October
Item 2 of 3Building News17 October 1873   
Item 3 of 3The Architectural Magazine iv p402, 486

(edited by Loudon?)

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Courtesy of Tim EdmondsInformation sent to Professor David Walker Sent October 2010
Item 2 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Letter from Joseph Sharples 19 November 2002