Basic Biographical Details

Name: William Flockhart
Designation: Architect
Born: 20 September 1852
Died: 10 April 1913
Bio Notes: William Flockhart was born in Kilmarnock on 20 September 1852, the son of William Flockhart, tailor and clothier, and Margaret Gibson. Their family's usual address was then 82 London Street, Lanark: William Flockhart senior was born in England and Margaret Gibson came from Kilmarnock. The 1851 census shows that Flockhart had an elder sister, Margaret, then aged five months. There was a family link of some kind to Sir William Flockhart of Duncan Flockhart & Co, Edinburgh, the chemists who developed chloroform. In 1870 he was articled to Adamson & McLeod and took classes at Glasgow School of Art where he was a prize-winner in 1871-72. He presumably remained with McLeod after the dissolution of his partnership with Adamson c.1871-72, moving to Campbell Douglas & Sellars as assistant in 1876-77.

In 1878 Flockhart entered a design in the Brompton Oratory competition in association with the unidentified Gordon as 'Gordon & Flockhart'. Gordon may have been George William Hamilton Gordon, born 1854, an assistant in the office of Alfred Waterhouse, who was the assessor and placed their design in the final four, describing it as 'the work of a Master... The interior seems to me to be very nearly perfect' In the event the final choice lay with the Fathers who chose Herbert Gribble who had made designs for them in 1874-76.

After a year of study in London and Paris in 1878-79, Flockhart entered the office of William Wallace at 27a Old Bond Street, London, first as an assistant and then in partnership as Wallace & Flockhart, his earliest commission being the addition of a tower and spire to Newhaven Free Church where Sir William Flockhart was a member of the congregation.

On 9 September 1880 he married Christine Lochhead at her home, 33 Granville Street Glasgow, the minister being A A Bonnar of Finnieston Free Church, on which he had worked when with Sellars, his own address being given as 15 Marlborough Place, St James Wood.

Stanley Adshead described Flockhart as having 'a highly strung and very artistic temperament ... he was very simple and understanding about ordinary things, and had a great sense of human nature as seen by those [with] whom he most frequently associated...he did everything himself, even his carvers had to work to his full-sized working drawings which he drew out on large sheets of paper pinned to the wall.' In consequence he required relatively few draughtsmen: Adshead reported only four in his Bond Street office when he was there in 1894-95.

Although he 'had few friends but among them was John Collier RA'. Flockhart had very distinguished clients. They tended to be either artists like Ricketts, Charles Shannon and John McWhirter and the photographers Elliot & Fry or extremely rich like his principal clients James Douglas Fletcher of Rosehaugh, Stuart Samuel, Samuel Montagu, Sir Edmund Davis, diamond merchant, the art dealer Joseph Duveen and Sir Frederick J Mirrielees of the Union Castle Mail Steamship Company. For the Union Castle Company he designed the interiors of S S Balmoral Castle in 1910. Adshead recalled that 'cost never seemed to enter into the problem',. Flockhart was also consultant to the Derwent Valley Water Board and designed the architectural elements of the Derwent and Howden dams. In 1910 Flockhart exhibited a number of designs at the Japan England Exhibition which was held at Shepherd's Bush that year. This doubtless relates to the fact that he and Ernest George, who served on both the executive committe of the exhibition as well as on the Architecture sub-committee, frequesntly lunched together at the Arts Club.

Flockhart was an extremely inventive and scholarly designer, something of a trial to the staff as designs were endlessly changed and perfected, sometimes after work was well under way. Goodhart Rendel described him as 'an extremely sensitive draughtsman', and 'potentially the best of the lot'. Of his country house commissions, the monumental Rosehaugh House in Ross & Cromarty was the largest but he also designed Pasturewood in Surrey, Parkwood in Berkshire, Chelwood Vachery in Sussex and Galewood in Cambridgeshire. He undertook much work in central London including town houses and Bond Street shops, all the designs having exclusivity and opulence which sets them apart from work by his contemporaries.

The partnership of Wallace & Flockhart was dissolved c.1883, Flockhart continuing to practise alone. He was admitted FRIBA on 18 February 1901, his proposers being John Belcher, John McKean Brydon and Ernest George.

