James Medland Taylor

Place of Birth
Stanford Rivers

  • Born     :  1834 Stanford Rivers Ongar Essex. Son of Isaac Taylor.
  • Married  :  29 August 1867 Priscilla Coventry at Holy Trinity Church, Upper Tooting.
  • Died      :  31 May 1909 at Rusholme, Manchester

James Medland Taylor was born at Stanford Rivers, Essex in 1834.  His father was Isaac Taylor, of Stanford Rivers, the author of several books of religious philosophy. His two aunts. Ann and Jane Taylor, wrote a large number of nursery rhymes and verses, among them. Twinkle, twinkle, little star." His elder brother was Canon of York, and the author of " Words and Places." James Medland Taylor himself was educated at Felsted School, Leatherhead under Mr Joseph Payne, before bring articled to his uncle, James Medland, later county surveyor, Gloucester. He was afterwards assistant to H. J. Paull, Cardiff; S. S. Teulon, London; and Hayley and Son, 45, Cross Street, Manchester.

In 1860 James Medland Taylor commenced practice at 2, St. Ann's Churchyard and carried out some public work including Stalybridge Public Library and the Blair Hospital, Bolton. However, it was as an ecclesiastical architect that he was most widely known, more than fifty new churches having been built from his designs, while he was charged with the restoration or extension of some ninety more. among them the parish churches of Cheadle, Prestwich and Radcliffe. Perhaps the most familiar of his buildings in Manchester was the Union Chapel in Oxford Road. In the 1880s, he was the architect for among others St. Stephen's. St. Michael's, and St. Gabriel's, Hulme: St. Michael's, Ardwick; St. Agnes's, Slade-lane. Manchester; St. Clement's. Longsight; and St. Luke's, Miles Platting. His work was always careful and owed much of its interest to his handling of material, and his minute attention to detail.

Medland Taylor has been described as the arch rogue architect of South East Lancashire. Coined by H S Goodhart Rendell in 1949 the term “rogue architect” was a convenient form of shorthand much used by Pevsner and much abused by subsequent writers. The term is unfortunate. It was principally intended to be used in the sense of rogue elephant rather than the criminal sense although it could be used in both senses. Rogue architects “driven or living apart from the herd, and of savage temper” were supposed to be outside the mainstream of architecture; their extreme individuality preventing them from having any real influence on their contemporaries. Yet Medland Taylor did not pursue originality at any price; rather he was proof that not all Victorian architects were mere imitators in their ecclesiastical architecture. Although individual elements can easily be traced back to period precedent, their mixture with completely original ones results in an unprecedented whole. It is curious that attributes such as flair and imagination, now highly prized, should still be considered a failure on the part of some Victorian architects reluctant to meekly follow the herd. Unfortunately, the image of Medland Taylor trampling about Lancashire like a rogue elephant through the African bush, has a surprisingly appeal, difficult to easily dismiss from the mind.

In 1868 he was joined in partnership by his younger brother Henry under the style James Medland and Henry Taylor. The partnership was dissolved in 1883 when Henry retired through ill health. In later years he employed his son Isaac although no evidence of a formal partnership has been found. By 1902 Isaac was obtaining commissions under his own name.

Medland Taylor was for three successive years President of the Manchester Architectural Association, and two years President of the Manchester Society of Architects of which he was a Fellow. He was for many years an occasional contributor of architectural criticisms to the columns of the "Manchester Guardian".

On 29 August 1867 at Holy Trinity Church, Upper Tooting, by the Rev Isaac Taylor, assisted by the Rev E D Cree, James Medland Taylor married Priscilla, fourth daughter of Millis Coventry of Feandale, Wandsworth Common. [Manchester Guardian 31 August 1867 page 6].

The children of the marriage were Mary Grace Taylor, b. 1868; Margaret Elizabeth Jane Taylor, MA . born 22 Feb 1870 at Moon Grove - Ref Girton College Register, Author - an introduction to Greek Philosophy 1924; Isaac Taylor b. 1871, Manchester, d 1948, architect; Emma Constance Taylor, b. 1873, Manchester; Gerald Medland Taylor, b. 1874, Manchester, d. date unknown.; Muriel Coventry Taylor, b. 1875, Manchester, d. date unknown; Mildred Bevington Taylor, b. 1879, d. date unknown; Agnes Priscilla Taylor, b. 1881.

