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Basic Biographical Details

Name: Alexander Thomson
Designation: Architect
Born: 9 April 1817
Died: 22 March 1875
Bio Notes: Alexander ['Greek'] Thomson was born at Endrick Cottage, Balfron, on 9 April 1817, the seventeenth child of John Thomson and the ninth child of his second marriage to Elizabeth Cooper. John Thomson was the bookkeeper at Kirkman Finlay's cotton works there and had previously held a similar position at Carron Ironworks. Advancement with both firms was precluded by his strict Burgher beliefs which were shared by his wife: she had come to Balfron with her brother, the Rev John Cooper. The family was educated at home, partly by Cooper, but John Thomson died in 1824 and the family had to move from Balfron to the outskirts of Glasgow. Elizabeth died in 1828, leaving the family in the care of her son William, a brilliant classical scholar who was briefly professor of humanity at the University of Glasgow.

In 1834 William Thomson moved to London as a missionary, leaving his brothers and sisters at his house at Hangingshaw. In the same year Alexander became a clerk in a Glasgow lawyer's office. There his drawing skills attracted the attention of a client, Robert Foote, who had inherited the large plasterer's business of David Foote & Son in 1827 and had commenced practice as an architect in 1830. Foote's architectural practice was small but in association with the decorative plasterwork side of his business he had amassed a magnificent library and a large collection of classical casts from which Thomson learned much in the two years he was articled to him. In 1836 a spinal complaint obliged Foote to withdraw from architectural practice and Thomson completed his articles with John Baird, remaining with him first as assistant and later as chief draughtsman when much of his time was spent on the unbuilt college on Woodlands Hill. In the early 1840s Thomson's younger brother George, born at Balfron on 26 May 1819 was also articled to Baird, after recovering from a respiratory complaint which had been thought to be consumption.

On 21 September 1847 Alexander Thomson married Jane Nicholson, daughter of the London architect Michaelangelo Nicholson and granddaughter of the architect-writer Peter Nicholson. It was a double wedding, her sister Jessie marrying another John Baird ('Secundus') who, although an architect, had no family or professional connection with the Thomsons' employer. Born in Ayr in November 1816, Baird was some five months older than Thomson. He had been articled first to James Watt and then to John Herbertson before finding a place in the office of David and James Hamilton where he was, very unusually, named in the Directory entry. After David Hamilton died in 1843 and his firm was sequestrated in 1844, Hamilton's son-in-law James Smith continued his practice and John Baird commenced practice on his own account. After the financial problems of the Hamilton and Smith businesses were resolved Smith and Baird merged their practices as Smith & Baird. Their partnership does not seem to have been a happy one and was dissolved in 1848 when Baird invited his brother-in-law to join him, the new partnership being entitled Baird & Thomson.

Within two years the Baird & Thomson partnership was extremely successful with a large clientele for medium-sized villas and terraces of cottages in Pollokshields, Shawlands, Crossmyloof, Cathcart, Langbank, Bothwell and Cove and Kilcreggan. At Cove and Kilcreggan they enjoyed the support of the builder, railway contractor and ironfounder John McElroy who commissioned Craig Ailey in 1850 and built a considerable number of other marine villas either speculatively or for clients. These early villas were generally either Gothic, sometimes with Pugin-derived details, or Italian Romanesque but a few, most notably Glen Eden at Cove, had very original elements which, as Gavin Stamp has shown, have their origins in the publications of the architectural historian and theorist James Fergusson.

In 1854 Thomson began designing in a picturesque, asymmetrically-composed, pilastraded, neo-Greek idiom which derived from Schinkel at Rockbank, Helensburgh and the Mossman studio on Cathedral Street. These were followed by the Scottish Exhibition Rooms in Bath Street which he and some architect friends built to provide a Scottish counterpart to the period courts in the Crystal Palace at Sydenham. This decisive shift to the neo-Greek which would remain characteristic of him and by then had no counterpart either in Edinburgh or south of the Border was quickly followed by a change of partner. In 1856 the partnership of Baird & Thomson was amicably dissolved so that Thomson could form a separate practice with his brother George who may still have been in the office of John Baird Primus: the record is not absolutely clear. The new partnership quickly acquired influential contacts, notably the builder John McIntyre. Others were probably made through UP Church contacts.

