William Thomas Oldreive

Place of Birth
Manchester Edinburgh

  • Birth date            15 December 1853
  • Death date          12 January 1922

William Thomas Oldrieve was born in London on 15 December 1853, the son of William Oldrieve, clerk of works and his wife Elizabeth Tyler. His father's family were Baptists from Devonshire. He was educated at Mansfield Grammar School, serving for a time under his father in the clerk of works office at Thoresby Hall under Anthony Salvin, 1868-71. He then moved to the office of the builders William Cubitt & Co where he spent the years 1871-73. From there he obtained a place in the War Office, attached to the Royal Engineers where he remained until 1881 when he gained first place in the competitive examinations as assistant architect and surveyor in the Office of Works. During that period he spent at least part of his time in the Edinburgh office under Walter Wood Robertson. After 1880 he was a distinguished pupil of Professor Baldwin Brown, gaining a class medal and the Cousin prize in the Architectural Section of the Fine Arts Class at Edinburgh University. In 1886 he was Godwin Bursar of the RIBA. This he used to visit Hamburg, Berlin, Vienna and Paris, making a particular study of post office buildings, notably Guadet's new Hotel des Postes in Paris and the General Post Office in Hamburg. As a result of his study he was later appointed architect for provincial post offices in England and Wales. Works included Post Offices at Hyde, 1899-1900.  Following his time in Edinburgh, he was variously in the Chief Architect's Office, London Office of Works; in charge of Manchester District Office of Works and Chief Assistant to the Principal Architect to the Department of Works in England. In April 1904 he was appointed Principal Architect for Scotland. He was admitted FRIBA on 3 December 1906, his proposers being Sir Henry Tanner, Sir John Taylor and Sir Robert Rowand Anderson.

1895        Ministry of Works New Bridge Street Manchester   

1895        9, Duncan Street, Higher Broughton
1922        Blair Avenue Edinburgh (Soc of Antiquarians Scotland)