Basic Biographical Details

Name: Austin Woodeson
Designation: Architect
Born: 1873
Died: 24 November 1935
Bio Notes: Austin Woodeson was born in Reading in 1873 and articled to Cooper & Howell in 1892, remaining as an assistant for some months after completing his apprenticeship. During that period he attended classes at Reading University Extension College. In August 1895 he moved to Maidenhead as assistant to Davy & Salter before moving to Glasgow as an assistant with Stark & Rowntree in 1896. Sometime during his time in Glasgow he obtained an 'IA' (Glasgow Institute of Architects?) travelling scholarship which was awarded just prior to June 1898.

Precisely when he made use of his scholarship is not known but he probably left the employ of Stark & Rowntree in the summer of 1898 and travelled at this point. In November 1898 he emigrated to take up a post as Chief Architectural Assistant to the Government of Ceylon. He passed the qualifying in 1906 and was admitted ARIBA on 3 December that year, his proposers being Fred Rowntree, George William Webb and Charles Steward Smith of Reading. He was elected FRIBA in 1914, his proposers being George Halford Fellowes Prynne and Rowntree of London and his former employer William Roland Howell of Reading.

With the expansion of the Building Department in Ceylon, Woodeson's role was combined with that of the quantity surveyor to become Chief Architect. By 1925 Woodeson was in charge of a large staff of qualified architects, quantity surveyors and draughtsmen. In that year he spent a month in India studying architectural styles in connection with his commission for Ceylon University. Three years later he spent some of his annual leave working in London on Sir Herbert Baker's plans for the new Queen's House, and in the following year he was sent again to India for two months in connection with the Government's housing and town planning schemes.

Woodeson established a number of evening classes in building construction, drawing and quantity surveying, and was himself a popular lecturer. For over twenty years he was the honorary secretary of the Engineering Association of Ceylon. He was an active Freemason, and was elected Deputy Grand Master in Ceylon in 1928 and District Grand Master in 1930.

Woodeson was awarded an OBE in 1931 for his services in Ceylon. He died in retirement at Bournemouth on 24 November 1935.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 2Colombo, Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon, unPrivate/business1898After 1930 
Item 2 of 2Bournemouth, Hampshire, EnglandPrivateAfter 19301935In retirement

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 5Cooper & Howell1 January 1892Early 1895Apprentice 
Item 2 of 5Davy & SalterAugust 18951 March 1896Assistant 
Item 3 of 5Cooper & HowellEarly 1895August 1895Assistant 
Item 4 of 5Stark & Rowntree1 March 18961898Assistant 
Item 5 of 5Ceylon Public Works Department11 November 1898After 1906Assistant 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6William Roland Howell1914for Fellowship
Item 2 of 6George Halford Fellowes Prynne1914for Fellowship
Item 3 of 6Fred Rowntree3 December 1906for Associateship
Item 4 of 6Fred Rowntree1914for Fellowship
Item 5 of 6Charles Steward Smith3 December 1906for Associateship
Item 6 of 6George William Webb3 December 1906for Associateship


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 1British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Journal18 January 1936v43London: Royal Institute of British ArchitectsObituary, p314

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1Courtesy of Alan LamontInformation via 'Contact Us' on website Sent June 2011. (Mr Lamont holds Woodeson's copy of Academy Architecture 1898 in which he found the agenda for the 20th Session of the GIA. Woodeson's award is under Item 2 on this).