James Medland Taylor died on 31 May 1909 at his residence, Stanford, Rusholme, in his 75th year. The funeral and burial took place on Friday 4 June at St James's Church, Birch, at noon. [Manchester Guardian 2 June 1909 -Death Notices]

1860-1900    St Ann’s Churchyard, Manchester
1900-1908    7 Chapel Walks, Manchester

1900 : Notice of Removals from Winter’s Buildings, St Ann’s Street on or after 24 March, owing to the premises coming down. – Medland Taylor 2 St Ann’s Churchyard to 7 Chapel Walks. [Manchester Guardian 20 March 1900 page 1]

1851        Clarence Street Gloucester (with James Medland) Census
1868        1 Moon Grove, Risholme
1871        1 Brookfield Tettace, Dickenson Road, Rusholme
1909        Stanford, 147 Dickenson Road, Rusholme


Buildings and Designs

Building Name District Town/City County Country
New Premises. 46 Drake Street, Rochdale   Rochdale  GMCA  England
House at Birkdale Park Southport for Mr Heginbottom Birkdale  Southport  Merseyside  England
Sunday Schools Hyde Road Ardwick Manchester Ardwick  Manchester  GMCA  England
Church of St John the Evangelist, Stand Lane, Radcliffe. Radcliffe  Bury  GMCA  England
Memorial pulpit: St John the Evangelist, Radcliffe Radcliffe  Bury  GMCA  England
Church of All Saints Church Road Cheadle Hulme Cheadle Hulme  Stockport  GMCA  England
St Paul’s Church Moor Lane Kersal Moor Salford: Reredos Kersal Moor  Salford  GMCA  England
House near Rochdale   Rochdale  GMCA  England
Inn at Romiley Romiley  Stockport  GMCA  England
Christ Church Parsonage. Bradford-cum-Beswick Bradford-cum-Beswick  Manchester  GMCA  England
St Michael's Church. Lavender Street Hulme Hulme  Manchester  GMCA  England
Church of St Anne (I) Brindle Heath Road Brindle Heath Pendleton Brindle Heath  Pendleton  GMCA  England
St Chad’s Church Romiley Cheshire   Romiley  GMCA  England
School Chapel, Heywood   Heywood  GMCA  England
Alterations: St Simon and St Jude   Manchester  GMCA  England
St Mary the Virgin (New) : Lower Road : Stoke Mandeville Buckinghamshire   Stoke Mandeville  Buckinghamshire  England
Church of All Saints, Foxholes Road, Hamer, Rochdale Hamer  Rochdale  GMCA  England
Christ Church Blackpool   Blackpool  Lancasire  England
Parish Schools and Teacher’s House. Mellor Derbyshire   Mellor  GMCA  England
Parish Schools, Christ Church, Beswick Bradford-cum-Beswick  Manchester  GMCA  England
Church of St Peter: Broad Oak Road, Parr, Prescot Parr  Prescot  Merseyside  England
Church of St Andrew, Churchdale Road, Crab Lane, Higher Blackley : Manchester   Manchester  GMCA  England
Rectory: Church of St Andrew Churchdale Road Higher Blackley   Manchester  GMCA  England
National Schools Buersill Rochdale   Rochdale  GMCA  England
St Mary’s Church Schools Balderstone Rochdale   Rochdale  GMCA  England
School Church Old Lane Swinton   Swinton  GMCA  England
St Matthews School Church Ardwick   Manchester  GMCA  England
Christ Church Abingdon Street Blackpool   Blackpool  Lancasire  England
Church of St John the Baptist Liverpool Road Jenny Green. Higher Irlam Jenny Green  Higher Irlam  GMCA  England
St Johns Church St John's Road Bowdon Bowdon  Altrincham  GMCA  England
Parish Schools, Albert Street, Eccles   Eccles  GMCA  England
St Thomas High Lane Marple - Enlargement Marple  Stockport  GMCA  England
Wesleyan Chapel and Schools. Bakewell Derbyshire   Bakewell  Derbyshire  England
New School Rooms Regent Road Salford   Salford  GMCA  England
St. Matthias' School Church Saville Street Chorlton-upon-Medlock   Manchester  GMCA  England
St Matthew’s Church: Hyde Road/Devonshire Street Ardwick Manchester   Manchester  GMCA  England