In 1856-57 Thomson's architecture developed rapidly. The neo-Greek of Rockland achieved a much more sophisticated maturity in the Double Villa at Langside and his finest house, Holmwood at Cathcart. In the same years a more monumental but still asymmetrical Greek idiom was applied to church design at Caledonia Road UP, where both the lower faηade and the tower were of Schinkelesque banded masonry. This banded treatment was extended into the adjoining tenement blocks for which he devised a repetitive bay design with pilastered first-floor aedicules and third-floor recesses containing anthemeon ornament. In the following year, 1857, this theme was further developed on a vast scale at Queens Park Terrace in which Thomson adopted his familiar device of linked Egyptian architraves set against a recessed wall plane and omitted the banded masonry. With subtle variations this formula was to remain a feature of his more upmarket tenements for the remainder of his career. The same motifs, now with a top-floor pilastrade, were to feature at Walmer Terrace and the first of his commercial blocks, 99-107 West Nile Street, both built in 1857.

In 1858 Alexander and George Thomson bought the Gordon Street UP Church in which they worshipped in order to build a showpiece warehouse with ground-floor shops - a fairly innovative concept at the time - in which the David Hamilton theme of interpenetrating pilastrades was developed into the same repetition of absolutely regular single-bay units, here much more complex in design, crowned by a deeply shadowed eaves gallery. It did indeed attract commissions for similar structures in which the same themes were further developed with an ever-increasing subtlety in which overlaid and superimposed pilastrades and dwarf eaves gallery colonnades varied the original formula. The Gordon Street development financed the Gordon Street congregation's new church in St Vincent Street, built in 1857-59, which again must have been intended as an advertisement for their services. Stylistically it marked a further advance drawing upon wider areas of antiquity than Caledonia Road, but in the event it attracted only one further church commission, that for Queen's Park Church, built in a similar but externally less ambitious idiom in 1868-69.

Thomson's widely recognised professional successes in the 1850s were clouded by a series of tragic events at home. In the early years of their marriage Alexander and Jane lived at 3 South Apsley Place in Laurieston. Agnes Elizabeth was born on 24 April 1849, Elizabeth Cooper on 31 January 1851 and Alexander John on 27 November 1852. But Laurieston, although then still a good address, proved vulnerable to the cholera epidemic of 1854 and on 14 March of that year Agnes Elizabeth died. Jane Nicholson, born 8 August 1854, died on 13 February 1855, George born 8 August 1855 survived only until 31 December 1856, and on 3 January 1857 Alexander John died leaving Elizabeth Cooper the only survivor from a family of five. Later in that year the Thomson household moved to Darnley Terrace, a recently completed development he had designed at Shawlands. There on 12 April Amelia was born, followed by Jessie Williamina on 10 April 1858 and the future architect son John on 20 June 1859. In 1861 the Thomsons moved again to Moray Place in Strathbungo, taking the northmost house in a two-storey terrace block built as a speculative venture in association with his measurer John Shields and the builder John McIntyre. Designed in 1859 it was predictably the finest and most original of his earlier terraces, the large end houses being advanced and pedimented with a giant order of pilasters. There Helen was born on 9 July 1861, Catherine Honeyman on 11 February 1863, and Michael Nicholson on 13 October 1864. Peter was born on 19 March 1866, but survived only sixteen days. The size of Alexander Thomson's family seems to have restricted travel. Family holidays were invariably spent in a rented house on Arran. His only recorded trip to London was in 1861 when he visited John James Stevenson, but he may well have made earlier visits. His knowledge of antiquity and of contemporary architecture seems to have been derived from a magnificent library and from the building journals, one of these being the 'British Architect', of which he was one of the founding shareholders in 1874.

In the 1860s the practice was notably prosperous, in large part as a result of the developments undertaken by the accountant Henry Leck, the cab hirer John Ewing Walker and the builder William Henderson who was the client at North Park Terrace (1863-66); 126-138 Sauchiehall Street (1864-66); 249-259 St Vincent Street (1865-67); Grecian Buildings, 252-270 Sauchiehall Street (1868-69); and Great Western Terrace (begun 1869). All of these were built with borrowed money and the practice must have suffered a notable drop in income when Henderson died in May 1870, his property being sequestrated in June. With the practice at a relatively low ebb George Thomson carried out his long-planned intention of becoming a missionary and emigrated to the Cameroons in the Spring of 1871, although he was to remain a partner until 1873.

