Thomas Lainson

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Thomas Lainson
Born 1825
Brighton
Died 1892
Brighton
Nationality English
Occupation Architect
Practice Lainson & Sons
Buildings Brighton and Hove Co-operative Society Repository, Hove;
Bristol Road Methodist Church, Brighton;
Brooker Hall, Hove;
Middle Street Synagogue, Brighton;
Palmeira House, Hove;
Pelham Institute, Brighton;
Reading Town Hall, Reading (extension);
Royal Alexandra Hospital for Sick Children, Brighton
Projects Adelaide Mansions, Hove;
Norfolk Terrace, Brighton;
Sillwood Road, Brighton;
Vallance Estate, Hove;
Wick Estate, Hove

Thomas Lainson (1825–1898) was a British architect. He is best known for his work in the East Sussex coastal towns of Brighton and Hove (now part of the city of Brighton and Hove), where several of his eclectic range of residential, commercial and religious buildings have been awarded listed status by English Heritage. Working alone or (from 1881) in partnership with two sons as Lainson & Sons, he designed buildings in a wide range of styles, from Neo-Byzantine to High Victorian Gothic; his work is described as having a "solid style, typical of the time".[1]

Life[edit]

Lainson was born in 1825 in the Brighton area.[2] He set up an architecture practice there in 1860[1] or 1862,[2] during a period when the fashionable seaside resort's architectural style was evolving from the Regency and Classical forms of the early 19th century towards new forms such as Italianate, Renaissance Revival and (especially in Hove's rapidly developing suburbs) brick-built Olde English/Queen Anne Revival.[3][4]

His first commission may have been a 13-house terrace on the west side of Norfolk Terrace, on the Brighton/Hove border, which has been dated to the mid-19th century.[5][6] The road was developed in several stages from the 1850s. Lainson's design was in the Italianate style,[5] popular at the time because of the fashionable influence of Queen Victoria's Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.[7] (Lansdowne Mansions, now a hotel, has been attributed to Lainson,[1] but its construction date of 1854 predates his entering into practice.)[8] In about 1870 he built another terrace of Italianate houses nearby on Sillwood Road, adjoining Charles Busby's Western Cottages of nearly 50 years earlier. The whole street was renamed Sillwood Road when Lainson's 16 houses were finished.[7][9] Adelaide Mansions, a four-storey seafront development in Hove, followed in 1873.[1][10]

By the 1870s, a dense working-class residential area had developed to the east of Brighton on the way to the high-class Kemp Town estate; it became known as Kemptown [sic].[11] Methodist minister J. Martin wanted to extend that denomination's reach into the area, and on 1 March 1872 Lainson submitted plans for a church on the corner of St George's Terrace and Montague Place.[12][13] His Romanesque Revival design was accepted, and builder John Fielder constructed the church in 1873.[13] Bristol Road Methodist Church survived in religious use until 1989, when it became a recording studio.[12]

In 1874, Lainson received the commission for another religious building: a new synagogue for Brighton's large Jewish community, whose first place of worship had been founded in 1792.[14] A site on Middle Street in The Lanes was found, and the Sassoon family donated money to fund Lainson's elaborate Neo-Byzantine/Italian Romanesque Revival design, which was opened (as Middle Street Synagogue) in 1875.[15][16] Lainson won the commission in competition; it was unusual for a non-Jew to design synagogues, but no Jewish architects submitted any plans.[1][17]

Archdeacon John Hannah, Vicar of Brighton from 1870 until 1888,[18] founded an Anglican "slum mission" (a centre for the physical and spiritual welfare of poor people) in the east end of Brighton in 1876. Lainson designed the three-storey building which housed the institute and its activities; it was finished in 1877, and was known as the Pelham Institute by 1879.[19][20] Also in 1876–77, he designed and built a villa, Brooker Hall (now the Hove Museum and Art Gallery), in Hove for local landowner Major John Vallance.[21][22]

Lainson was married and had six children,[1] two of whom—Thomas J. and Arthur—joined his practice in 1881. After this, most commissions were undertaken jointly under the name Lainson & Sons.[2][23] The first of these was the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Sick Children, built on Dyke Road in 1880–81. The institution was founded in 1868 and moved to a former school in Dyke Road in 1871.[24] The Lainsons' new building marked a move towards the Queen Anne style, which they used again in later work in Brighton and Hove—[25] such as The Belgrave Hotel (1882; now branded Umi Hotel Brighton)[26] at the corner of West Street and King's Road on Brighton seafront.[27] A rare commission outside the Brighton area came in the same year: working on his own, Lainson designed a large extension to Reading Town Hall in Berkshire.[28]

Brighton was a pioneer in the early cooperative movement,[29] and in the 1880s the Brighton & Hove Co-operative Supply Association was a major force in local commerce. Lainson & Sons were chosen as the association's architects, and they provided two large buildings in Hove: Palmeira House in 1887, and a lavish repository and warehouse at 75 Holland Road in 1893. The buildings, which both survive, were of significantly different design.[2][30]

Lainson had worked as a surveyor in the 1850s, when he was involved with the laying out of the Wick Estate in Hove.[1][31] With his sons, he did the same for the new Vallance Estate, also in Hove, from 1890 until 1895. Lainson & Sons laid out wide streets with large-scale Domestic Revival/Queen Anne-style brick houses.[32] Lainson died in 1898, but his two sons continued in practice, designing buildings such as the Renaissance Revival-style St Aubyn's Mansions (1899) on Hove seafront.[2]

In 2006, the Brighton & Hove bus company named one of its buses in honour of Thomas Lainson.[33]

Works[edit]

