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Under Construction: Dec 2006
If you have any information about George Truefitt, please
feel free to contact his Great-Grandson: Mark
14th Febuary 1824 16th August 1902
Observer, August 16th, 1902
Mr. George Truefitt FRIBA [Fellow of the
Royal Institute of British Architects]
Truefitt passed away on Monday last at the Old House, after
an illness of six months in his 79th year.
the last ten years he practised as an architect in London,
he was a pupil at the age of 15 of the elder Cottingham.
He was articled for five years, and then had an appointment
at once with the late Sancton
Wood, and afterwards with Eginton of Worcester.
went with his friend, Calvert
Vaux [also apprenticed to Lewis Nockalls Cottingham] on
a walking tour through France and Germany, taking between
400 and 500 sketches.
return, although very young, he competed for the Army
and Navy Club in Pall Mall, a most successful competition
for him as his design brought one of his best friends and
clients in Mr. (afterwards Sir) William Cunliffe-Brooks M.P.
[Member of Parliament, here
for whom he worked till Sir William died.
has erected buildings in 25 different counties. He has put
up 16 churches and chapels, including: St. George's Tufnell
Park; St. George's Worthing, St. John's Bromley, Kent; Davyhulme
Church Cheshire; Blakemere, Herefordshire; etc.; and restored
erected 8 rectory houses; 7 schools, 13 banks in London, Manchester,
Altringham, Blackburn, etc.; 7 large halls and church rooms;
170 houses and mansions, including a large house at Antibes,
in the South of France, 20 various buildings; 44 cottages
his works he has laid out large sums of money in the forest
of Glen Tana, Aberdeenshire, for Sir William Brooks, in architectural
buildings, and he has done extensive restorations and additions
to Aboyne Castle (also in Aberdeenshire, the residence of
the Marquis of Huntly).
architect to the Tufnell estate for over 25 years. Mr Truefitt
has been a hard worker, he himself having made the whole of
the designs, drawings, working drawings, specifications, and
perspective, coloured or in pen and ink. Competitions have
therefore been easy with his, as they never cost his anything
but his own time, and he reckons that of all the work he has
done, about threefourths of it has been the result of competition
Ð a good hint to young men.
gave up gave up practice about 10 years ago, and has since
been residing at his picturesque home at Worthing, filled
with curiosities which he began to collect when he was first
a pupil. His favourite amusement was sketching both in pen
and ink and water colour, and this he continued to the very
In the twenty first century,
many of GT's pen and ink sketches, water colours and "curiosities"
are still with members of the family, all of the churches and many of
the other buildings still stand. This collection of web pages is about
Contributors to the text
daughter of GT (1897 1984)
Ginette Leach, granddaughter of GT (1933 )
Mark Leach, great grandson of GT (1956 )
Sue Beedell, family friend & author (1921 2003)
George Truefitt, The Family
After the death of his first
wife on the 16th of September 1896, George Truefitt, aged 71, courted
young Connie aged 26, and the couple were married exactly three months
later on the 16th December 1896. The
marriage caused consternation in GT's family, because the 3 children by
his first wife where aged in their mid-forties! Tongues
must must also have been wagging in the town of Worthing, where GT lived
as a well respected man.
George Truefitt died in 1902
aged 79, and writing in 2005 there are now no personal memories of the
man. However, his daughter, Gorgie (or as as always known, "G"),
was five when he died. Speaking in her eighties, G had vivid recollections
of the man:
She would describe
his "intense eyes with large pupils", and the fact that he
never needed to wear glasses for reading or drawing. She described a
very short man, full of energy, who was known for hurrying along in
built up shoes to give extra height.
GT was remembered
as being "very Victorian, strict with is wife and servants",
although he probably spoilt his wife personally and in private.
A story passed down
from from mother to her daughter shown was that he was a man of very
rigid principles. Although he was well to do, quite famous, and living
in a beautiful home as a respected family; he refused to buy a carriage
as he felt that he did not have the social position to justify one.
In other words, a carriage would be pretentious, an attitude that irritated
his young wife who would have liked some personal transport that they
could easily have afforded.
The drawing and paintings
reproduced in this web book were done throughout George Truefitt's life
in Worthing, although most in possession of the family are dated after
his retirement in 1892.
George Truefitt must have been
a familiar figure around Worthing with his sketchbook, and later with
his pretty young wife and small daughter.
Churches & Other Extant
Buildings by George Truefitt (click to enlarge)
St. Mary's, Davyhulme,
St. John's, Bromley,
St Mary's, Partington
The churches below
are not by Truefitt, but drawings made on his tour of Europe with Calvert
Vaux in about 1850(?). Notice, that the first church has a small bell
tower to one side. This is a design motif used by Truefitt on all his
This building is
in the middle of Manchester's business district, and was probably a
built as a bank. It is now a solicitors office, Cobbetts.
The Sussex Coast (click
By Train to Worthing
The Fig Garden in Tarring
The Town of Worthing
Moving a Windmill
The Old House, Heene
Artist: George Truefitt
Title: A collection of china
Medium Pencil and Watercolor w/bodycolor
Size 25.5 x 30.5 in. / 64.8 x 77.5 cm.
Sale Of Christie's South Kensington: Thursday, June 5, 2003
[Lot 893] Link
© Mark R. Leach 2005-2009