By 1872 Thomson was in failing health because of asthma and bronchitis, and it was probably because of illness that in February of that year Henry Leck, hitherto a faithful client, commissioned first John Baird and then Peddie & Kinnear to design his building on Gordon Street, replacing an earlier Thomson scheme for a different site which had been stalled by the Caledonian Railway's proposals for Glasgow Central Station. In February 1874 Thomson took Robert Turnbull into a partnership which was backdated to October 1873, probably on account of services rendered since that date. Born in 1839, Turnbull was the son of William Turnbull, joiner and his wife Mary Deans and was more inspector of works than architect, engaged for the 'outdoor' side of the business as correspondence with the Thomson trustees in July 1876 makes clear. But through the family joinery business he did bring new clients in the Lenzie area, for which earlier Thomson villa designs were either reused or adapted. The immediate catalyst for this partnership may have been Thomson's commitment to the Haldane lectures, a series of four delivered in the Spring of 1874. These were a final statement of ideas developed in earlier lectures delivered from 1853 onwards, most of them to the Glasgow Architectural Society and the Glasgow Institute of Architects. These he had co-founded in 1858 and 1868 respectively: he was President of both, the Society in 1861 and the Institute from 1870 to 1872.

In August 1874 Thomson wrote to his brother that 'Mr Turnbull and I are getting on pretty well we are busy with a number of smallish jobs'. But in the winter of 1874-75 his asthma and bronchitis deteriorated and his decision to winter in Italy to regain his health had been left too late. Thereafter he worked mainly at Moray Place and at the time of his death on 22 March 1875 he had been working on a competition design for a town hall. This may have been for Paisley or for Annan, or more probably both: the Annan design is preserved in a relatively coarse presentation perspective made after his death.

In 1897 one of Alexander Thomson's former assistants, William Clunas, put on paper a vivid pen portrait of him at the request of Thomas Ross, together with an indication of what it was like to work in his office. Clunas remembered him as:
'a distinguished looking man of good average height, stout, well and proportionally made, a fine manly countenance with a profuse head of hair. His general appearance was indeed, very much in harmony with the strength and elegance which he imparted to the structures he designed, while the genial smile which so often overspread his face might be fittingly compared to the finished enrichment which was so marked and pleasing a feature of his compositions. …
'In general character he was very unassuming and to those in his employment he was always considerate and even affectionate. By his professional brethren he was held in the highest esteem if one judged from the numbers of the best of them who used to call upon him.
'His pupils were well aware of the great Art Master they were under and experienced the inconveniences as well as the advantages of such a position … for the strictly professional side of business he had little capacity - punctual he was not, neither was he persevering. You could not say he was indolent, but there was a dreamy unrest about him even when engaged on important work which caused matter-of-fact people who were waiting for further details or instructions some annoyance. But when he did plunge in to a piece of work his attitude was that of a real devotee - patient, forceful, and painstaking … While in the mood for work he was apparently urged on by the idea that was moving him … at one time buried in thought, at another wielding the pencil with vigour and precision … His habit in designing was to sketch the work on a small scale on a scrap of paper, and in the course of his cogitations scores of these scraps of paper would be lying rejected about the floor, each with a miniature design that never failed to display the master hand, but to the master himself it was an oft-repeated effort before he was satisfied …
'A notable feature of Mr Thomson's character was his social friendliness. This he displayed in no way more strikingly than the frequent occasions when he had his pupils at his house. He … delighted to speak of examples of antiquity of past ages as well as the more familiar antiquarian lore of his own country. Even ghost and fairies' stories were not beneath his notice.'
There is no record of when Clunas was in the office, but the absence of any reference to George suggests that it was in 1871-73. But it can be read as indicating the importance of George's role as the business manager of the practice and explain why the practice briefly went into relative decline until Turnbull took over its management in the autumn of 1873. Turnbull took a more commercial attitude to style, recycling or adapting Gothic and Romanesque designs of the 1850s if they better met the wishes of his clients. Of Thomson himself Campbell Douglas recalled in 1889:
'In my experience I have only known one man who confined himself to one style, and if his proposed employers insisted on building in a different style, why, then, he let them go elsewhere. That architect was a great man, who probably made less money than some others did, but he left behind him monuments more worthy of his genius.'
Thomson's moveable estate, none of which was inherited, was in fact one of the largest left by any nineteenth-century Glasgow architect at £15,395 5s 6d; he also had substantial property interests.

