Basic Biographical Details

Name: Fryers & Penman
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1898
Bio Notes: Arthur John Fryers was born in 1867, the son of John Fryers, draper, and his wife Isabella Greaves. He was articled to William Forsyth McGibbon, attending classes at Glasgow School of Art where he won bronze medals in Measured Drawing; Building Construction; Graphic Statics; and Quantity Surveying. He commenced independent practice in Largs in 1894 and was a somewhat coarse designer. In his later years he lived in considerable style at Warren Park, Largs, a large Old English house built in 1891 for O E Philips when Fryers was twenty-four. He exhibited this house as his own work at the RGI in 1893 but it is probable that McGibbon had a hand in it as Fryers did not commence independent practice until the following year.

In 1898 he went into partnership with his brother-in-law Larmont Douglas Penman. Penman was born on 9 September 1868 at 10 Robertson Street, Glasgow, the son of John Sandilands Penman, wine and spirit merchant, hotel keeper, restaurateur and cab proprietor and his wife Mary Struthers (maiden name Steven). He had been articled to Thomas Lennox Watson from June 1884 until 1889, remaining as assistant for a year after completing his apprenticeship and studying at Glasgow School of Art. In 1890 he had moved to Edinburgh as an assistant to George Washington Browne, attending classes at Heriot-Watt College, but late in the same year he had transferred to the office of Charles Davidson of Paisley. In 1892 he had moved briefly to Robert Thomson's office in Glasgow before finding a place in that of Hippolyte Jean Blanc in Edinburgh, and the following year he had moved again to that of Joseph Hall Morton in South Shields. On 26 March 1894 at the Clark Town Hall, Paisley he had married Amy Fryers, sister of Arthur John.

After the formation of the partnership of Fryers & Penman, the quality of design in the Fryers practice notably improved. The practice began with suburban villas mainly for the Glasgow builder George Hamilton, but by 1905 had secured the patronage of the Coats family. At that date the practice was capable of work of the extremely high quality required by its clientele. In the years around 1910 Fryers & Penman shared a branch office and assistants with Charles Clegg & Son at 21 Spring Gardens, Manchester, and worked in collaboration with the latter firm.

In 1911 -12 Fryers & Penman's Paisley connections with the Coats and Clark families brought the commission for what was probably the largest commercial office building in the UK, St James' Building on Oxford Street, Manchester for the Calico Printers' Association, seven storeys and attics high and twenty-seven bays long to the street and containing 1,000 rooms. For this project they entered into a short-term partnership or association with the long-established Manchester practice of Charles Clegg & Son as Clegg, Fryers & Penman. The elder Clegg (b.1828) was then 83 years old and it seems likely that the effective partner was his son Charles Theodore Clegg (b.1861). The project was completed in 1913, the Cleggs then reverting to the practice title Charles Clegg & Son.

Penman was admitted LRIBA on 22 April 1912, proposed by John Bennie Wilson and the Glasgow Institute of Architects, at which date he was living at Dunallan, West Kilbride with an office at 22 Bath Street in Largs. By 1914 the practice had moved to Clydeview in the same town.

Amy Penman died on 3 February 1908. Penman subsequently married Helen Jane Gauld. He died at Nithsdale, Bowfield Road, West Kilbride on 31 October 1931, leaving moveable estate of 5,863 3s 5d. Fryers lived on at Warren Park until 9 August 1954. He left 18,37 19s 2d.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 480, North Frederick Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness  Fryers & Penman were represented in Glasgow by James Mackintosh, measurer, at this address
Item 2 of 421, Spring Gardens, Manchester, EnglandBusiness1911 *1913Branch office
Item 3 of 422, Bath Street, Largs, Ayrshire, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1911After 1912 
Item 4 of 4Clydeview, Largs, Ayrshire, ScotlandBusiness1914  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architectural practice (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 12Arthur John Fryers1898 Partner 
Item 2 of 12Larmont Douglas Penman1898Before 1931Partner 
Item 3 of 12William BarclayAugust 1898October 1902Apprentice 
Item 4 of 12Allan Graham19041906Assistant 
Item 5 of 12Alexander Thomson Heathcote19051908Assistant(?) 
Item 6 of 12Joseph Anderson Allan1905 or 19061905 or 1906Assistant 
Item 7 of 12William Barclay1908 or 19091909 or 1910Chief Assistant 
Item 8 of 12Alexander Thomson Heathcote1909After 1911Chief Assistantin Manchester branch office shared with Charles Clegg & Son
Item 9 of 12James HoustonJuly 1909c. 1913Apprentice 
Item 10 of 12Henry Rochead Williamson19101911Draughtsman 
Item 11 of 12Robert Harkness Wallace19201924Assistant 
Item 12 of 12Thomas JackAfter 1933Before 1935ArchitectActing in supervisory capacity on certain projects

