Frank Brookhouse Dunkerley

Place of Birth

Birth date         1868 at Timperley, Greater Manchester 
Death date        Monday, 24 September 1951 at Bowdon, Cheshire

Frank Brookhouse Dunkerley was born in Timperley, Cheshire, in 1868, the fourth of seven children of Charles and Mary Dunkerley. His father was a wealthy iron and steel merchant who founded the firm C C Dunkerley & Co Ltd in Manchester in 1845. Shortly after Frank’s birth, the family moved to the fashionable village of Bowdon. They attended the Unitarian church in Altrincham to which they gave substantial financial support.

Following school at Marlborough College, Frank decided on a career in architecture and was articled to Messrs Potts, Pickup and Dixon, the Manchester firm of mill architects. In 1891, he was appointed as a draughtsman for the influential firm of Douglas and Forman in Chester, where he stayed until 1895. He then worked for a short time as assistant to Thomas Roger Smith, the Professor of Architecture at University College, London, who proposed him for membership of the Royal Institute of British Architects. He was elected an associate in 1896 and a fellow in 1907.

In 1897 Frank set up his own practice in Manchester, based at Duchy Chambers on Clarence Street. Business was slow, and commissions mainly came from members of his family or friends, so in 1900 he decided to go into partnership with an older and more established architect, William Angelo Waddington. Angelo and his father William had built up a very successful practice, based in Burnley but covering the whole of the North West, and their speciality was Methodist churches. The new partnership was called Waddington, Son and Dunkerley, despite father William having died in 1891, and they operated from offices in St Ann’s Square, Manchester. They continued to design Methodist churches, but to these they added various commercial buildings and entries for national competitions, where they frequently reached the short list but rarely won. Frank also found time for several private commissions, including houses for himself, wife and family at Hale Barns and for his brother at Mere.

In January 1906, Frank and Angelo decided to terminate the partnership and go their separate ways. Frank had become very involved with various working-class housing schemes, based on principles developed by Octavia Hill, and in 1910 set up the Manchester Housing Company with property in various parts of Manchester. He also took on various public service roles, including Justice of the Peace, chairman of the Board of Governors of Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, and vice-chairman of Altrincham General Hospital Board. In 1914, he was elected President of Manchester Society of Architects, and in the same year invited Isaac Taylor, the son of James Medland Taylor, to share offices with him. Taylor was later joined by William Cecil Young and operated as Taylor and Young. The two practices mainly worked independently, but on occasion joined forces as in the design of a Garden Village at Cheadle for the organisation known as the Manchester and Salford Boys and Girls Refuges and Homes.

Frank Dunkerley died in 1951 aged 83 and was buried at Bowdon parish church. His reputation rests on only a handful of buildings, but it is probably true to say that when he worked independently, he showed a flair for imaginative designs in a broadly Arts and Crafts style. However, because of his inherited wealth, he did not have to work for a living and prompted by a social conscience developed from his liberal non-conformist background, he devoted himself more and more to public duties. Unfortunately, in so doing, he deprived us of more architecture. - Richard Fletcher.

F B DUNKERLEY - Mr Frank Brookhouse Dunkerley, of Bowden, whose death has been reported, had played a prominent part in the public life of Manchester and Cheshire for many years. During his early training as an architect he became familiar with traditional timber construction which influenced his early work when he started his own practice in Manchester. By nature and training a traditionalist, wherever he was commissioned to build his sensitive feeling produced something in keeping with the locality whether in the Lake District, Cheshire, or Sussex.  He was president of the Manchester Society of Architects from 1914 to 1916 and had served on numerous local government bodies, being chairman of Bowdon Urban District Council in 1934-36 and a past chairman of Altrincham justices. He was an active member of the CPRE and for eighteen years served on the committees of the District Provident and Welfare Society of Manchester and Salford, becoming president in 1940 on the death of his friend Henry Gaddum. [Manchester Guardian 9 October 1951 page 5]

Death Notice    Manchester Guardian Wednesday 26th and Thursday 27th September 1951 Page 8 (Deaths).
Obituary         RIBA Journal v58, 1951, page 482 
Obituary         Manchester Guardian 9 October 1951 page 5

Who’s Who in Architecture 1926
Biographical File RIBA Library. Microfiche:  60/G5 

Information from Richard Fletcher

1901    Mansfield Chambers 17 St Ann’s square, Manchester (Academy Architecture)
1903    Waddington Son & Dunkerley, Mansfield Chambers 17 St Ann’s Square, Manchester
1909    17 St Ann's Square
1910    Frank B Dunkerley 19 Chapel Walk, Manchester (R A Exhibitor)
1911    Frank B Dunkerley 17 St Ann's Square
1926    Frank B Dunkerley 17 St Ann's Square (Who’s Who in Architecture)
1927    Dunkerley Taylor & Young, 19 Chapel Walk, Manchester (R A Exhibitor)

1898    Hurst Dale Devisdale Road, Dunham Massey, Bowdon (parents’ home)
1903    Greythwaite Hale, Altrincham
1910    Greythwaite Hale, Altrincham  (Kelly Cheshire Directory)
1911    Greythwaite Hale, Altrincham
c1923   The Green Bend, Bowden, Cheshire
1951    The Green Bend, Bowden, Cheshire



Buildings and Designs

Building Name District Town/City County Country
“A Provincial Market Hall”       England
Belle Grange Ambleside Windermere   Ambleside  Cumbria  England
31 Market Street Altrincham   Altrincham  GMCA  England
Former Parsonage Sylvan Grove Altrincham   Altrincham  GMCA  England
Warehouse 6 Fennel Street Manchester   Manchester  GMCA  England
St Aidan’s Rectory Bradford-cum-Beswick Beswick  Manchester  GMCA  England
Three Houses, Oakwood Road, Romiley (atrib)   Romiley  GMCA  England
Wesleyan Church, Kings Road, Chelsea   Chelsea  Greater London  England
“Graythwaite” Barrow Lane Hale Barns Altrincham Hale Barns  Altrincham  GMCA  England
Meadowlands Mere (Mere Court Hotel)   Mere  Cheshire East  England
The Bowdon Assembly Rooms The Firs Bowdon   Bowdon  GMCA  England
“Cragwood” Ambleside Road Windermere   Windermere  Cumbria  England
Children’s Refuge Chatham Street Manchester   Manchester  GMCA  England
Arthur Herbert House Hale Hale  Altrincham  GMCA  England
The Gables, Hale, Cheshire Hale  Altrincham  GMCA  England
Schools in connection with the Unitarian Church Hale Road Hale Barns Hale Barns  Altrincham  GMCA  England
Altrincham Hospital: Extensions   Altrincham  GMCA  England
RIBA Housing Competition Northern Area “Class D”       England
Wrenshot Cottage Wrenshot Lane High Legh Cheshire   High Legh  Cheshire  England
"The Old House" South Downs Road Astley Heath Hale Hale  Altrincham  GMCA  England
The White House Dene Road Didsbury Didsbury  Manchester  GMCA  England
Marlborough School War Memorial (Architectural Competition)   Marlborough  Wiltshire  England
The Green Bend, Grange Road, Bowdon, Cheshire Bowdon  Altrincham  GMCA  England
COPEC Housing scheme Eaton Road Bowdon Vale Bowdon Vale  Bowdon  GMCA  England


Name Designation Formed Dissolved Location
Dunkerley Taylor and Young Architectural practice 1922 1927 Manchester
Waddington Son and Dunkerley Architectural practice 1900 1906 Burnley and Manchester