Danby, George Francis
1845- 1929

Leeds-born WM architect, born on 31 October 1845 at Leeds, the son of Francis Danby, cabinet maker and upholsterer. Educated at Leeds Grammar School, he was then articled to William Hill, with whom he stayed for nine years as a pupil and then assistant. He set up his own Leeds practice in 1872. From 1890 to 1902 he was in partnership with William Henry Thorp (1852-1944), a Quaker who was responsible for the secular work, and subsequently had John Simpson as a partner.

He was responsible for many late Victorian chapels in Leeds, of which his main scheme was the rebuilding of James Simpson’s Oxford Place WM (1896-1902) in an imposing Baroque style. Other Methodist chapels in Leeds include Woodhouse Carr (1873-74; closed); Crossgates WM (school, 1882; chapel, 1892-93); Dewsbury Road WM (chapel 1887; school 1891 – both demolished); Trinity WM, Roundhay Road (1894; since replaced); and Burley WM (chapel 1897-98; school 1904-5, with Simpson). Further afield his buildings included Thorner WM (1876-78, closed); William Dawson WM Memorial, Barwick-in-Elmet (1899), Otley WM, Boroughgate (school 1902-5, with John Simpson), and a number of commissions in the Pocklington WM Circuit, including Millington (1900) and Newton-on-Derwent (1901). A small number of commissions were received from the Congregationalists, of which the now closed Trinity, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds (1892-8) was a major gothic tour-de force.

  • Derek Linstrum, West Yorkshire Architects and Architecture (London, 1978)
  • David & Susan Neave, East Riding Chapels and Meeting Houses (East Yorkshire, 1990)
  • D. Colin Dews, in Christopher Webster (ed), Building a Great Victorian City Leeds architects and architecture, 1790-1914 (2011), pp.365-368
  • Directory of British Architects 1834-1914


Entry written by: DCD
Category: Person
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