Former Repository of the Brighton & Hove Co-operative Supply Association, Hove

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Trimingham, Adam (3 October 2009). "Shaping our city". The Argus (Newsquest Media Group). Retrieved 9 September 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Antram & Morrice 2008, p. 22.
  3. ^ Antram & Morrice 2008, pp. 17–18.
  4. ^ Antram & Morrice 2008, pp. 194–195.
  5. ^ a b c Antram & Morrice 2008, p. 171.
  6. ^ a b c "Heritage Gateway Listed Buildings Online – Nos. 1–13 (Consecutive) and attached balustrades, Norfolk Terrace (west side), Brighton, Brighton and Hove, East Sussex". Heritage Gateway website. Heritage Gateway (English Heritage, Institute of Historic Building Conservation and ALGAO:England). 2006. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c d Antram & Morrice 2008, p. 111.
  8. ^ Antram & Morrice 2008, p. 117.
  9. ^ a b c "Heritage Gateway Listed Buildings Online – Nos. 32–47 (Consecutive) and attached walls and railings, Sillwood Road (west side), Brighton, Brighton and Hove, East Sussex". Heritage Gateway website. Heritage Gateway (English Heritage, Institute of Historic Building Conservation and ALGAO:England). 2006. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c "Heritage Gateway Listed Buildings Online – Adelaide Mansions 1–4, Kingsway, BN3 2FD, Brighton, Brighton and Hove, East Sussex". Heritage Gateway website. Heritage Gateway (English Heritage, Institute of Historic Building Conservation and ALGAO:England). 2006. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  11. ^ Collis 2010, p. 167.
  12. ^ a b Carder 1990, §23.
  13. ^ a b c d "Heritage Gateway Listed Buildings Online – Methodist Church and Attached Railings, Montague Place, Brighton, Brighton and Hove, East Sussex". Heritage Gateway website. Heritage Gateway (English Heritage, Institute of Historic Building Conservation and ALGAO:England). 2006. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  14. ^ Collis 2010, p. 159.
  15. ^ a b Antram & Morrice 2008, pp. 75–76.
  16. ^ Carder 1990, §115.
  17. ^ Brighton Polytechnic. School of Architecture and Interior Design 1987, p. 39.
  18. ^ Collis 2010, p. 353.
  19. ^ a b Antram & Morrice 2008, p. 137.
  20. ^ a b c "Heritage Gateway Listed Buildings Online – Pelham Institute, Upper Bedford Street (east side), Brighton, Brighton and Hove, East Sussex". Heritage Gateway website. Heritage Gateway (English Heritage, Institute of Historic Building Conservation and ALGAO:England). 2006. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  21. ^ a b Nairn & Pevsner 1965, p. 443.
  22. ^ a b Antram & Morrice 2008, p. 197.
  23. ^ a b Antram & Morrice 2008, p. 124.
  24. ^ a b Collis 2010, p. 288.
  25. ^ Antram & Morrice 2008, p. 18.
  26. ^ "Welcome to umi Hotels Brighton". Umi Hotel Group. 2010. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  27. ^ a b Antram & Morrice 2008, p. 97.
  28. ^ a b "Reading Town Hall" (PDF). Reading Museum Service. Retrieved 8 September 2010. [dead link]
  29. ^ Collis 2010, p. 79.
  30. ^ a b Brighton Polytechnic. School of Architecture and Interior Design 1987, p. 93.
  31. ^ Antram & Morrice 2008, pp. 112–113.
  32. ^ Antram & Morrice 2008, p. 195.
  33. ^ "910 Thomas Lainson". Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company. 2010. Retrieved 9 September 2010. 
  34. ^ Antram & Morrice 2008, p. 12.
  35. ^ Antram & Morrice 2008, p. 135.
  36. ^ Elleray 2004, p. 11.
  37. ^ a b "Heritage Gateway Listed Buildings Online – The Synagogue and attached gate, Middle Street (east side), Brighton, Brighton and Hove, East Sussex". Heritage Gateway website. Heritage Gateway (English Heritage, Institute of Historic Building Conservation and ALGAO:England). 2006. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  38. ^ a b Collis 2010, p. 201
  39. ^ Antram & Morrice 2008, p. 177.
  40. ^ a b "Heritage Gateway Listed Buildings Online – Municipal Buildings Concert Hall, Blagrave Street, Reading, Reading, Berkshire". Heritage Gateway website. Heritage Gateway (English Heritage, Institute of Historic Building Conservation and ALGAO:England). 2006. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  41. ^ Antram & Morrice 2008, pp. 120–122.
  42. ^ Brighton Polytechnic. School of Architecture and Interior Design 1987, p. 85.
  43. ^ a b "Heritage Gateway Listed Buildings Online – 75, Holland Road, BN3 1JN, Brighton, Brighton and Hove, East Sussex". Heritage Gateway website. Heritage Gateway (English Heritage, Institute of Historic Building Conservation and ALGAO:England). 2006. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Antram, Nicholas; Morrice, Richard (2008). Brighton and Hove. Pevsner Architectural Guides. London: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-12661-7. 
  • Brighton Polytechnic. School of Architecture and Interior Design (1987). A Guide to the Buildings of Brighton. Macclesfield: McMillan Martin. ISBN 1-869865-03-0. 
  • Carder, Timothy (1990). The Encyclopaedia of Brighton. Lewes: East Sussex County Libraries. ISBN 0-86147-315-9. 
  • Collis, Rose (2010). The New Encyclopaedia of Brighton. (based on the original by Tim Carder) (1st ed.). Brighton: Brighton & Hove Libraries. ISBN 978-0-9564664-0-2. 
  • Elleray, D. Robert (2004). Sussex Places of Worship. Worthing: Optimus Books. ISBN 0-9533132-7-1. 
  • Nairn, Ian; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1965). The Buildings of England: Sussex. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-071028-0.