Stanley Davenport Adshead

Architect, Town Planner
Place of Birth
Liverpool, London

  • Born                      8 March 1868 Bowdon, Cheshire
  • Died                       11 April 1946 at  Lower Ashley, Hampshire 

Stanley Adshead was the second of eight children and the eldest son of Joseph Adshead, an artist, and his wife, Eliza Davies was born at Bowdon on 8 March 1868. He was educated privately at Buxton, where his family had settled, and on leaving school at sixteen was articled to James Medland Taylor about 1884. On completion of his articles he was assistant in the office of Salomons and Ely for one year.

In 1890 he moved to London to join the office of George Sherrin where Edwin Alfred Rickards was also an assistant. He remained there for two years, subsequently working for short periods with Guy Dawber, Dunn & Watson, Ernest George and James Howard Ince, where he renewed his acquaintance with Rickards. About 1894 Adshead joined William Flockhart, spending one year in his office and three years as clerk of works at Rosehaugh where he met his wife Mary Annie (1874–1960), daughter of Andrew Blackie of Strathpeffer. who was the village school mistress. They were married on 24 October 1900.

Adshead commenced independent practice in 1898 and was admitted FRIBA on 5 June 1905, his proposers being Charles Edward Mallows, Alfred William Stevens Cross and Frances William Bedford. In 1910 Adshead took on Stanley Churchill Ramsey as junior partner when he was invited by George V to survey and make proposals for the Duchy of Cornwall Estate in Kennington. It was intended that Ramsey was to maintain continuity in London while Adshead was in Liverpool. Works by Stanley Davenport Adshead included reconstruction of the Pavilion and the erection of the Carnegie Library at Ramsgate, alterations to the Assembly Rooms at Bath, and the design of the Liverpool Repertory Theatre in addition to churches hospitals and domestic work. While at Liverpool he collaborated with Sir Patrick Abercrombie on the layout of Domanstown, to house the workers of Messrs Dorman Long. He also submitted plans for the redevelopment of the site of Charing Cross Station when its transfer to the south side of the Thames was under consideration. In 1914 this project was postponed.

In 1909, the year of the first Town Planning Act, Liverpool University appointed him to the first professorship of town planning in this country. Under him and Sir Patrick Abercrombie (then lecturer in the same department) Liverpool became the academic cradle of civic design. 1912 Stanly Adshead was appointed Lever Professor of Civic Design at Liverpool in 1912 and in 1914 he was appointed to the Chair of Town Planning at London University, a post from which he retired in 1935.

During the inter-war period he made a number of development plans including Southampton, Scarborough Chesterfield, York Teignmouth, and South and West Essex. He founded the “Town Planning Review.”  He was a Member of Council of the RIBA, served on the Royal Fine Arts Commission and received the American degree of Master of Architecture. The latest of his numerous publications is a book called “A New England” was published in 1942. He contributed many drawings to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and was at work on new views of York Minster shortly before his death

Stanley Davenport Adshead MA MArch FRIBA Emeritus Professor of Town Planning, London University died on 11 April 11 1946 at Chapel Cottage, Lower Ashley Hampshire. He was survived by his widow and a daughter Mary, the wife of Stephen Bone, the painter and well-known muralist in her own right.

Address: 1933 Professor S D Adshead FRIBA 46 Great Russell Street, London

Death Notice: Times 13 April 1946 page 1 –Deaths
Obituary: Manchester Guardian 13 April 1946 page 6
Obituary: The Times 13 April 1946 page 6

Reference: Dictionary of Scottish Architects
Reference: Dictionary of National Biography
Reference: Who Was Who