Irish-born architect. He was in the service of Frederick Augustus Hervey, 4th Earl of Bristol and Bishop of Derry (1730–1803), at whose expense he travelled in Italy (1791–6). He built the Earl-Bishop's Palace at Ickworth, Suffolk, in 1796, consisting of a Pantheon-domed elliptical rotunda connected to wings by quadrants, and apparently based on a design by Mario Asprucci (1764–1804). Ickworth had a predecessor in the Earl-Bishop's great house at Ballyscullion, Co. Londonderry (begun 1787, and designed, probably, by Shanahan, Sandys, and Sandys and his brother Joseph), and possibly James Wyatt), influenced by Plaw's Belle Isle, Windermere (1774–5). The portico of Ballyscullion now forms the front of St George's Parish Church, High Street, Belfast. Ickworth was a more Neo-Classical version of Ballyscullion.
Sandys remained in Suffolk, in Bury St Edmunds, where he built up his practice, designing Finborough Hall, Suffolk (1795), the entrance-lodges at Chippenham Park, Cambs. (c.1800), the Assembly Rooms (now Athenaeum), Bury St Edmunds (1804), the County Gaol, Worcester (1809–13—demolished), Dorchester Bridge, Oxon. (1813–15), and the County Courts and Gaol, Durham (begun 1809 and completed by George Moneypenny and Ignatius Bonomi in 1811 after Sandys was dismissed following his loss of a legal action by the Durham Magistrates). This event seems to have ended his career by 1814.
Colvin (1995);Rankin (1972)