James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants
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Qualification & Competition

I was told that Eyton and Os had gone to Durham University but that Elijah could not afford to pay for a university education for Reginald or Frank; Reginald trained as a diocesan architect and served his articles in Liverpool. In the Architectural Drawings of Magdalen College Oxford, a Catalogue which includes several of Reginald's 1906 drawings, it states that Reginald worked in the office of the Bangor Diocesan Architect before studying at Liverpool University School of Architecture. He was a fine draughtsman, making measured drawings of a number of historic buildings such as Magdalen College, and designed a number of houses and churches (for example, St Thomas, Wavertree, 1907) before ill health brought his career to a premature end in about 1935.

In the 1900 Welsh National Eisteddfod which was held in Liverpool, Reginald won an Eisteddfod medal for ‘Design’, dated 21 September. (The last National Eisteddfod to be staged outside Wales was held in Liverpool in 1929.) In 1901 Reginald was living with several members of his family at 24 Oxford Street, Waterloo, near Liverpool (map).

Wynnfield Reginald practised in Liverpool mainly as a church architect. He became a qualified surveyor, a Member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

He designed two houses in New Brighton, one of which was for his sister, Mary, and her family who, together with Reginald appear in this photograph (right) of 'Wynnfield'.

The construction industry was hard hit by legislation introduced by Lloyd George which reduced the availability of building land so Reginald explored other avenues. He won a competition to design a new Euston Station in London and was invited to head a new Architecture Department for the L.N.W.R. Railway. I am told he also won a competition to design a Parliament building in Canberra, Australia, but this too came to nothing once war broke out.

According to Gore's Directory of Liverpool and Suburbs of 1911, Reginald was then an Associate Member of RIBA, of 'Bank Buildings', 60 Castle Street, Liverpool. The architectural partnership of John Woolfall and Thomas Edgar Eccles, had their offices at 3 Bank Buildings, so he may have been working for their firm and a fellow employee may have been William T Clarke.