Thomas Edward Bridgen

Place of Birth

  • Birth date             12 April 1832 at Wolverhampton (baptismal record)
  • Baptism                10 May 1832
  • Marriage (I)           7 October 1862 to Elizabeth Lax Spencer (1840/2-1870)
  • Marriage (II)          21 February 1871 to Ellen Jane Stupart at Manchester Cathedral
  • Death date           15 February 1895 at “Oak Lynne”, Lord Street Fallowfield Manchester
  • Funeral                 19 February 1895 at the Church of the Holy Innocents, Fallowfield
  • Burial                   Chorlton Green Burial Ground plot no 216


Thomas Edward Bridgen was born in Wolverhampton in 1832, the son of Joseph Bridgen, bookseller and his wife, Caroline. According to his obituary in the RIBA Journal, he received the first part of his education at Southampton, completing his studies in France. In 1851 he was articled to George Cottingham, of London, and was subsequently in partnership with Cottingham until the latter’s death in 1854. However, the 1851 census has him an architect’s pupil, living in Birmingham at the home of Christophe Oxford, architect. Next he became managing assistant to George Sommes Clarke and after gaining experience in other offices, including that of Nathan Pennington, of Manchester, he entered into partnership with the latter in 1859 under the title of “Pennington & Bridgen.” He was elected FRIBA 17 December 1888, proposed by J. Holden, GT Redmayne, C. Clegg.

The partnership between Nathan Glossop Pennington and Thomas Edward Bridgen FRIBA architects and surveyors of Queen's Chambers Manchester and 8 John-street, Adelphi, London was dissolved by mutual consent on 12 May 1894. From then until the time of his death on Friday 15 February 1895 Thomas Bridgen was engaged as joint architect, with Charles Heathcote, in the collaboration of designs for the further enlargement of the Manchester Royal Infirmary. This is at odds with the RIBA obituary which noted “Mr. Bridgen's health failed a year or two since, and for some time he had been unable to attend to business.”

The firm of Pennington and Bridgen succeeded in obtaining a considerable share of the work in the neighbourhood many gained in competition. Offices were also established in London and Liverpool. Works for which Thomas Bridgen is known to have been individually responsible include the Hospital for Sick Children at Pendlebury, designed by Thomas Bridgen and erected under his supervision. This was the first hospital built in this country on the pavilion system and the model of many erected since. Later the enlargement and remodelling of the Manchester Royal Infirmary was entrusted to him and similar works followed at the Stockport Infirmary and at the Ancoats Hospital. He also designed and erected the block of buildings for the Queens Building Society in John Dalton Street and Deansgate Manchester. The designing of this building is said to have given him great pleasure, as it was surrounded by four streets, and having somewhat a free hand he produced what was considered perhaps his happiest work - a pure specimen of English Tudor work suitable for a large town.

On 7 October 1862. Thomas Bridgen married Elizabeth Lax Spencer. Commemorated in a memorial window in Chorlton new church, she died aged 28 and was buried in Chorlton Green Cemetery in April 1870. Less than a year later he married Ellen Jane Stupart of Victoria Park, Rusholme, the elder daughter of John Stupart (deceased) of Hanley, on 21 February 1871. She survived her husband by many years and died on 17 February 1928, aged 88.

Thomas Edward Bridgen died on 15 February 1895 at his residence, "Oak Lynne" 1 Lord Street, Fallowfield.

1851        192, Bristol Street, Birmingham (Census)
1871        11 Clifton Avenue Egerton Road Fallowfield (Slater)
1881        "Oak Lynne" 1 Lord Street, Fallowfield (Census)
1891        "Oak Lynne" 1 Lord Street, Fallowfield (Slater)
1895        "Oak Lynne" 1 Lord Street, Fallowfield

Reference      Manchester Evening News 22 February 1871 - Marriage
Death notice  Manchester Guardian 16 February 1895 page8
Obituary        Manchester Guardian 18 February 1895 page 6 – Memorial Notice
Obituary        British Architect 22 February 1895 Page 125
Obituary        British Architect 1 March 1895 Page 146 (Extended obituary)
Obituary        Builder. Vol 68 23 February 1895 Page 150
Obituary        Journal of the Royal Institute of British Architects Vol 2 1895 Page 335
Obituary        Manchester City News 2 March 1895
Probate         London Gazette 11 February 1896 page 810. Thomas Bridgen, Probate






Name Designation Formed Dissolved Location
Pennington and Bridgen Architectural practice 1861 1894 Manchester