Alexander was buried in the Southern Necropolis. George came back from the Cameroons to help settle his affairs and marry Isabella Johnston, who returned with him to the Cameroons to help run the missionary hospital he had designed and built in 1874. He died of a fever at Victoria on 14 December 1878.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 11112, Hope Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1848c. 1853 
Item 2 of 113, South Apsley Place, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate18481857 
Item 3 of 11132, Hope Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessc. 1853c. 1854 
Item 4 of 11109, Hope Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessc. 18541856 
Item 5 of 114, Bothwell Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness18561860Alexander Kirkland also had his office at this address at this time
Item 6 of 114, Darnley Terrace, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate18571861 
Item 7 of 1168, Gordon Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness18601861 
Item 8 of 11183, West George Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness18611872 
Item 9 of 111, Moray Place, Regent's Park, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate18611875 
Item 10 of 11107, West Regent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness18721873 
Item 11 of 11122, Wellington Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1873  

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 Baird 'Primus' (John Baird I) 1849Chief Draughtsman 
Item 2 of 5John Baird 'Primus' (John Baird I) Before 1849Assistant 
Item 3 of 5Baird & Thomson18491856Partner 
Item 4 of 5A & G Thomson18571873Partner 
Item 5 of 5A & G Thomson & Turnbull18731875Partner 

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 5James Donald(?)(?)Apprentice 
Item 2 of 5William Clunas (?) Before 1875Assistant 
Item 3 of 5John Thomsonc. 1865c. 1867Assistant 
Item 4 of 5Robert Gordon Wilson (senior)c. 18661869Assistant 
Item 5 of 5Robert Goodwin1873 * Assistant 

* earliest date known from documented sources.

