17 August 2020
Marking Mountford Pigott’s centenary
Posted 1 January 2021 by Anna Ryten
In 2018 it was mentioned to me that the practice was approaching its centenary and partners all agreed that we should do something to mark it, so I asked retired senior partner Alan Gaskell what he knew of Mountford Pigott’s background.
Although the documented history of the practice that we had available was scant, he let me know something quite extraordinary – that there were two surviving former partners who had joined the practice in the 1950s and 60s respectively, lived locally and – as I subsequently discovered for myself – whose memories of their time at Mountford Pigott were very detailed and fully intact!
Thankfully, given what was to follow with Covid restrictions, we didn’t wait until 2021 to have a centenary gathering to hear more about Ron Haydon and Ted Kolek’s time at the partnership. Current and retired partners met in 2019, by which time Ron and Ted were already well into their 90s and they regaled us with stories of their work in Bermuda and Iraq as well as their work for the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and other projects closer to home.
Alan Gaskell also set me on the right path to understanding the link between “Mountford Pigott” and E. W. Mountford, the Edwardian architect responsible for buildings including the Battersea Arts Centre and the Old Bailey. Initially, I thought the practice name might have represented a partnership but Alan was sure that Mountford Pigott was one name and we subsequently found that Richard Mountford Pigott was E. W. Mountford’s nephew and apprenticed to him. Even stranger, and completely coincidentally, we discovered that Richard Mountford Pigott’s recorded address in 1911 is across the street from my own home.
This spurred me on with new determination to discover more about the practice’s early work. However, by this time I had reached the limits of what I could discover on the internet and we appointed architectural historian Miriam Holland to help us with uncovering more projects. Her research in archives across the country is presented here along with her biographies of Richard Mountford Pigott and Harold Franklyn Murrell.
We hope you enjoy perusing the drawings and photos as much as we have enjoyed finding them!
Partner, Mountford Pigott LLP