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Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Wilkie Weddell
Designation: Architect
Born: January 1879
Died: 24 January 1958
Bio Notes: James Wilkie Weddell was born in January 1879, the son of James Weddell, civil engineer and Angela Muirhead Houston. He was educated at Rosemount Academy, Uddingston from 1885 to 1891, and at Glasgow High School from 1891 to 1894. Unusually he studied at Glasgow School of Art in 1896-97 prior to commencing a shortened apprenticeship in May 1899 in the office of John Burnet & Son. He studied at the School of Art again in 1900-01 and probably also attended classes at the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College whilst still in Burnet's office. In Burnet's own words 'by his industry and thoughtfulness [he] made a position for himself on the staff'. Within a few years he had become a respected senior assistant with a great deal of responsibility when Burnet was in London, being assistant-in-charge on the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle; the extensions to the Western General Hospital and the buildings of the Sick Children's Hospital in Glasgow; and the extension of Kilmarnock Infirmary. He was admitted LRIBA in the mass intake of 20 July 1911, proposed by John Bennie Wilson and the Glasgow Institute of Architects, which he had joined earlier that year. He remained with Burnet until July 1916 when he appears to have been requisitioned for war work, Burnet observing that 'when other members of my staff, both in Glasgow and here [London] have been called off, Mr Weddell has remained with me and borne the stress occasioned by their absence'.

In 1920 Weddell opened his own office at 19 Blythswood Square moving to 65 Bath Street in 1923 and 261 West George Street in 1925. In 1932 Weddell merged his practice with that of the cinema specialist and entrepreneur William Beresford Inglis who had also commenced independent practice c.1920. The newly formed partnership was based at 216 Bath Street which Inglis had occupied since 1926. At the time of the merger, Inglis was the owner of the North British Theatres Ltd, formed to build the Andalusian atmospheric Boulevard Cinema in Knightswood. Inglis ran it himself and booked his own films.

Immediately after the formation of the partnership Inglis promoted a second company, the Toledo Picture House Company, to build another atmospheric cinema at Muirend. This company ran into financial difficulties and was sold to ABC a year later. Shortly thereafter, ____ Taylor was very briefly a partner, the practice becoming Weddell, Inglis & Taylor.

In 1937 Inglis promoted Glasgow Hotels Ltd, of which he was managing director, to build the 180,435 Beresford Hotel on Sauchiehall Street, the immediate commercial objective being to accommodate visitors to the Glasgow Empire Exhibition of 1938. To help finance it North British Theatres and the Boulevard was sold to Singleton Cinemas Ltd. George Singleton found Inglis 'curious' and recorded that 'he found cinemas too stressful' complaining of 'film renters, booking agents and problems with staff'. The Beresford Hotel proved to be a greater drain on his time and it a welcome relief when it was requisitioned during the Second World War.

The Weddell & Inglis partnership ended with the war during which, in 1942-43, Weddell took over the practice of Baird & Thomson following the retirement of William Aitken Thomson. In 1948 Weddell took into partnership John David Moore Thomson, the son of David L Thomson, who continued to run the family practice of Thomson & Menzies until his death in 1955. Its remaining business was then absorbed into the Weddell & Thomson practice. In the same year Weddell took over the practice of Denny & Blain, Blain having been a close friend of Weddell from the days when they were senior assistants together in the Burnet office.

Weddell was married to Mary Eliza Gardiner, daughter of the minister of Park UF Church, Uddingston, where their marriage ceremony took place. He died of bronchitis, emphysema and heart problems in the Western Infirmary, Glasgow on 24 January 1958. At least one child, his daughter who was by then Mrs M H Maclay, survived him; she was living in Sunningdale.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 8Park Villa, Uddingston, Lanarkshire, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1896After 1901 
Item 2 of 8Burnpark, The Beeches, Bearsden, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1911After 1914 
Item 3 of 819, Blythswood Square, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1920 or 19211922 or 1923 
Item 4 of 865, Bath Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1923After 1924 
Item 5 of 819, Blythswood Square, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1924 *  
Item 6 of 8261, West George Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness19251932 
Item 7 of 8216, Bath Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1932After 1950 
Item 8 of 810, Lochend Road, Bearsden, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1958 *  

