William Owen of Warrington

Place of Birth

  • Born                      27 August 1846 Latchford, Warrington
  • Death                    5 April 1910
  • Death place        Appleton, Warrington, Cheshire


William Owen, FRIBA (1846-1910) was born in Latchford, Warrington, Cheshire, and trained as an architect under John Lowe of Manchester, becoming his assistant, and later, for a few years, assistant to another Manchester architect, James Redford (c.1836-1911). He travelled in Europe, taking in Belgium and Holland as well as France and Switzerland. An accomplished draughtsman he also received training from the Bolton artist Selim Rothwell.  In 1869 he commenced independent practice in Warrington where he developed a successful practice undertaking domestic industrial and commercial buildings.  He carried out work at Lever Brothers Warrington factory and became a close friend of W H Lever, accompanying him in his search for a site for his proposed new factory and model village on the banks of the Mersey. Owen was the first architect employed at Port Sunlight and was closely involved in its early development. In 1896 he took the elder of his two architect sons, Segar Owen, (1874-1929) into partnership. Their partnership was still based in Warrington but continued to include significant works for Lever Brothers at Port Sunlight. Works at Warrington included St Barnabas Church (Bank Quay, 1879), the School of Art (Museum Street, 1883), Parr Hall, an important concert and theatre hall (Palmyra Square South, 1895), St Clement's Chapel and mission buildings (Bank Street, 1897, since demolished) and Warrington Technical School (Palmyra Square South, 1900-02).

William Owen died suddenly at Warrington in 1910, the practice being continued by Segar Owen and subsequently Geoffrey Owen under the same name.

Some confusion has arisen regarding the works for which William Owen of Warrington was actually responsible. His namesake, William Owen of Manchester (qv) was in practice at the same time working almost exclusively in Manchester and Altrincham. Works by the firm of “William and Segar Owen” after 1910 were the entire responsibility of his sons.

Buildings and Designs

Building Name District Town/City County Country
Holy Trinity Church Warrington   Warrington  Cheshire  England
Sunday and Infants’ Schools. Winwick   Warrington  Cheshire  England
St Barnabas' Church Bank Quay Warrington Cheshire   Warrington  Cheshire  England
Garnett House Penketh near Warrington Penketh  Warrington  Cheshire  England
“Birchdale” Appleton Stockton Heath near Warrington Stockton Heath  Warrington  Cheshire  England
School of Art Warrington   Warrington  Cheshire  England
14-18 Bolton Road, Port Sunlight Port Sunlight  Wirral  Cheshire  England
Workhouse Infirmary, Warrington, Cheshire, (later Kendrick Wing Warrington General Hospital)   Warrington  Cheshire  England
Lever House, Wood Street, Port Sunlight Port Sunlight  Wirral  Merseyside  England
Church of All Saints Thelwall New Road Thelwall: Extension Thelwall  Warrington  Cheshire  England
Gladstone Hall Greendale Road Port Sunlight Port Sunlight  Wirral  Merseyside  England
Parr's Bank 130 Lord Street/London Street Southport.   Southport  Merseyside  England
The Albion Public House Battersby Lane Warrington   Warrington  Cheshire  England
Parr Hall Palmyra Square Warrington   Warrington  Cheshire  England
Parr's Bank 2-4 Standishgate Wigan   Wigan  GMCA  England
89-92 Greendale Road Port Sunlight  Wirral  Cheshire  England
17-21 Bolton Road, Port Sunlight Port Sunlight  Wirral  Cheshire  England
Sunlight Soap Works Port Sunlight  Wirral  Cheshire  England
Alterations and Additions: Sunlight Soap Works, Bank Quay, Warrington   Warrington  Cheshire  England
St Clement’s Chapel and Mission Buildings, Bank Street, Warrington   Warrington  Cheshire  England
Co-operative Stores, Church Street/ Fennel Street, Warrington   Warrington  Cheshire  England


Name Designation Formed Dissolved Location
Owen, William and Segar (I) Architectural practice 1896 1910 Warrington