(1870–1953). English architect. Articled and educated in Liverpool, he commenced practice in 1898. With Gilbert Wilson Fraser (1873–1954) he designed the Presbyterian Church, Warren Road, Blundellsands, near Liverpool (1898–1905), in a free Perpendicular style of Gothic. He entered into partnership with Frank Gatley Briggs (1862–1921) and Henry Vernon Wolstenholme (1863–1936) in Liverpool. Among the firm's works are the Wrenaissance Bluecoat School, Wavertree (1903–6), the very showy Baroque Wrenaissance domed and towered Mersey Docks and Harbour Board Offices, Pier Head, Liverpool (1907), extensions to the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (1931–3), and the Geology Department, University of Liverpool (1929). His masterpiece is the Northern Ireland Parliament Building, Stormont, Belfast (1927–32), an outstanding, if late, essay in the Greek Revival style, with an Ionic temple-front in the centre and magnificent scholarly interiors (although some were lost in a fire of 1995). Ralph Knott contributed to the designs. Also at Stormont, Thornely was responsible for the handsome gateways and lodges, and for the former Provincial Bank at the Massey Avenue entrance to the grounds (1932).
From A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in Oxford Reference.