Buildings and Designs

This architectural practice 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 491876House at West KiilbrideWest Kilbride AyrshireScotland 
Item 2 of 491898Ardrossan and Saltcoats Infectious Diseases HospitalArdrossan AyrshireScotlandWon competition to secure job
Item 3 of 49After 1898BrowheadWindermere WestmorlandEngland 
Item 4 of 49After 1898Dalry Public Higher Grade SchoolDalry AyrshireScotland 
Item 5 of 49After 1898Mansion houseSouthbar RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 6 of 49After 1898Post OfficeLargs AyrshireScotland 
Item 7 of 49After 1898Residence, 11 Hill Street  LondonEngland 
Item 8 of 49After 1898School(s)Largs AyrshireScotland 
Item 9 of 49After 1898School(s)West Kilbride AyrshireScotland 
Item 10 of 491899Millport Infectious Diseases HospitalMillportGreat CumbraeButeScotlandWon competition to secure job
Item 11 of 491899Springvale Infectious Diseases HospitalSaltcoats AyrshireScotland 
Item 12 of 491900Kirkcaldy Burgh Infectious Diseases HospitalKirkcaldy FifeScotlandAdditional administrative and ward blocks - won competition to secure job
Item 13 of 491900Kirkcaldy District Infectious Diseases HospitalThornton FifeScotland 
Item 14 of 49c. 1901LindenleePeebles PeeblesshireScotland 
Item 15 of 49c. 1901Neidpath ViewPeebles PeeblesshireScotland 
Item 16 of 491902Double villas, Hatfield Drive  GlasgowScotland 
Item 17 of 491902Villa, Rowan RoadDumbreck GlasgowScotland 
Item 18 of 4919031-10 Whittingehame Gardens  GlasgowScotlandNos 8 & 9 date from c.1904
Item 19 of 491904Auchenames House  AyrshireScotlandAdditions and alterations
Item 20 of 491904Knock CastleLargs AyrshireScotlandWest lodge and enlarged house
Item 21 of 491904Villa, Sherbrooke Avenue  GlasgowScotland 
Item 22 of 491905Houses, Sherbrooke Avenue  GlasgowScotland 
Item 23 of 491905Lindisfarne and Real Tennis CourtTroon AyrshireScotlandVilla
Item 24 of 491906Glen Tanar HouseAboyne AberdeenshireScotlandAlterations
Item 25 of 491906West Park HouseSkelmorlie AyrshireScotlandAdditions
Item 26 of 49c. 1906St Thomas's Episcopal ChurchAboyne AberdeenshireScotlandAlexander Thomson Heathcote claims to be responsible, as chief assistant
Item 27 of 491907Annaginny  County TyroneEire 
Item 28 of 491907Sudbourne HouseOrford SuffolkEnglandInternal remodelling of James Wyatt house, refaced in brick 1872-83
Item 29 of 491908Knock CastleLargs AyrshireScotlandEnlarged house and added billiard room
Item 30 of 491909Houses, West Kilbride  AyrshireScotland 
Item 31 of 49c. 1909Mansion house, SouthparkTroon AyrshireScotland 
Item 32 of 491910Masonic LodgeLargs AyrshireScotland 
Item 33 of 491910St FillansLargs AyrshireScotlandLarge additions with tower
Item 34 of 49Before 1910Crawley CourtCrawley HampshireEnglandEstate buildings.
Item 35 of 49Before 1910Villa ZoraideCap Martin  France 
Item 36 of 491911Fairlie SchoolFairlie AyrshireScotlandEnlargement
Item 37 of 491911Post OfficeWest Kilbride AyrshireScotland 
Item 38 of 49After 1911(?)The HooHemel Hempstead HertfordshireEngland 
Item 39 of 49After 1911Toward CastleToward ArgyllScotlandUnspecified work - presumably restoration?
Item 40 of 491912Fornethy HouseGlenisla AngusScotland 
Item 41 of 491919HayocksStevenston AyrshireScotlandAdditions
Item 42 of 491920sHouses, Caldwell Road and Corsehill RoadWest Kilbride AyrshireScotland 
Item 43 of 491921Old War Memorial West Kilbride AyrshireScotland 
Item 44 of 491923Beith UF ChurchBeith AyrshireScotlandRebuilding and church halls
Item 45 of 491924Nodesdale HouseLargs (near) AyrshireScotlandMajor reconstruction and enlargement
Item 46 of 491928Parker Memorial HallFairlie AyrshireScotlandOctagonal s addition
Item 47 of 491929Building, Main Street and Fort Street cornerLargs AyrshireScotlandDesign only - not executed
Item 48 of 491935Dunn Memorial HallLargs AyrshireScotlandre-worked in Tudor style
Item 49 of 491938Amusement PavilionLargs AyrshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
Item 1 of 5British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   
Item 2 of 5Hartwell, Clare2001Manchester (Pevsner Architectural Guides) Yale University Pressp181
Item 3 of 5John J Parkinson-Bailey2000Manchester, an Architectural History Manchester UPp137 (illustration)
Item 4 of 5Measurers\' Companion1911The Scottish Architects' and Measurers' Companion   
Item 5 of 5Who's Who in Architecture1914    

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architectural practice:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Builder6 November 1931  Penman's obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architectural practice:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Additional research by Iain Paterson (information re: Glasgow representative)
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v23 no1830; F no2681 (box 10) (Penman)