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 217 99-101 Maxwell Street  GlasgowScotlandPossible alterations, attribution undocumented - check partnership; date unknown
Item 2 of 217 Abbey Close UP ChurchPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandNew doors and furnishings: attribution undocumented, date unknown
Item 3 of 217 Design for Unidentified Monumental Building    Check partnership; date unknown
Item 4 of 217 Design for Unidentified Obelisk    Date unknown
Item 5 of 217 Design for Unidentified Tombstone    Possibly by Thomson - check partnership; date unknown
Item 6 of 217 Double Villa on Albert Road and Maitland Place  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain - check partnership; date unknown
Item 7 of 217 Garrowhill HouseBaillieston GlasgowScotlandAlterations - attribution undocumented and uncertain, and date unknown - also check partnership
Item 8 of 217 Tenements and Shops at Springburn Road and Elmvale StreetSpringburn GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain - corner shop similar to that at acute corner of Queen's Cross tenements - check partnership; date unknown
Item 9 of 217 Warehouse and Shop on Stockwell Street  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain - check partnership; date unknown
Item 10 of 2171847University of Glasgow, proposed new college at WoodlandsWoodlands GlasgowScotlandWorked on drawings as assistant to John Baird I
Item 11 of 217c. 1849Design for Unidentified Building with Galleried Interior on Iron columns     
Item 12 of 2171850sAnchorageCove DunbartonshireScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable - Check partnership
Item 13 of 2171850sBlocks of Tenements, 37?-387 Sauchiehall Street  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented but relief panels are the same as those on demolished warehouse in Howard Street
Item 14 of 2171850sCarradaleKilcreggan DunbartonshireScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable
Item 15 of 2171850s(?)Design for Romanesque Church with Campanile     
Item 16 of 2171850sEllerlyKilcreggan DunbartonshireScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable
Item 17 of 2171850sIvy Cave CottageCove DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 18 of 2171850sSeaton LodgeKilcreggan DunbartonshireScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable
Item 19 of 2171850sVilla, 26 Maxwell DrivePollokshields GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable on stylistic grounds
Item 20 of 2171850sWodrow Monument, Eastwood Old Cemetery  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable on stylistic grounds
Item 21 of 2171850Cove Cottage, Semi-detached VillasCove DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 22 of 2171850Seymour LodgeCove DunbartonshireScotlandVilla and detached coach house
Item 23 of 2171850The Knowe and LodgePollokshields GlasgowScotlandOriginal house
Item 24 of 2171851ArdsloyKilcreggan DunbartonshireScotlandAttribution undocumented but very likely
Item 25 of 2171851Beech VillaPollokshields GlasgowScotland 
Item 26 of 2171851Green GablesPollokshields GlasgowScotland 
Item 27 of 2171851Lincoln VillaPollokshields GlasgowScotland 
Item 28 of 2171851Manhattan CottagePollokshields GlasgowScotland 
Item 29 of 217c. 1851John Blair & Co Warehouse and Shops  GlasgowScotland 
Item 30 of 217c. 1851Sighthill Cemetery, Mossman Monument  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable
Item 31 of 2171852(?)Block of Tenements on Taylor Street and Parson Street  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable
Item 32 of 217c. 1852Craig Ailey, Italian VillaCove DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 33 of 217c. 1852Sighthill Cemetery, Atwood Monument  GlasgowScotland 
Item 34 of 2171853Langside Estate layout  GlasgowScotland 
Item 35 of 2171853Unitarian Church  GlasgowScotlandCompetition designs - not successful
Item 36 of 217c. 1853Braehead VillaCathcart GlasgowScotland 
Item 37 of 217c. 1853St Ann's LodgeBlairmore ArgyllScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable
Item 38 of 21718541339 Pollokshaws RoadShawlands GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain
Item 39 of 2171854Darnley TerraceShawlands GlasgowScotlandUndocumented--attribution by Worsdall
Item 40 of 2171854Mossman Sculptor's Studio  GlasgowScotland 
Item 41 of 2171854Rockbank House and LodgeHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 42 of 2171854Scottish Exhibition Rooms  GlasgowScotlandGreek court
Item 43 of 2171854Sessional School  GlasgowScotland 
Item 44 of 217c. 18541349 Pollokshaws RoadShawlands GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain
Item 45 of 217c. 18541353 Pollokshaws RoadShawlands GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain
Item 46 of 217c. 18541365 Pollokshaws RoadShawlands GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain
Item 47 of 217c. 18541381-1389 Pollokshaws RoadShawlands Road GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain
Item 48 of 217c. 1854Craigrownie HouseCove DunbartonshireScotlandHouse and boundary wall
