Basic Biographical Details

Name: Edward Prentice Mawson
Designation: Architect, Landscape architect, Town Planner
Born: 16 July 1885
Died: 22 December 1954
Bio Notes: The eldest child of Thomas H Mawson and his wife Anna, the daughter of Edward Prentice (1830-1870) a surgeon from North Walsham, Norfolk, Edward Prentice Mawson was born at Windermere on 16 July 1885, and was baptised on 11 October 1886 at St. Mary’s Church, Applethwaite, Windermere. He was educated at the grammar school, Windermere, before training as an architect at the Architectural Association School in London, and then the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. At this time there was no formal qualification in landscape architecture and his knowledge of plants and planting was acquired from his father and from his uncle, Robert Mawson, of Mawson Brothers Nurseries in Windermere. In 1910 he won the RIBA's Soane medallion.

On 9 April 1913 Edward married Hilda Bowhill, whose father had been a wealthy boot and shoe maker in the Bridewell, Norwich. Following their marriage they moved to”Brackondale,” in Hest Bank, north of Lancaster, and there had three children. Andrew Prentice Mawson, born 1917; Elizabeth Prentice Mawson, born 1920; and Thomas Prentice Mawson, born 1925.

Edward Mawson had joined his father as a partner in 1910, by which time the firm had offices in both Lancaster and London.. He was responsible for drawing up plans for two prestigious commissions awarded to his father in 1908, the gardens surrounding the Peace Palace at The Hague, and the tower in the gardens of Queen Alexandra’s seaside house of Hvidöre in Denmark.

In 1913 Thomas Mawson received a commission to re-design the gardens of the Royal Palace in Athens. Edward was promptly dispatched to Greece and was responsible for preparing most of the preliminary drawings submitted to the King in July 1914. However these schemes were never progressed due to the outbreak of war. Unfit for military service, Edward continued to work with his father in the much reduced Lancaster office throughout the First World War.

In 1923 Thomas H Mawson was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Thereafter the running of the practice was increasingly left to Edward Prentice and his brother, John William Mawson. This partnership was formally dissolved in 1928 when John William Mawson accepted the post of Director of Town Planning in New Zealand, Thomas H Mawson seemingly having retired earlier. Edward continued the practice alone under the style of Thomas Mawson and Son. The economic difficulties of the interwar years prompted the firm to diversify from private clients to the public sector. In this period Edward Prentice Mawson emerges as a prominent designer of public spaces, his commissions including Stanley Park, Blackpool, and the seafront gardens at Southend-on-Sea and Hastings.

After the Second World War Edward took into partnership Gordon H. Farrow, a superb draughtsman n and an associate of the Institute of Landscape Architects, together with his younger son, Thomas Prentice Mawson. They worked on a range of landscape commissions such as Mayesbrook Park in Barking, and large-scale town planning schemes including the Ulster garden villages from 1947 as well as private gardens.

A member of the Royal Institute of British Architects, he was also a member of the Town Planning Institute from 1919 and of the Institute of Structural Engineers from 1921. A fellow and founder member of the Institute of Landscape Architects, established in 1929, he was acting president of the Institute after his father's death in 1933, and president in his own right from 1936 to 1937.

Edward Prentice Mawson died suddenly of coronary thrombosis on 22 December 1954 at 4 Lonsdale Road, Hest Bank. He was cremated at Blackpool and his ashes buried in the family grave at Bowness on Windermere.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect, landscape architect, town planner:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 44, Lonsdale Road, Hest Bank, near Lancaster, Lancashire, EnglandPrivate 1954Residence at time of death
Item 2 of 4High Street House, 2, High Street, Lancaster, Lancashire, England 19081934High Street House. 2 High Street Lancaster
Item 3 of 4Brackondale 10, Hest Bank Lane, Hest Bank near Lancaster, Lancashire, EnglandPrivate1913  
Item 4 of 426, Victoria Street, London, England 1928 London Gazette and Times

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect, landscape architect, town planner (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 3Thomas Hayton Mawsonc. 18981910Assistant 
Item 2 of 3Thomas H Mawson & Sons19101928Partner 
Item 3 of 3Thomas H Mawson and Son19281954Partner 

Buildings and Designs

This architect, landscape architect, town planner 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 11912Dower House, BraickleyBallater AberdeenshireScotlandAs successor to architectural role of Dan Gibson after Gibson's death. Southeast (or Southwest?) wing


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect, landscape architect, town planner:
Item 1 of 1DNB Dictionary of National Biography  Revision. October 2008

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect, landscape architect, town planner:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Builder31 December 1954v186 p1062 - obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect, landscape architect, town planner:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1Information courtesy of Graeme More who has specialist knowledge of Dan GibsonInformation via website (from Graeme More)