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MERRIFIELD, Charles Henry Norman

Born: 1900/04
Died: 1956


An architect who practised in Port Elizabeth from 1934 in partnership with Francis Owen EATON, MERRIFIELD was born in London and came to South Africa as a child in 1904. He was educated at Observatory Boys' High School, Cape Town, where he began his training with the quantity surveyors BABBS & LABDON. In October 1919 he was indentured as pupil to SOLOMON & MARSHALL in Cape Town, completing his pupilage with CP WALGATE who had arrived to help SOLOMON with the design of the building of the University of Cape Town a few months before SOLOMON's death in 1920.

MERRIFIELD was a probationer of the RIBA between 1922 and 1923 in Cape Town and studied at the School of Architecture in Cape Town. He was placed second in the 1925 Baker Scholarship, his scheme 'A memorial propylaeum to a town on a kopje' was illustrated in the South African Architectural Record (Jun 1925:37, 38). He sat the RIBA final examination in 1926. According to CP WALGATE, one of MERRIFIELD's testimonies of study was 'a fine set of measured drawings of the portico and spire of the old St George's Cathedral' (Walgate Papers. CAD A1659).

MERRIFIELD and Geoffrey LE SUEUR were the first students to have taken full ordinary finals of the RIBA as a result of training solely in the School of Architecture, University of Cape Town, functioning as it then did through the Michaelis School of Art. During most of this period he had worked as an assistant to WALGATE & ELSWORTH (January 1922 until April 1927), leaving in 1927 to work for PERRY & BROWNLEE as chief assistant in Cape Town. He married in 1929 and in 1934 moved to Port Elizabeth, joining F Owen EATON in practice (cf OWEN EATON & MERRIFIELD). He was keenly interested in the Port Elizabeth town planning scheme and in local architectural education, playing a significant role in both areas. MERRIFIELD was also President of the Cape Provincial Institute of Architects from 1953 to 1954. There is a photograph of MERRIFIELD in the South African Architectural Record (Aug 1956:42).

Publications: "The old domestic architecture of Cape Town" SAAR Mar 1928:3-11; "Architectural education at non-university centres" SAAR Sep 1939: 370-73.

ARIBA 1927; ISAA 1927; Walgate Papers. CAD A1659 Add 2/1

AB&E Nov 1927:1; ARIBA nom papers 1927 (4130); ISAA mem list; SAAR Jun 1925 34-8, 43 ill; SAAR Aug 1956:42 port; SAAR Dec 1956: 52 obit; SAB Apr 1934:23

All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Books citing MERRIFIELD

Brown, SM. 1969. Architects and others: an annotated list of people of South African interest appearing in the RIBA Journal 1880-1925. Johannesburg: Unpublished dissertation, University of the Witwatersrand. pp

ISAA. 1927. Register of Members the Institute of South African Architects. Johannesburg: ISAA (Unpublished Record). pp M16