Dick Lingham writes to inquire about how to go about discovering if an ancestor worked on Street's masterpiece:

My ancestors on my mother's side were descended from stonemasons by the name of Wall who lived in Kings Stanley in Gloucestershire. They travelled all over England working but many in the Victorian era were working in London building the Law Courts, if family rumour is to be believed.

My ancestor as far back as I can trace was George Wall b.1798 but Kings Stanley was full of stonemason Walls from the 1841 census.

Is there any way that I could trace the names of the stonemasons who built the courts?

I responded that

this would take some serious research but might be possible if you can locate the records of either the architecture firm (G E Street) or contractor at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the British Library, or other research library. Unfortunately, much of what wasn't destroyed in the blitz was discarded or lost in fires etc. But one never knows.

Another source might be newspapers in London or, more likely, in the King's Stanley area. Has anyone from the Victorian years written a local history of Kings Stanley or the nearby area? Labor histories of the area? A history of stonemasons? Local archives might have family letters or diaries that mention those who worked on the Courts.

If you have any ideas, please contact Dick at dicknlyn.lingham@ntlworld.com.

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Last modified 4 June 2007