Name

George Woodhouse

Designation
Architect
Born
1829
Place of Birth
Lindley
Location
Bolton
Died
1883

  • Birth date            29 July 1829 at Lindley, near Huddersfield.
  • Married (I)          Emma Crosland (1833-1860) on 17 December 1851 at Lindley, Huddersfield.
  • Married (II)         Ellen (1833-1867)
  • Married (III)       Harriet Knowles (1859 -1894) on 10 April 1871 at St Cuthbert's Church Lytham.
  • Death date          8.00am Tuesday 4 September 1883 at Uttoxeter

George Woodhouse was born at Lindley, near Huddersfield, his father being in the wool business, and when 15 years of age moved to Bolton. At that time it was his intention to follow the musical profession and he commenced by becoming the organist at the Bridge-street Wesleyan Chapel. Ultimately a change was decided upon and he commenced an architectural career. He was first articled to James Whittaker of Skipton Mill, Doffcocker, Bolton, then practising as an architect in Silverwell Yard Bolton. When James Whittaker joined Messrs Ormrod & Hardcastle as their private architect and engineer, Woodhouse transferred to his employer's brother John Williamson Whittaker, also an architect. Such was his ability that he was admitted to the partnership before the expiry of his articles. In 1852 he set up on his own account in Bolton, his first major commission being Heaton Grange, a house for John Knowles J.P.

George Woodhouse would later take Knowles' half-sister, Harriet, as his third wife, but as a result of his professional associations already established with Knowles, a number of other commissions followed. He was also a Methodist at a time when many of the mill-owning elite of Bolton were of similar persuasion. He was thus well placed to take advantage of the growing number of commissions for new mills in the Bolton area, especially when there appears to have been a strong inclination to employ local architects in such works in the cotton towns round Manchester. Woodhouse also retained strong links with his native village of Lindley and designed several chapels in the locality.

That he became one of the leading and most prolific architects in Lancashire appears from his obituary in the Bolton Chronicle. He he had possibly been connected with the building of more mills than any other person in Lancashire, and the list of chapels for which he was responsible totalled thirty, not only in Lancashire but in Yorkshire, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, and Warwickshire. He erected the first cotton mill to be built in the Midlands, at Nuneaton and produced plans and specifications for overseas countries, including Canada.

For a number of years George Woodhouse was in partnership with his former pupil, Edward Potts in Oldham. This partnership was dissolved in 1872 although Woodhouse was later to collaborate with Potts in the preparation of designs for the extension of Oldham Town Hall. This partnership between Woodhouse and Potts seems to have been restricted solely to the office at Clegg Street, Oldham, (generally understood to have functioned under the direction of Edward Potts), while George Woodhouse continued to practice on his own account in Bolton. This is evidenced by the advertisements placed in the Manchester Guardian for various Building Contracts. Only those advertisements issued from the Oldham office were issued under the name of Woodhouse and Potts; those from the Bolton office being under the sole name of George Woodhouse, architect. Edward Potts was later to adopt similar partnership arrangements with Hennings and with George Herbert Woodhouse.

During his professional career, Woodhouse also forged a number of brief associations on specific commissions, including those with the Bolton architect Leigh Hall on Bolton Workhouse and with William Hill on Bolton Town Hall. Hill obtained the commission for Bolton Town Hall as a result of a successful competition entry and is generally credited with sole responsibility for the design.  According to the Illustrated London News of 14 June 1873 Woodhouse was the resident architect for the construction work with Ellis & Hincliffe acting as main contractors. The master key used in the opening of the Town Hall, now in Bolton Museum, also records both Hill and Woodhouse as the joint architects.

George Woodhouse died at 8 o’clock on the morning of Tuesday 4 September 1883 at his temporary residence near Uttoxeter, Staffordshire where he has, under the advice of his doctor, Dr Snape, been staying for some weeks. He was 56 years of age and left eight children.

If his obituary notices in the local press are accepted, it is doubtful whether a formal partnership agreement was ever formed between George Woodhouse and William Morley as some have claimed. According to these accounts, Morley was employed as a “locum” to take over the running of the practice in the weeks leading up to George Woodhouse’s death. It seems that the partnership was in fact formed between George Herbert Woodhouse and William Morley in 1884.

Address
1850        Whittaker and Woodhouse 5 Wood Street Bolton
1853        George Woodhouse Silverwell Yard, Bradshawgate
1861        George Woodhouse St George’s Road, Little Bolton
1864        George Woodhouse St George’s Road, Little Bolton (Kelly Lancashire Trades Page 579)
1864        Woodhouse and Potts Clegg Street Oldham (Kelly Lancashire Trades Page 579)
1881        George Woodhouse St George’s Road, Little Bolton

Residence
1853        Bridgeman Street, Bolton
1883        Heath Bank, 219, Chorley New Road Bolton
1887        Mrs Harriet Woodhouse Heath Bank 219 Chorley New Road, Bolton (Bolton Directory)
1895        Mrs Woodhouse Heath Bank 219 Chorley New Road, Bolton (Bolton Directory)

