Frank Page Oakley

Place of Birth

  • Born                      23 October, 1862. at 29, Charles Street, St. James', Westminster, London,
  • Died                       8 July 1943 at Godalming, Surrey

Frank Page Oakley was born on 23rd October, 1862 at 29, Charles Street, St. James', Westminster, the home of his uncle, the architect William Oakley. At the time his father, John Oakley was curate of the fashionable St James, Piccadilly, a church which had occasionally numbered among its congregation both William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli. In 1884 John Oakley became Dean of Manchester, a position he was to hold until his death in 1890 at the early age of 56. Frank Oakley was educated at Brighton and Malvern before enrolling as a student at the Royal Academy in 1881. He served his articles with James Piers St Aubyn, of the Temple, London and also studied under James Brooks of London before joining his parents in Manchester. Here he was employed by Joseph Stretch Crowther as an assistant working principally on the restoration of Manchester Cathedral. Elected an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1886, he commencing independent practice the following year, with an office in Hanging Bridge Chambers, Cathedral Steps.

Curiously it was Canada which was to provide Frank Oakley’s first commission for a new church. In 1889, the corner stone of St George’s‑in‑the‑Pines, Banff, Alberta was laid by Lady Stanley, the wife of the country’s Governor General. However, a lack of finance seriously impeded progress and it was not until 1897 that the chancel (with its western end boarded up) was sufficiently far advanced to allow worship inside. Meanwhile, the parish erected a tent to hold the large summer congregations. Work on the first two bays of the nave was not started until 1901. Five years later a log bungalow for the clergy was built on Buffalo Street, the clergy having previously boarded with the Park Superintendent. Only in the early 1960's was this log rectory replaced with a modern home.  Two further bays of the nave were added in 1906 and 1914, and during 1918‑19 the last bay, west wall and porch were built as a memorial to those who lost their lives in World War I. The Bishop of Calgary, the Right Reverend William Pinkham, consecrated St. George's in June 1920, thirty‑one years after the laying of the cornerstone.  The church was finally completed with the addition of the bell tower in 1926.

About 1920 [CHECK], Frank Oakley took Gerald Sanville, the son of Edward Salomons, into partnership, the practice now styled Oakley and Sanville. Their only new church commission would prove to be that for St Anne’s, Sharp Street, Brindle Heath, Pendleton, described by Pevsner as “a very remarkable little church.” A chapel‑of‑ease to St Thomas, Pendleton, and built at the expense of Mrs Charles Heywood in memory of her husband, it was consecrated on 23 July 1914 just days before the outbreak of the First World War. Although it maintained an active congregation for some fifty years, Salford Corporation’s slum clearances of both the Hanky Park and Brindle Heath areas of Pendleton in the 1960s decimated the congregations of both St Thomas’s and St Anne’s churches. Selected for sacrifice, St Anne’s closed in 1969, subsequent vandalism hastening its demolition.

In the aftermath of the First World War Oakley and Sanville struggled to re‑establish their practice. By 1923 they had move from Howarth’s Buildings in Cross Street to a suite of offices on the top floor of 60, King Street where they would remain until Gerald Sanville’s death in the mid-1960s. They continued to work for both the diocese of Manchester and that of Chester on the repair, extension, and re‑ordering of existing churches; in particular gaining a reputation for the restoration of mediaeval church roofs. However commercial clients provided an increasing proportion of their work in the inter‑war period. In 1932 Oakley, then aged 70, was living at "Sevenoaks", Cuddington, Cheshire, conveniently placed on the Manchester to Chester main railway line and seemingly still actively involved in the practice. He continued to live here for the next eight years although details of his professional life become increasingly obscure. In 1940 he resigned from the Lancashire & Cheshire Antiquarian Society, and in the same year he was expelled from the RIBA as a defaulter (seemingly the only architect so recorded in the Dictionary of British Architects).

Frank Page Oakley died on 8 July 1943 aged 80 at Colenso South Munstead Lane Godalming, Surrey.

