Norton, John (DNB12)

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NORTON, JOHN (1823-1904), architect, born on 28 Sept. 1823 at Bristol, was son of John Norton by his wife Sarah Russell. After education at Bristol grammar school he entered as a pupil in 1846 the office in London of Benjamin Ferrey [q. v.] and attended classes of Prof. Thomas Leverton Donaldson [q. v.] at the University of London, where he received in 1848 the first prize from Lord Brougham.

Norton became an associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1850 and fellow in 1857; he was for a time a member of its council, and became president of the Architectural Association for the session 1858-9. He was honorary secretary of the Arundel Society (for producing printed copies of paintings by old masters) throughout its existence (1848-98).

Norton quickly built up a large and lucrative architectural practice in both domestic and ecclesiastical buddings. He was fortunate in finding many patrons of distinction and wealth. For the Maharajah Duleep Singh he built Elveden Hall, Suffolk; for William Gibbs he rebuilt Tyntesfield, Somerset; and for Sir Alexander Acland-Hood, first Baron St. Audries, he designed a house at St. Audries in the same county, as well as a church there. Other works were Badgemore, Oxfordshire, for Richard Ovey; Ferney Hall, Shropshire, for W. Hurt-Sitwell; Horstead Hall, Norfolk, for Sir E. Birkbeck; Nutfield, Surrey, for H. E. Gurney; Monkhams, Essex, for H. Ford Barclay; Euston Hall, Suffolk, for the Duke of Grafton; public works and buildings of the new boulevard, Florence; International College, Isleworth; Winter Gardens, &c., at Great Yarmouth and Tynemouth; Langland Bay Hotel, South Wales; South Western Terminus Hotel, Southampton; Fickle Castle, Esthonia; Framlingham Hall, Norfolk; Brent Knoll, Somerset; Summers Place, Sussex; Chew Magna Manor House, Somerset; Town Hall and Constitutional Club, Neath; Training College for the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol.

Among his London designs were the Turf Club, Piccadilly; the Submarine Telegraph Co.'s office, Throgmorton Avenue; the Canada Government Buildings and Victoria Mansions, Westminster; residential mansions, Mandeville Place, W., with several hotels, business premises, and residential flats.

Though not working exclusively in the Gothic style, Norton designed much ecclesiastical work in the Gothic style of the mid-nineteenth century. He designed the churches of Stapleton, Stoke Bishop, and Frampton Cotterell in Gloucestershire; those at Bourton, High Bridge, and Congresbury in Somersetshire. At Bristol he was responsible for St. Luke's, St. Matthias, Emmanuel (Clifton), and the parish church of Bedminster; and in Wales and Monmouthshire for those at Pontypridd, Neath, Rheola, Ebbw Vale, Blaina, Abertillery, Ystrad Mynach, Penmaen, Llwyn Madoc, Dyffryn, Cwm, and Ysfra. Norton designed St. Matthew's, Brighton; Christ Church, Finchley; St. John's, Middlesbrough ; churches at Croxley Green (since increased in size); Lundy Island; Powerscourt, Wicklow; Chevington, near Howick; Bagnères de Bigorre; and Bishop Hannington's Memorial Church, Frere Town, Africa. The C.M.S. Children's Home at Limpsfield, the Royal Normal College for the Blind at Norwood, the County Courts at Williton, Dunster, and Long Ashton in Somerset, and the High Cross at Bristol were also Norton's work.

Norton died on 10 Nov. 1904, and was buried at Bournemouth. He married in 1857 Helen Mary, only daughter of Peter Le Neve Aldous Arnold, by whom he had eight daughters and two sons. The younger son, Mr. C. Harrold Norton, succeeded to his father's practice.

[The Builder, lxxxvii. 526; R.I.B.A. Journal, vol. xii. 3rd series, p. 63; information by Mr. C. Harrold Norton.]

P. W.