Obituary
The Bolton Evening News Vol XXXV  No 5045. Tuesday 4 September 1883 Page 3 Column 5
Bolton Weekly Journal 8 Sept 1883 Page 3
Bolton Chronicle 8 September 1883

References
Illustrated London News 7 & 14 June 1873 (Bolton Town Hall Opening Ceremony)
Jones, Edgar    Industrial Architecture in Britain 1750-1939 London 1985
Edward J Low.     Architects of Huddersfield and District to 1860

 

 

Buildings and Designs

Building Name District Town/City County Country
Methodist New Connexion (Zion) Chapel Lindley Lindley  Huddersfield  GMCA  England
Royds Hall and Lodge - Designed for Joseph Crosland   Huddersfield  West Yorkshire  England
Wesleyan Chapel, East Street Lindley Lindley  Huddersfield  GMCA  England
Alterations Salendine Nook Baptist Chapel.   Huddersfield  GMCA  England
Baptist Chapel, Oakes.near Huddersfield Oakes  Huddersfield  Yorkshire  England
Schools for Zion Chapel, Lindley. Lindley  Huddersfield  GMCA  England
Heaton Grange Chorley New Road Heaton Bolton Heaton  Bolton  GMCA  England
Heaton Grange Gate House and Cottage, Chorley New Road Heaton  Bolton  GMCA  England
Chapel. Bank Street, Bolton   Bolton  GMCA  England
Gilnow New Mills, Bolton   Bolton  GMCA  England
Unitarian Chapel. Bank Street Bolton   Bolton  GMCA  England
Two Villa Residences Farnworth Farnworth  Bolton  GMCA  England
Additions: Corporation Offices Bolton   Bolton  GMCA  England
Lee Lane Congregational Church Lee Lane Horwich Horwich  Bolton  GMCA  England
Gilnow No 2 Mill   Bolton  GMCA  England
Mill Lostock Lostock  Bolton  GMCA  England
Mill Westhoughton Westhoughton  Bolton  GMCA  England
Non-conformist Cemetery Chapel, Tonge Cemetery, Bolton Tonge  Bolton  GMCA  England
Mill Halliwell Halliwell  Bolton  GMCA  England
Mill near Tanners Hole   Bolton  GMCA  England
Mill Farnworth Farnworth  Bolton  GMCA  England
Bolton Union Workhouse Fishpool Estate near Farnworth Farnworth  Bolton  GMCA  England
Cotton Works: Springhead, Lees near Oldham Lees  Oldham  GMCA  England
Brooklyn, Green Lane, Great Lever, Bolton Great Lever  Bolton  GMCA  England
Fire-proof Cotton Mill. Blue Pits near Rochdale Blue Pits  Rochdale  GMCA  England
Wesleyan Chapel & Schools. Park Street, Bolton   Bolton  GMCA  England
Anker Cotton Mill, Attleborough Road Nuneaton   Nuneaton  Warwickshire  England
Coventry Cotton Mill & Works, Draper's Fields, Coventry Radford  Coventry  Warwickshire  England
Cotton Mill Pemberton near Wigan Pemberton  Wigan  GMCA  England
Bank of Bolton Deansgate Bolton   Bolton  GMCA  England
Weslyan Chapel, Fletcher Street, Manchester   Manchester  GMCA  England
Memorial Congregational Church, Rose Hill, Bolton Rose Hill  Bolton  GMCA  England
Alterations and Additions: Bolton Infirmary   Bolton  GMCA  England
Gidlow Mill Wigan   Wigan  GMCA  England
Mill, Dumfries   Dumfries  Dumfriesshire  Scotland
Wesleyan Sunday Schools: Regent Road, Salford   Salford  GMCA  England
Lodge, Entrance Gates etc. Queens Park (Bolton Park)   Bolton  GMCA  England
Pavilion & Refreshment Room Queens Park (Bolton Park)   Bolton  GMCA  England
Methodist Chapel, Marlborough Road, Banbury, Oxfordshire   Banbury  Oxfordhire  England
Bolton Town Hall   Bolton  GMCA  England
Clubhouse. Bolton   Bolton  GMCA  England
Gas Offices, Bolton   Bolton  GMCA  England
Wesleyan Schools , Newchurch Newchurch  Rossendale  Lancashire  England
Wesleyan Chapel, Silver Street, Kettering   Kettering  Northamptonshire  England
Wesleyan Chapel: Stockport Road, Longsight Longsight  Manchester  GMCA  England
Wesleyan Chapel, Union Street Bury   Bury  GMCA  England
New Cotton Mill Farington Farington  Leyland  Lancashire  England
Wesleyan Chapel and Schools, Halliwell Road, Bolton   Bolton  GMCA  England
Claremont Baptist Chapel, St George’s Road, Bolton   Bolton  GMCA  England
Wesleyan Chapel Westhoughton (concrete) Westhoughton  Bolton  GMCA  England
Victoria Mill. Varley Street, Mills Platting Manchester Miles Platting  Manchester  GMCA  England
Bradford Buildings Mawdsley Street Bolton   Bolton  GMCA  England