Flockhart appears to have taken his former senior assistant Leonard Rome Guthrie into partnership as Flockhart & Guthrie by 1912. He died on 10 April 1913, leaving moveable estate of £29,631 6s 2d. He had one son who did not become an architect and two daughters, one of whom married Guthrie, who inherited the practice.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 427a, Old Bond Street, London, EnglandBusiness1880After 1885 
Item 2 of 4180, New Bond Street, London, EnglandBusinessBefore 1891After 1905 
Item 3 of 4122, Gloucester Terrace, Hyde Park, London, EnglandPrivate/business(?)1905 *  
Item 4 of 410, Conduit Street, London, EnglandBusinessBefore 1908After 1913 

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 7Adamson & McLeod1870c. 1871 or c. 1872Apprentice 
Item 2 of 7John McLeodc. 18711875Apprentice 
Item 3 of 7Campbell Douglas & Sellars18761877Assistant 
Item 4 of 7Stevenson & Robson18761877Assistant 
Item 5 of 7William Wallacec. 1879c. 1880Assistant 
Item 6 of 7Wallace & Flockhartc. 1880c. 1883Partner 
Item 7 of 7Flockhart & GuthrieBefore 19121913Partner 

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 18Charles Edward Mallows  Assistant 
Item 2 of 18John McLean (or Maclean) CrawfordAfter 1876Before 1885Assistant(?) 
Item 3 of 18William Dunnc. 1880Before 1889Assistant 
Item 4 of 18Thomas MacLarenc. 1881 Assistant 
Item 5 of 18Thomas Geoffry Lucas (or Geoffry Lucas)After 1891Before 1899Assistant 
Item 6 of 18William Harvey Ross18921894Assistant 
Item 7 of 18Henry Victor AshleyAfter 1892Before 1896Assistant 
Item 8 of 18Stanley Davenport Adshead18941894 or 1895Assistant 
Item 9 of 18Stanley Davenport Adshead1894 or 18951898Clerk of Works 
Item 10 of 18Bernard Hugh WebbLate 1890s Assistant 
Item 11 of 18John Myrtle SmithAfter 1900Before 1906Assistant 
Item 12 of 18Leonard Rome Guthrie19011907Chief Draughtsman 
Item 13 of 18William Craig BoydJanuary 1901July 1903Assistant 
Item 14 of 18Lionel Godfrey Pearson19021902 or 1903Assistant 
Item 15 of 18Thomas McMillan17 August 190421 September 1907Assistant 
Item 16 of 18James Mitchell White Halley19061906Assistant(?) 
Item 17 of 18Oliver Falvey Hill19071910Apprentice 
Item 18 of 18William Hardy Wilson19071910(?)Assistant 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3John Belcher18 February 1901for Fellowship
Item 2 of 3John McKean Brydon18 February 1901for Fellowship
Item 3 of 3Ernest George18 February 1901for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 10Hugh Alexander Dalrymple4 March 1907for Associateship
Item 2 of 10Walter Symington Athol Gordon27 February 1911for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 10Leonard Rome Guthrie28 February 1910for Associateship
Item 4 of 10James Mitchell White Halley4 July 1910for Licentiateship
Item 5 of 10Thomas McMillan16 January 1911for Licentiateship
Item 6 of 10William Harvey Ross20 March 1911for Licentiateship
Item 7 of 10James Irving Tweedie4 March 1907for Associateship
Item 8 of 10Bernard Hugh Webb27 February 1911For Licentiateship
Item 9 of 10William Gilmour Wilson6 March 1905for Fellowship
Item 10 of 10William Hardy Wilson1 March 1909For Associateship

