JH Morton and Son, architects, South Shields

This record is held by Tyne and Wear Archives

Details of DT.JHM
Reference: DT.JHM
Title: JH Morton and Son, architects, South Shields

JH Morton & Son was a predominantly local architectural practice, working mainly in and around South Shields. The firm was noted for Poor Law work, including South Shields Union Workhouse (subsequently South Shields General Hospital), Hunslett Union Workhouse, West Yorkshire and Prudhoe Hall Colony for mental defectives. They also did a considerable amount of ecclesiastical work, notably St Aidan, Hartlepool, South Shields Congregational churches and St Aidan, South Shields, together with Missions to Seamen in Blyth, Dunston and South Shields, and additions and alterations to many other local churches. Some of these plan series include detailed designs for church furnishings as well as the buildings themselves. Most other major categories of work are also represented, including cinemas, hotels and public houses, and housing. JH Morton may have been official architect to the Tyne Dock Land Company, and designed much housing in the area. The archive also includes several series of drawings by Edward Cratney of Wallsend (1882-1916). Cratney (a pupil of Hicks & Charlewood of Newcastle) had been an assistant in the practice, and it would appear that JH Morton & Son completed a number of projects ongoing at the time of his early death.

Date: 1870-1960

Apart from bundling by building (many strays and mixed bundles), no original order was apparent. Series have therefore been arranged by location (generally as given in the plan title). Many plans are unsigned, however complete series either signed by another architect or clearly not produced by the practice have been placed at the end of the sequence.

Related material:

Digital images of several of the firm's ecclesiastical drawings, in the Incorporated Church Building Society archive at Lambeth Palace Library, can be viewed online at www.churchplansonline.org

Held by: Tyne and Wear Archives, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

JH Morton and Son, South Shields, architects

Physical description: 275 entries
  • Church of England, Diocese of Durham
  • Oliver and Leeson, architects, Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland
  • Oliver, Leeson and Wood, architects, Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland
  • Wood and Oakley, architects, Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland and Durham City, Durham
  • Fowler, Charles Hodgson, 1840-1910, architect
  • Architectural drawings
  • Building design
  • Housing design
  • Interior architecture
  • Religious buildings
Administrative / biographical background:

Joseph Hall Morton was born on 15 August 1849 at North Shields, the eldest son of Ralph Morton, innkeeper and Martha (nee Hall). He was a pupil of Newcastle architect Matthew Thompson from 1864-1868, remaining as Thompson's assistant until 1871 when he started his own practice in South Shields, initially under the name Hall & Morton. His offices were initially at 50 King Street, moving to the Northeastern Bank Chambers (later Martins Bank Chambers), Fowler Street. There was also a branch of the practice at 57 Westgate Road, Newcastle c.1907- c.1920. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1882, being proposed by Thomas Oliver of Newcastle (teacher of Matthew Thompson, who had died in 1878), FRN Haswell and WL Newcombe. He was a president of the Northern Architectural Association. Joseph Hall Morton died on 28 June 1923 at Dinsdale House, Westoe, and was buried in Harton Cemetery. JH Morton's eldest son, Ralph Henry Morton (1873-1949) followed his father in the profession, working with his father as articled pupil 1890-1894 and as assistant until 1897. After a few years in London as assistant to Percival Gordon-Smith he became a partner in the family practice in 1900, under the name JH Morton & Son. Ralph Henry Morton was elected FRIBA in 1923, the year of his father's death, and continued in sole practice until his own death in April 1949. He was succeeded in practice by Morton Angus Mackenzie, possibly a relative, (also of 1 Eldon Square, Newcastle), who worked both under his own name and as JH Morton & Son. The Newcastle office does not appear in trade directories after 1960, and the dates of surviving plans suggest that Mackenzie died or retired c 1965.

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