William Edward Trent

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The Earl of Essex, seen in 2010.
The Gaumont Finchley, seen in 1937.
Apollo Victoria Theatre, seen in 2006.

William Edward Trent (1874 - 1948)[1] was a British architect.

Early life[edit]

His cousin was the sculptor and medallist Newbury Abbot Trent.[2]


Together with Henry Poston, to whom he was apprenticed, and then his assistant,[1] he was the architect for the Earl of Essex, a Grade II listed public house at 616 Romford Road, Manor Park, London, built in 1902.[3]

Having been articled to Henry Poston of Lombard Street, London in 1892, he remained with Poston as his assistant until he started an independent practice in London in 1905.[1]

From 1909, Trent specialised in cinema design. This led to his appointment first as the Chief Architect to Provincial Cinematograph Theatres (PCT), and then as architect to the Gaumont British Picture Corporation, which took over PCT in 1929.[1] These cinemas included the Apollo Victoria Theatre[citation needed] and the Gaumont Finchley (1937) that he designed with the assistance of his son W. Syndey Trent and R. Golding.[4]

Personal life[edit]

His son William Sydney Trent (1903-1944) was also an architect. When his father became a full-time employee of PCT, his son took over his private practice, retaining him as a consultant. However, he joined Gaumont British in 1932 to help his father with the huge increase in work with the advent of the talkies.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "William Edward Trent". Scottisharchitects.org.uk. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  2. ^ "Curzon Chelsea Cinema". Cinematreasures.org. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "Earl of Essex public house". National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  4. ^ Gillies, Stewart & Pamela Taylor. (1992) Finchley and Friern Barnet: A Pictorial History. Chichester: Phillimore. Picture caption 180. ISBN 0850338441

External links[edit]

Media related to William Edward Trent at Wikimedia Commons