James Redford

Place of Birth

  • Born  : 21 June 1837
  • Died   : 10 December 1911

James Redford, the son of John and Frances Redford, was born in Manchester on 21 June 1837 and christened on 4 July 1837 at the Collegiate Church. At an early age he visited Canada, and returned with many sketches of the Dominion as it then was. About 1860 James Redford commenced independent practice as an architect and surveyor with an office at 14 Ridgefield, Manchester.  During 1862-1863 he travelled extensively in Italy and France, covering a distance of 7,488 miles, and returning with a portfolio of most valuable sketches and detail drawings, several of which were reproduced in architectural journals, notably the Tomb of Guglielmo da Castelbaraco, Verona and the Cloisters of San Giovanni in Laterano, Rome. In 1864 he was awarded a Medal of Merit by the Royal Institute of British Architects for a set of "very neat" drawings, to accompany a description of Croxden Abbey, Staffordshire.  On his return to England in 1863 he joined John Adam Whyatt in partnership. This partnership was dissolved by mutual consent on 11 May 1867 after which James Redford practised alone.

In 1869 he designed a Pavilion for the shooting range of the 3rd Manchester Rifle Volunteers, which attracted considerable interest as it was erected on that part of Chat Moss which had given George Stephenson so much difficulty during the construction of the Manchester and Liverpool Railway. The Pavilion was placed on a spot where the Moss was found to be 22 feet deep. Among his other early works were the Matlock Old Bath Hydropathic Establishment; The Schools for the Deaf and Dumb, Old Trafford and St David's Church, Wettenhall. His subsequent work was for a number of years of a very varied and extensive character, including houses, hotels, police stations, hospitals, banks and mills. In the 1880s he did an unusual amount of brewery work erecting among others the brewery for Jowett, Waterhouse & Co., at Oldham; The "Crown Brewery" at Whittle Springs and Robert Cain & Son's "Mersey Brewery," the largest in Liverpool.

He was elected Associate RIBA on 12 June 1865, proposed by T H Lewis, G Somers Clarke, R. Brandon; and Fellow RIBA on 22 April 1872 proposed by G T Robinson, Alfred Darbyshire, and Laurence Booth. He joined the list of Retired Fellows of the RIBA in 1900.

Apart from his profession he was in earlier life a keen volunteer and an excellent oarsman. He was also a freemason,

In 1869 James Redford married Jane, the youngest daughter of William Hutchinson and niece of Miss Edmonds of South Scarle Hall, Nottinghamshire. She died in 1907. There were no children.

James Redford died on 10 December 1911 at his residence. He had been in failing health since the death of his wife in 1907, and succumbed to an attack of pneumonia. The funeral service was scheduled to take place at Manchester Crematorium on Wednesday 13 December 1911 (MG 12 Dec 1911) although his obituary in the RIBA Journal states that he was buried alongside his father, mother and wife at St Paul's Church Withington.


Name Designation Formed Dissolved Location
Whyatt and Redford Architectural prectice 1863 1867 Manchester