Item 49 of 217c. 1854Southern Necropolis, Thomson Monument  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented
Item 50 of 2171855Caledonia Road UP ChurchHutchesontown GlasgowScotlandChurch and hall
Item 51 of 2171855Crossmyloof BuildingsLangside GlasgowScotland 
Item 52 of 2171855Glen EdenBothwell LanarkshireScotlandAttribution undocumented but certain?
Item 53 of 2171855(?)Knockderry Castle and lodge (Knockderry Cottage)Cove DunbartonshireScotlandOriginal house
Item 54 of 2171855Pollok Burgh SchoolPollokshaws GlasgowScotlandBaird claimes responsibility
Item 55 of 217c. 1855Eastwood and Rhodove, Double Villa  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain; date unknown
Item 56 of 217c. 1855Huntly LodgeBothwell LanarkshireScotland 
Item 57 of 217c. 1855The Knowe and LodgePollokshields GlasgowScotlandExtension
Item 58 of 217c. 1855Woodside CottagesLangbank RenfrewshireScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable on stylistic grounds; APSD refers to Langbank.
Item 59 of 2171856Block of Tenements and Shops, Hospital StreetHutchesontown GlasgowScotland 
Item 60 of 2171856Block of Tenements with Shops, Cathcart Road  GlasgowScotland 
Item 61 of 2171856Busby House (for Mr Kessock)Busby LanarkshireScotlandLarge addition
Item 62 of 2171856Maria Villa, Langside HillLangside GlasgowScotlandBegun by Baird & Thomson; finished by A & G Thomson
Item 63 of 2171856Upper Clifton House, CraigmoreRothesayButeButeScotland 
Item 64 of 217c. 1856Glen EdenCove DunbartonshireScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable on stylistic grounds
Item 65 of 217c. 1856Queen's Park Terrace  GlasgowScotland 
Item 66 of 2171857(?)Design for a Picturesque Villa     
Item 67 of 2171857Garnkirk Warehouse  GlasgowScotlandNew shop front and possibly interior--now destroyed
Item 68 of 2171857Holmwood HouseCathcart GlasgowScotland 
Item 69 of 2171857Office Building with Shops, 99-107 West Nile Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 70 of 2171857St Vincent Street UP Church  GlasgowScotland 
Item 71 of 217c. 1857Tenements on Turriff Street and Eglinton Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 72 of 217c. 1857Tenements, 1-18 Walmer CrescentCessnock GlasgowScotland 
Item 73 of 2171858A & G Thomson's Warehouse  GlasgowScotlandOriginal building
Item 74 of 2171858Tenements on Pollok Street, Houston Street and Watt StreetKingston GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented
Item 75 of 2171858Tenements on St George's Road and Shamrock Street  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain
Item 76 of 217c. 1858Glasgow Necropolis, Steel MonumentDennistoun GlasgowScotlandUndocumented--attribution by Worsdall
Item 77 of 217c. 1858St Mary's Free Church and Manse  EdinburghScotlandUnexecuted competition design
Item 78 of 217c. 1858Tenements, 211 Eglinton Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 79 of 217c. 1858UP Church and ManseHolm of Balfron StirlingshireScotland1858 plans were unexecuted, but possibly modified for executed church
Item 80 of 217c. 1858UP ManseBalfron StirlingshireScotland 
Item 81 of 2171859156 West George Street  GlasgowScotlandAdaption of lodging house as offices, probably unexecuted
Item 82 of 2171859Chalmers Memorial Free Church  GlasgowScotland 
Item 83 of 2171859(?)Manchester Assize Courts  ManchesterEnglandPossibly submitted competition design - unplaced
Item 84 of 2171859Sir Robert Peel Statue  GlasgowScotlandPlinth
Item 85 of 2171859Tenements, West Bank TerraceHillhead GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain
Item 86 of 217c. 1859Sighthill Cemetery, Provan Monument  GlasgowScotland 
Item 87 of 217c. 1859Terrace of houses, 1-10 Moray PlaceStrathbungo GlasgowScotland 
Item 88 of 2171860s(?)Baron's Point VillaCove DunbartonshireScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable
Item 89 of 2171860Cairney Building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 90 of 2171860Tenement with Shops, 26-44 Nithsdale StreetGorbals Cross GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented by likely
Item 91 of 217c. 1860Baron's HallCove DunbartonshireScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable
Item 92 of 217c. 1860Ferndean VillaCove DunbartonshireScotlandHouse and additions- undocumented but probable
Item 93 of 217c. 1860Regent Park Feuing PlanStrathbungo GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable
Item 94 of 217c. 1860Tenement, 590-612 Eglinton Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 95 of 217c. 1860Tenements and Shops on Crown Street  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented and unclear
Item 96 of 217c. 1861183 West George Street  GlasgowScotlandReconstruction: attribution on stylistic grounds
Item 97 of 217c. 1861(?)Grantly TerracePollokshaws GlasgowScotlandPossibly an unexecuted design - highly unlikely to have been involved with tenements as built
Item 98 of 2171862Albert MemorialKensington LondonEnglandUnexecuted design
Item 99 of 2171862James Lumsden Statue  GlasgowScotlandPossibly designed plinth
Item 100 of 2171862North Park Feuing Plan  GlasgowScotland 
