Davidson House on Upper St John St was once home to another Johnson from Lichfield. Thomas Johnson, an architect lived here from 1834 and ran his business, Johnson & Son from here until his death in 1853. I understand that Thomas Johnson jnr went on to work with James Trubshaw, and married his eldest daughter.
Although people might not have heard of Johnson and Son they will probably know some of the buildings they were involved with. Below are some examples of their Lichfield work, and it seems that they also worked on buildings further afield.
Back to Davidson House and I’ve read that it was the home of the South Staffordshire Regiment Old Comrades Association and the South Staffordshire Regiment Museum collection from 1938 until 1963, when it was moved to its current site at Whittington. The name ‘Davidson House’ apparently relates to Brigadier-General Charles Steer Davidson who donated the property to the regiment.
As ever, plenty of questions. Did the Johnsons employ local people? What about the rest of the family? Where did their materials come from? Who was it built for originally. Who owned the house between the Johnsons and the Brigadier-General? Who was Charles Steer Davidson? What happened when the museum left and what is the future for it? It looks like it needs a bit of TLC right now, with its boarded up windows and crumbling stonework. There’s a book ‘Staffordshire and the Gothic Revival’ by Michael J Fisher that I’d like to have a look at to find out more about the Johnsons and their contemporaries.
There’s still plenty more to find out about Davidson House and its inhabitants but I like how by finding out a little about one Lichfield building, I’ve found out more about some of the others too. And they just happen to be some of my favourites!