Frederick Whittaker Dixon

Place of Birth
Oldham Manchester

  • Born                      16 April 1854 at Oldham
  • Christening         22 June 1854 at St. Peters, Oldham
  • Died                       16 November 1935 at Southport

Frederick Whittaker Dixon was born at Oldham on 16 April 1854, the son of Benjamin Dixon or Dickson, a staunch Methodist and his wife, Sarah, and was educated at Dronsfield’s Academy in that town. He entered the employ of Messrs Woodhouse & Potts as a youth and in 1880 became the partner of his fellow Methodists, Edward Potts and George Pickup at 18 Clegg Street Oldham. He established his own practice in 1889, first in the same building as Potts at 18 Clegg Street, and later at 52 Union Street Oldham, with another office in Manchester. He designed twelve mills in Oldham between 1891 and 1906. About that time, he took his son Ernest into partnership, the firm being known as F. W Dixon and Son and they were responsible for building another eleven mills as well as many extensions to existing factories.  By the start of the First World War, Dixon was again practising on his own, although around 1920 he was joined by Thomas Jackson Hill with the firm being re‑styled as Dixon, Hill & Company.

In 1896, owing to the state of his wife's health, Frederick Dixon moved to Southport, travelling each day to his Oldham office. For a time, he took a prominent part in the public affairs of his adopted town serving on Southport Council, becoming the mayor of that borough, (where he was also a Justice of the Peace), in 1906-1907. A native of Oldham, Dixon attended King Street Methodist Church, joining the choir at the age of seven, becoming organist and choirmaster when only 23 years of age and a teacher in the Sunday school. He was always proud of the fact that his father had been the first scholar on the formation of the Bank Street Methodist Sunday School on the 18th August 1835. In Southport he attended Duke Street Methodist Church and was co‑superintendent of the school for more than thirty years. He was also President at some time of the Free Church Council, the local Temperance Society and the Sunday School Union.

In his earlier mills, yellow brick was used to relieve the plainness of the outside walls, but a later technique involved pronounced brick piers between each window extending to the top of the parapet. The design of his towers was highly individual drawing on a wide variety of architectural styles. The firm also designed the Didsbury Institute of the British Cotton Industry Research Association and several churches and schools in Manchester, Oldham, Southport and London, but Dixon's most notable designs were for the Swedenborgians in Failsworth (1889) and the Primitive Methodists at Washbrook in Chadderton in 1892. Obtained a large number of commissions in Chadderton.

In 1877 Fred Dixon married Annie Noble of Oldham. They had two children, Edith and Ernest. He died on 16 November 1935 at Hotel Windsor, Lord Street Southport and was buried in Southport Cemetery

Reference    Oldham Chronicle 16 Nov 1935 Obit
Reference    Jones: Industrial Architecture
Reference    Gurr & Hunt: The Cotton Mills of Oldham. Third Edition Oldham 1998
Reference    Pevsner: South Lancashire
Reference    The Methodist Who’s Who 1912 Page 73

1889-        18 Clegg Street Oldham
18 – 1935    52 Union Street, Oldham and Manchester

1881        49 St Thomas Street South, Oldham
1896        Southport
1912        “Redlands,” Southport
1935        Hotel Windsor, Lord Street, Southport


