Henry Munro Cautley (1876-1959) was an Ipswich-based architect. He designed a number of churches in the Ipswich area, and was also responsible for a number of secular buildings, the most memorable of which is a shopping arcade called The Walk, which he designed with his colleague Leslie Barefoot for Ipswich Borough Council, and which was built 1937-38. Barefoot designed the overall structure, and Cautley designed the exquisite neo-medieval detailing. Cautley's best building in Ipswich is probably Ipswich Central Library in Northgate Street. He was also responsible for several Lloyds Banks, including branches in Cambridge, Colchester, Norwich and Kings Lynn.
Henry Munro Cautley, always known as Munro Cautley or simply Cautley, was born at Bridge in Kent in 1876, but when he was very young his parents moved to Ipswich, for his father to take up the post of the Curate-in-Charge of the new All Saints church in Chevalier Street. His father later became Rector of Westerfield on the outskirts of Ipswich, and Munro Cautley would live in and around Ipswich for the rest of his life.
At the start of the 20th Century, Cautley was still living with his parents in Westerfield rectory, but in 1901 his father Richard Hutton Cautley moved to take up a position as Rector of Belton in north Suffolk (today in Norfolk). However, Munro Cautley, by then 25 years of age, appears to have remained in Westerfield, for in 1904 he married the widow Mabel Turner née Flick, and they lived in her house, Swan's Nest, a large 17th Century house in Westerfield. There were considerable extensions to the house in the first decade of the 20th Century, and this may well have been Cautley's first work. After 1911, they moved to the house he designed from scratch, Drumbeg, at 4 Constitution Hill in north Ipswich. Both houses survive today. Cautley's parents remained in Belton, and both are buried in the churchyard there.
Cautley was Diocesan architect for the Anglican Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich from its formation in 1911 until the early 1950s. This was a time when not many churches were built in Suffolk, and Cautley designed only three for them. These were St Augustine on Felixstowe Road, St Andrew on Britannia Road, and All Hallows on Landseer Road, all on the east side of Ipswich. He also designed the Bishop's Chapel on Park Road in north Ipswich. However, he was also responsible for overseeing all other architects' designs for restorations and new buildings. He was a strong medievalist, and all his work shows his passion for 15th Century art and architecture.
Cautley's best church is All Hallows, Ipswich, which was built in the Art Deco style. But it is very traditional in structure, a Suffolk medieval church translated into jazz modern which still survives with its furnishings intact, an extraordinary survival. He also designed Ipswich County Library in the 1920s, now a Grade 2* listed building, one of the most distinctive buildings in the Borough.
Cautley designed his own typeface. Cautley and Barefoot's practice was based at Cornhill Chambers in the Thoroughfare, and the building survives today with Cautley's lettering above the entrance. The same lettering can be seen on the war memorials he designed, of which about half a dozen can be traced in parish churches in the Ipswich area.
Munro Cautley died at home in Ipswich in 1959. His gravestone is in Westerfield churchyard - he designed it himself. His wife, who died the previous year, is buried in the same grave. There is also a memorial to him inside Westerfield church, which includes a portrait, and a memorial to them both at Mildenhall, where the furnishings, designed by Cautley, were given in Mabel's memory.
But Cautley is best known today not as an architect but as a writer. His two books on Norfolk Churches and Suffolk Churches, published in the 1940s and 1950s, are still standard works on the subject.
There are many photographs of Cautley's work, and of other sites associated with him, in the Munro Cautley group at flickr.