Reredos St Matthew’s Church: Hyde Road Ardwick Manchester Ardwick  Manchester  GMCA  England
St Gabriel Erskine Street Hulme   Manchester  GMCA  England
St Andrew’s Church Colne Road Burnley   Burnley  Lancasire  England
Church of the Holy Ascension Duke Street Lower Broughton Salford Lower Broughton  Salford    England
St Thomas: Lumm Street Hyde   Hyde  GMCA  England
Church of St James the Apostle Waterloo Street Bolton   Boltom  GMCA  England
St Clement's Church, Manor Avenue, Urmston Urmston  Trafford  GMCA  England
National Schools Northenden Northenden  Manchester  GMCA  England
St George the Martyr Roseberry Street Daubhill Bolton   Bolton  GMCA  England
Chancel: Church of St David, Haigh Road, Haigh Haigh  Wigan  GMCA  England
Alterations and Re-fitting: Church of St Thomas, Pendleton Pendleton  Salford  GMCA  England
Restoration of Cloisters. Chethams   Manchester  GMCA  England
Church of St Luke Moorbottom Cleckheaton Moorbottom  Cleckheaton  Yorkshire  England
Holy Trinity Church Parkfield Middleton. Chancel Fittings Parkfield  Middleton  GMCA  England
Church of St Mark Bestwood Nottinghamshire   Bestwood  Nottinghamshire  England
Parish Schools of St Michael and All Angels Leigh Road Howe Bridge Atherton Howe Bridge  Atherton  GMCA  England
Rebuilding Tower St Michael’s Parish Church Flixton   Flixton  GMCA  England
Hulme Branch Bank Hulme  Manchester  GMCA  England
Chancel: St Thomas St Thomas' Place Wellington Road South Stockport   Stockport  GMCA  England
Extensions: All Saints Schools, Wardley Lane, Swinton Swinton  Salford  GMCA  England
Parsonage House 21 Bolton Road Pendleton for St Thomas Pendleton Pendleton  Salford  GMCA  England
Sacred Trinity Schools Blackfriars Road Salford   Salford  GMCA  England
“Rivington” Claremont Road Pendleton Pendleton  Salford  GMCA  England
Re-arrangement. St Philip’s Church Salford   Salford  GMCA  England
Church of St Peter, Birchall Street, Warrington   Warington  Cheshire  England
St Alban's Church Burnley   Burnley  Lancasire  England
Church of St John the Baptist Kirkless Street New Springs Wigan   New Springs Wigan  GMCA  England
Astley Cheetham Public Library and Post Office Stalybridge   Stalybridge  GMCA  England
Church of St Thomas Stockport   Stockport  GMCA  England
Church of St Mary Todmorden   Todmorden  GMCA  England
Church of St. Catherine Todmorden Road Burnley   Burnley  Lancasire  England
Church of St Peter Manchester Road Redvales Bury Redvales  Bury  GMCA  England
Sacred Trinity Mission House and Mission Room. Blackfriars Street Salford   Salford  GMCA  England
Springfield Oil Works Dickinson Street Salford   Salford  GMCA  England
Cringle House Cheadle   Cheadle  GMCA  England
Institute for Seamen Trafford Road Salford   Salford  GMCA  England
St Paul’s Church Clifton Drive Fairhaven Fairhaven  Lytham  Lancasire  England
Bronze Memorial Tablet Parish Church Northwich   Northwich  Cheshire  England
Rainford Hall, Crank Road, Rainford     Merseyside  England
No 9 Tank House, off Watson Street, St Helens   St Helens  Merseyside  England
Pilkington Brothers Head Office, Grove Street, St Helens   St Helens  Merseyside  England
Jubilee and Klondike Warehouses, St Helens   St Helens  Merseyside  England
North Aisle; Church of St Agnes, Slade Lane, Birch Birch, Longsight  Manchester  GMCA  England
Monument to John Fenton, Bamford Chapel Bamford  Rochdale  GMCA  England


Name Designation Formed Dissolved Location
Taylor J M and Son Architectural practice 1897 1909 Manchester
Taylor, James Medland and Henry Architectural practice 1868 1883 Manchester