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DUDGEON, Philip Maurice

Born: 1852
Died: 1891 01


List of projects:

Was born in Ireland at Lime Hill farm, St Duloughs, Dublin. He was apprenticed to Sir Charles Lanyon of Lanyon, Lynn & Lanyon of Dublin and Belfast from 1867 until 1872 when the firm was dissolved. In 1870 his mother was recorded as living in Bath, England continuing to do so until 1877. Dudgeon, remaining in Ireland, was invited to join WH Lynn as manager and chief assistant, leaving in 1875. He travelled for a year before going to Natal, where he arrived in January 1877. According to his application for Fellowship of the RIBA (1884) he 'proceeded to Natal for erection of large Government Hospital'; it is not certain that he came immediately to Natal as he is known to have spent some time in Port Elizabeth where he possibly heard there was work in Natal while in that city. Coming to Natal it appears that he first worked with or in the office of RS UPTON, both Upton and he playing a part, with CH JENKYN, in the design of Addington Hospital for the Natal Government. On the completion of the hospital, however, Dudgeon was said to have been the architect.

Dudgeon fast gained a good reputation as an architect, the best-trained in the Colony on his arrival, and carried out several works for the Natal Government and for the Durban Town Council while he was in Natal. Leading businessmen and citizens also soon gave him work, among them the Shepstone family and Harry Escombe. Dudgeon's ten years in Natal left a lasting impression on local architecture and among his best-known works surviving today are the Standard Bank building in Pietermaritzburg (1881-1882), the town hall (now the post office) in Durban (1882-1885) and Clark House for Maritzburg College in Pietermaritzburg (1886-1888). In his (1884) application papers for Fellowship of the RIBA he claims the Legislative Council Building as having been part of his work experience. Hillebrand points out that since Dudgeon drew up the competition conditions for the building (in 1881) it is 'therefore possible that he was expected to refrain from entering' (the competition) (Hillebrand 1975:56). It has been suggested that W STREET-WILSON assumed Dudgeon's practice on Dudgeon's departure for England.

Dudgeon appears to have been bon viveur and fond of horse racing, popular in Natal; it is possible that he left Natal for health reasons. Sometime after July 1887 Dudgeon returned to England, settling in Bath where he married in 1889 (to Ada Gunning in Widcombe Church) and died a year and a half later, in January 1891, 'from alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver, ascites and internal haemorrhage' (Martin 1980:38). A full description and critique of Dudgeon's career and work can be found in Martin's M Arch dissertation (1980).

FRIBA 1884. (Brown 1969; De Arte Sep 1985:34-41; Greig 1971; Hillebrand 1975:169; Kearney 1973; Martin 1980; SAQLB Mar 1982; Picton-Seymour 1977)

All truncated references not cited and linked below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Books with reference to DUDGEON, Philip Maurice

Greig, Doreen. 1971. A Guide to Architecture in South Africa. Cape Town: Howard Timmins. pp 51, 105, 177-178
Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1989. Historical Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: Struikhof Publishers. pp 132, 133, 136, 138, 141
Radford, D. 2002. A Guide to the Architecture of Durban and Pietermaritzburg. Cape Town: David Philip. pp 7, 101, 113, 114