William Henry Littlewood

Place of Birth

  • Born : 16 June 1838
  • Married : Jane (Jenny) Powell Oct-Dec 1867 at Chorlton
  • Died March 1919*
  • Burial : 5 March 1919 at Brooklands Cemetery, Sale.

* Erroneously given in RIBA directory and other reference as 1921.

The son of the late Joshua Littlewood, architect, Holmfirth, Yorkshire William Henry Littlewood was born at Holmfirth on 16 June 1838. He was educated privately and at the Manchester School of Art under Mr J. Hammersley where he was awarded Student's Silver Medal for Drawing and Painting in 1856.  He served his articles with Travis and Mangnall, architects, Manchester; and stayed with them as an assistant. When the Travis and Mangnall partnership was dissolved in 1862 he remained as assistant to William Mangnall. Again following the death of William Mangnall in 1868 he continued as assistant to his brother John until 1874 when he was taken 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. In the 1890s 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.

 He was elected an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects, 1882 and a Fellow in 1887. Additionally he was a member of the Manchester Society of Architects and an Associate of the Manchester Academy of Artists.

 William Henry Littlewood died on 1st March 1919 at his residence, 10 Addison Terrace, Victoria Park, Manchester and was interned at Brooklands Cemetery sale, on Wednesday 5 March 1919. [Manchester Guardian March 1919 page 10 – deaths and probate records]. He was survived by his widow Jane (Jenny). At a meeting of 20 August 1925 The Manchester Art Gallery Committee accepted from the family of W H Littlewood,descibed as a former well-known Manchester architect and a member of the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts, a picture “St Mark’s Venice,” which he had painted.

1868 : 3 Norfolk Street  Manchester,
1881-1888 :29 Brown Street, Manchester
1900 : 42 Spring Gardens, Manchester

1876 : 41 Park Street Greehheys
1877-8: 58 Crystal Terrace, Cecil Street Greenheys
1881 : 128 Cecil Street, Moss Side (Census)
1895-1919 : 10, Addison Terrace, Daisy Bank Road, Victoria Park (Slater’s Directory)

Pike Manchester;
Who's who in architecture (1914)
Articles:    Building News v59, 19 Sept 1890, p 416
RIBA Nomination Papers A v9 p3 F v9 p57
RIBA Nomination Papers fiche reference: 33/D2, 104/F6. BAL Biography File
Works: List in RIBA Fellows' Nomination Papers
Portraits : Building News v59. 19 Sept 1890. Pike Manchester, p214


Name Designation Formed Dissolved Location
Mangnall and Littlewood (II) Architectural practice 1901 1917 Manchester
Mangnall and Littlewoods Architectural practice 1874 1901 Manchester