Cecil Stewart

Place of Birth

  • Born:                     8 April 1911 or 11 April 1911
  • Died:                     14 January 1964

Cecil Stewart was born at 3 Marshall Place, Perth, on 8 April 1911, the son of Charles Parker Stewart, medical practitioner, and his wife Edith Maud Jayne. He commenced his architectural training at Edinburgh College of Art in 1928 and was awarded the RIBA Silver Medal in 1930. In 1932 he moved to London to join George Grey Wornum as assistant, remaining with him until 1934 and working on the RIBA Headquarters building in Portland Place. During this period, he travelled to Italy in 1929 and to Holland in 1930. On leaving Wornum in 1934 he made a journey to Finland and Russia, and in 1935 he won the Andrew Grant Scholarship, which enabled him to spend two years on a tour embracing Germany, Italy, Greece, Turkey and France. He was elected ARIBA on 22 June 1936, his proposers being Wornum, Philip Dalton Hepworth and Stanley Hinge Hamp. He commenced practice on his own account in Liverpool in 1937, but took a salaried post with ICI (Foodstuffs Group) at Grangemouth from 1941-43.

in 1946 was awarded a Leverhulme Fellowship for the study of village planning. He began his teaching career at the Architectural Association where he lectured in the history of architecture before being appointed to the headship of the Department of Architecture in the Manchester Regional College of Art In 1947. In Manchester, he began the major work of his career. the development of a unique system of architectural education in which he successfully united the profession with the school in a combined course of training. His pioneer work in this field was a source of inspiration to the Board of Architectural Education of Royal Institute of British Architects.

To a larger section of the community he was best remembered for his literary scholarship in the fields of town planning and the history of architecture. He was an authority on Byzantine art and architecture and a spirited champion for the preservation and restoration of Victorian Manchester at a time when it was at a low point in its popularity. In 1956 he published “The Stones of Manchester,” the first book on Victorian Architecture intended for the general reader. His justification is contained in the preface:

The architecture of Manchester, almost entirely the product of the nineteenth century has for so long been under a literal and metaphorical cloud that the reader if any, might reasonably ask for some explanation, or excuse for such an essay. The only possible excuse is that I like it, or find it interesting; the only possible explanation is that I think I have found quality and merit beneath the soot and the grime which lies so heavily upon it.

Cecil Stewart died on 14 January 1964 in hospital after collapsing at Manchester Airport. He was 52.

1932-1936 : London
1937 : Liverpool, England   
1947 : Manchester Municipal School of Art, All Saints, Manchester

1936 : 22, Pembridge Gardens, London W2,
1951 : 9, Berkeley Mansions, Fielden Park, Manchester

Reference : Dictionary of Scottish Architects
Obituary : Manchester Guardian 15 January 1964 page 3 - Obituary