Wm Mortimer & Son, architects - projects database 1879 - 1935

 At an antiquarian booksellers’ fair held at the Bailgate Assembly Rooms, Lincoln, I found five manuscript ledgers which recorded building works certificated by the Lincoln architects William Mortimer and his son William Malkinson Mortimer between January 1879 and 1935.  I bought them because I could see that they were an important record relating to building works in Lincoln. My priority was to establish what I had bought, in the hope that I could arrange for the ledgers to be archived. Initially I was unclear what the ledgers referred to, and I searched the internet for a common connection to the various named properties. In the end, it took a combination of Pevsner’s Buildings of England: Lincolnshire and Google to discover that the common thread seemed to be the architect firm of William Mortimer. Arthur Ward, Rob Wheeler, Chris Johnson and Mick Jones assisted in the confirmation of the link, and at a later stage I noticed initials of WM and WMM on some entries.

William Mortimer (c.1841 - February 1913) was active in Lincoln and Lincolnshire 1874-1911, firstly with Michael Drury, later alone, and then with his son William Malkinson (1868- 7/7/1911). He lived at Walnut House, Motherby Hill, Lincoln. The ledgers seem to indicate two offices between March 1905 and May 1911, with presumably his son undertaking developments in Colchester and Romford, Essex. W.M. Mortimer married at St Albans in 1893, was living at 15 West Parade, Lincoln in 1901, Ingleby Chase, near Saxilby Lincs c.1909 but died in Hornchurch, with S.P. Dales and Cooper Windsor attending his funeral as representatives from the Romford office of the business (Lincs Trades Directory 1909, and Chelmsford Chronicle 14/7/1911). Work in Norfolk and Huntingdon is also recorded. No entries are recorded between August 1914 and February 1920.

In Lincoln, properties include the Liberal Club, the Oddfellows’ Hall (Broadgate), works at the Racecourse, and various chapels. The Lincoln Building Applications 1866 -1952 now held by Lincolnshire Archives links the Mortimers with several of the ledger addresses but the entries complement those records by giving owner and contractor names and some closer precision in the dates of construction.  Taken together, there is now an opportunity to study the development of residential areas and the construction of significant buildings. Changing fashions and technology can be seen in the ledgers – a spate of billiard rooms and garages

In advance of donating the set of ledgers to Lincolnshire Archives, I took a set of digital photographs covering every entry (quicker than scanning almost 900 pages of the elderly books) and I am offering these for sale for £10 as a DVD, for collection/Lincoln delivery; postage extra (geoff.tann@gmail.com).