Basic Biographical Details

Name: Betty Lydia Chetwynd Moira (née Leech)
Designation: Architect
Born: 31 May 1910
Died: 18 March 1990
Bio Notes: Betty Lydia Chetwynd Moira (nee Leech) was born on 31 May 1910, the daughter of Samuel Chetwynd Leech and his wife Gwendolyn Mary Parker. She studied architecture at the Architectural Association from October 1926 to July 1933, sitting the final AA exam in May 1933. During her time at the AA she managed at least two study tours in Holland in 1929 and in Belgium and Holland the following year.

From October 1933 she gained office experience firstly with Edwin Stanley Hall, then with with Easton & Robertson, acquiring fourteen months experience in all. She was admitted ARIBA in 1935, her proposers being Hall, Easton, and Sir Howard Morley Robertson. She also spent some time in Johannesberg followed by war service.

Richard Edward Moira began independent practice in Edinburgh in 1948 with an office at 12 Inverleith Row. Three years later he was joined in practice by Betty. Around 1966 they opened a second office in Lerwick, Shetland and about 1968 another office at 11 Queensgate, Inverness which moved to 6 Queensgate about 1978.

In 1970 James Wann was taken into partnership and the practice name changed to Moira Moira & Wann. However around 1976 the practice split with Betty Moira operating offices in Edinburgh and Inverness and Richard Moira in offices in Edinburgh and Shetland.

Betty had a keen interest in urban and rural conservation and in the improvement of the visual environment. Her imaginative buildings and landscape projects add interest to many vulnerable Scottish towns and important sectors of the Scottish countryside. She undertook landscape schemes in the Highlands, Grampian and Lothian regions for the Scottish Development Agency. She gained a number of awards from the Association for the Preservation of Rutal Scotland and from the Scottish Civic Trust. She was also involved in planning consultancy work for Wigtownshire County Council and Orkney Islands Council.

She served on various committees concerned about development pressures on the countryside. The range of her work in town and country planning included the preparation of development plans for many Scottish burghs and a plan for Orkney where she evolved a strategy which influenced future developments.

Betty served as a member fo the Board of Governors of Edinburgh College of Art and on various committees of the Scottish branch of the Royal Town Planning Institute. She also served for many years as a member of the Secretary of Stare's advisory committee on travelling people. For her work in this field she was awarded an MBE.

The Shetland office closed on Richard Moira's death in 1988. After the death of Betty Moira from cancer on 18 March 1990 the Edinburgh office closed. Since that time the Inverness office has been run by Calum Anton. Betty had at least one daughter, Charlotte, who was living in Shetland at the time of her mother's death.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 57, Latymer Court, London, EnglandPrivate1935 *  
Item 2 of 512, Inverleith Row, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1950After 1964 
Item 3 of 5Lerwick, ScotlandBusinessc. 1966  
Item 4 of 511, Queensgate, Inverness, Inverness-shire, ScotlandBusinessc. 1968After 1981 
Item 5 of 56, Queensgate, Inverness, Inverness-shireBusinessc. 1978  

* 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 4Edwin Stanley HallOctober 1933 Assistant 
Item 2 of 4Easton & RobertsonLate 1933 Assistant 
Item 3 of 4Moira & Moira1951(?)1970Partner 
Item 4 of 4Moira Moira & Wann19701976Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3John Murray Easton11 March 1935For Associateship
Item 2 of 3Edwin Stanley Hall11 March 1935For Associateship
Item 3 of 3(Sir) Howard Morley Robertson11 March 1935For 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 45 Wishart Avenue housingNorth Berwick East LothianScotland 
Item 2 of 451948Town PlanLerwickMainlandShetlandScotland 
Item 3 of 451950Moredun Research Institute  EdinburghScotlandMicrobiology Laboratories for Animal Diseases Research Association
Item 4 of 451956Heddell's Park and Annsbrae housingLerwickMainlandShetlandScotland 
Item 5 of 451958Long HouseLerwickMainlandShetlandScotland 
Item 6 of 451959Orkney Towns Development PlanKirkwall and StromnessMainlandOrkneyScotland 
Item 7 of 451960Wigtownshire Development Plan  WigtownshireScotland 
Item 8 of 451961Fraserburgh General and Maternity HospitalFraserburgh AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 9 of 451961Moredun Research Institute  EdinburghScotlandMajor expansion - Radio Isotope and Metabolism, Farm Animals Isolation Unit.

