John Prichard was a well-known and highly respected architect who had a reputation for building and restoring in the neo-Gothic style.
Arguably, his most famous achievement was the restoration of Llandaff Cathedral, but he was also responsible for the design and restoration of several other notable buildings, bridges and churches in south Wales.
John Prichard was born in Llangan on the 6 May 1817. He was the twelfth son of the rector Richard Prichard, the vicar-choral of Llandaff, where he served for 35 years. They were descended from the Prichard family of Collenna, a substantial estate in near Tonyrefail.
Prichard trained as an architect under Thomas Larkins Walker, who in turn was deeply influenced by the neo-Gothic style of Augustus Pugin.
John Pritchard made a good business decision when he established a practice in Llandaff, Cardiff because this eventually resulted in becoming the official diocesan architect in 1847. Much of John Pritchard’s work as an architect was done in collaboration with John Seddon.
A great deal of John Pritchard’s major commissions were restoration works the most famous of which would be that of Llandaff Cathedral between 1843–69. This included the full restoration of the south-western tower. A substantial part of the work was however destroyed by bombing during the Second World War.
The Prichard Bridge, built in 1880 to allow carriages to cross the feeder channel between the River Taff and the Llandaff corn mill, was named after the architect and is now a Grade II listed building. The mill was demolished in the 1930s, the feeder stream has long ceased to exist and the lower part of the bridge is no longer visible.
Prichard and Seddon also worked on the restoration of Ettington Park, where John Prichard’s brother Richard was the vicar.
John Prichard also designed Nazareth House, a Catholic alms house built on land donated by John Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute.
Prichard died, unmarried and childless, at the age of 69, and is buried on the south side of the cathedral.
On Prichard’s death Seddon succeeded him as diocesan architect.
A List of the buildings that John Pritchard was responsible for include:
· Prichard Bridge, Llandaff (c.1880
· Nazareth House, Cardiff (1875)
· St Cadfan’s Church, Tywyn (1877) restoration.
· Church of St Swithin, Ganarew (1850)
· Church of the Holy Cross, Cowbridge (1850–1852) restoration.
· St Michael’s Church, Cwmafan (1851).
· The Church of St Julius and Aaron, Llanharan (1856–1859) restoration.
· Ettington Park, near Stratford upon Avon (1858–1862) restoration.
· Church of St John, Llandenny (1860-5) with John Pollard Seddon
· St Margaret’s Church, Roath (1870) commissioned by the Marquess of Bute.
· St Crallo, Coychurch (1871) restoration.
· Church of SS. Illtyd, Gwynno & Tyfodwg, Llantrisant (1874) restoration.
· St Catharine’s Church, Baglan (1875–1882) restoration.
· Church of St Thomas a Becket, Monmouth (1876).
· St Mary’s Nolton, Bridgend (completed 1877) build.
· St Mary’s on Chapel Hill, Tintern, Monmouthshire (1863–1868) restoration.
· Elerch Vicarage