John Littlewood

Place of Birth

  • Born      19 January 1830 at Holmfirth Yorkshire
  • Died       25 September 1901

The son of the late Joshua Littlewood, architect, Holmfirth, Yorkshire John Littlewood was born at Holmfirth on 19 January 1830. He was educated privately before serving his articles with Travis and Mangnall, architects, Manchester; and remained with them as an assistant during the erection of many important Manchester buildings, including Watts' warehouse, Portland Street.

When the Travis and Mangnall partnership was dissolved in 1862 he remained as assistant to William Mangnall. In 1864 or 1865 he was taken into partnership by William Mangnall under the style Mangnall and Littlewood. Following the death of William Mangnall in 1868 he continued the practice alone until 1874 when he took his brother, William Henry Littlewood into partnership under the style of Mangnall and Littlewoods.

This subtle change in name from singular to plural was lost on many, including members of the contemporary press. It has also been widely but erroneously assumed that William Mangnall’s son, also William, was somehow able to “inherit” his father’s role in the partnership. This never happened as was made clear in a notice published on the front page of the Manchester Courier on 11 July 1887 reading: The WILLIAM MANGNALL, architect, of Wellington-road, Fallowfield, whose bankruptcy was announced in the Courier of the 9th inst., has NO CONNECTION whatever with our firm. MANGNALL & LITTLEWOODS, architects, 29, Brown Street.

As Mangnall and Littlewoods The brothers carried out many designs for public buildings, and obtained first premiums in a number of architectural competitions including the first prize of £500 for their design for Manchester Corporation Gasworks in Bradford Road in 1878, the Campfield Markets, the Salford Corporation baths at Broughton and Regent Road, the new schools and homes for the Chorlton Union Board of Guardians Withington, and other public institutions. Later Mangnall and Littlewoods became conspicuous the erection of piers and concert pavilions health resorts. Morecambe Pier and Concert Pavilion and the Empress Ballroom at Blackpool are instances their art and skill in this direction.

John Littlewood was elected Associate of the RIBA 20 Mar 1882, proposed by, J Murgatroyd, C Clegg, J Holden and a Fellow on 17 December 1888, proposed by J Holden, G T Redmayne, and J Murgatroyd. Fellow MSA

John Littlewood died at Lansdowne Villas Old Trafford on 25 September 1901.

3 Norfolk Street, Greater Manchester, England (1868)
29 Brown Street, Manchester (1881, 1888)
42 Spring Gardens, Manchester (1900)

1876-1901 :John Littlewood  1, Lansdowne Villas, Stretford Road, Old Trafford (Slater’s)

Builder v 81, 12 Oct 1901, p 321
RIBA Journal v8, 1901, p 504
British Architect 11 October 1901 Page 253
Manchester City News 28 September 1901 Page 5 Column 6 – Personal
Manchester Guardian Saturday 28 September 1901 Page 9, Column 2 (Memorial Notices)
Manchester Courier 28 September 1901 page 7

Architect's ... directory (1868)
Pike Contemporary Biographies Page 213
Building News v59, 19 Sept 1890, p 410
Manchester Courier 11 July 1887 page 1

Portraits: Building News v59, 19 Sept 1890, p 394.  Pike Manchester, p213


Name Designation Formed Dissolved Location
Mangnall and Littlewood Architectural practice 1864 1874 Manchester
Mangnall and Littlewoods Architectural practice 1874 1901 Manchester