Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect, of Dublin. Alfred Edwin Jones was born on 14 August 1894 in Shorncliff, Kent, where his father, Felix Thomas Jones, a sergeant major in the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards, was then living. Felix Jones and his wife, Mary Mitchell, had three children, Alfred being their only son. Alfred Jones's early years were spent in Rawlpindi, India (now Pakistan), where his father's regiment was then stationed. He came to live in Dublin when he was eleven years old on his father's retirement from the army. After receiving his schooling at Belvedere College, Dublin, he became a pupil in the office of ASHLIN & ASHLIN & amp; COLEMAN  COLEMAN in about 1911. He showed a talent for draughtsmanship from an early age: his measured drawing of the ceiling of the Apollo Room at Belvedere College was published in the Irish Builder in May 1911,(1) and two years later the same journal reproduced his design for an iron railing and gate which had won the Gold Medal at the Father Mathew Feis.(2) In the same period he provided a number of illustrations for the third, fourth and fifth volumes of the Georgian Society Records, published between 1911 and 1913. By 1914 he was working as an assistant to RUDOLF MAXIMILIAN BUTLER RUDOLF MAXIMILIAN BUTLER ; while he was in Butler's office and also studying at the Metropolitan School of Art, he showed a set of measured drawings of Drumcondra House at the School's annual exhibition of students' workin Decmber 1915.(3)  He also produced a set of measured drawings of the Casino at Marino, which were awarded the Downes Bronze Medal of the AAI in 1918. The drawings were acknowledged by the Association's committee to be 'one of the finest specimens of draughtsmanship ever produced by a member of the Association'.(4)

In 1919 Jones formed a very brief partnership with AUBREY VINCENT O'ROURKE AUBREY VINCENT O'ROURKE , which appears to have lasted for only a matter of months. While he was in Butler's office, he had re-established contact with his childhood friend , STEPHEN STANISLAUS KELLY STEPHEN STANISLAUS KELLY , who had become a pupil there after some years with the Christian Brothers. Later in 1919 the two men set up their own practice as JONES & JONES & amp; KELLY  KELLY and continued to work together until Kelly's death in 1951. Shortly after Kelly's death, Alfred Jones took his son Felix Alfred Jones and his elder daughter, Elizabeth Fleming, into partnership. He remained in a consultancy position with the firm until his own death some twenty years later.

Alfred Jones was a man of wide interests. For the last eighteen years of his life he was engaged in compiling a biographical index of Irish architects and engineers and in transcribing relevant material from the Irish Builder and other sources to that end. The files of information which he assembled were deposited in the Irish Architectural Archive in 1980(5) and form the principal source for the Archive's database of Irish architects from 1720 to 1940. He was a well-known philatelist and had one of the finest collections of early French and French Colonial stamps in Europe. He also played the violin well and in his early years performed in the La Scala Theatre in Dublin. Archaeology and Egyptology were among his other interests. He had life membership of the Old Belvedere Rugby Football Club and the Irish Amateur Boxing Association, of which he was also a trustee.

Jones died on 29 June 1973 and was buried in the cemetery at Tallaght, Co. Dublin, on 2 July. He was survived by his wife Mary (née Ardiff) (1892-1986),(6) whom he had married in 1923 and had three children: Elizabeth and Felix, mentioned above, and Marie, a musician. Elizabeth and Felix carried on the practice of Jones & Kelly after their father's death.

AAI: elected member, 1913;(7) winner of President's Prize for session 1914-15 with design for conversion of old houses into flats;(8) winner of Downes Bronze Medal for session 1917-18;(9) hon. sec., 1917-1920;(10) exhibits measured drawings and perspective view of design by W.M. MITCHELL & MITCHELL & amp; SONS for Irish Agricultural Wholesale Society premises, Thomas Street, at exhibition of members' work, March1918;(11) hon. treasurer, 1925-26; vice-president, 1927-28; president, 1930-31.(12)
RIAI: elected student, 1918;(13) elected member, 1921;(14) raised to fellow, 1932;(15)elected vice-president, 1950.(16)
Institute of Architects & Surveyors: fellow.
RSAI: fellow.
RIA: member.