Buildings and Designs

Building Name District Town/City County Country
London Street Primitive Methodist Chapel Southport   Southport  Merseyside  England
Zion Chapel, Montague Street, Blackburn   Blackburn  Lancashire  England
Mill for Applethorn Mill Company Ltd Gee Cross Hyde Gee Cross  Hyde  GMCA  England
Residence and Surgery with five other houses. Failsworth Oldham Failsworth  Oldham  GMCA  England
Methodist Free Church and School. Southlands Elland Elland  Leeds  Yorkshire  England
St Mark’s Methodist Church Schools, Derby Road, Southport   Southport  Merseyside  England
Werneth Ring No 2. Featherstall Road/ Henly Street Oldham   Oldham  GMCA  England
Ivy Mill. Crown Street Failsworth (Extension) Failsworth  Oldham  GMCA  England
R C Chapel Hollinwood Cemetery Hollinwood  Oldham  GMCA  England
Wesleyan Church & School. Church Fenton   Church Fenton  Yorkshire  England
Extension to United Mill Suffolk Street Chadderton   Chadderton  GMCA  England
Board School, Cliff Street, Whitby – (Architectural Competition)   Whitby  Yorkshire  England
Enlargement of St Michaels's National Schools Church Street Whitby   Whitby  Yorkshire  England
Methodist New Connexion Chapel and School Outlane Huddersfield Outlane  Huddersfield  Yorkshire  England
Free Methodist College Sunday School Dickinson Road Longsight Longsight  Manchester  GMCA  England
Beswick Street Methodist Free Church Ancoats Ancoats  Manchester  GMCA  England
Public Hall, People’s Institute, Café, Stables etc Aintree Aintree  Liverpool  Merseyside  England
Business Premises: Oldham Road Newton Heath Manchester Newton Heath  Manchester  GMCA  England
Parish Hall for St Thomas’s Church Peartree Road Derby   Derby  Derbyshire  England
Chapel and Schools Gregory Boulevard Nottingham (Architectural Competition)       England
Hyson Green Methodist Free Church Nottingham   Nottingham  Nottinghamshire  England
Additions to Church Poynton   Poynton  Cheshire  England
Business Premises and Dwelling Houses. Old Lane Failsworth Failsworth  Oldham  GMCA  England
Branch Store Higher West Street Middleton   Middleton  GMCA  England
Congregational Schools, Rochdale Road, Shaw Shaw  Oldham  GMCA  England
Westgate Chapel and Schools Osgodby near Market Rasen Lincolnshire Osgodby  Market Rasen  Lincolnshire  England
Mission Hall and Two Shops Oldham Road Miles Platting Miles Platting  Manchester  GMCA  England
Branch store and Three Dwelling Houses, Mills Hill, Middleton Mills Hill  Middleton  GMCA  England
Laundry: Meol Cop Road Southport for Miss Duckworth   Southport  Merseyside  England
Drapery Boot Shop and Offices etc. Poynton   Poynton  Cheshire  England
Burnley Higher Grade School (Architectural Competition)       England
Branch Shops Cheapside Middleton   Middleton  GMCA  England
New Central Stores Wakefield (Architectural Competition)       England
Welsh Congregational Church Liscard   Liscard  Wirral  England
Liberal Club Rochdale Road Shaw   Shaw  GMCA  England
Primitive Methodist Chapel Church Road Walton near Liverpool Walton  Liverpool  Merseyside  England
Presbyterian Church Whalley Range Whalley Range  Manchester CHECK  GMCA  England
Primitive Methodist Church and Schools. Monk Lane York   York  Yorkshire  England
New Store and Four Cottages. Parkfield Middleton Parkfield  Middleton  GMCA  England
Gem Mill. Fields New Road Chadderton   Chadderton  GMCA  England
Wren Mill Milne Street Chadderton   Chadderton  GMCA  England
Lark Mill. Fields New Road Chadderton   Chadderton  GMCA  England
Magnet Mill, Denton Lane, Chadderton Chadderton  Oldham  GMCA  England
St Paul’s Congregational Church Standishgate Wigan   Wigan  GMCA  England
Methodist Church King Street Oldham   Oldham  GMCA  England
Methodist Church High Park Road Southport   Southport  Lancashire  England
Glen Mill. Constantine Street Oldham   Oldham  GMCA  England
Majestic Mill. Dunham Street Lees Lees  Oldham  GMCA  England
Monarch Mill. Jones Street Royton   Royton  GMCA  England
Asia Mill. Clayton Street Chadderton   Chadderton  GMCA  England
Malta Mill. Mills Hill Road Chadderton   Chadderton  GMCA  England
Mona Mill. Fields New Road Chadderton   Chadderton  GMCA  England
Chain Bar Methodist Church Moston Moston  Manchester  GMCA  England
Co-operative Stores, Park Road, Oldham   Oldham  GMCA  England
Cotton Spinning Mill, Firgrove, Milnrow Milnrow  Rochdale  GMCA  England
Additions: Business Premises, Hyde   Hyde  GMCA  England
Central Business Premises, Horwich Horwich  Bolton  GMCA  England
Club Premises, Crompton, Oldham Crompton  Oldham  GMCA  England
Methodist Free Church, Ilford Lane, Ilford, Essex   Ilford  Essex  England
Warehouse, Row Street, Oldham   Oldham  GMCA  England
Mission Hall and Two Shops, Oldham Road, Miles Platting Miles Platting  Manchester  GMCA  England
Failsworth Co-operative Society Premises. Oldham Road, Newton Heath Newton Heath  Manchester  GMCA  England
Manufactory, Fox Street, Liverpool   Liverpool  Merseyside  England


Name Designation Formed Dissolved Location
Dixon and Son Architectural practice 1906 1914 Oldham
Dixon Hill and Company Architectural practice 1920 1947 Oldham
Potts Pickup and Dixon Architectural practice 1880 1889 Oldham