Bateman, Charles Edward (1863 – 1947)

Known for his Arts and Crafts and Queen Anne-style houses and commercial buildings in the Birmingham area and for his sensitive vernacular restoration and extension work in the Cotswolds. Bateman was born in Castle Bromwich, the son of architect John Bateman, and educated in London and Eastbourne. In 1880 he was articled as a trainee in his father’s practice before spending two years in the offices of London architects Verity and Hunt. Verity and Hunt also had offices in Evesham, and it was while working here that he developed the interest in the traditional vernacular architecture of the South Midlands that was to be a lifelong preoccupation.

On returning to Birmingham as a qualified architect in 1887, Bateman entered into partnership with his father as Bateman & Bateman. As part of a well-established practice work was readily available, and he was able to move away from the gothic styles of his father towards a style that incorporated both the simplicity of the Arts and Crafts movement and the late English Renaissance styles of Richard Norman Shaw.

Bateman was an early pioneer of the Arts and Crafts style in Birmingham and built a series of large suburban properties, with particular concentrations in King’s Heath, Four Oaks and his native Castle Bromwich, along with more urban offices, factories and townhouses in Birmingham City Centre. His love of the Cotswolds also led to a reputation for the sensitive design of country houses and series of projects conserving significant historic Cotswold structures such as the Lygon Arms in Broadway.

Bateman became a pillar of Birmingham’s architectural establishment. Elected a fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1898 he went on to serve three terms as President of the Birmingham Architectural Association (which had been founded by his father) and become a senior lecturer in architecture at the Birmingham School of Art. He was also a major figure in local Freemasonry, becoming Provincial Grand Deacon of the Province of Warwickshire.

Bateman died in 1947 in retirement in Bourton-on-the-Hill.A