Buildings and Designs

This architect was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 701872Design for a villa   ScotlandCompetition design
Item 2 of 701874St Andrew's Parish Church  GlasgowScotlandAs assistant to James Salmon & Son did the drawings for this
Item 3 of 701880Crathes CastleCrathes Aberdeenshire/KincardineshireScotlandAs assistant to William Wallace - alterations including dining room and refitting hall (largely eradicated since) and the hall window which is still extant
Item 4 of 70188115 Fitzjohn's AvenueHampstead LondonEnglandInternal alteration to existing house.
Item 5 of 701881“The Lothians,” Hampstead Hampstead LondonEngland 
Item 6 of 701882Old Newhaven Free ChurchNewhaven EdinburghScotlandRecasting of church and addition of tower and spire. New vestry added.
Item 7 of 701883129 Park Lane  LondonEnglandInterior refitting
Item 8 of 701883Presbyterian ChurchRichmond upon Thames SurreyEngland 
Item 9 of 701883St Andrew's VestryNewhaven EdinburghScotland 
Item 10 of 701883The White CottageBrompton LondonEnglandExtension to existing house
Item 11 of 701884North House, Eton AvenueHampstead LondonEngland 
Item 12 of 701885Elliott & Fry studiosSouth Kensington LondonEnglandConversion of pair of late Georgian semi-detached houses into photographic galleries and studios.
Item 13 of 701885House and studio for John McWhirter ARASt Johns Wood LondonEngland 
Item 14 of 7018863 Stanhope PlaceBayswater LondonEnglandInternal alterations
Item 15 of 701887Town house, 31 Hertford StreetMayfair LondonEnglandExisting town house refurbished.
Item 16 of 701887Town house, Hertford StreetMayfair LondonEngland 
Item 17 of 701888Glasgow International Exhibition 1888, Royal Reception Room  GlasgowScotlandDecor of Royal Reception Room - with glass by John Guthrie
Item 18 of 701888Rosehaugh HouseInverness (near) Ross and CromartyScotlandRefurbishment and enlargement: virtually a new building
Item 19 of 701888The Wylies   ScotlandDrawing of dining room exhibited
Item 20 of 70189020 Hanover Square  LondonEnglandAlterations including shell porch to front entrance
Item 21 of 70189119 Hyde Park Terrace  LondonEnglandAlterations including new front door.
Item 22 of 701891Pair of new houses, 2-4 Palace CourtBayswater LondonEngland 
Item 23 of 701891The ElmsHampstead LondonEnglandAlterations and extensions
Item 24 of 701893Pasturewood and estate buildingsHolmbury St Mary SurreyEngland 
Item 25 of 701893Rosehaugh HouseInverness (near) Ross and CromartyScotlandWith Stanley Davenport Adshead as resident architect and William Harvey Ross as resident clerk of works
Item 26 of 701894Royal Institution of Great BritainMayfair LondonEnglandInternal alterations and conversion of adjacent property, 20 Albermarle Street, into ancillary accommodation.
Item 27 of 701894Town house, 12 Hill StreetMayfair LondonEnglandEnlargement
Item 28 of 701895(?)Rosehaugh House, Power House  Ross and CromartyScotland 
Item 29 of 70c. 1895Business premises, Long AcreCovent Garden LondonEngland 
Item 30 of 70Late 1800sRosehaugh, wine storeAvoch Ross and CromartyScotland 
Item 31 of 701900Holborn and Strand Improvement Scheme  LondonEnglandUnsuccessful competition entry
Item 32 of 70c. 1900Kindeace LodgeFortrose Ross and CromartyScotland 
Item 33 of 70c. 1900Rosehaugh Estate, Gray's CottageAvoch Ross and CromartyScotland 
Item 34 of 70c. 1900Rosehaugh House, StablesAvoch Ross and CromartyScotlandAdditions and part remodelling
Item 35 of 70c. 1900Rosehaugh, the LaundryAvoch Ross and CromartyScotland 
Item 36 of 70190116 Grosvenor SquareMayfair LondonEnglandAlterations
Item 37 of 701901Alterations to houses in MayfairMayfair LondonEngland 
Item 38 of 701901Brackley Lodge    New front gates?
Item 39 of 701901Houses, 11-13 Lansdowne RoadNotting Hill LondonEnglandConversion of two houses into family home
Item 40 of 701901Lansdowne HouseNotting Hill LondonEngland 
Item 41 of 701902Offices, Old Bond Street  LondonEnglandConversion of offices into showroom
Item 42 of 701902ParkwoodHenley-on-Thames, Wargrave BerkshireEngland 
Item 43 of 701902SS Kinfauns Castle   ScotlandInterior fittings? Stuart Gray gives this date but since the ship was launched in 1899 it is possible the work by Flockhart is actually before 1902.
Item 44 of 701905Islington Central Library  LondonEnglandCompetition design - not successful
Item 45 of 701905Marylebone Presbyterian Church HallMarylebone LondonEnglandExtension comprising church hall and classrooms.
Item 46 of 701905Mechanics' InstituteSydenham LondonEnglandEnlargement of existing school building
Item 47 of 701905SS Empress of Britain, ship interior    Furnishing and decoration
Item 48 of 701905Wesleyan HallWestminster LondonEnglandCompetition entry - unsuccessful
Item 49 of 70c. 190538 Hill StreetMayfair LondonEnglandRefurbishment of town house in Louis XVI style
Item 50 of 701906Chelwood VacheryWych Cross East SussexEngland 
Item 51 of 701906Commercial and retail building   LondonEngland 
Item 52 of 701906Nightingale Home and Synagogue for Aged Jews  LondonEngland 
Item 53 of 70After 1906SS Empress of Ireland    Furnishing and decoration
Item 54 of 701907Rosehaugh House, dairy  Ross and CromartyScotland 
Item 55 of 701908GalewoodGreat Shelford CambridgeshireEngland 
Item 56 of 701908London County Hall  LondonEnglandCompetition design - not successful
Item 57 of 701908Retail premises, 180 New Bond Street  LondonEngland 
Item 58 of 70c. 1908Business premises for Burroughes and WattsWestminster LondonEnglandAlterations?
Item 59 of 70190943 Grosvenor Street  LondonEnglandAlterations and new attic storey
Item 60 of 701909House, 5 Carlton Gardens  LondonEnglandRefurbishment
Item 61 of 70191026-29 Kensington CourtKensington LondonEnglandAlterations to no 27
Item 62 of 701910SS Balmoral Castle    Furnishing and decoration of interior of the state rooms for the voyage of the Duke of Connaught to the Cape.
Item 63 of 70c. 1910Partridge's new premises  LondonEnglandDesign exhibited
Item 64 of 701911Union Castle officesSouthampton HampshireEnglandConversion of custom house building into offices
Item 65 of 701912Derwent Dam  DerbyshireEnglandArchitectural elements
Item 66 of 701912House, 21 Kensington Palace Gardens  LondonEnglandAlterations
Item 67 of 701912Houses, 15-21 Euston RoadSt Pancras LondonEnglandrebuilding of existing houses
Item 68 of 701912Howden Dam  DerbyshireEnglandArchitectural elements
Item 69 of 70c. 191257 Harley StreetMayfair LondonEnglandAlterations
Item 70 of 70c. 1912House, 16 Kensington Gore  LondonEnglandRefurbishment


