Peter Alley

Place of Birth

Died       Southport Thursday 20 October 1904. (RIBA record that Alley died in 1870 appears incorrect)

Peter Alley, who was a member of the Society of Friends, was born in Manchester and was educated at Newton’s School, where John Bright was a fellow pupil.  In 1833 he attended the Architectural Drawing Class at Manchester Mechanics Institute where he received second prize – a case of drawing instruments. [Manchester Guardian 4 January 1834].  Then aged 22, he was described as a clerk. While details of his employment during the period 1834-1844 are lacking, no contemporary evidence has been found to support the often-repeated myth that Peter Alley was in partnership with Richard Lane under the style of Lane and Alley; a claim based, it would appear, on an error in Alfred Darbyshire’s book, “An Architects Experiences,” published in 1898; an error (concerning the pupillage of Alfred Waterhouse) acknowledged by Derbyshire shortly after publication.

It is all but certain that Peter Alley was never more than an assistant in Lane’s office as later noted by John Lowe -  "I may state that Mr Alley was in 1844 an assistant in Mr Richard Lane's offices and shortly afterwards started practice in Manchester with whom Mr Alfred Darbyshire was a pupil. Mr Alfred Waterhouse (now RA) and the late Mr Popplewell Pullan FRIBA together with myself were contemporary pupils in the office of Mr Richard Lane, architect." [Manchester City News 15 January 1898 Page 2 Column 5] and broadly confirmed by “Set Square” (Peter Alley?) a week later.

Peter Alley commenced independent practice at 1 Cross Street Manchester in 1850, before moving to Prince’s Court, 2 Market Street In 1853. Directory entries show him at various addresses in central Manchester until 1879. Alfred Derbyshire was his pupil between 1856 and 1860. Claims that Derbyshire was also articled to Richard Lane and was employed in Lane’s office are therefore erroneous.

Peter Alley’s major client was John Platt of Oldham However, Platt drew the line at churches employing instead George Shaw. A later pupil, Theodore Sington (qv) was employed on Platt's Oldham Works and may have continued after Peter Alley's retirement.

In 1842 Peter Alley was the honorary secretary of the Manchester Peace Society and in 1853 he was, with Cobden, Bright, George Wilson and other well-known men, a member of the committee that organised the Peace Conference, held in Manchester in 1853.

On the 20 November 1846 at the Friends Meeting House, Dublin, Peter B Alley, architect, married Catherine Birkett Hudson of Dublin. The marriage produced two daughter, Catherine H Alley and Elizabeth S Alley (1871 census)

Peter Bradshaw Alley died on 20 October 1904 at 3, Belmont Street, Southport, aged 93 years. The funeral service was held at Southport Cemetery.

1850 : Peter Alley, architect, 1 Cross Street (however, not listed at this address in street directory)
1851 : Peter Alley, architect, 1 Cross Street, Manchester
1853-1858 : Peter B Alley, Prince’s Court 2 Market Street and Arcade, Manchester.
1861-1863 : Peter B Alley. Architect and Surveyor. 35 Princess Street, Manchester (Slater=s Directory)
1871 : Peter B Alley. Architect and Surveyor. 37 Princess Street, Manchester (Slater=s Directory)
1875 : Alley, Wilson, Robinson, and Co. Land and Estate Agents, Valuers, and Arbitrators 45 Cross Street Manchester
1876    Peter B Alley, architect surveyor and estate agent (Alley Robinson & Co)  Alley Robinson & Co., estate agents, 45, Cross Street
1877-1879 : Peter B Alley architect 45 Cross Street


1850       29 Clifford Street Chorlton-on-Medlock (between Upper Brook Street and Oxford Street)
1851       29 Clifford Street Chorlton-on-Medlock Manchester (Slater=s Directory)
1853       3, Acomb Street Greenheys
1861       5, Acomb Street, Greenheys Manchester (Slater=s Directory)
1863       5 Acomb Street Greenheys
1871       Killester House, Acomb Street, Greenheys Manchester (Slater=s Directory)
1876       Acomb Street, Ducie Street, Greenheys (Slater=s Alphabetical Directory)
1877-8   Prince's Road, Heaton Mersey
1879       “The Sycamores” Heaton Mersey
1891       Southport
1898       Southport ( refs in MCN and Manchester Evening News)
1901       Southport (Census)
1904       3 Belmont Street Southport (death notice)

1871       Partner of James Hunt
1875       Partner of Francis Wilson
1876       Partner of Edmund Robinson






Name Designation Formed Dissolved Location
Alley and Hunt Architectural practice 1871 Heaton Norris and Hyde
Alley Wison Robinson and Company Architects and estate agents 1875 1876 Manchester