The Weller Bequest
In 2010 the Trust received a bequest on the death of the Architect Brian Weller including a substantial archive of material from the Weller Associates Architectural Practice that was lodged with the Wolverhampton Archives Service based at the Molineux Hotel building. This is an on-going project to make available information on and promote the architectural work by the practice that originated in Wolverhampton and majored in the Arts & Crafts style.
The Trust provided support for Cambridge University student Gillian Roberts in her research into the architect William Johnson Harrison Weller who was born in 1877 in Wolverhampton. William was the third generation from a family of architects that worked almost exclusively in the West Midlands and predominantly in Wolverhampton, from the mid-1800s into the late 1990s.
Little is known about William’s early life but it is believed he studied at the Wolverhampton School of Art. A sketch book dating from 1891 includes drawings of local timber framed buildings. William was also greatly influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement and studied the work of such architects as Norman Shaw, Voysey, Baillee-Scott, Mackintosh and Lutyens.
He was articled to his father from 1895 during which time he worked on commissions, in particular the Vicarage at St Jude’s Church, Tettenhall Road (1897). His first recorded commission in his own right was in 1903 for the 6th Earl of Dartmouth at Burnhill Green, Patshull. This is the first building to show the beginnings of his interest in the Arts and Crafts Style for which he would win many commissions in the future. The Memorial Hall and Cottage is Vernacular Revival in feel, and employs a variety of styles including plain red brick with timber frame work on the gables. There is a pretty arch-braced hall inside.
William Johnson Harrison Weller
He designed his own house, Longfield on the Penn Road, Wolverhampton in 1903/4. Here he was experimenting with his style using timber-framing and included a first floor loggia which became a signature feature for many of his buildings.
Many of his works are now protected as statutory listed buildings and he is recognised as one of the most prominent architects of his time working in the area.
Memorial Hall – now converted to a dwelling.