Fittings: Extension to Bolton Free Library   Bolton  GMCA  England
Unidentified Works in Scotland       Scotland
Methodist Chapel Dale Street Leamington Warwickshire   Leamington  Warwickshire  England
Beckett Barnsley Dispensary and Hospital, Barnsley, Yorkshire   Barnsley  Yorkshire  England
Congregational Church, Belper   Belper  Derbyshire  England
Wesleyan Chapel, Swan Square, Burslem - Enlargement   Burslem  Staffordshire  England
Four Houses at Summerseat near Bury Summerseat  Bury  GMCA  England
Conservative Club Bradford Buildings Mawdsley Street Bolton   Bolton  GMCA  England
Wesleyan Chapel & Schools, Stacksteads near Bacup Stacksteads  Bacup  Lancashire  England
Baptist Chapel and Schools, Blackburn Road, Haslingden   Haslingden  Lancashire  England
Wycliffe Congregational Church, Bewsey Road, Warrington   Warrington  Cheshire  England
Cotton Mill. Brooks Bottoms, Summerseat near Bury Summerseat  Bury  GMCA  England
Fever Hospital, Bolton   Bolton  GMCA  England
Wesleyan Schools. Britannia near Bacup Britannia  Bacup  Lancashire  England
Britannia Mills, near Bacup Britannia  Bacup  Lancashire  England
Wesleyan Church, Penrith   Penrith  Cumbria  England
Bliss Tweed Mill, Chipping Norton   Chipping Norton  Oxfordshire  England
Sunnyside Mills, St Helen’s Road, Daubhill, Bolton Daubhill  Bolton  GMCA  England
“Fieldhead,” Lidget Street, Lindley, Huddersfield Lindley  Huddersfield  Yorkshire  England
Sunday School, Lindley, near Huddersfield Lindley  Huddersfield  Yorkshire  England
Wesleyan Schools, Halliwell Road, Bolton   Bolton  GMCA  England
Rochdale Union Workhouse, Dearnley near Rochdale Dearnley  Rochdale  GMCA  England
Mill and Appurtenances, Cox Green, Turton near Bolton Turton  Bolton  GMCA  England
Fire-proof Mill. Stockport   Stockport  GMCA  England
Fireproof Mill. Edgworth near Bolton (tender for brickwork) Edgworth  near Bolton  Lancashire  England
Wesleyan Training College, Didsbury. Didsbury  Manchester  GMCA  England
Peel No 3 Mill. Waterloo Street/Slaters Lane, Bolton   Bolton  GMCA  England
Fireproof Mill, Consolidated Mills, Lever Street, Bolton   Bolton  GMCA  England
New Branch Bank Market Street, Farnworth for the Bank of Bolton Fartnworth  Bolton  GMCA  England
Wesleyan Chapel Aspinal, Gorton Gorton  Manchester  GMCA  England
New Buildings. Globe Ironworks Bolton for John Musgrave and Sons   Bolton  GMCA  England
Chimney and Engine Bed, Portwood, near Stockport, for T & J Leigh Portwood  Stockport  GMCA  England
Weaving Shed, Moses Gate near Bolton, for John Cross & Sons, Bolton Moses Gate  Bolton  GMCA  England
Fireproof Cotton Mill (Woodhouse's Patent) Bolton   Bolton  GMCA  England
Woodside, Chorley New Road Heaton Bolton Heaton  Bolton  GMCA  England
New Wesleyan Chapel, Earlestown, Newton-le-Willows Earlstown  Newton-le-Willows  Merseyside  England
Trinity Methodist Chapel, Harrogate   Harrogate  Yorkshire  England
Haslam Hall Chorley New Road, Bolton Heaton  Bolton  GMCA  England
Bank of Bolton, Atherton Branch   Atherton  GMCA  England
Wesleyan Chapel Griffin Street Blackburn   Blackburn  Lancashire  England
Fireproof Mill Extensions. Portwood, Stockport Portwood  Stockport  GMCA  England
Works. Black Lane Radcliffe   Radcliffe  GMCA  England
Albion Corn Mill. Lancashire Hill Stockport Lancashire Hill  Stockport  GMCA  England
Cotton Mill Ashton under-Lyne   Ashton-under-Lyne  GMCA  England
Wesleyan Chapel, Daubhill, Bolton Daubhill  Bolton  GMCA  England
Methodist Central Hall, Oldham Street /Dale Street, Manchester   Manchester  GMCA  England
Oldham School of Science and Art (II), Union Street, Oldham   Oldham  GMCA  England
Oldham School of Science and Art (I), Union Street, Oldham   Oldham  GMCA  England

Partnerships

Name Designation Formed Dissolved Location
Whittaker and Woodhouse Architectural practice 1851 1852 Bolton
Woodhouse and Leigh Hall association 1858 1861 Bolton
Woodhouse and Potts Architectural practice 1860 1872 Bolton
Woodhouse and Potts Architectural practice 1860 1872 Oldham