Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Engineer, of Belfast. Frederick William McCullough, who was born in Belfast on 8 January 1860,(1) may have originally intended to become an architect. According to his obituary in the Irish Builder, he 'trained as an architect in the office of Mr. Bell',(2) but, if this is true, it seems unlikely that he spent long there, as he was only fifteen or sixteen when in 1875 he embarked on a four-year pupilage to LUKE LIVINGSTON MACASSEY LUKE LIVINGSTON MACASSEY , the recently appointed engineer to the Belfast City & District Water Commissioners. In April 1879, on completing his pupilage, he was appointed resident engineer for the construction of the water works at Portrush, Co. Antrim, under ALEXANDER TATE ALEXANDER TATE , the county surveyor; this appointment was followed, in March 1880 by that of resident engineer for the waterworks at Limavady, Co. Derry, under ARTHUR CHARLES ADAIR ARTHUR CHARLES ADAIR . In May 1881 he returned to Belfast as Macassey's chief assistant, acting as resident engineer on numerous projects, including the the Belfast waterworks at Stonyford, Co. Antrim, and preparing contract drawings and specifications for the new Mourne waterworks scheme. In July 1895 he succeeded Macassey as engineer to the Water Commissioners, taking charge of all the development schemes including the Mourne scheme.

McCullough died at home in Windsor Park, Belfast, on 28 March 1927, having fallen ill a few months earlier. According to one source, the Silent Valley reservoir scheme with which he had so long been involved was in difficulties, and his death was hastened by 'anxiety and disappointment'.(3) He is credited by his obituarist with having been the author of the first plan for a tunnel between Co. Antrim and Wigtownshire in Scotland. He was survived by his Scottish-born wife, Sara Napier McCullough;  according to the 1911 census, they had married circa 1897 and had four children. His elder son, Frederick James, was killed in the First World War.

MccCullough was a subscriber to George Lister Sutcliffe,ed., The Principles and Practice of Modern House-Construction (London, 1898).(4)

Inst.CE: elected associate, 5 March 1889; transferred to member, 12 May 1896.

Addresses:  Home: Craigavad, Holywood, Co. Down, 1911;  Windsor Park, Belfast, at time of death.


All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the records of the Institution of Civil Engineers, London, kindly supplied by Mrs Carol Morgan, Archivist, and from the obituary of McCullough in IB 69, 2 Apr 1927, 229.

(1) His date of birth is given as 1860 in his application for associate membership of the Insitution of Civil Engineers but as 1859 in his application for transfer to full membership.
(2) Perhaps Joseph Bell of Belfast, q.v.
(3) Obituary of Charles Fordyce Wheeler in IB 80, 22 Jan 1938, 55.
(3) MS list of  subscribers from Belfast and other towns in the northern counties  (photocopy in IAA, Acc. 2009/066).

1 work entries listed in chronological order for MCCULLOUGH, FREDERICK WILLIAM

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Date: 1878
Nature: New single storey hall on site granted by Lord Caledon.Black stone, 20ft by 40ft. estimated cost £230. FS laid 30 Sep 1878 by Sir William Verner, Bt.
Refs: Belfast News Letter, 1 Oct 1878, 8.