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Basic Biographical Details

Name: Arthur Frank Shapley
Designation: Architect
Born: 7 December 1908
Died: 20 June 2012
Bio Notes: Arthur Frank Shapley was born in Chippenham, Wiltshire on 7 December 1908, the son of Francis Charles Shapley, cabinetmaker and his wife Edith Emily Franklin. He was articled to J C Hunter of Ardrossan in 1925, studying at Ardrossan Academy where he took the building science course. He took the certificate course at Glasgow School of Architecture and was admitted an Associate of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland and of the Faculty of Architects & Surveyors. He returned to Ardrossan and bought the practice from J C Hunter who was on the point of retiring. He formed a partnership with Alex W G Black and together they commenced practice as Black & Shapley in Ardrossan on 21 July 1932. Shapley was admitted LRIBA in early 1943, his proposers being Jack Antonio Coia, George Hunter Gardner-McLean and Gabriel Steel.

Shapley married Isabella Borland Miller on 25 June 1936 and they had three children, Isbel Scott, Edith Franklin, and Adrian. During the war years Shapley was seconded to ICI and worked in Dalbeatty, Annan and Carlisle are was involved in the construction of munitions factories. After the war he returned to practice in Ardrossan with Alex Black and they undertook a variety of commissions in the North Ayrshire area, including many Local Authority housing schemes.

In February 1962 after the end of the partnership, Shapley and his wife moved to Bournemouth and went into the hotel business. They continued this successfully for a number of years until the property was compulsorily purchased for a road widening scheme in 1968. He returned to architecture after this and went to work for a Reading-based consultancy at Winfrith AERE in Dorset. He retired in 1974.

In his private life Shapley is a devotee of all things to do with Robert Burns. He remains a keen member of the Bournemouth Caledonian Society and was a past President. Until 2007 he gave the address to the haggis at the Burns Suppers at his church and local masonic lodge. He is also an excellent watercolourist.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 215, Barr Street, Ardrossan, Ayrshire, ScotlandBusiness1943 *  
Item 2 of 2Knockrivoch, Glencairn Street, Stevenston, Ayrshire, ScotlandPrivate1943 *After 1950 

* 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 2J C Hunter19251928(?)Apprentice 
Item 2 of 2Black & Shapley19331962Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Jack Antonio CoiaEarly 1943for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 3(Colonel) George Hunter Gardner-McLeanEarly 1943for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 3Gabriel SteelEarly 1943for Licentiateship

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 21933Fire StationArdrossan AyrshireScotland 
Item 2 of 21953North Parish Church and hallSaltcoats AyrshireScotlandHall church built under Postwar Church Extension Scheme


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 1RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Information from Arthur Shapley per Adrian ShapleyInformation via website Sent December 2008.
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L no5419 (combined box 78)


© All rights reserved.  and courtesy of Shapley family 

© All rights reserved. and courtesy of Shapley family