Nantwich Museum

Nantwich Museum

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George Latham

George Latham, Nantwich architect

George Latham was an architect and surveyor who was born in Nantwich in 1793. His father, John Latham, was a saddler. George was baptised on 25 September 1793. On 07 July 1829 he married Mary Gee, the daughter of Rev. Thomas Gee who was the Wesleyan Methodist minister of Nantwich.

George and Mary had five children, two of which became civil engineers.

His architectural style is often Elizabethan with Jacobean motifs, which George called “Queen Elizabethan”.

Key Works

1827–28 Church of St Mary the Virgin, Wistaston, Cheshire.

In 1827 it was decided to replace the old church in Wistaston, as “due to decay it was unsuitable for public worship”. The new church was built to a design by George Latham.

1829 Willington Hall, Willington, Cheshire.

Willington Hall was an early house for George Latham. The building is now a hotel. It was built in 1829, for Major William Tomkinson, and the style is based on Dorfold Hall – which was the Tomkinson family home.

1832–46 Arley Hall, Arley, Cheshire.

Rowland Egerton initially approached Latham for plans to change Arley Hall in 1826, when Rowland was just 21. None of the original plans were adopted. In 1832 it was decided to demolish and replace the hall based on new plans by Latham. Rowland was no doubt attracted by Latham’s estimated cost of £5-6,000. The building eventually cost £30,000, and work had to be stopped at times due to financial worries.

1836 St Jude’s Church, Tilstone Fearnall, Cheshire.

Admiral John Tollemache commissioned Latham to plan St Jude’s Church in Tilstone Fearnall and the church was completed in 1836.

1837–39 Northwich Union Workhouse

Latham designed this workhouse for 200 people, and the cost was £4,000. Weaver Hall Museum now occupy the building.

1842–43 Congregational Church, Monks Lane, Nantwich, Cheshire

Congregational Church, Monks Lane, Nantwich, Cheshire

This building was completed at a cost of £200, and seated a congregation of 700.

1846–47 Savings Bank, Welsh Row, Nantwich, Cheshire:

Savings Bank, Welsh Row, Nantwich

The Savings Bank on Welsh Row, Nantwich cost an estimated £970. Pevsner suggests it looks like the entrance lodge to a country house.

1849 Harris Institute, Avenham Lane, Preston, Lancashire.

This building was built in 1846-9 by John Welch, but Latham added a terraced forecourt in 1849.

1867–68 Market Hall, Market Street, Nantwich, Cheshire:

Nantwich Market

Above the main entrance of Nantwich Market Hall is a panel containing the coats of arms of local families.

1868 Nantwich Town Hall.

This building is now demolished.

Other projects

In 1832 George Latham also drew plans (which were not used) for St Winifred’s in Davenham. In 1836 he was commissioned to carry out alterations to Crewe Hall, but then was replaced by Edward Blore. In 1837 he had offices on Barker Street in Nantwich and oversaw the expansion of the Nantwich Workhouse. In 1866 he was involved with the building of a culvert to take water away from Welsh Row. In 1869 he drew plans free of charge for an engine house for Nantwich Fire Brigade.

George Latham was also approached by John Tollemache, with regard to becoming the architect for Peckforton Castle. He was not appointed, but received £2,000 in compensation.

George Latham died in Nantwich on the 08 August 1871.

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