Alfred Waterhouse was an eminent English architect who was particularly associated with the Victorian Gothic revival. In addition to designing a number of major public buildings he designed Hummersknott Hall, Darlington, which today is the St. Mary’s building of Carmel RC College.
At the start of his career, Waterhouse was prepared to undertake small commissions to establish his reputation. His membership of the Religious Society of Friends (the Quakers) opened opportunities for him to do work in Darlington and County Durham. He knew his fellow Quakers, the wealthy Pease family, from his time at the Quaker Grove School in London. From his architectural practice in Manchester, he undertook alterations and additions to a number of Pease’s properties.
The only entirely new house which he designed for the Peases within Darlington was Hummersknott Hall (1864). It was said to “have the character of a solid and comfortable house with attention paid to planning rather than showy detail”.
Waterhouse was probably the most financially successfully Victorian architect. He served as President of the Royal Institute of British Architects and was a member of the Royal Academy. Three of the buildings, local and national, which Waterhouse designed are pictured below.
|Darlington Clock Tower, Market and old Town Hall (1864)||Manchester Town Hall (1877)||Natural History Museum, London (1881)|