Wood Plans and Drawings

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Bundles of architectural plans and drawings, chiefly relating to churches and parsonage houses in the diocese of Durham, many of which were associated with the architect William H. Wood.

Administrative / Biographical History

William H. Wood was an architect who began his career with the Newcastle upon Tyne architects Oliver & Leeson. He eventually rose to become a partner in the firm, which was thereafter known as Oliver, Leeson & Wood. In 1910 Wood began negotiating with Charles Hodgson Fowler, (whose posts included that of Durham Cathedral architect and who did much work for the diocese of Durham), with a view to becoming a partner in the practice which Hodgson Fowler then operated from The College, Durham; both Hodgson Fowler and Wood specialised in ecclesiastical and school architecture. Hodgson Fowler, however, died in December 1910, whereupon Wood took over his practice entirely. At first he operated from both Newcastle upon Tyne and Durham but by mid-1912 he was apparently based solely at 20 Collingwood Street, Newcastle upon Tyne. In January 1927 Wood took on a partner, Edmund Oakley, and the practice, now trading as Wood & Oakley, moved to 9 Eldon Square, Newcastle upon Tyne. References to Wood & Oakley in trade directories cease after 1939, in which year Wood may have retired or died.

Names of architectural practices written on the plans: Oliver, Leeson & Wood; W.H. Wood, architect, of Newcastle upon Tyne, successor to the late Charles Hodgson Fowler of Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne; Wood & Oakley of Newcastle upon Tyne; and Joseph Potts & Son, architects and surveyors, 57 John Street, Sunderland, Co. Durham.


The material is arranged by property.

Conditions Governing Access

Access to this collection will not be possible until the contents are conserved, arranged and listed.

Acquisition Information

The Wood Plans and Drawings were identified and accessioned as a separate deposited collection on 7 September 1993.

Other Finding Aids

This collection description only.

Separated Material

Tyne and Wear Archives Service (TWAS): accession 52 (DT/WO) Papers of Wood and Oakley, architects, Newcastle upon Tyne, successors to W.H. Wood and previously Charles Hodgson Fowler, 19th-20th centuries. This collection includes material from the following architectural practices: Charles Hodgson Fowler, W.H. Wood, and Wood & Oakley, as well as a few plans by Oliver & Leeson. The architects' notebooks, letter-books, client files, specifications and bills of quantity and W.H. Wood's diaries for 1908-1932 form part of the collection. It should be noted, however, that both Hodgson Fowler and Wood undertook commissions from all over England and Wales, and occasionally also from Scotland, and that in ca.1971 plans from both practices were distributed to the relevant county record offices all over the country, with only those relating to Tyne and Wear being retained by the TWAS.

Durham County Record Office: Plans, drawings, elevations etc. of Charles Hodgson Fowler of Durham, architect.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Sub-Librarian, Special Collections (e-mail PG.Library@durham.ac.uk) and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. The Library will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Many items are in need of cleaning and conservation treatment.

Custodial History

From an unknown date up until 1993, when it was identifed as a separate collection, this material was housed in St. Helen's Chapel, Durham For most of the twentieth century up to 1993 this Chapel was used as a store both for some of the Durham Cathedral Muniments (amongst which the Wood Plans and Drawings were found) and also, at certain periods from 1948 onwards, for some other collections of archives in the care of the University of Durham. The Chapel is situated adjacent to the office in The College, Durham which was occupied up to c.1955 by a succession of architects who worked for the Cathedral and diocese of Durham (including, after C. Hodgson Fowler and W.H. Wood, Cordingley & McIntyre, the predecessors of Hayton, Lee & Braddock).

The circumstances surrounding the arrival of this material in St. Helen's Chapel are now uncertain. It might have been placed there for safe-keeping by W.H. Wood or one of the successors to his Durham architectural practice. Alternatively it might be part of the group of miscellaneous plans which was deposited with the University of Durham by the Dean and Chapter of Durham on 8 October 1971, and which had evidently earlier been housed in the Durham Chapter Office (in the same complex of buildings as the architects' office).

Related Material

Church Commission parsonage houses and benefice and chapelry income papers deposit.

Durham Dean and Chapter Muniments architectural drawings no.73: two plans and a report by Charles Hodgson Fowler, 1896, originally part of the above-mentioned 8 October 1971 deposit of “miscellaneous plans”.

Durham Diocesan Records] Durham Diocesan Board of Finance Records: parsonage-house plans, 20th century [DDR/EA/PHM/1].

Hayton, Lee & Braddock Papers [Durham diocesan architects].