Basic Biographical Details

Name: Ernest Bower Norris
Designation: Architect
Born: 1888
Died: 24 April 1969
Bio Notes: In a career spanning over fifty years, Ernest Bower Norris proved himself one of the most prolific church architects of the mid-twentieth century, responsible for dozens of new Roman Catholic churches throughout England. Although he practised alone for most of his professional life, his work was often recorded under the names of his practices. Thus his designs are variously ascribed to Sandy and Norris/Hill Sandy and Norris/E B Norris of Stafford/Norris and Reynolds /Sandy Norris and Partners and every permutation thereof in both the contemporary press and subsequent architectural guides, notwithstanding that Hill had died in 1917 and Sandy in 1922.

Born in Didsbury, South Manchester in early 1889, Ernest Bower Norris was the son of James Higginbotham Norris, Registrar of Births and Deaths, and Ellen F Norris. Little is yet known of his early life, education and training although he had been admitted an Associate of the RIBA by 1922.

In 1920 he was taken into partnership by T H Sandy of Stafford, but this partnership proved short-lived, cut short by Henry Sandy’s unexpected death on 16 January 1922 at the age of 53. Thus within two years of entering the partnership Ernest Bower Norris thus found himself sole principal of two practices. He continued to run the Stafford office under the style of “Sandy and Norris,” until his death in 1969. Similarly in Manchester, the office at 9 Albert Square was continued under the style of “Hill Sandy and Norris,” although here Norris later took F M Reynolds into partnership, a partnership dissolved in 1946.

Ernest Bower Norris died on 24 April 1969 at Durban, South Africa and was buried at Southern Cemetery, Manchester on 5 May 1969 following a requiem mass at St Austin’s Church, Stafford. He left estate valued at £103,241.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 422, Greengate Street, Stafford, Staffordshire, EnglandBusiness19201934As Sandy and Norris. At this address until at least 1934
Item 2 of 49, Albert Square, Manchester, EnglandBusiness19201946As Hill Sandy and Norris
Item 3 of 4Avenue House, Rowley Park, Stafford, Staffordshire, EnglandPrivate19341969 
Item 4 of 4134 , Newport Road, Stafford, Staffordshire, EnglandBusiness1969 As Sandy and Norris

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 2Sandy & Norris192016 January 1922PartnerFirm continued by Norris alone until 1969
Item 2 of 2Hill Sandy and Norris19201946Partner 

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 2Norval Rowallan Paxton19201921Chief Draughtsman 
Item 2 of 2Alexander Wentworth Varcoe19361938Assistant 


Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1 Manchester Architects 1800-1940