Glossop Heritage Trust

Matthew Ellison Hadfield




Matthew Ellison Hadfield (1812–1885) was born at Lees Hall, Glossop, Derbyshire, on 8th September 1812, one of thirteen children to parents Joseph Hadfield and his wife Mary, a sister of Michael Ellison, agent to the Duke of Norfolk.

Early Career
He was educated at Woolton Grove academy, Liverpool, and leaving school at age 15 worked with his uncle, Michael Ellison at Sheffield in the Norfolk Estate Office for 4 years. In October 1831 he was articled to Messrs. Woodhead & Hurst of Doncaster, a firm of regional architects who had worked on the Glossop Parish Church in the 1820’s. After three years he went to London as a pupil of P. F. Robinson, the founder member of the Institute of Architecture, and worked on plans for the competition to rebuild the Houses of Parliament, and it is believed that his entry came second to the winner, Sir Charles Barry, whose design we recognise as the Palace of Westminster today. Matthew became a member of the Institute of Architecture and when it received its Royal Charter he was to serve on its National Council. On returning to Sheffield, in 1834, he founded his practice. His first commission was to design a monument to the 402 citizens of Sheffield who died in the cholera epidemic of 1832. In 1838 he entered into partnership with John G Weightman, who had also served articles with Woodhead & Hurst. His contribution to the development of the town of Glossop, Derbyshire is unequalled.
Matthew Ellison Hadfield

As an architect, Matthew E Hadfield was an early follower of the Gothic revival movement, led by A.W.N. Pugin, and directly contributed to the revival of Medieaval and Gothic Architecture. He designed numerous Catholic Churches, the most notable of which being St Marie’s Church, Sheffield; elevated to cathedral status in 1980, St John the Evangelist, Salford, elevated to cathedral status in 1850 and The Cathedral of the Annunciation and St Nathy, Ballaghaderreen, Ireland, completed in 1860.

Cathedral Church of Saint Marie, Sheffield
Cathedral Church of St John the Evangelist, Salford
Ballaghaderreen Cathedral, Ireland
Cathedral Church of Saint Marie, Sheffield
Cathedral Church of St John the Evangelist, Salford
Ballaghaderreen Cathedral, Ireland

Matthew Ellison Hadfield died on 9th March 1885, survived by his wife Sarah, daughter of William Frith of Angel Street, Sheffield, whom he married in 1839, Chelsea, London; his son Charles and three daughters. He had served four Dukes of Norfolk in succession, was a prominent citizen of Sheffield, acted as a town councillor, and was connected with many charitable institutions. He took a great interest in the school of art, and was president from 1878 to 1880.

A worthy candidate to be honoured with a Glossop Heritage Trust Blue Plaque, a figure of national importance in the world of architecture and the founder of the practice which still continues as Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson, the oldest architects’ practice in the country.


Button image Local Buildings designed by Matthew Ellison Hadfield Button image The Cholera Monument, Sheffield Button image Hadfield, Cawkwell, Davidson, Architects, Sheffield





Button image Return to the Matthew Ellison Hadfield Blue Plaque page Button image Return to the Local History page



Page last updated: 20 October 2015.