Ernest Trevor Spashett

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Ernest Trevor Spashett
Architect E.T. Spashett ARIBA in 1964.jpg
E.T. Spashett ARIBA in 1964
Born (1923-06-23)June 23, 1923
Died March 21, 1994(1994-03-21) (aged 70)
Herne Bay, Kent
Nationality British
Buildings Church Army Chapel, Blackheath

Ernest Trevor Spashett ARIBA (Penzance 23 June 1923 - Herne Bay 21 March 1994),[1] always known professionally as E.T. Spashett, was a notable English architect of the late 20th century, particularly associated with the design of public and religious buildings.

Early career[edit]

Spashett was born in Penzance and served in the Royal Air Force 1942-1947, flying Halifaxes.[2] He was apprenticed in Penzance, Cornwall before World War II, designing under supervision the Guildhall at St Ives in 1939 at the age of 16. After the war he trained as an architect with the Ministry of Works repairing London after the war, working on Alexandra Palace,[3] Clarence House[4] and Osterley House among others.[5][6] For example, Osterley House was then an RAF convalescence home full of airmen in wheelchairs and on crutches. The zig-zag, half-fenced ramp he designed for the front steps instantly became a racetrack, and had to be heavily-fenced after too many skid turns on the corners created flying wheelchairs. He designed the replacement rose window for Alexandra Palace, the original being lost due to bomb damage.[7]

Later career[edit]

As project architect for major practices[edit]

He worked for Cambridge, Gillingham and Birmingham Councils designing council housing, schools and hospitals, and qualified in 1954.[8] He worked with Yates, Cook and Derbyshire in London from around 1954 to around 1960, then from around 1960 with Austin Vernon & Partners[9] (who had refurbished Dulwich Picture Gallery) in Dulwich from 1959. Here among other projects he designed the Church Army's Wilson Carlile Training College in Blackheath, opened in 1965.[10][11][12] After spending two years focused on the design of the college and its Church Army Chapel - besides designing other projects and mentoring a young German architect Manfred Bresgens at Austin Vernon - he attended the opening ceremony beside the chapel but was excluded by the firm from the consecration service inside the building and subsequently left the practice in 1965.[13][14]

Independent work[edit]

He specialised in church design and restoration, so in the 1960s and 1970s he was consultant architect for the Benedictines, taking instructions from Basil Hume. In the 1970s he designed accommodation at two Franciscan monasteries, including a large, reflective, gold, cross-shaped window (now lost) at Gorton Monastery, Manchester, which at certain seasons caused a gold cross-shaped reflection on the public roadway.[15] From 1965 he was architect for estate agents Geering and Colyer at 24 High Street in Tunbridge Wells,[8][16] then left to work freelance at Cheltenham House, 62 Mount Pleasant, Tunbridge Wells 1982-1989.[6][17] He continued freelance work in Herne Bay, Kent until retirement due to ill health in 1992. He died on 21 March 1994 and was cremated at Thanet Crematorium at Margate.


  1. ^ date of decease from London Gazette, 10 June 1994, p.8534
  2. ^ "". Homepage. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  3. ^ As part of a Ministry of Works team, facilitating the repair of the rose window.
  4. ^ As part of a Ministry of Works team refurbishing for Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
  5. ^ For the Ministry of Works.
  6. ^ a b Information from architect's archives.
  7. ^ Archives of the architect.
  8. ^ a b Register of Architects, vol.45 (1978)
  9. ^ asayburn (18 November 2008). "Dulwich on View". More Talking Houses: citations of Dulwich houses designed by Austin Vernon. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  10. ^ The Times; Court Circular; "Thatched House Lodge, Richmond Park, May 6", page 16. 7 May 1965. 
  11. ^ "The Times". Today's Arrangements: p.15, col.1. 6 May 1965. 
  12. ^ "Church Army Online". Some Key Dates: "1965 Wilson Carlile Training College opened in Blackheath". 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-24. 
  13. ^ Information from archives of the architect
  14. ^ The Dulwich Society, article mentioning work by Manfred Bresgens who was mentored by E.T. Spashett around 1964-65
  15. ^ Information from the archivist at Gorton Monastery, Manchester
  16. ^ "". Letter from Geering & Colyer dated 10 February 1978, citing E.T. Spashett ARIBA as architect. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  17. ^ Register of Architects (1987)

External links[edit]