Addresses:(17) Work: 7 Dawson Street, 1913; 23 Kildare Street, 1914; 17 South Frederick Street, <=1921->=1961; 36 Waterloo Road, <=1963->=1973.
Home: 22 Ellesmere Avenue, N. Circular Road, 1907-1916; 16 Charleville Road, N Circular Road, 1917-1919; 4 Lower Fitzwilliam Street, 1925; The Nook, St Vincent's Road, Greystones, <=1927->=1934; 7 Ailesbury Road, Ballsbridge, <=1937->=1958.

Some early specimens of Jones's draughtsmanship are in the Michael Scott Collection in the Irish Architectural Archive (Acc. 89/44), namely an elevation for a garden pavilion (no. 65); a measured survey of the garden front of Drumcondra House (no. 66); two copies of his AAI prizewinning design for the conversion of old houses into flats (no. 68); roof and window details (no. 76).



All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from Alfred Jones's son, Felix Alfred Jones, in letter to AMR, March 1998. A photograph of Alfred Jones at the age of sixteen is in IB 53, 13 May 1911, 317; another photograph forms the frontispiece of AAI Year Book 1930-31.

(1) IB 53, 13 May 1911, 317 & supplement.
(2) IB 55, 24 May 1913, 335; he had previously won a Silver Medal at the Father Mathew Ard Feis of 1911 for a drawing of St Audoen's Arch and a special certificate for a design for a Speaker's Chair in an Irish House of Parliament.
(3) AAI Year Book 1918-19, 29; the drawings, which had been exhibited at the Metropolitan School of Art's annual exhibition of students' work in December 1915 (see Irish Times, 27 Dec 1915), were reproduced in Architectural Review; Jones's survey notes on the Casino are in the collection of Jones & Kelly, architects (photocopies in IAA). In the same year his perspective view of the new AWS premises in Thomas Street (designed by W.M. Mitchell & Sons) was published in IB (Vol. 60, 2 Mar 1918, 116)
(4) Acc. 80/41; additional material was deposited in 1983 and 1988 (Accs. 83/60 and 88/62). Drawings by Jones of St Audoen's Church, No. 65 Bridgefoot Street, the Morgan Mausoleum at St Margaret's, Co. Dublin, and sedilia at St Francis's Abbey, Kilkenny, are in NLI drawings collection.
(5) Inscription on Mary Ardiff Jones's gravestone in Redford Cemetery, Greystones, Co. Wicklow (information from John O'Grady, Feb 2013).
(6) AAI Year Books, lists of members.
(7) Drawing in IAA, 89/44.68; IB 56, 7 Nov 1914, 628; AAI Year Book 1915-16, 33.
(8) AAI Year Book 1918-19, 29.
(9) AAI Year Books, lists of past officers.
(10) IB 60, 30 Mar 1918, 172.
(11) See note 7, above.
(12) JRIAI (1919), 3.
(13) JRIAI (1922), 2; IB 63, 23 Apr 1921, 281.
(14) JRIAI (1933), 8.
(15) RIAI Year Book 1951-52, 37.
(16) From RIAI and AAI lists of members and Thom's directories.

2 work entries listed in chronological order for JONES, ALFRED EDWIN

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Date: 1920
Nature: Structural imps. Contr: Keegan & Sons, Belvedere Pl.
Refs: IB 62, 18 Dec 1920, 777

Date: ?
Nature: 'American Gothic'. For Monsignor F.J. Quinn.
Refs: Undated newspaper cutting in Jones files.

Author Title Date Details
Jones, Alfred Edwin [President's inaugural address to AAI] 1930;1931 IB 72, 8 Nov 1930, 999 (?or 993); AJ 72, 12 Nov 1930, 741; AAI Green Book 1931, 27-36.
Jones, Alfred Edwin 'Reminiscences of a Dublin Architect'
1969 IB 111, 3 May 1969, 295-7.