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Not Brentford

Brentford Surveyors - Frederick William Lacey


Peter King has researched details of the first four Brentford Surveyors appointed following the Public Health Act 1875. See intro page for further details.

Frederick William Lacey

Surveyor to Brentford Local Board 1881-1889

Having in 1881 returned from South America, where he was employed as Assistant Engineer to a hydraulic mining company (gold ?), he was one of 114 candidates for the position of Surveyor to the Brentford Local Board. From a short list of five, he was appointed on the 7th June 1881, at a salary of £175 per annum, taking over from Mr J Figg.


In addition to the day to day tasks of a surveyor,one of his first, and arguably the most important during his time at Brentford, was to prepare for the towns proposed main drainage scheme.

This scheme, estimated at a cost of £32000, was to a plan by Messrs Gotto and Beasley, Lacey having the responsibility for its satisfactory installation and completion.

Inadequate drainage by way of cesspools etc had been a problem for many years.

The water in the local brook was at times badly contaminated with sewage, and those responsible for the condition of Thames water, into which the brook emptied, had threatened legal action if the Brentford Board did not clean up their act. Reports by the Boards medical officer regularly refer to drinking water pumps and wells being contaminated with sewage.

The sewage works were constructed on a site off the Ealing Road on the Brentford Ealing border. The collection point for the towns sewage was located at Town Meadow, on land purchased by the Board in 1878. Here a pumping station was built in 1883 to transfer the sewage to the Ealing Road site for treatment.

The scheme was successfully completed in March of 1884, and in June of that year Lacey was awarded a £50 per annum salary increase.

The 1883 pumping station survives inTown Meadow.


Private Work

One of the conditions of his appointment in 1881, was that he could not undertake private commissions. This restriction was lifted in July of 1884, and as a result various private work was undertaken. The council minutes for February 1887 state “Plans for a proposed house on the Butts Estate to be built by Mr F W Lacey were approved”. Known today as The Gables in Brent Road, Lacey lived here with his family until his departure from Brentford in 1889.

Other private commissions include, the Post Office that stood in Market Place, the Ealing Tavern in Ealing Road and alterations to the Castle Hotel that stood in the High Street.


He remained as surveyor to Brentford until 1889 when he was selected from 172 applicants for the position of surveyor to Bournemouth, a post he held until his death at the age of 60 in 1916.

Many of his buildings survive in Bournemouth, all of which are listed.

He designed the Undercliffe Road. Opened on 6th Nov 1907, a bronze plaque situated near Bournemouth Pier lists F W Lacey as engineer to this project .


Frederick William Lacey's life

Born: 2nd October 1855 Foundry Yard, St John, Maddermarket, Norwich The son of William Randall Lacey, Master Builder and Amelia Lacey (Clarke)

1861 Census St Faiths Lane Mountergate Norwich

  • William R Lacey 33 Head Carpenter & Builder
  • Amelia Lacey 32 Wife
  • Annie Lacey 8 Dau
  • Frederick W Lacey 5 Son
  • Kate Lacey 3 Dau
  • Julia Lacey 1 Dau
  • Ellen M Marchmont 14 Ser General servant

1871 Census 44, Grafton Sq Clapham

  • William R Lacey 40 Head Civil Engineer
  • Amelia Lacey 39 Wife
  • Annie A Lacey 17 Dau
  • Kate Lacey 13 Dau
  • Julia Lacey 11 Dau
  • Ernest Lacey 4 Son
  • Elizabeth Robinson 12 Visitor
  • Jane Stone 22 Ser General servant

1871 census St Johns College Hurstpierpoint Sussex

  • Frederick William Lacey 15 Scholar

1881 Census The Lodge Grafton Sq Clapham

  • William R Lacey 51 Head Surveyor
  • Amelia Lacey 50 Wife
  • Frederick W Lacey 25 Son Architect
  • Julia Lacey 20 Dau
  • Ernest M Lacey 14 Son
  • Pitt Welton 15 Cousin born Sth America
  • Hanna Bradshaw 21 Ser General servant

Marriage: 20th Sept 1882 St James Church Camberwell
Frederick William Lacey 26 Bachelor Architect Father William Randall Lacey Surveyor
Louisa Brown 24 Spinster Father Patrick Brown Mgr in commercial house

Whilst in Brentford, lived at 100 Windmill Rd, and later in Upper Butts in the house he designed, now known as The Gables, Brent Road.



1891 Census Grasmere, Alum Chine Road, Bournemouth

  • FrederickW Lacey 35 Head Boro Engineer & Surveyor
  • Louisa Lacey 33 Wife
  • Dorothy A Lacey 6 Dau
  • Ethel Mary Lacey 2 Dau
  • Margaret A Lacey 9mth Dau
  • Agnes A Brown 30 Sis in Law
  • Alice F Haskell 24 Ser Cook & Domestic servant
  • Kate E Gould 16 Nurse

1901 Census Alum Chine Lodge, West Cliff Road Bournemouth

  • Frederick W Lacey 44 Head Borough Engineer
  • Louisa Lacey 40 Wife
  • Margaret Lacey 10 Dau
  • Kate M Speck 22 Ser Cook Domestic
  • Jane B Palkel 17 Ser Housemaid Domestic
  • Ernest H Chudleigh 29 Ser Coachman Domestic

1911 Census Alum Chine Lodge West Cliff Road Bournemouth

  • LACEY, Frederick William Head Married M 56 1855 Borough Engineer And Architect Norfolk Norwich
  • LACEY, Louisa Wife Married 28 years F 53 1858 Kennington Surrey
  • LACEY, Margaret Archibald Daughter Single F 20 1891 Hants Bournemouth
  • CHURCHILL, Rosa Maud Servant Single F 25 1886 Cook Domestic Southampton Hants
  • NICE, Florence Lucy Servant Single F 20 1891 Housemaid Domestic Salford Lancashire

Death: 24th March 1916 Frederick William Lacey 60 Pleuro pneumonia/cardiac failure

Death: 2nd January 1944 Louisa Lacey 85

They are buried in East Cemetery Bournemouth, in the shadow of the listed chapel, which he designed.

Frederick and Louisa had a further child:
Winifred Mary Born 19th June 1883 Died 3rd December 1886
She is buried in Ealing Cemetery.



Inst of Civil Engineers. Elected associate member 19th May 1885 and elected Member 16th February 1897

Inst of Municipal and County Engineers. Elected Member 1884.

In 1877 Lacey was appointed assistant engineer to the Colombian Hydraulic Mining Coy, South America. He worked under a Mr W S Welton an Associate member of the Inst of Civil Engineers.

The 1881 census, completed when W R Lacey and family (including F W who had recently returned from South America) were living in Grafton Sq, shows a Pitt Welton a “cousin” , born Sth America.


Page published September 2011