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William Harrison Cowlishaw


1869 - 1957


William Harrison Cowlishaw (1869–1957) was a British architect of the European Arts and Crafts school. He lived in Norton, Hertfordshire, at that time something of an artists' colony. One of his most famous work is the unusual towered The Cloisters in neighbouring Letchworth Garden City, planned as a theosophical meditation centre and open-air school it opened in 1907. An earlier work was "The Cearne" in Crockham Hill, Kent, a house designed for Russian-translator Constance Garnett and her literary-editor husband Edward Garnett the house was completed in 1896.

At the end of World War I, Cowlishaw like many Arts and Crafts architects of the period, was commissioned by the Imperial War Graves Commission to design cemeteries and memorials across France and Belgium under the direction of Sir Frederick G. Kenyon, the Commission's advisor on architecture.

Cowlishaw was responsible for the design of the impresssive Pozieres British Cemetery and it’s Memorial to the Missing on the Somme. Amongst the many cemeteries designed by him are the plot within Zillebeke Churchyard, Grootebeek British Cemetery,  Meath Cemetery, Villers–Guislain and Joncourt British Cemetery

Whilst at the Commission, he worked with Charles Holden, a relationship that continued after the memorial work was completed.

William Cowlishaw died in 1957.


Grootebeek British Cemetery

Quesnoy Farm Cemetery


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