Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect, of Dublin and Skibbereen, Co. Cork, active from 1860 or earlier until 1907 or later. Richard Sandham Swan was the second son of Richard Waddy Swan, a barrister, and his first wife Barbara, whom he married on 30 July 1839. Barbara Swan (1816-1863) was a younger sister of SANDHAM SYMES. SANDHAM SYMES. (1) Richard Swan received his architectural training in his uncle's office. In 1860 he exhibited a design for a villa at the Royal Hibernian Academy (no. 394) from Sandham Symes's address at 58 Lower Dominick Street, and he continued to use the same address until at least 1878.(2) During the 1870s he was an active member of the newly formed Architectural Association of Ireland.

By 1880, the year of his father's death, Swan was living in Skibbereen, Co. Cork, where his elder brother, Percy, was manager of the Bank of Ireland. He remained there for over ten years. An anonymous report on recent architectural work in the region which appeared in the Irish Builder in November 1891 singles out 'Mr. Richard S. Swan…formerly of Dublin' for mention as the architect of improvements to Kilmoe Church of Ireland parish church and various other works in the area.(3) He had returned to Dublin by the end of 1894 when he applied for membership of the RIAI;(4) he was duly elected and remained a member until 1907. Richard S. Swan also appears as a draughtsman in the Royal Engineer Department in 1905.(5)

A set of undated sketch views of cottages and other picturesque antiquities signed 'R. Swan', 'J. Swan', 'J.P. Swan' and 'Joseph Swan', which belong to Glascott Symes, King's Hospital, Palmerstown, would appear to be the work of Richard Swan and his younger brother Joseph Percival Swan, although the watermarks on the paper date from the 1820s.(6)

AAI: committee member, 1872(7)-1875;(8) chairs meetings, 27 February 1873(9) and 23 April 1874;(10) reads paper on 'Specifications', 28 January 1875.(11)
RIAI: elected student, 17 December 1863,(12) and as associate(?) in 1866, having been proposed on the latter occasion by JAMES HIGGINS OWEN  JAMES HIGGINS OWEN and JOHN LANYON  JOHN LANYON and seconded by CHARLES HENRY& CHARLES HENRY& nbsp; BRIEN;(13) elected member, 28 November 1878, having been proposed by GEORGE CARLISLE HENDERSON  GEORGE CARLISLE HENDERSON and seconded by ALBERT EDWARD MURRAY  ALBERT EDWARD MURRAY and J.H. Owen;(14) elected member, January 1895, having been proposed by A.E. Murray and seconded by RICHARD CHAYTOR& RICHARD CHAYTOR& nbsp; MILLAR MILLAR ;(15) no longer on list of members after 1907.

Addresses: 58 Dominick Street Lower, 1860-1878; 63 Grosvenor Road, Rathmines, 1894-1895;(16) 18 Upper Merrion Street, 1896;(17) 27 Mespil Road, 1897-1907.(18)



(1) Geneaological information kindly supplied by Glascott Symes, King's Hospital, Palmerstown, Dublin 20.
(2) See note 14, below.
(3) IB 33, 1 Nov 1891, 247.
(4) See note 15, below).
(5) 'Richard S. Swan TCD' has signed 2 drawings for alterations to the Royal Barracks in Dublin, 1905, in IAA, Acc. 94/5/35,36. These later references could possibly be to a different, younger man.
(6) Photocopies in IAA.
(7) IB 14, 15 May 1872, 149.
(8) Jones transcipts from Thom's directories.
(9) IB 15, 1 Mar 1873, 72.
(10) IB 16, 1 May 1874, 131.
(11) B 33, 6 Feb 1875, 125; IB 17, 15 Feb 1875, 46,54-56.
(12) RIAI council meeting minutaes, 26 Nov 1863, 8; general meeting minutes, 17 Dec 1863, 134.
(13) RIAI general meeting minutes, 17 May 1866, 185.
(14) RIAI council meeting minutes, 13 Nov 1878, 214.
(15) RIAI council meeting minutes, 1 Oct,5 Nov 1894,21 Jan 1795, 214,316,317,318; annual general meeting minutes, 26 Jan 1895, 313.
(16) See note 15, above.
(17) From RIAI lists of members.
(18) See note 17, above.

2 work entries listed in chronological order for SWAN, RICHARD SANDHAM

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Date: 1864
Nature: Designs for new offices by 'Richard R. Swan' (possibly RSW?)
Refs: Drawings in NLI, AD 2795,2796

Date: 1891a
Nature: Church reopened after addition of chancel, baptistery, porches, repewing, insertion of memorial stained-glass windows. For Rev. J.J. Stoney.
Refs: IB 33, 1 Nov 1891, 247.

Author Title Date Details
Swan, Richard S. 'Specifications' 1875 IB 17, 15 Feb 1875, 54-56. (Paper read to AAI, 28 Jan 1875.)