Richard Knill Freeman

Bolton architect

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St John’s school, Hopwood, Rochdale

There is correspondence in Manchester archives about this school. There is a letter of 1897 applying to build new schools for the St Johns district of Hopwood.

Later correspondence shows Freeman chasing payments:

“If you have not already posted same will you kindly do so on receipt of this as I have been depending on it” (4 May 1898)

A letter from borough surveyor of 19 May 1898 stated that the school was ready for use and it was clearly a hit: Freeman wrote on 23 November 1898: “I am very glad your bazaar was such a success - also about the favourable opinion I have heard of the schools in many quarters”.

However issues remained. Freeman wrote on 7 January  1899: “I am very sorry that your committee think the charge of 20£ for preparing the original drawings is too much. I must point out that they were in accordance as to the accommodation to be provided with the first instructions” and “You are mistaken about travel expenses being included in the percentage - they are quite distinct from it and are always charged unless under very exceptional circumstances” and pointed out that he only charged the 3rd class fare. A reduction of £5 was eventually agreed.