Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: September 15, 2019
Webpage updated: September 15, 2019




Leslie Patrick Abercrombie was born at Ashton-under-Mersey on June 6th 1879.

He was already a lecturer in the Department of Architecture at Liverpool University when, in 1909, the then Lord Leverhulme donated funds to establish a new Department of Civic Design.  He transferred to the new Department and became the founding editor of the new journal "Town Planning Review".  In 1915 he was appointed Lever Professor of Civic Design, a position he held for the next twenty years.

Patrick Abercrombie was a pioneer from the start.  When plans were being developed to build thousands of "Homes for Heroes" after the First World War, it was he who suggested that the new housing estates should be planned with transport links, shops and schools.  This, he said, would be achieved by regional plans.

Then in 1935 came a move to University College, London. It was here, after the Second World War, that he produced "The County of London Plan" (1943) and "The Greater London Plan" (1944) and it was during this period that he was invited by Lord Astor to work with the Plymouth City Engineer, James Paton Watson (1898-1979), on what was to become "The Plan for Plymouth", published in1943.  It was these plans that brought about the term "Green Belts".

In 1945 he was awarded a Knighthood in recognition of his services to civic planning and the following year he was awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects' Gold Medal.

As well as his work in Plymouth, he was also involved in the replanning of Bath, Edinburgh, Hull and the Clyde region.

Sir Leslie Patrick Abercrombie died at Aston Tirrold in Berkshire on March 23rd 1957.