William Dickinson (architect)

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A colour-washed drawing by Dickinson of the church-floor paving at St Paul's Cathedral, London, c. 1709–10

William Dickinson (c.1670 − 24 January 1724) was an English architect.


Dickinson was the son of William Dickinson, Controller Clerk at Windsor Castle and chief clerk of the king's works.[1] This elder Dickinson died in 1702 and according to Adrian Tinniswood his "sole contribution to architecture" was to be Chief Clerk of the Works.[2]

A drawing, probably by Dickinson, for an unidentified villa, c. 1710–24

Dickinson younger married Elizabeth, with whom he had a son, also called William.

He died in 1724 and was buried in Westminster Abbey. His gravestone in the north porch reads: "Here lies William Dickinson, architect. What sort of architect! Look upwards. Died 24 of January A.D. 1724 aged 54".[1]


Dickinson, along with Nicholas Hawksmoor, Edward Woodroffe and John Oliver, worked under Sir Christopher Wren, the Chief Surveyor on the commission to rebuild London churches after the Great Fire of 1666.[2]

In the 1680s Dickinson underwent training with Wren at the Office of Works.[2] He was employed on many buildings, notably Westminster Abbey, where he worked for Wren as Deputy Surveyor.[1] Together with Wren he was responsible for the restoration of the exterior of the abbey.[3]

Other buildings he worked on include:


  • Tim Benton, The Architecture of William Dickinson Junior, University of London (Courtauld Institute of Art, 1969), 108pp.


  1. ^ a b c d "William Dickinson". westminster-abbey.org. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d Tinniswood, Adrian (2010). His Invention So Fertile. London: Random House. p. 203.
  3. ^ Jenkyns, Richard (2011). Westminster Abbey: A Thousand Years of National Pageantry. London: Profile Books.
  4. ^ a b "Design for a villa attributed to William Dickinson". jeromeonline.co.uk. Retrieved 23 March 2013.