Watson Fothergill

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Watson Fothergill
Title above the door of the Watson Fothergill offices.jpg
Title above the door of the Watson Fothergill offices at 15 George Street, Nottingham
Born(1841-07-12)July 12, 1841
Linden, Chesterfield Road, Mansfield
DiedMarch 6, 1928(1928-03-06) (aged 86)
7 Mapperley Road, Nottingham
Other namesFothergill Watson
Spouse(s)Ann Hage
PracticeAssociated architectural firm[s]
Buildings Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Bank, Thurland Street, Nottingham

Watson Fothergill (12 July 1841 – 6 March 1928) was an English architect [1] who designed over 100 unique buildings in Nottingham in the East Midlands of England, his influences were mainly from the Gothic Revival and Old English vernacular architecture styles.

Nottingham City and unitary authority area in England

Nottingham is a city and unitary authority area in Nottinghamshire, England, 128 miles (206 km) north of London, 45 miles (72 km) northeast of Birmingham and 56 miles (90 km) southeast of Manchester, in the East Midlands.

East Midlands region of England in United Kingdom

The East Midlands is one of nine official regions of England at the first level of NUTS for statistical purposes. It consists of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland. The region has an area of 15,627 km2 (6,034 sq mi), with a population over 4.5 million in 2011. There are six main urban centres, Derby, Leicester, Lincoln, Mansfield, Northampton and Nottingham. Others include Boston, Skegness, Chesterfield, Corby, Grantham, Hinckley, Kettering, Loughborough, Newark-on-Trent and Wellingborough.

Old English, or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest historical form of the English language, spoken in England and southern and eastern Scotland in the early Middle Ages. It was brought to Great Britain by Anglo-Saxon settlers probably in the mid-5th century, and the first Old English literary works date from the mid-7th century. After the Norman conquest of 1066, English was replaced, for a time, as the language of the upper classes by Anglo-Norman, a relative of French. This is regarded as marking the end of the Old English era, as during this period the English language was heavily influenced by Anglo-Norman, developing into a phase known now as Middle English.


His work dates from 1864 (when he set himself up in practice) to around 1912. His earliest surviving known building dates from 1866.

Early life

Born Fothergill Watson in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire in 1841, he was the son of wealthy Nottingham Lace merchant Robert Watson and Mary Ann Fothergill. He changed his name to Watson Fothergill in 1892 to continue his maternal family name.

Mansfield Town in Nottinghamshire, England

Mansfield is a market town in Nottinghamshire, England, the main town in the District of Mansfield and Mansfield Urban Area. Nestling in the Maun Valley surrounded by hills, it lies 12 miles (19 km) north of Nottingham in a largely urban district, most of whose 106,556 population live in Mansfield, with Market Warsop a secondary centre. It is adjacent to the urban area of Sutton-in-Ashfield. Mansfield is the only major sub-regional centre in the county, covering an area of 30 square miles. It is the county's one local authority area directly to elect its Mayor. The district has been influenced by its industrial past of coal mining and textiles, which thrived into the 1990s. Today's Mansfield has 20.2 per cent (12,890) of its working-age population seeking key out-of-work benefits. The population has fallen over the last century along with this industrial base, despite some diversification.

Lace openwork fabric, patterned with open holes in the work, made by machine or by hand

Lace is a delicate fabric made of yarn or thread in an open weblike pattern, made by machine or by hand.

Merchant businessperson who trades in commodities that were produced by others

A merchant is a person who trades in commodities produced by other people. Historically, a merchant is anyone who is involved in business or trade. Merchants have operated for as long as industry, commerce, and trade have existed. In 16th-century Europe, two different terms for merchants emerged: meerseniers referred to local traders and koopman (Dutch: koopman referred to merchants who operated on a global stage, importing and exporting goods over vast distances and offering added-value services such as credit and finance.


He married Anne Hage in 1867 [2] at St. John's Church, Mansfield. [3] They had the following children:

His father-in-law was Samuel Hage, [2] one of the founding partners of Mansfield Brewery.