* 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 5John Burnet & SonMay 18991906(?)ApprenticeMay have been assistant for latter part of this period
Item 2 of 5John Burnet & Son1906July 1916Senior Assistant 
Item 3 of 5Weddell & Inglis1932c. 1942(?)PartnerAccording to the RIBA Kalendar of 1950-51 he was a partner in Weddell & Inglis in 1950.
Item 4 of 5Weddell, Inglis & Taylorc. 1935c. 1935(?)Partner 
Item 5 of 5Weddell & Thomson1948 Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 1John Bennie Wilson20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects

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 291899Atlantic Chambers  GlasgowScotlandAs apprentice to Burnet
Item 2 of 291899Broomhill Congregational Church and hallsPartick GlasgowScotlandAs apprentice/senior assistant to Burnet
Item 3 of 291899Waterloo Chambers  GlasgowScotlandAs apprentice to Burnet
Item 4 of 29After 1899Elder Maternity HomeGovan GlasgowScotlandAs apprentice/assistant to Burnet
Item 5 of 29After 1899House, 6 Park Circus Place  GlasgowScotlandInterior work - as apprentice/senior assistant to Burnet
Item 6 of 29After 1899Western Infirmary  GlasgowScotlandExtensions, kitchen, wards and nurses' home - as apprentice/senior assistant to Burnet
Item 7 of 291900Middleton's Building, 61-67 Miller Street  GlasgowScotlandAdditions - as apprentice/assistant to Burnet
Item 8 of 291901Elder Public LibraryGovan GlasgowScotlandAs apprentice/assistant to Burnet
Item 9 of 291903Professional & Civil Service Supply Association  EdinburghScotlandAs apprentice/senior assistant to Burnet
Item 10 of 291905McLaren Memorial church, hall and manseStenhousemuir/Larbert StirlingshireScotlandManse - as chief assistant to John James Burnet
Item 11 of 2919061, 2 Park Gardens Lane  GlasgowScotlandNumber 1, as senior assistant to Burnet
Item 12 of 291911Royal Hospital for Sick ChildrenYorkhill GlasgowScotlandAs senior assistant to Burnet
Item 13 of 291924House for William G Livingstone, East Abercromby StreetHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 14 of 291929Vert Memorial HospitalHaddington East LothianScotland 
Item 15 of 291930s(?)Boundary BarSpringburn GlasgowScotland 
Item 16 of 29August 19308a Camstradden DriveBearsden DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 17 of 291932Toledo Cinema, MuirendCathcart GlasgowScotland 
Item 18 of 291933Ferrari's Restaurant  GlasgowScotland 
Item 19 of 291933St Charles RC School  GlasgowScotlandWorking with William McCaig, architect to the Glasgow Education Department
Item 20 of 291933St Cuthbert's Primary SchoolPossilpark GlasgowScotland 
Item 21 of 291935House for Dr J Stuart RossBearsden GlasgowScotland 
Item 22 of 291935Rogano's Oyster Bar  GlasgowScotland 
Item 23 of 291936Locomotive FactoryAnniesland GlasgowScotland 
Item 24 of 291937Beresford Hotel  GlasgowScotland 
Item 25 of 291938Samuel Dow's Bar  GlasgowScotlandLounge and cocktail bar added
Item 26 of 291949Congregational Church and Hall  GlasgowScotlandConversion into offices
Item 27 of 291951Buildings for Scottish National Glass and Glazing Co, Dobbies LoanCowcaddens GlasgowScotland 
Item 28 of 291952Housing at WhitemossEast Kilbride LanarkshireScotland 
Item 29 of 291954St Agnes School, Balmore RoadPossilpark GlasgowScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 7McKean, Charles1987The Scottish Thirties: An Architectural Introduction Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press 
Item 2 of 7Peter, Bruce1996100 Years of Glasgow's Amazing Cinemas Edinburgh: Polygon 
Item 3 of 7RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 4 of 7RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 5 of 7Who's Who in Architecture1914    
Item 6 of 7Who's Who in Architecture1923    
Item 7 of 7Who's Who in Architecture1926    

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3National Monuments Record of Scotland/NMRS, RCAHMSWeddell and Thomson Archive Summary Material (Handlists, Job lists etc) Letter of reference provided by John J Burnet 21 June 1916
Item 2 of 3Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Personal information from the late Alfred G Lochhead; information on parentage and death from research by Iain Paterson
Item 3 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v21 no1667


© All rights reserved. Courtesy of John Walter David Thomson (per RCAHMS) 

© All rights reserved. Courtesy of John Walter David Thomson (per RCAHMS)