Stephen Williams, County Surveyor
Stephen Williams,
County Surveyor & Architect

Powys County Archives

Community & Civic Life

Stephen Williams, County Surveyor

Stephen Williams was born in Mellington near Churchstoke, on June 7th 1837. Educated at Bishop's Castle, he was articled to a civil engineer in Newcastle, Staffordshire. He went on to become an assistant to Benjamin Piercey, who did much of the early surveying for the Welsh railways.

He moved to Rhayader in Radnorshire in 1862 and married Maria, daughter of Captain James of Penralley. Stephen Williams set himself up as a land agent and surveyor. In 1886, he also qualified as an architect, and was later appointed county surveyor to Radnorshire.

Offices of Stephen Williams
Offices of Stephen Williams in Rhayader, 1895
Powys County Archives

His work was prolific both in his capacity as County Surveyor and as a private practitioner. It included enclosures, bridges, houses, public buildings, churches and much work for the Birmingham Corporation relating to the water works at the Elan Valley.

As well as his surveying and architectural skills, he was a knowledgeable local historian with a particular interest in archaeology. He supervised many local excavations. He also started the first Rhayader volunteer corps and eventually rose to command the 1st Herefordshire Rifles in 1898.

At the time of the 1891 census, he was at Penrally with his wife Maria:

1891 Census
Penrally, South Street, Rhayader
Name Position in
Age Occupation Place of Birth English/Welsh
Stephen W Williams Head M 53 Civil Engineer, Architect and Surveyor Montgomery, Churchstoke English
Maria Williams Wife M 47   Radnor, Rhayader English
Margaretta E Evans Visitor S 32   Radnor Rhayader English
Mackay J G Scobie Visitor M 39 Solicitor Hereford Hereford English
Emma Embrey Serv S 25 Cook & Domestic servant Montgomery, Montgomery English
Eleanor Jones Serv S 36 Housemaid & Domestic servant Brecon Llanwyrthwl English

He died on 11th December 1899.

For more information on Stephen Williams, visit the Powys Digital History Website.

Radnorshire County Council
Birmingham Corporation