William Tite, CB
(February 1798 – 20 April 1873) was an English architect who served as President of the Royal Institute of British
Architects. He was particularly associated with various
London buildings, with railway
stations and cemetery
The son of
a Russian merchant,
Tite was born in London in February
1798. From 1817 to 1820 he assisted David Laing in
rebuilding the church of St Dunstan-in-the-East in the City of London, and in compiling its history. Between 1827 and 1828
he built the Scottish church at Regent Square in St
Pancras, London, for Edward
Irving, and ten years later collaborated with Charles Robert Cockerell in
designing the London & Westminster
Bank head office in Lothbury, also in the
the rebuilding of the Royal Exchange, opened in 1844, was Tite's greatest
The Royal Exchange, c.
He also designed many of the early railway stations in Britain,
the railway stations on the line from Le Havre to Paris in France are also his
company director of the South
Metropolitan Cemetery Company he laid out his first cemetery at Norwood in 1836 and designed several significant monuments
and chapels there.
Whereas previous cemetery designs had
followed a classical style, Tite's design was the first to employ
the Gothic revival
landscaping, which was subsequently judged to be the archetype for
future cemeteries.Between 1853 and 1854, with Sydney Smirke, he landscaped Brookwood
Cemetery near Woking in Surrey for the
Company. Maintaining his associations with railways,
this cemetery was served by a dedicated line from London
Necropolis railway station, next to Waterloo station, in central London.
1858 and 1859 he built a memorial church in the Byzantine style at Gerrards
Tite's active work ceased about twenty years before his death (in
recognition of his contributions, however, he was awarded the
RIBA Royal Gold Medal
In 1851 he visited Italy after a grave illness. In 1854 he contested
unsuccessfully as a Liberal, but
in the following year was returned as Member of Parliament (MP) for Bath, which he represented until his death.
opposed Sir George Gilbert
Scott's proposal to build the new Foreign and
Commonwealth Office and other government buildings adjacent to HM Treasury in Whitehall in the Gothic
In 1869 he was knighted, and in 1870 was made a
Companion of the Bath
had a wide knowledge of English literature and was a good linguist;
he was an active citizen and a lover of old books.
He died on 20 April
and was laid to rest in the catacombs
of his South Metropolitan Cemetery.
Tite Street, which runs north-west from London's Chelsea
Embankment, is named after him.
Tite was a member of
the Metropolitan Board of
, largely responsible for the construction of Chelsea
According to family lore, he had a son named Henry Tite , who was
disowned after a severe disagreement with William. He attempted to
erase any mention of his son’s name so nobody would know of Henry.
Unfortunately, there does not seem to be any evidence to support
the claim that William had a son, let alone disowned him.