Henry Michael Fedeski, FRIBA, Dip.T.P, AMTPI, 1907 – 1993

Henry Fedeski was born on Friday, 6th December 1907 at 28 Clarendon Street (now Road), Aston, Birmingham. His father was also named Henry and his mother was Mildred Mary. Our subject Henry, was one of five children; he had one brother and three sisters and his father was a painter and paper hanger

He was educated in Solihull and was a keen cricketer; his batting partner was often Kenneth Rayner (who joins this story later). After school he was articled to the architect Mr. Albert Lakeman in Birmingham; Lakeman had the following qualifications, ARIBA, Dip.T.P and AMTPI, the last two of them indicating a particular interest in, and experience with, town planning. We will see that town planning became a lifelong professonal interest for Henry.

Henry qualified in 1934 and then started work in the County Architect’s Department of Warwickshire County Council and he stayed there for about 11 years. He may well have been involved with providing air raid shelters at council premises in the war-time, changes to the magistrates’ court in Rugby Road and alterations to Leamington College, although these specific details have not been verified. He left the county council in 1945, around the time that Charles Bunch, the county architect, retired.

Henry married Martha Hill in early 1938 at Shipston-on-Stour. Their only child, a son Michael, was born in 1941 and he eventually went to Warwick School. Michael qualified as an Architect but did not follow his father into the world of business but went into ‘academia’, latterly becoming Director of Postgraduate Research Studies at Cardiff University (Mike was, for several years, in the same class at Warwick School as the author of this article).

After leaving the county council Henry was appointed as Chief Assistant Architect in the Engineer’s Department in the Royal Borough of Leamington Spa in 1945 and he was appointed as Director of Housing for the borough in the following year. In the same year he also gained his Town & Country qualification. Whilst employed by the borough council he was involved in several housing schemes including Bury Road and Kingsway on the Shrubland Hall estate. 20 houses were built in Bury Road in 1945 and another 100 houses on the Kingsway estate in 1946.

Telford Avenue with several later modifications

He designed extensions of four houses in Telford Avenue in 1947, the last of these were built largely by boys straight from school; he also designed other houses in this street.

At the end of 1948 Henry resigned from the borough council and on 1st January 1949 he went into partnership with Kenneth Rayner, his cricketing friend from schooldays. Their first office was at No 28 Parade and they later moved to No 1 Kenilworth Road, some time before 1970. After he left the borough, the council decided not to continue to have a Department of Housing but for the council to out-source building design and architecture. Rayner and Fedeski carried out the majority of this work until the council went out of existence in 1974. (The present Town Council was not formed until April 2002).

In the next 35 years or so, after 1948, Fedeski was subsequently involved with many schemes for the council including –

45 more houses on the Kingsway estate in 1949. There was some controversy about the road called Kingsway because it was unusually wide; there is speculation that it was designed to be part of a main road to Warwick which did not materialise.

There were many discussions of plans for factories on land owned by Mr Gulliman in Tachbrook Road in 1949. The terms were finally agreed in 1950.

The council built houses designed by Fedeski on the Cashmore estate but all did initially not go well. There was criticism that ceilings were six inches lower than the eight feet recommended by the Royal Institute of British Architects; however, a dispensation was granted. This estate included Baker Avenue, Central Avenue, Cashmore Avenue and also houses fronting Tachbrook Road.

Windmill Road


Work started on houses in Windmill Road in 1949 and
this also included houses on Tachbrook Road.




There were ideas for an industrial estate at Sydenham Farm from 1949. The layout was designed by Fedeski.

Stud Farm


Plans for about 300 houses at Stud Farm in Lillington were also developed in 1949 and
many further houses were built in the following years.




Grange Road


32 houses were built at Grange Road, Lillington, in 1949,
on the site of the former Grange Farm.




Edmondscote Road


The housing estate at Edmondscote Road began in 1951.

Yet more houses were built in Tachbrook Road in 1950.

There were plans to build houses in Whitnash Road from 1950.


The extensive development of homes and shops in Crown Way was built around 1953 and was named to remember the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in that year. 107 Wimpey houses were also designed for the Crown Way area in 1954. The 15 shops in Crown Way opened in 1957. The houses behind Crown Way went up for sale in 1958.

Buckley Road

The design of the large estate at Lillington including Buckley Road began from 1952.





Flats and shops at St Margarets Road were built in 1953; Wimpeys were a major contractor, building concrete houses.

There was a problem in 1953 when houses in Edinburgh Crescent failed to be built in a speedy 10 weeks as promised.

Three blocks of 12 flats in Mason Avenue were built in 1953 and a Community Centre was built in that road in 1954 and opened by Sir Anthony Eden MP in 1956. Henry also designed the Eden Court 15-storey block of flats and the housing in The Crest and the Jack and Jill pub.

He probably designed the majority of the buildings in New Brook Street around 1954.

There was a celebration of building the 300th council house in the one year, 1954, all of which were designed by Fedeski.

Henry was involved in the demolition of two houses on the east side of Clarendon Square, at the junction with Clarendon Avenue, and designed the replacement block of 18 council flats. The exterior blends with the neighbouring properties. The level of the new interior floors does not match the windows which were positioned to be level with those of the original houses; in addition, unusually at the time, there is also an underground car park.



Fedeski’s projects for clients other than Leamington Borough Council included –

Lillington library in Valley Road for the Warwickshire County Council, designed in 1959, now Listed Grade II.

In 1961 a plan for 3 blocks of flats on the site of Elmbank in Lillington Road was designed by Fedeski for AC Lloyd Ltd but was refused planning permission. Elmbank Close, a cul-de-sac of detached houses was subsequently built on the site.

The Lillington Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady opened in 1963 in Valley Road, This is now also Listed Grade II; it is notable for the mass of coloured glass blocks in the walls which are startling when viewed form inside. The blocks were made by monks at Prinknash Abbey in Gloucestershire. Kit Smith, who worked with Henry, still remembers a very austere lunch with the monks on a visit to the Abbey for a progress meeting.


A house for Dr. Hart was built next to the RC Church; this house was recently demolished and it is planned to build a health complex on the site (2022).

In 1966 Henry designed the new chancel and a silver cross and candlestick for Holy Trinity church in Beauchamp Avenue, which were made by a firm in Coventry.

In 1970 he designed the homes in the street named Dereham Court, off Lillington Avenue, including both houses and flats.

In 1967 he designed a large bungalow named Sandiacre in Sandy Lane.

In 1986 the Rayner & Fedeski practice designed the Urquhart Room at the west end of the Parish Church.

Fedeski also designed flats in Binswood Avenue named as Chorlton Court, on the site of Chorlton House, about 1980, The Oaks in Arlington Avenue and AH Hayes store in Bedford Street (now Lee Longlands) but we are unsure of the dates

No 11A Cloister Way


For some years Henry lived at No 102 Emscote Road, Warwick, and moved to No 11A Cloister Way, Leamington, which he designed, in 1953, superstitiously avoiding the number 13.

One of his hobbies was cabinet-making and the house in Cloister Way is still home to some furniture which he made. He was also an accomplished pianist, magician and after-dinner entertainer.

Henry Fedeski died in 1993, aged 86.


Thanks to
Peter Coulls for a wealth of information and images
Michael Fedeski, son
Kit Smith (a one-time employee of Rayner & Fedeski)

Other Sources
Local Newspapers on the website, the British Newspapers Archive

Michael Jeffs, January 2022