Item 10 of 451963Greenfield HousingLerwick ShetlandScotland 
Item 11 of 451963Poultry Research CentreRoslin MidlothianScotlandOr perhaps later (Bailey?)
Item 12 of 451964Glenmore Forest ParkAviemore Inverness-shireScotlandGeneral development (includes campsite layout and toilets, blocks for FC and staff houses).
Item 13 of 451965Kveldsro HousingLerwick ShetlandScotland 
Item 14 of 451965Lanes HousingLerwick ShetlandScotland 
Item 15 of 451966Bush Estate, Research Station for the Forestry Commission  MidlothianScotlandClaimed responsibility for this in 1981 RIBA Directory.
Item 16 of 451966Ptarmigan RestaurantCairgorm Inverness-shireScotlandClaims responsibility in 1981 RIBA Directory
Item 17 of 451968HotelBreiwick ShetlandScotland 
Item 18 of 451969Lerwick HotelLerwickMainlandShetlandScotlandUnclear as to how much input she had in Shetland.
Item 19 of 451969Sound HousingLerwick ShetlandScotland 
Item 20 of 451969Strontian Village Davelopment with houses, school, police station etcStrontian ArgyllScotland 
Item 21 of 451970Ben Lawers Interpretation CentreBen Lawers, Near Killin PerthshireScotland 
Item 22 of 451970Findhorn Dunes Area landscapingFindhorn MorayshireScotland 
Item 23 of 451970Redevelopment of town centreWick CaithnessScotland 
Item 24 of 451971Hanover Square HousingStranraer WigtownshireScotland 
Item 25 of 451971St Mary's Street development, Ben Line Building  EdinburghScotland'Buildings of Scotland' gives 1975-1977 for Ben Line Building
Item 26 of 451971Torridon Youth HostelTorridon Ross and CromartyScotlandClaimed responsibility for this in 1981 RIBA Directory.
Item 27 of 451973Clickimin Recreational ParkLerwickMainlandShetlandScotland 
Item 28 of 451973Glencoe Visitor CentreGlencoe ArgyllScotlandClaims main responsibility for this in RIBA directory 1981.
Item 29 of 451974Townscape AppraisalDumfries DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 30 of 451975St Rognvald's House sheltered housingKirkwallMainlandOrkneyScotland 
Item 31 of 45Before 1975Cairngorm Skiing facilities  Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 32 of 45Before 1975Office development for Diploma Properties Ltd   Scotland 
Item 33 of 45Before 1975Old People's HomeKirkwallMainlandOrkneyScotlandPartner in charge?
Item 34 of 45Before 1975Old People's HomeStornowayLewisWestern IslesScotlandPartner in charge?
Item 35 of 45Before 1975Scottish Plant Breeding Station, laboratoriesPentlandville EdinburghScotland 
Item 36 of 45Before 1975Stornoway Senior Training CentreStornowayLewisRoss & CromartyScotlandPartner in charge?
Item 37 of 45Before 1975Telephone exchangeGrantown-on-Spey MorayshireScotland 
Item 38 of 451976Moredun Research Institute  EdinburghScotlandBiochemistry unit
Item 39 of 451979Loch Morlich Water Sports CentreAviemore Inverness-shireScotlandPractice had split at this date so unclear who was responsible
Item 40 of 451981Barn ChurchCulloden Inverness-shireScotlandNew church added
Item 41 of 45Before 1981Bank of Scotland branchInverness Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 42 of 45Before 1981Bank of Scotland branchStromnessMainlandOrkneyScotland 
Item 43 of 45Before 1981Bank of Scotland branchSt Margaret's HopeSouth RonaldsayOrkneyScotland 
Item 44 of 45Before 1981Free Church HallInverness Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 45 of 45Before 1981YWCA HostelInverness Inverness-shireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 5Bailey, Rebecca M1996Scottish architects' papers: a source book Edinburgh: The Rutland Press 
Item 2 of 5Glendinning, Miles1997Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75  Tuckwell Press Ltdp168-9 Heddell's Park and Annsbrae Housing
Item 3 of 5Municipal Annual1964Scottish Municipal Annual1964-1965  
Item 4 of 5RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 5 of 5Willis, Peter1977New architecture in Scotland  p9, p14 Torridon Youth Hostel

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2RIAS NewsletterApril 1990v1, no10 Death notice
Item 2 of 2RIAS NewsletterMay 1990v1, no11  

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 A no5680 (Combined Box 94)