Welland & Gillespie

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William John Welland (c. 1832–95) and William Gillespie (d. 1896) were appointed joint architects to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners of the Church of Ireland on the death of the former's father, Joseph Welland (1798–1860—a pupil and assistant of Bowden, who became architect to the Board of First Fruits for the Province of Tuam in 1821). When the Board was reconstituted as the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1833, Joseph Welland retained his position, but his duties were expanded in 1843 to take over responsibility for all Anglican Church work in Ireland, thus during the early-and mid-Victorian period he became the most important architect working for the Church, designing over 100 new churches and supervising alterations, repairs, and enlargements to many buildings, and there is no county where his works cannot be viewed (e.g. St Swithin, Magherafelt, Co. Londonderry, consecrated 1858— his finest building). Welland & Gillespie inherited this important post before Disestablishment, and carried out an immense amount of new church-building, much of it of very fine quality, often with plate-tracery and quirky details (e.g. St Matthias, Ballyeglish (1865–8— with polychrome treatment and apsidal chancel), and St John, Woodschapel (1860–70—of basalt with freestone dressings), both in Co. Londonderry, and Christ Church, Derriaghy, Co. Antrim (consecrated 1872—with a slim steeple set at 45° to the axis of the nave).

Brett (1996, 1999, 2002);J. Curl (1986);Rowan (1979)

Subjects: Architecture.

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