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British Industrial History

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Ignatius Bonomi

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Ignatius Richard Frederick Nemesius Bonomi (1787-1870) was an English architect and surveyor, strongly associated with Durham in north-east England. His brother was Joseph Bonomi

1787 October 31st. Born at 76 Great Titchfield Street, London, the fourth but eldest surviving child of Joseph Bonomi (1739-1808), architect, and his wife, Rosa Florini (1755–1812).

1824 Ignatius's work (he was Surveyor of Bridges for the County of Durham) included Skerne Bridge one of the first railway bridges in the UK (over the River Skerne, near Darlington), for the Stockton and Darlington Railway, (hence he is sometimes referred to as 'the first railway architect').

He was also responsible for a number of church buildings (including commissions at Durham Cathedral). Other historic buildings, in Gothic and neo-classical styles, included Durham Castle, Lambton Castle (continuing the work started by his father), Durham Prison, Elvet Hill House (1820), Burn Hall and Eggleston Hall, all in County Durham. In Derbyshire he designed Christ's church King Sterndale near Buxton, built 1848/1849 for the Pickford family, founders of the Pickfords Removals business.

Slightly further afield, other works included design of Marton House near Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria (1822), Blagdon Hall (1830) in Stannington near Morpeth, Northumberland, the church of St John the Baptist in Leeming, North Yorkshire (1839) and restoration of St Nicholas House, Richmond, North Yorkshire. For his brother Joseph, he also designed a house, 'The Camels', at Wimbledon in south-west London.

1831 Took on John Loughborough Pearson as an apprentice.

1837 December 27th. Married (age 50) Charlotte Fielding (1799–1860), daughter of Israel Fielding of Startforth, near Barnard Castle.

1842 He entered into a partnership with John Augustus Cory, later Cumberland County Architect (from 1862). The church of St John the Evangelist, Nenthead (1845, the highest church in England) was one of their joint projects.

1870 January 2nd. Died at home at The Camels, aged eighty-two, and was buried with his wife in Paddington Cemetery.

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