Thomas Norman Dinwiddy, F.R.I.B.A., F.S.I. (1845-1928)

(Lewisham Local History Society: Friday 27th April 2012: “Thomas Dinwiddy – the forgotten architect”, a talk by Diana Rimel about an architect who made a major contribution to building Victorian South-East London.)


Thomas Norman Dinwiddy was born in Bristol, England on 7 May 1845 to James Dinwiddy and Eleanor Ann Crook. He married Eliza Charlotte Rooke, daughter of Phillip Rooke, and had 7 children. He died on 21 Mar 1928 in Dinsden, St Margaret’s at Cliffe, Kent. Description of grave: In memory of / ELIZA CHARLOTTE DINWIDDY / died 14th March 1924 aged 79 / For so he gavest His beloved sleep / and THOMAS DINWIDDY / died 21st March 1928 aged 82 / Marble statue of ‘Faith carrying the Cross’, kerb.

Their children:

Donald Dinwiddy (1872 – 1937) Baptised Chelsea Christ Church, England in April 1872. Donald Dinwiddy had 2 children, Audrey and Guy Donald. He died in Mar 1937 in Sevenoaks, Kent.

Tom Norman Dinwiddy (1874 – 1945)

Dora Ellen Dinwiddy (1875 – 1945)

Harry Lutwyche Dinwiddy (1877 – 1950) Born in Greenwich, London in July 1877. Harry Lutwyche Dinwiddy had 1 child, Thomas Lutwyche. He died on 21 Apr 1950 in Little Paddock, White Beam Way, Tadworth, Surrey.

Maj Malcolm James “Breezy” Dinwiddy (1879 – 1925) born 12, Crooms Hill, Greenwich (1695. Built for Sir Robert Robinson, Lieutenant-Governor of Greenwich Hospital.)

Major Conrad Hugh Dinwiddy (1881 – 1917) Born Greenwich, Kent, 11.2.1881. Junior partner Messrs Thomas Dinwiddy and Sons of Westminster. Married, at All Saints Church, Margaret St, London on 26.7.1910, Winifred, daughter of Ashby Pochin. Their son Hugh was born 16.10.1912. Major Dinwiddy was a Councillor of the Borough of Kensington. An accomplished speaker and prolific journalist, he was invited to become a candidate for Parliament at the next General Election.

Joined OTC Exeter June 1916. Invented the Dinwiddy Aircraft Range Finder; a gunnery slide rule; submitted a scheme for barge mounted batteries. Wounds received in action near Ypres on 26 September; died on Thursday, 27th September 1917. Buried at Poperinghe. Named on WW1 Memorial in St Margaret’s Church, St Margaret’s at Cliffe, Kent.

(Paul Chapman: Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery (2016).)

Winifred Dinwiddy lived at 3, Oakdale Rd., Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Ralph George Dinwiddy (1882 – 1942) Born at The Manor House, 12, Crooms Hill, Greenwich.

Various works:

St Paul’s Church, Deptford: “There were Victorian repairs in 1856 (John Whichcord) and 1883 (Thomas Dinwiddy)…”

Pulpit, St Alphege, Greenwich – Mr. T. Norman Dinwiddy, Architect. London 1899—mr-t-norman-dinwiddy-architect-london-1899-445041-p.asp

Greenwich Children’s Homes, Sidcup: Greenwich was a member of the South Metropolitan Schools District which, since 1852, had operated schools at Sutton. In 1899, the Greenwich Board of Guardians purchased 62 acres of land at Burnt Oak Lane, Sidcup, on which to set up the union’s own children’s cottage-home village which was opened in 1902. The official foundation stone was laid on April 10th 1901 by Chairman of the Guardians, Mr John Anderson.

The cottage homes, designed by Thomas Dinwiddy and Sons of Greenwich, comprised a total of twenty-four tudor-style blocks, set around a large green. As well as houses, the complex included a school, infirmary, swimming-baths and gymnasium, laundry and boiler house.

Windy Peak, Granville Road, St Margarets Bay. Thomas Dinwiddy 1907

Large detached houses line Kidbrooke Grove, one of Blackheath’s best roads. This six-bedroom detached house was built in 1908 by architect Thomas Norman Dinwiddy.

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