Basic Biographical Details

Name: Leonard Howarth
Designation: Architect
Born: 4 June 1916
Died: 21 July 2006
Bio Notes: Leonard Howarth was born on 4 June 1916, at Horsemarket, Northampton, the son of Ernest Howarth, yeast merchant, and his wife, Emily Archer, bookkeeper. The family moved to York where he attended Archbishop Holgate’s Grammar School. He was articled to C W C Needham in York from 1933-38. In the latter year he joined the Ministry of Works and remained there until 1942, staying in digs in Gravesend during the Blitz until his office was evacuated to Wales. He was admitted ARIBA (and ARIAS) in 1941 and in the same year was awarded the Ashpitel Prize. He is described as both architect and town planner. In 1939 he had married Rosemary Dryburgh and the couple lived in Rhyl in Wales until Leonard was posted back to London.

During the Second World War Howarth was commissioned as a captain in the Royal Engineers from 1942-46 and served in India. He kept a detailed record of his time in India, with sketches, paintings and notes of his trips.

After the cease of hostilities he returned to London, remaining there until 1949. In the latter year he moved to Fife as Deputy Architect and Planning Officer for Glenrothes Development Corporation. Initially the family (his son was born in 1944 and his daughter in 1948) lived with Rosemary’s relatives who lived in Methil but later moved to staff housing in Alburn Park in Glenrothes.

In 1952 or 1953 he moved to take a post as Senior Architect with the Scottish Division of the National Coal Board, based in Palmerston Place. The family lived in Craigmount Grove. He was appointed Burgh Architect and Town Planning Officer of Dunfermline on 10 March 1955 and he remained in this post until 1962 when he moved back to the place of his birth, Northampton, as Borough Architects and Town Planning Officer. He remained in this post until Local Government Organisation in 1974 when he retired to a small cottage at Bonchester Bridge near Hawick. However he was diagnosed with angina shortly after the move to the Borders and he and his wife moved to Skinburness on the Solway Coast for health reasons. He moved to Pedrixknowe, Colinton Road, Edinburgh in 1991.

Outwith his professional life Howarth was a keen amateur astronomer, building his own teloscopes and cameras. He was also a good musician and played a range of stringed and wind instruments. He also enjoyed art in many forms including painting, etching, silver-smithing and sculpture.

He died after a short illness in Liberton Hospital in Edinburgh on 21 July 2006, survived by his wife, Rose Mary Melrose, for whom he cared during his last few years and by his son and his daughter.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 6Markinch, Fife, ScotlandBusiness1950 *  
Item 2 of 66, Abbott Street, Dunfermline, Fife, ScotlandBusiness1957 *  
Item 3 of 6Borough Architect's Department, Guildhall, Northampton, Northamptonshire, EnglandBusinessc. 1964  
Item 4 of 66, Grune Point Close, Skinburness, Carlisle, EnglandPrivate1979 *  
Item 5 of 618, Glebe Close, Dalston , Carlisle, EnglandPrivate1987 *  
Item 6 of 63/5 Perdrixknowe, Colinton Road, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1994(?)2006 

* earliest date known from documented sources.

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 6C W C Needham19331938Apprentice 
Item 2 of 6H M Office of Works (later Ministry of Works, Department of the Environment and Property Services Agency)19381949AssistantWith a break during the war years
Item 3 of 6Glenrothes Development Corporation (or Glenrothes New Town Development Corporation)1949 *1950Depute Director 
Item 4 of 6National Coal Board, Scottish Division1952 or 1953 Senior Architect 
Item 5 of 6Dunfermline Burgh Council Architect's Department10 March 1955 Chief Architect 
Item 6 of 6Northampton Borough Architect's Department19621974Chief Architect 

* earliest date known from documented sources.

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 210 May 195733 two-apartment houses at HeadwellDunfermline FifeScotlandper Builder p882
Item 2 of 216 September 1960Multi-storey flats, Broomhead ParkDunfermline FifeScotlandas burgh architect, co-operated with George Wimpey & Co. on the plans per Builder p549


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 6RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 2 of 6RIBA1954RIBA Kalendar 1953-54   
Item 3 of 6RIBA1970RIBA Directory 1970   
Item 4 of 6RIBA1979Directory of members   
Item 5 of 6RIBA1987RIBA Directory of Members 1987   
Item 6 of 6RIBA1994A Directory of RIBA Members   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3Fife Council ArchivesDunfermline Burgh records Information courtesy of Andrew Dowsey
Item 2 of 3H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 3 of 3RIAS, Rutland SquareRecords of membership