Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Gillespie
Designation: Architect
Born: 2 December 1879
Died: August 1942
Bio Notes: James Gillespie was born on 2 December 1879 and received his education at a Merchant Company School and at George Heriot's Hospital school in Edinburgh. He began his architectural training in 1895 (RIBA obituary says 1896) when he was articled to Thomas Marwick, and from the following year he attended classes at the Edinburgh School of Applied Art where he was awarded first a scholarship (in 1900) and afterwards a 40 travel bursary (in 1902); these and his later success in winning the Banister Fletcher Bursary awarded by the London Architectural Association (in 1903) enabled him to spend a total of two years of his early career travelling and studying ecclesiastical and secular buildings in Scotland, France and England, including the Oxford colleges and some of the well-known cathedral towns.

From 1901 to 1903 he was an assistant in the office of Sydney Mitchell & Wilson, where he had the special opportunity of gaining experience in works of considerable magnitude and of varied character. In the latter year he obtained the position of chief assistant to Rowand Anderson & Paul. He was admitted LRIBA in the mass intake of 20 July 1911, proposed by James Bow Dunn and the Edinburgh Architectural Association. He left the Anderson office in 1916 to take up an appointment with H M Office of Works, where he served both in the Ancient Monuments and New Works departments until incapacitated by illness.

James Gillespie was extremely interested in old work, and was entrusted by Sir Rowand Anderson with the editorship of 'Details of Scottish Domestic Architecture.' He himself was an excellent draughtsman, his work possessing 'vigour and slickness'. For many years he held a teaching appointment in the architecture section of Edinburgh College of Art. He accompanied Bailey S Murphy for some of the tour during which the latter was gathering material and doing drawings for his book, 'English and Scottish Wrought Iron Work'.

He still had an office at 6 Gillespie Crescent in 1939-40. He died after a long illness in August 1942.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 16, Bruntsfield Gardens, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1911c. 1940 

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 4Thomas Purves Marwick18951900 or 1901Apprentice 
Item 2 of 4Sydney Mitchell & Wilson19011903Assistant 
Item 3 of 4Rowand Anderson & Paul19031916Chief Assistant 
Item 4 of 4H M Office of Works (later Ministry of Works, Department of the Environment and Property Services Agency)1916 Assistant 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 1James Bow Dunn20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Edinburgh Architectural Association

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 8After 1901National Bank  AberdeenScotlandAs assistant to Sydney Mitchell & Wilson
Item 2 of 8After 1901Shieldbridge HouseArdnamurchan ArgyllScotlandAs assistant to Sydney Mitchell & Wilson
Item 3 of 81903Culross Abbey ChurchCulross FifeScotlandRestoration - as chief assistant to Rowand Anderson & Paul
Item 4 of 81903Design for a Market Cross for a Country Town     
Item 5 of 81904Pollok House, including lodges  GlasgowScotlandAlterations - as chief assistant to Rowand Anderson & Paul
Item 6 of 81904Sketch Design for a Formal Garden     
Item 7 of 81905University College, Engineering and Physics buildings  DundeeScotlandAs chief assistant to Rowand Anderson & Paul
Item 8 of 81910Govan Old Parish ChurchGovan GlasgowScotlandLengthening of chancel - as chief assistant to Rowand Anderson & Paul


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 2Post Office Directories     
Item 2 of 2RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1RIBA JournalJanuary 1943 London: Royal Institute of British ArchitectsObituary by James A Arnot & James S Bennet p68

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v17 no1289