Friday, 25 February 2011
There are some notable people buried in Undercliffe Cemetery in Bradford (see yesterday also). One of them is William Mawson, one of the architects of Saltaire.
William Mawson (1828-1899) was born in Leeds, the son of William Mawson, a paper manufacturer. Aged just 21, he became a partner in an architectural practice with Henry Francis Lockwood, who at 38 was older and more experienced. They opened an office in Bradford, after winning a competition in 1849 to design St George's Hall (a concert hall). It was to this recently formed partnership that the visionary mill-owner Titus Salt turned in 1850, entrusting them with the task of planning and designing a large new mill to which he could transfer production from his five existing mills. Salt rejected the architects' original proposals, asking them to submit a revised plan for a mill twice the size - demonstrating from the start the scale of his ambition. His faith in the young architects was rewarded. Lockwood and Mawson became one of the leading architectural practices of the time and went on to oversee the design and planning of the whole village of Saltaire, and some of the most notable buildings in Bradford, including the Wool Exchange and City Hall - both magnificent buildings.