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 9Calder, Alan2008William Flockhart: the early years5James M MacLaren Society Journal, pp4-17 
Item 2 of 9Calder, Alan2009William Flockhart: Rosehaugh House7, AutumnJames M MacLaren Society Journal, pp2-16pp2-16
Item 3 of 9Calder, Alan2010William Flockhart 1852-1913: Architect to the Nouveau Riches   
Item 4 of 9Calder, Alan2011William Flockhart: the Country Houses9James M MacLaren Society Journal, William Flockhart: the Country Houses pp. 7-28 
Item 5 of 9Calder, Alan2014William Flockhart: A Maverick Architect for the Nouveaux Riches   
Item 6 of 9Crook, J M The rise of the Nouveaux Riches   
Item 7 of 9Mills, John et al1996Rosehaugh: a house of its time   
Item 8 of 9Powers, Alan (ed.)1981Architects I have known: the architectural career of S D Adshead Architectural History 24, 1981, pp103-123, plates 38-40 
Item 9 of 9Service, Alastair1975Edwardian Architecture and its Origins  p478

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 4Architect and Builder's Journal21 May 1913  pp535-537. Obituary by S D Adshead
Item 2 of 4Builder18 April 1913   
Item 3 of 4Builder13 June 1913   
Item 4 of 4RIBA Journal26 April 1913 London: Royal Institute of British Architectspp449-450

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2In possession of Andrew CorbettPortrait of William Flockhart by Guy Lipscombe  
Item 2 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Research on Flockhart family by Alan Calder and Kathleen MacLeman.

A copy of Alan Calder's research is lodged in the RIBA.