Thomas Fulljames

Thomas Fulljames
Born 1808
Walworth, Surrey, England
Died 24 April 1874 (aged 65ā€“66)
Ashleworth, Gloucestershire, England
Nationality British
Occupation Architect
Spouse(s) Catherine
Practice Fulljames & Waller
Buildings Gloucester Court of Probate, 1858.
Design Severn Barrage, 1849.
Church of St Lawrence, Sandhurst. Rebuilt by Fulljames, 1857ā€“58. [1]
Church of St Mary & Corpus Christi, Down Hatherley. Rebuilt by Fulljames, 1859ā€“60. [1]
Fulljames's unbuilt design for a Severn Barrage, 1849 [2]
Foscombe, designed c.1860 by Fulljames for his own use [5]

Thomas Fulljames (1808 ā€“ 24 April 1874) was an architect active in Gloucestershire, England, in the first half of the nineteenth century. As diocesan surveyor from 1832 until 1870, latterly in partnership with Frederick Sandham Waller, he designed, reconstructed or extended a number of churches in Gloucestershire.

He is known for designing the Gloucester Court of Probate (1858) in the Gothic style. He also designed a barrage across the River Severn, which was never built. He built Foscombe house for his own use in Ashleworth, Gloucestershire, which has been classified as a grade II* heritage building.

Early life and family

Thomas Fulljames was born in Walworth,[6] Surrey, now in Greater London, in 1808,[1] to Trophimas and Margaret Fulljames. He was baptised at Hasfield, Gloucestershire, on 15 September 1808.[7]


Fulljames studied with his uncle, the surveyor Thomas Fulljames (died 1847), and with the architect Thomas Rickman.[1] He first practised in his own name from the early 1830s and from 1846 as Fulljames & Waller after he formed a partnership in that year with Frederick Sandham Waller (1822ā€“1895) who had been articled to him in 1839.[1] He also taught the architect James Piers St Aubyn.[8]

Church architecture

Fulljames was diocesan surveyor in Gloucestershire from 1832 until 1870, as Fulljames & Waller from 1846, and in that time they completed a great deal of church architecture in the county.[1] Among his designs was the Church of St Luke, High Orchard (1841),[9][10] St Matthew's Parish Church, Twigworth (1841ā€“42),[11] adding a north aisle to Hasfield (1849ā€“50), and the reconstruction of the Church of St Lawrence, Sandhurst (1857ā€“58), and the Church of St Mary & Corpus Christi, Down Hatherley (1859ā€“60). After Frederick William Waller became a partner in 1868 the firm was renamed Waller & Son.[1]

Severn Barrage

In 1849, Fulljames proposed a barrage across the River Severn from Beachley to Aust (now the site of the first Severn Bridge), a span of just over 1 mile (1.6 km). Since this was before commercial electricity production, the first proposals were based on the desire for a large shipping harbour in the Severn Estuary, road and railway transport, and flood protection.[12]

Other architecture

Other projects by Fulljames in Gloucester include the Albion Hotel (1831) in Southgate Street, later known as the Albion Hall;[13] Norfolk Buildings (1836) in Bristol Road;[14] and the "picturesque Gothic" Gloucester Court of Probate (1858) on the corner of Pitt Street and Park Street,[3] probably as a result of the Court of Probate Act 1857 which removed probate proceedings from the ecclesiastical to the civil courts.[4]

Around 1860 he built Foscombe, a country house in the Gothic Revival style in Ashleworth for his own use. It is now a grade II* listed building.[5]

Plans relating to the Gloucestershire Royal Infirmary and Second County Asylum are held by Gloucestershire Archives.[15]

Personal life

Fulljames married Catherine.[6] In the 1851 census, he was living with his wife at Hasfield and described as an "Architect & Landed Proprietor". Three relatives were living with them and the family employed seven servants.[6] The family were still in Hasfield in 1861, employing six servants.[16]

Death and legacy

Fulljames died on 24 April 1874 at Foscombe in Ashleworth. His will was proved by his wife Catherine and the executors John Jackson Myers of Huyton, and James Wintle of Newnham. He left less than Ā£12,000.[17] There is a monument to him in the churchyard of the Church of St Mary, Hasfield.[18]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g David Verey & Alan Brooks. (2002). The Buildings of England Gloucestershire 2: The Vale and the Forest of Dean. 3rd edition. New Haven & London: Yale University Press. p. 105. ISBN 9780300097337.
  2. ^ Severn Barrage; the phoenix and a flawed scheme? Clean Rivers Trust, 6 January 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b Historic England. "3 & 4, Pitt Street (1245683)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  4. ^ a b Jordan, Christine. (2015). Secret Gloucester. Stroud: Amberley Publishing. pp. 38ā€“39. ISBN 978-1-4456-4689-3.
  5. ^ a b Historic England. "Foscombe (1340298)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  6. ^ a b c Thomas Fulljames England and Wales Census, 1851. Family Search. Retrieved 27 March 2019. (subscription required)
  7. ^ :Thomas Fulljames, England Births and Christenings, 1538ā€“1975," Family Search. Retrieved 27 March 2019. (subscription required)
  8. ^ Brodie, Antonia, et al (Eds.) (2001). Directory of British Architects, 1834ā€“1914: Vol. 2 (Lā€“Z). London: Continuum. p. 525. ISBN 978-0-8264-5514-7.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  9. ^ "Domestic Occurrences", The Gentleman's Magazine, 1841, p. 644.
  10. ^ St. Luke, High Orchard, British History Online. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  11. ^ Gloucester: Modern parish churches. British History Online. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  12. ^ Carne, Brian. "Thomas Fulljames, 1808ā€“74: Surveyor, Architect, and Civil Engineer", Transactions of the Bristol & Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, Volume 113, 1995, pp. 7ā€“20.
  13. ^ Historic England. "Albion House (1271769)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  14. ^ Historic England. "Norfolk Buildings (1245993)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  15. ^ Architect plans by Thomas Fulljames. National Archives. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  16. ^ Thomas Fulljames England and Wales Census, 1861. Family Search. Retrieved 27 March 2019. (subscription required)
  17. ^ 1874 Probate Calendar, p. 161.
  18. ^ Historic England. "Monument to Thomas Fulljames (1304042)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 27 March 2019.

Further reading

External links

Media related to Thomas Fulljames at Wikimedia Commons

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