William Hinves, born on 19 November 1808 in Lyndhurst, and Alfred Bedborough, born on 17 July 1828 in Windsor, formed one of Southampton’s most notable and prolific architectural practices of the 19th century.

William Hinves began as an architect, surveyor and valuer in 1835. The business was run from his home, 9 Carlton Terrace. He later moved to 16 St Mary’s Street, and then 84 Marland Place. Whilst here, in July 1846, he entered into partnership with John Thomas West, a young man from London. This partnership was dissolved in March 1848 and by January 1849 Hinves had moved to 23 Portland Street and had formed a new partnership with 20-year old Alfred Bedborough. Bedborough came to Southampton in 1849, originally living as part of the Hinves household. He later moved to 3 Portland Street and then to 8 East Park Terrace. The partnership was dissolved by mutual consent in June 1861, Hinves carrying on the business alone. It was quickly reformed, to continue until November 1864 when delicate health forced Hinves to retire. Bedborough continued the practice until, following bankruptcy in 1869, he moved to London in 1872.

Architectural works in Southampton connected with the two architects include:

  • St James Church in Shirley, by William Hinves, completed in 1836.
  • St James (Docks) in Bernard Street, by Hinves and Bedborough, completed 1858.
  • Holy Trinity Church, Weston, by Alfred Bedborough, completed in 1865.
  • St Lawrence’s Church. A new spire by Hinves and Bedborough, 1859 to complete the rebuilding of 1838-42, by the London architect John Wyld.
  • The chapel to the Royal South Hants Hospital, designed by Hinves and Bedborough, constructed between 1857 and 1858.
  • Above Bar Congregational Chapel, the leading Independent chapel in the town, enlarged by William Hinves in 1841.
  • Peartree Green Congregational Church, designed by William Hinves, opened in September 1840.
  • Albion Chapel, St Mary Street, by Hinves and West, 1848.
  • Kingsfield Congregational Church, opened on West Marlands field in November 1861, designed by Hinves and Bedborough.
  • St Andrew’s Church, opened in Brunswick Place in September 1853, designed by Hinves and Bedborough.
  • Portland Baptist Chapel. A virtual rebuild in 1859 by Hinves and Bedborough.
  • Carlton Baptist Chapel in 1865, built by Alfred Bedborough, his first solo ecclesiastical commission
  • St Mary’s National Schools in Grove Street, opened in January 1841 to designs by William Hinves.
  • All Saints’ National and Industrial Schools in York Buildings by Hinves and West, completed in 1847.
  • St Mary’s (Charlotte Place) National School, built in 1856 to plans by Hinves and Bedborough
  • Holy Rood Parochial Schools, to plans by Hinves and Bedborough, opened in February 1861.
  • A new boys’ school room added to Trinity National Schools in Kingsland by Alfred Bedborough in 1871.
  • The Royal British School for Boys in Canal Street, rebuilt by William Hinves, 1836-37.
  • The Industrial Training Department of Southampton Ragged Schools, opened in October 1861 by Hinves and Bedborough.
  • Shirley Asylum for the Deserving and Aged Poor, Church Street, Shirley, designed by William Hinves for the Reverend Herbert Smith, 1841.
  • South Stoneham Union Workhouse in West End – the present Moorgreen Hospital – is an architectural hybrid. The architectural designs were by the London architect Charles Henman, but they were implemented by William Hinves. The work was completed in 1850.
  • Southampton Corn Exchange, opened in December 1852 on the site of the old custom house, designed by Hinves and Bedborough.
  • The Riding School, standing at right angles to Carlton Place and completed in 1849, is arguably the most effective of William Hinves’s secular works.
  • The Philharmonic Hall in Above Bar Street, opened in July 1865, by Alfred Bedborough.
  • The Royal York Pavilion Music Hall in Above Bar Street, opened in December 1872 to the design of Alfred Bedborough, then just released from bankruptcy. It became the Palace Theatre of Varieties in 1898.
  • Hollybrook House, Shirley, 1836, designed by William Hinves for Nathaniel Jefferys.

William Hinves died on 1 July 1871. Within the present city boundaries, only the Riding School, St James Church (Shirley), Shirley Almshouses (now incorporated in the Barlow and Ellyett Homes), Pear Tree United Reformed Church and (in partnership with Alfred Bedborough) the Royal South Hants Infirmary chapel of his major works survive.

Alfred Bedborough’s bankruptcy in 1869 did not prevent him continuing as an architect into the 20th century.


Further reading:

‘William Hinves and Alfred Bedborough: Architects in Nineteenth-Century Southampton’, by Richard Preston, Southampton Local History Forum Journal, no. 17, Autumn 2010, p3-32. (HS/h)


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