Walter Brierley

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Walter Henry Brierley
Died22 August 1926(1926-08-22) (aged 63–64)[1]
PracticeAtkinson Brierley[2]
Demaine and Brierley[3]
Brierley & Rutherford[4]
Brierley Groom
County Hall, Northallerton, 1914

Walter Henry Brierley (1862–1926) was a York architect who practised in the city for 40 years. He is known as "the Yorkshire Lutyens"[5] or the "Lutyens of the North".[1] He is also credited with being a leading exponent of the "Wrenaissance" style - incorporating elements of Christopher Wren.[6]

Brierley's works include civic buildings, churches, schools and private houses (including his own home, Bishopsbarns) and are located mainly in York, North Yorkshire and the north of England. He was responsible for over 300 buildings between 1885 and the time of his death in 1926.[7] He was the architect for the York Diocese.

The Borthwick Institute in York holds an archive of the Atkinson Brierley architectural practice,[2] a practice that lives on as Brierley Groom, the oldest architectural firm in the UK having continuously practised since 1750.[8] In 2013 Pocklington School unveiled a clock based on plans drawn up by Brierley 116 years earlier and found at the Borthwick in 2006.[9]

A celebration of Brierley's life and architecture in 2007, unearthed the fact that he had designed and built many of the houses and other buildings (such as the Church of St Mary) in Goathland. Simon Groom, current co-owner of architects Brierley Groom, noted that the opening credits of the popular ITV programme Heartbeat, display large amounts of Brierley's work on screen.[10]

Brierley Buildings[edit]

Building Location Date Built List Entry Notes
Welburn Hall (remodelling) Welburn, Kirkbymoorside 1890-3 1149212 the Jacobean west wing was demolished and replaced by a much bigger wing in the gothic style. Brierley's work was extensively damaged in the fire of 1931.
The Mallan Hotel[11] Goathland 1892 1316154 By Demaine and Brierley, part demolished, rebuilt and extended c.1935
Church of St. Mary[11] Goathland 1894-96 1174270
Park Grove School[8] York 1895 1257012
Fishergate School[8] York 1895 1257012
Nesfield and Mulgrave Cottage[11] Goathland 1896 1174262
Scarcroft School[8] York 1896 1256667 Generally regarded as his masterpiece[7]
The Jubilee, Balfour Street[12][13] York 1897 Public house: closed 2016
King's Manor: Headmaster's House[8] York 1899 1257853 Built as the house of the Headmaster of the Yorkshire School for the Blind
Bereton Lodge[11] Goathland 1902 1174313
St Oswald's Church Sowerby 1902 1151342 North aisle built and original north wall replaced with columns.[14]
Thorpe Underwood Hall Thorpe Underwood, North Yorkshire 1902-3 1315423
Haxby Road School[8] York 1903-4 1257673
Poppleton Road School[8] York 1903-4 1256903 Bomb damaged and restored 1942
Dringhouses Primary School[15] Dringhouses, York 1904
Brackencliffe Scarborough 1905 1243700
Burrough Court[16] Leicester 1906 In the 1940s the main historic house was destroyed by a fire[17]
Bishopsbarns, York York 1906 1256793 Home of Walter Brierley
Haworth Art Gallery Accrington 1908-9 1205787 Originally known as Hollins Hill
County Hall [8] Northallerton 1904-14 1150967
Malton Grammar School buildings[18] Malton 1911
Sledmere House Sledmere 1911 1083802 Major restorations by Brierley following a fire (original building c.1751).[19]
Acklam Hall Middlesbrough 1912 1136868 Alterations by Brierley (original building c.1680). Restaurant is named 'The Brierley'.[20]
Sion Hill Hall
and Lodge
Kirby Wiske near Thirsk 1913 1281486
A private residence. Some similarities with Malton School are evident - the high pitch roof and tall chimneys, for example. The drainpipe is almost identical to the one in Malton School quad. (The white one is on Sion Hill Hall, the black is Malton School.) [1]
Water Tower Ingleby Arncliffe 1915 1294509 "Sir Hugh Bell built this tower as part of a water supply to Arncliffe and Rounton, AD 1915."[21]
Dringhouses War Memorial[22] York 1922 Located outside Church of St Edward the Confessor
St. Chad's Church York 1925-6 1391178
Goddards House and Garden
and Carriage Entrance
York 1926-7 1256461
Built for Noel Terry of the Terry's chocolate manufacturing family. It was Brierley's last building.[23]

The "List Entry" number is a unique number assigned to each listed building and scheduled monument by Historic England (This is left blank if the building is not listed)


  1. ^ a b "One Vision". The Garden. Royal Horticultural Society. 121: 328–331. 1996. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Borthwick Institute: what we hold". Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  3. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Peter (Newton-le-Willows) (1343245)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  4. ^ Historic England. "St Clements Church Hall (1390532)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  5. ^ Paul Chrystal (2015). "5". York in the 1960s: Ten Years that Changed a City. Amberley Publishing Limited. ISBN 9781445640969. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  6. ^ James Stevens Curl; Susan Wilson (2015). The Oxford Dictionary of Architecture. OUP. p. 116. ISBN 9780199674985. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Borthwick spotlight for Brierley's architectural gems". 31 January 2007. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h "Walter H. Brierley (1862-1926)". Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  9. ^ "116 year wait over as the cogs turn on school's new clock". Pocklington Post. 22 October 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  10. ^ Stirling, Tom (1 February 2007). "Celebration of architect". York Press. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  11. ^ a b c d "Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Plan: Goathland (November 2017)" (PDF). North York Moors National Park. p. 42. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  12. ^ "York pub to be turned into flats after 119 years". York Press. 17 May 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  13. ^ Alex Ross (9 August 2016). "New hope for York pub campaigners as famous designer is revealed". York Press. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  14. ^ "How St Oswald's grew from a chapel to a church - and how it grew lop-sided". St Oswald's Church, Sowerby. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  15. ^ MacRae, Claire (2013). "Character area 75: Dringhouses and Tadcaster Road" (PDF). City of York Council. p. 2. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  16. ^ "1906 – Burrough Court, Leicester, Leicestershire". Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  17. ^ "History of Burrough Court". Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  18. ^ "Malton Grammar School 1911-1937" (PDF). p. 4. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  19. ^ "Sledmere House: Rising from the Ashes". Borthwick Institute Blog. 5 June 2015. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  20. ^ "Acklam Hall in Middlesbrough reopens following renovation". ITV. 18 February 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  21. ^ Chris Lloyd (15 June 2015). "Surprises in store as tower reveals secrets". Darlington & Stockton Times. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  22. ^ "The Terry Trail" (PDF). Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  23. ^ "The Art of Design" (PDF). Retrieved 23 June 2016.

See also[edit]

  • Exhibition celebrating 60 years of York Civic Trust [2]
  • P. Nuttgens, Brierley in Yorkshire: The Architecture of the Turn of the Century (York Georgian Society, 1984)