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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Flockton family, architects (per. c.1830–c.1900)

Flockton and Son was a Sheffield-based partnership between William Flockton (1804–1864) and his son Thomas James Flockton (1825–1899). The younger Flockton became a pupil of his father in 1837, subsequently training in the offices of Sir George Gilbert Scott, William Bonython Moffatt, John Johnson of London and Sir John Fowler. Thomas Flockton began independent practice in partnership with his father in 1845. In 1862 George Lewslie Abbott (1822/23–1884) joined the firm as a partner and it became Flockton and Abbott.

Edward Mitchel Gibbs (1847–1935) was born in Sheffield and was articled to Flockton and Abbott between 1862 and 1868, where he was a principal assistant. Gibbs also attended classes at Sheffield School of Art during this period. He spent time in London, studying at the Royal Academy Schools and acting as an assistant to Alfred Waterhouse. He was superintendent of works to Archibald Neill of Leeds from 1868 until 1872. He began practising with Flockton and Abbott in 1872 and became a partner in the firm in 1878, on G.L. Abbott’s retirement, when the firm became Flockton and Gibbs. Gibbs was instrumental in founding the University of Sheffield School of Architecture, which was established in 1908. Flockton and Gibbs were also the University’s first architects. There is a photograph of Gibbs (from 1928) in the National Portrait Gallery.

Charles Burrows Flockton (1867–1945) was born in Sheffield and was articled to his father Thomas Flockton, and to Edward Gibbs in 1886. He attended classes at Sheffield School of Art and the Sheffield Society of Architects and Surveyors, passed the Qualifying Exam in 1895, and joined Flockton and Gibbs as a partner in the same year.

Work carried out by Flockton and Son, Flockton and Abbott, and Flockton and Gibbs in Sheffield includes: the Church of St Matthew, Carver Street (1855); Endcliffe Hall (1865); the Royal Bank of Scotland building, Church Street (1866–67); Cambridge House, Division Street (1867); the Church of St Barnabas, Highfield Place (1876); the Church of St Thomas, Newman Road (1876); the School Board offices, Firth College (with E.R. Robinson) and Central Schools (1879–80); Jubilee Obelisk, Endcliffe Park (1887); St John’s Church, Ranmoor (1887); Mappin Art Gallery (1887); The Towers (1896); 8–24 High Street (1896).

Bibliography: H. Colvin, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600–1840, New Haven and London, 2008, p. 384; Dictionary of British Architects 1834–1900, Royal Institute of British Architects, London, 1993; ‘Flockton & Gibbs’, in Dictionary of Scottish Architects 1840–1980; R. Harman and J. Minnis, Sheffield (Pevsner Architectural Guides), New Haven and London, 2004; D. White and E. Norman, Public Sculpture of Sheffield and South Yorkshire, Liverpool, 2015, pp. xviii, 117, 129–30, 135–37, 149, 161–62, 184.

Darcy White, 2015