Edward Prentice Mawson

architect landscape architect
Place of Birth
Lancaster London
  • Born                      16 July1885
  • Died                       22 December 1954 at Hest Bank


The eldest child of Thomas H Mawson (qv) and his wife Anna, Edward Prentice Mawson was born at Windermere on 16 July 1885, and was baptised on 11 October 1886 at St. Mary’s Church, Applethwaite, Windermere. He was educated at Windermere grammar school, before training as an architect at the Architectural Association School in London, and then at the École des Beaux‑Arts in Paris.  In 1910 he won the RIBA's Soane medallion. At this time there was no formal qualification in landscape architecture and his knowledge of plants and planting was acquired from his father and from his uncle, Robert Mawson, of Mawson Brothers Nurseries in Windermere.

On 9 April 1913 Edward married Hilda Bowhill, whose father had been a wealthy boot and shoe maker in the Bridewell, Norwich. Following their marriage they moved to”Brackondale,” in Hest Bank, north of Lancaster, and there had three children. Andrew Prentice Mawson, born 1917; Elizabeth Prentice Mawson, born 1920; and Thomas Prentice Mawson, born 1925.

Edward Mawson had joined his father as a partner in 1910, by which time the firm had offices in both Lancaster and London. He was responsible for drawing up plans for two prestigious commissions awarded to his father in 1908, the gardens surrounding the Peace Palace at The Hague, and the tower in the gardens of Queen Alexandra’s seaside house of Hvidöre in Denmark. In 1913 Thomas Mawson received a commission to re-design the gardens of the Royal Palace in Athens. Edward was promptly dispatched to Greece and was responsible for preparing most of the preliminary drawings submitted to the King in July 1914. However these schemes were never progressed due to the outbreak of war. Unfit for military service, Edward continued to work with his father in the much reduced Lancaster office throughout the  First World War.

In 1923 Thomas H Mawson was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Thereafter the running of the practice was increasingly left to Edward Prentice and his brother, John William Mawson.  This partnership was formally dissolved in 1928 when John William Mawson accepted the post of Director of Town Planning in New Zealand, Thomas H Mawson seemingly having retired earlier. Edward continued the practice alone under the style of Thomas Mawson and Son. The economic difficulties of the interwar years prompted the firm to diversify from private clients to the public sector.  In this period Edward Prentice Mawson emerges as a prominent designer of public spaces, his commissions including Stanley Park, Blackpool, and the seafront gardens at Southend‑on‑Sea and Hastings. After the Second World War Edward took into partnership Gordon H. Farrow, a superb draughtsman and an associate of the Institute of Landscape Architects, together with his younger son, Thomas Prentice Mawson. They worked on a range of landscape commissions such as Mayesbrook Park in Barking, and large‑scale town planning schemes including the Ulster garden villages from 1947 as well as private gardens.


A member of the Royal Institute of British Architects, he was also a member of the Town Planning Institute from 1919 and of the Institute of Structural Engineers from 1921. A fellow and founder member of the Institute of Landscape Architects, established in 1929,  he was acting president of the Institute after his father's death in 1933, and president in his own right from 1936 to 1937.


Edward Prentice Mawson died suddenly of coronary thrombosis on 22 December 1954 at 4 Lonsdale Road, Hest Bank. He was cremated at Blackpool and his ashes buried in the family grave at Bowness on Windermere.

1928        High Street House. 2 High Street Lancaster
1928        26 Victoria Street London SW

1913        Brackondale 10 Hest Bank Lane Hest Bank
1954        4 Lonsdale Road, Hest Bank, Lancaster

Obituaries     Builder v186, 31 Dec 1954, p1062 
Reference    Times 23 December 1954 P1 col A Death Notice





Name Designation Formed Dissolved Location
Mawson Thomas H and Son Architectural practice 1928 1978 Lancaster
Mawson Thomas H and Sons Architectural practice 1910 1928 Lancaster