On 28 April 1891 at St Mary Abbots, Kensington, Clara Margaret (Daisy) Oakley, daughter of John Oakley, Dean of Manchester and sister of Frank Page Oakley, architect of Manchester. married Philip Coldwell Thicknesse, architect

1890-1893     Hanging Bridge Chambers, Cathedral Steps, Manchester (Slater’s Directory)
1896-1898     27, Guardian Buildings, 3, Cross Street, Manchester (Slater’s Directory)
1899-1917    89, Howarth's Buildings, 5, Cross Street, Manchester (Slater’s Directory)
1920-1939    Oakley & Sanville. 60 King Street Manchester

1865-1867    22 Old Burlington Street London
1886-1890    The Deanery, Bury New Road,Broughton Park Salford (RIBA)
1891            227 Great Clowes Street, Lower Broughton, Salford (Slater’s Directory)
1893-1898    Drood house, 3, George Street, City Road, Old Trafford (Slater’s Directory)
c1900           Hawthorn Hall, Wilmslow, Cheshire, (Pike)
1932-1940    F P Oakley FRIBA, "Sevenoaks", Cuddington, Cheshire 1932-40 (TLACS - List of Members)
1943            Colenso South Munstead Lane Godalming, Surrey

Buildings and Designs

Building Name District Town/City County Country
St George’s-in-the-Pines 100 Beaver Street. Banff Alberta. Canada   Banff  Alberta  Canada
Church of St Andrew, Arm Road, Dearnley, Rochdale Dearnley  Rochdale  GMCA  England
Reredos: Church of Saint Alban the Martyr Waterloo Road Cheetwood Cheetwood  Manchester  GMCA  England
St Philip’s Church Schools James Street Salford (atrib)   Salford  GMCA  England
Church of All Souls Rochdale Road East Heywood   Heywood  GMCA  England
Fittings: Church of Saint Andrew Monton Road Eccles Monton  Eccles  GMCA  England
Tower screen:Rochdale Parish Church   Rochdale  GMCA  England
Church of St John the Evangelist Hopwood Heywood Hopwood  Heywood  GMCA  England
St Paul’s Church Heaton Moor Heaton Moor  Stockport  GMCA  England
Restoration: Eccles Parish Church   Eccles  GMCA  England
Church of St Hilda Old Trafford Old Trafford  Manchester  GMCA  England
Vestry: St Philip Alderley Edge   Alderley Edge  Cheshire  England
St Hilda’s Church, Whittaker Lane, Prestwich Heaton Park  Prestwich  GMCA  England
Proposed Children’s Hospital and Dispensary Gartside Street Manchester   Manchester  GMCA  England
House for Mrs M E F Boycott, Chapel‑en‑le‑Frith, Derbyshire   Chapel‑en‑le‑Frith  Derbyshire  England
Restoration of Parish Church, Tarvin   Tarvin  Cheshire  England
Church of St Oswald Bollington Road Bollington Cross Cheshire   Bollington Cross  Cheshire  England
Enlargement: Bollington Cross Church School   Bollington Cross  Cheshire  England
Tower Screen: Church of Saint Peter, Ellastone, Staffordshire   Ellastone  Staffordshire  England
Tower All Souls Church Heywood   Heywood  GMCA  England
Sunday School Compstall near Marple Compstall  Marple  GMCA  England
Extension Queen’s University Belfast (Architectural Competition)       England
Church Winton (Architectural Competition)       England
Church of St Anne Sharp Street Brindle Heath Pendleton Brindle Heath  Pendleton  GMCA  England
Middlewich Parish Church, New Vestries   Middlewich  Cheshire  England
Church of St. Hilda Prestwich Heaton Park  Prestwich  GMCA  England
Shops Water Lane Wilmslow Cheshire (no date)   Wilmslow  Cheshire  England
No. 66 Portland Place, Westminster, London (Architectural Competition) Westminster  London  Greater London  England


Name Designation Formed Dissolved Location
Oakley and Sanville Architectural practice 1920 1939 Manchester