Sharpe, Paley and Austin in Cumbria
Between 1836 and 1942, the Lancaster architects firm of Sharpe, Paley and Austin undertook over 600 commissions, mostly in North West England. These ranged from churches to secular work like railway stations and hospitals.
The firm was started by Edmund Sharpe (1809-1877), in 1836. He was joined by Edward Paley (1823-1895) in 1845. In 1851 Sharpe retired, leaving Paley to work alone. In 1868 Paley was joined by Hubert Austin (1841-1915), a pupil of Sir George Gilbert Scott. These two men worked together until they were joined by Paley’s son Henry (1859-1946) in 1886. E.G. Paley died in 1895. Austin’s son Geoffrey joined the firm in 1914. When Hubert Austin died in 1915, and Geoffrey Austin went on active service, Harry Paley ran the business alone until 1944 when he was 85.
During the life of the practice, they created 370 major works , 148 restorations, and 118 minor works, mostly in Lancashire. The Northern part of Lancashire, which extended almost to Ambleside, is now Cumbria.
|Calder Bridge||St Bridget|
|Field Broughton||St Peter|
|Hutton Roof||St John|
|Preston Patrick||St Patrick|
|Kirkby Lonsdale||St Mary|
In addition to these are many railway buildings on the Furness line between Lancaster, Barrow and Whitehaven, Ulverston and Barrow stations being good examples.
A book titled ‘Sharpe, Paley and Austin – A Lancaster Architectural Practice 1836-1942’ has been written by James Price, and published 1998 by the Centre for North West Regional Studies, University of Lancaster. It describes the history of the firm, and its founders, and lists all the buildings that they worked on.
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