Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Scottish-born architect, active in Dublin in the 1860s. Alfred John Adams, who was born in Fife, Scotland, circa 1839,(1) is described as working in JOHN MCCURDY' JOHN MCCURDY' s office when he was awarded the second premium in the competition for designing Waterside Presbyterian Church and Manse in Derry in 1863.(2) He was elected FRIAI  FRIAI during the session 1863-4,(3) but resigned his fellowship in the session 1866-7 'on leaving Ireland'.(4)

On leaving Ireland Adams moved via Liverpool to London. The English census of 1871 finds him as a thirty-one year old married man, living as a lodger in Islington. By the time the 1881 census was taken, he had been joined in London by his Irish-born wife, Marie, and four children: a son born in Ireland circa 1863; a daughter also born in Ireland circa 1864; a second daughter born in Liverpool circa 1869, and a second son born in London circa 1880.(5) He exhibited architectural designs at the Royal Academy in 1874, 1875 and 1779.(6) According to the English census of 1901 he was still living in Hammersmith at that date.

Addresses: 24 Lower Abbey Street, Dublin; 18 Roman Road, Finsbury, London, 1871; 20 Great George Street, 1874-1875; 18 Queen's Road, Paddington, <=1879->=1881; 88 Shaftesbury Road, Hammersmith, 1891.

See WORKS, for Irish work only.


(1) English census of 1871; this census gives his age as 31, the 1881 census as 43, the 1891 census as 53 and the 1901 census as 63..
(2) DB 5, 1 Sep 1863, 146.
(3) RIAI Sessional Papers 1863-4, 5; DB 5, 1 Dec 1863, 196.
(4) RIAI Sessional Papers 1867-8, 1. In the classified (and frequently out-of-date) section of Thom's Offical Directory for the years 1868-71 a 'J.A. Adams' is listed as a civil engineer at 24 Lower Abbey Street and an 'Alfred J. Adams' as an architect at this address between 1865 and 1870.
(5) English census of 1881.
(6) Graves, I, 5.

2 work entries listed in chronological order for ADAMS, ALFRED JOHN #

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Date: 1863
Nature: JAA's design runner-up to winning design of W. Hague
Refs: DB 5, 1 Sep 1863, 146.

Date: 1863
Nature: Competition entrant. Design exh. RHA, 1864.
Refs: DB 5, 1 Sep 1863, 146; RHA 1864, no. 415.