Mansfield Brewery

Mansfield Brewery was a brewery and public house operating company, based in the North Nottinghamshire market town of Mansfield, England. Established in 1855, after being taken over by Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries in 1999, the brewing of the branded beers was moved to Wolverhampton in 2002, where it continues today under the control of Marston's. The former brewery site was until 2018 still vacant awaiting redevelopment. A section previously used informally as an articulated-lorry trailer park was refused retrospective planning consent in late August 2015. Work started in 2019 to transform the brownfield site into a mixed residential development.

His half-brother was Robert Mackie Watson, chairman of the Mansfield Improvement Commission and the Brunts' Charity.[ citation needed ]


In 1856, he entered the St Peter’s Gate office of Frederick Jackson, an architect and surveyor in Nottingham. In mid 1860 he moved as assistant to Isaac Charles Gilbert who was based in Clinton Street, Nottingham. After spending around 18 months with Gilbert, he moved in early 1862 to join the office of Arthur William Blomfield in London. In 1864 he was working with John Middleton in Cheltenham, but in the same year, left to set up his own office at 6 Clinton Street, Nottingham. [4] He remained at Clinton Street until it was demolished by the works in connection with the arrival of the Great Central Railway in 1894. He moved to a new temporary office at 18 George Street, and arranged to rebuild 15 George Street opposite which he completed the next year and moved in on 12 December 1895.

Isaac Charles Gilbert

Isaac Charles Gilbert was an English architect based in Nottingham.

Arthur Blomfield English architect

Sir Arthur William Blomfield was an English architect. He became president of the Architectural Association in 1861; a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1867 and vice-president of the RIBA in 1886. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read Architecture.

John Middleton (architect) English architect

John Middleton (1820–1885) was an English architect of the 19th century. He was born in York, in August 1820.

He was in partnership with Lawrence George Summers from 1880 and he retired in 1912.

He is credited as having had a great impact on the architecture of the major British industrial city of Nottingham, and designed over a hundred buildings in the city, from offices, banks and warehouses, to churches and private dwelling houses. His easily recognisable style includes the use of contrasting horizontal bands of red and blue brick, dark timber eaves and balconies, and elaborate turrets and stone carving.

On his death in 1928, he left an estate valued at £73,908 5s 11d [5] (equivalent to £4,370,000in 2018). [6]

List of major works [4]

All Nottinghamshire unless otherwise stated.






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  1. Brodie, Antonia (20 December 2001). Directory of British Architects 1834-1914: Vol 1 (A-K). Royal Institute of British Architects. p. 675. ISBN   0826455131.
  2. 1 2 "Marriages" . London Evening Standard. England. 12 September 1867. Retrieved 4 March 2016 via British Newspaper Archive.
  3. "Marriages" . Nottinghamshire Guardian. England. 13 September 1867. Retrieved 4 March 2016 via British Newspaper Archive.
  4. 1 2 Turner, Darren (2012). A Catalogue of the Works of Watson Fothergill, Architect. Nottingham: DT:P / Blurb.
  5. "Notts Architect" . Sheffield Independent. England. 22 June 1928. Retrieved 6 March 2016 via British Newspaper Archive.
  6. UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  7. "Local and District News" . Nottinghamshire Guardian. England. 12 January 1866. Retrieved 4 March 2016 via British Newspaper Archive.
  8. "New Congregational Chapel at Mansfield" . Nottinghamshire Guardian. England. 1 June 1877. Retrieved 4 March 2016 via British Newspaper Archive.
  9. "The Notitngham and Notts Bank" . Nottingham Evening Post. England. 21 March 1881. Retrieved 4 March 2016 via British Newspaper Archive.
  10. "Hucknall Torkard" . Nottinghamshire Guardian. England. 8 August 1884. Retrieved 4 March 2016 via British Newspaper Archive.
  11. "Ongar. The Budworth Memorial Hall" . Chelmsford Chronicle. England. 11 February 1887. Retrieved 4 March 2016 via British Newspaper Archive.
  12. "Emmanuel Church, Nottingham. Consecration of New Chancel" . Nottinghamshire Guardian. England. 18 March 1893. Retrieved 4 March 2016 via British Newspaper Archive.
  13. "Sherwood Rise, Nottingham" . Nottinghamshire Guardian. England. 12 November 1898. Retrieved 4 March 2016 via British Newspaper Archive.