Fonds BC605 - Fleming Collection

Reference code



Fleming Collection


  • 1899-1913 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

2 archive boxes; ca.570 items

Name of creator


Biographical history

Senior partner in the well-known firm BAKER & FLEMING in Johannesburg, and a leading South African architect, FLEMING was born in Southsea, Hampshire, England. His father, Thomas Fleming, was an architect and his brother Owen also practised as an architect. Fleming was educated at Denstone College, Staffordshire, before being articled to Beazley & Burrows, Westminster. On completion of articles he remained in London a further six years in the offices of Marshall & Vickers and of Charles Fitzroy Doll. In the latter's office he worked on the designs for the Russell Hotel in Russell Square circa 1898 and on the Imperial Hotel. He left Doll's office to set up practice on his own account in Kent. His brother, Owen Fleming, was (in 1889) Head Architect of the Housing Division of the newly formed London County Council and had been a 'prominent student at the Architectural Association in London, with ardent Socialist convictions' (Service 1979:31).

Frank FLEMING left for South Africa in 1903. According to information supplied by Owen Fleming and now in the RIBA Biographical file, FLEMING's sister encouraged him to come out and help her organise an orphanage at Irene near Pretoria. This request was apparently backed up by the British Government and 'in about a year Irene became a model school' (Owen Fleming, RIBA biog file.) In fact the school was named the Irene Model School, a government-run orphanage. In 1904 Fleming joined Herbert BAKER (BAKER, MASEY & SLOPER) as an assistant and in 1910 became a partner in the firm (cf BAKER & FLEMING). In 1913 he undertook a short trip to Delhi with Baker, returning to manage Johannesburg office until the partnership was dissolved in 1918 when he continued to practise on his own account. In 1918 Fleming was appointed Diocesan Surveyor to both the Diocese of Pretoria and the Diocese of Johannesburg in 1922. In 1923 he was elected president of the Association of Transvaal Architects. He was joined in partnership by his son, Leonard Huxley FLEMING and two others, not yet identified, in 1936, the firm being called FLEMING & PARTNERS and FLEMING himself being semi-retired. He resumed full-time practice during the Second World War when the younger partners enlisted for active service. After the war, when BS COOKE joined the practice in 1946, the firm became known as FLEMING & COOKE. FLEMING died at Constantia Nek, Cape Town. In continuing BAKER's practice in the Transvaal, FLEMING can be considered to have kept alive BAKER's later domestic style making frequent use of BAKER's idioms and had similar energy: his son, LH FLEMING (1985) noted his father was responsible for 'many private houses and eighty-five churches', a number challenging even BAKER's output.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated by Mr Leonard Fleming, 1973 and 1977.

Scope and content

Correspondence, papers and sketches relating to the construction of the Rhodes Memorial, Cape Town, undertaken by Sir Herbert Baker and partners (1905-1913). Correspondence relating to the building of St. George's Cathedral, Cape Town (1899-1909).


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No restrictions apply

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Language of material

  • English

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  • English



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Physical location

  • Shelf: 64a