Feilding and Morrison

Since visiting Cuddesdon last week, I have been trying to find out more about the architects of the (not at all distinguished) house that my parents lived in there. I remembered that the architects had designed an advanced modernist house in Dorchester-on-Thames and that one of them was the daughter of the owners of Beckley Park, a very beautiful Tudor house down a lane on the edge of Otmoor.

Their names were Julia Feilding and Donald Morrison, both now deceased. Julia only died last year and their Miesian house on stilts, overlooking Dorchester Abbey, has now been sold:-

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2 thoughts on “Feilding and Morrison

  1. Steve Broadway says:

    Hello
    I realise that this is very late in the day (your relevant blog post is dated February 2019!), but I’ve just been contacted by an old college friend (herself an architect) who thought I might be able to provide you with a little information about Don+Julia Morrision and their architectural practice.

    I was a student at the Oxford School of Architecture (1967-73) and Don was a senior tutor at the School and led the academic team for the CNAA degree process in the 1970s; his wife Julia was a part-time tutor at the School. I worked with them both at various stages of my architectural studies.
    From your blogpost, you’re obviously aware of their house (which they designed, of course); they ran their architectural practice from the Old Toll House at the end of their garden (next to the bridge/adjoining Henley Road). I was contacted by Julia in 1976 and asked if I would like to join them. They had won a decent-sized commission (for them) from Wycombe District Council for a sheltered housing scheme and required some help in producing working drawings, contract administration etc. I worked for them for nearly two years, 1976-77 on a mixture of projects which included a number of good-quality house extensions/refurbishments/barn conversions (largely located in the Oxford, Dorchester area), the Dorchester cricket pavilion plus the sheltered housing scheme for WDC (I’m afraid I have no record of any of them). Due to Don’s commitments at the School of Architecture, I assisted Julia in running the day-to-day work in the office. They were both excellent designers, but I have the impression that neither of them particularly enjoyed the technical/construction drawing side of the work. I left to work for a practice in High Wycombe in 1977 (and subsequently was made a partner 18 months later) to work on a large job for National Westminster Bank.

    It was very good fun working for them. I used to start work before 9am each day and Julia (and sometimes Don) would emerge at the Toll House just before 11am to begin their office tasks. I have lots of fond memories – frequently involving red wine, it seems (or is that just my own fading fantasy?)! Visions of Julia frequently walking into the office carrying a large white plastic waste paper basket containing a bottle of red – she was very anxious to ensure that the neighbours didn’t ‘get the wrong impression’! I think we ended up having the odd glass (or two) most lunchtimes! Inevitably, it also fell to me to deal with various domestic tasks, such as feeding their horse (roaming in the field adjoining the house) when they went on holiday!

    The photographs in this website show the house very much as I remember it (including all the decoration and furniture):
    https://www.wowhaus.co.uk/2018/07/06/1960s-fielding-and-morrison-modernist-property-in-dorchester-on-thames-oxfordshire.
    I well remember sitting in their house over a meal and watching the silhouette of a mouse running across the illuminated ceiling tiles!

    I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful about details relating to their architectural work – my time with them was relatively brief.
    regards
    Steve Broadway

    • Dear Steve, Thank you so much for this information which is really helpful. It figures that they devoted themselves to teaching more than designing. They were commissioned to design a number of houses in Cuddesdon in what had been a wood attached to the Bishop’s Palace, one of which my parents bought. Charles

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