Item 101 of 2171862Warehouse, 135-137 Argyle Street  GlasgowScotlandAdditions
Item 102 of 217After 1862(?)Grafton LodgeCove DunbartonshireScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable
Item 103 of 217c. 1862Eton TerraceHillhead GlasgowScotland 
Item 104 of 21718631-9 Northpark TerraceHillhead GlasgowScotland 
Item 105 of 2171863Buck's Head Buildings  GlasgowScotland 
Item 106 of 2171863Ferndean VillaCove DunbartonshireScotlandGates and boundary wall
Item 107 of 2171863Lilybank HouseHillhead GlasgowScotlandIncorporating house of 1850.
Item 108 of 2171863Offices, 160 West George Street  GlasgowScotlandAdditions
Item 109 of 217c. 1863Strang Monument  GlasgowScotlandUndocumented--attribution by Worsdall
Item 110 of 2171864A & G Thomson's Warehouse  GlasgowScotlandRebuilt to original design after fire
Item 111 of 2171864Block of Tenements with Shops, 126-138 Sauchiehall Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 112 of 2171864Headstone for Family of Reverend James ThomsonBalfron StirlingshireScotland 
Item 113 of 2171864Langside AcademyLangside GlasgowScotland 
Item 114 of 2171864Natural History MuseumSouth Kensington LondonEnglandUnsuccessful competition design
Item 115 of 2171864Terrace of houses, 11-17 Moray Place  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain
Item 116 of 2171864Warehouse and Shops, 3-11 Dunlop Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 117 of 217c. 1864Sunny OaksLangbank RenfrewshireScotlandNew art gallery or music room and lodge: attribution undocumented but APSD refers to Langbank
Item 118 of 2171865Block of Tenements on Scotland Street, Sleads Street and Stanley Street  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented
Item 119 of 2171865Tenements with Shops, 249-259 St Vincent Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 120 of 217c. 1865Holmwood HouseCathcart GlasgowScotlandGardener's cottage and main gates
Item 121 of 217c. 1865House for schoolteacherHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotland'Probably' (HS)
Item 122 of 21718671-11 Great Western Terrace  GlasgowScotlandBegan terrace
Item 123 of 2171867Grecian Buildings  GlasgowScotland 
Item 124 of 2171867McIntyre Monument, Cathcart Old Parish Cemetery  GlasgowScotland 
Item 125 of 2171867St Vincent Street UP Church  GlasgowScotlandHall completed
Item 126 of 217c. 1867Glasgow Necropolis, Beattie MonumentDennistoun GlasgowScotland 
Item 127 of 217c. 1867Glasgow Necropolis, Rev George Marshall Middleton MonumentDennistoun GlasgowScotland 
Item 128 of 2171868ArranviewAirdrie LanarkshireScotlandAttributed
Item 129 of 2171868Queen's Park UP Church and Hall  GlasgowScotland 
Item 130 of 2171868Tenements with Glass Roofed Streets  GlasgowScotlandUnexecuted ideal scheme
Item 131 of 2171868Waverley Terrace  GlasgowScotland 
Item 132 of 217c. 1868Glasgow Necropolis, Inglis MonumentDennistoun GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable
Item 133 of 2171869Blackie & Son Printing Works  GlasgowScotlandSouth part of main block - now demolished
Item 134 of 2171870Couper Monument, Cathcart Old Parish Cemetery  GlasgowScotlandAttribution now undocumented and unclear, but likely
Item 135 of 2171870Egyptian Halls  GlasgowScotland 
Item 136 of 2171870Loch Katrine Monument  GlasgowScotlandUnexecuted competition design under pseudonym 'Athenian'
Item 137 of 2171870National Bank of Scotland, Argyle Street Branch  GlasgowScotlandAlterations to shop to form bank with new ground-floor frontage
Item 138 of 2171870Westbourne Terrace  GlasgowScotlandOnly four of ten houses built in Thomson's lifetime
Item 139 of 217Before 1870Scottish Amicable Building  GlasgowScotlandNew doorcase and railings on first building at this site; demolished c.1870
Item 140 of 217c. 18708 Great Western Terrace  GlasgowScotlandOriginal building
Item 141 of 217c. 1870Tenement, 278-282 Cumberland Street  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable
Item 142 of 217c. 1870Tenements on Pleasance StreetShawlands GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain
Item 143 of 217c. 1870Tenements, 303-321 Maryhill Road  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable
Item 144 of 217c. 1870Terrace of Houses, 680-701 Great Western Road  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable
Item 145 of 217c. 1870Villa, 7 Dirleton AvenueShawlands GlasgowScotlandUndocumented attribution by McFazdean on stylistic grounds
Item 146 of 2171871Chalmers Memorial Free Church  GlasgowScotlandAddition of hall
Item 147 of 2171871Glasgow Necropolis, Malloch/Blyth MonumentDennistoun GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain
Item 148 of 2171871Glenbank TerraceLenzie Dunbartonshire/LanarkshireScotlandFeued by Murdoch & Rodger, writers, who specified Thomson as architect: developed by Robert Turnbull; retained 4 houses in Glenbank Terrace
Item 149 of 2171871Mission Hall for Missionary Association of the Caledonia Road ChurchHutchesontown GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain
Item 150 of 2171871Royal Insurance Buildings  GlasgowScotlandAlterations to street front, estimated to cost £700
Item 151 of 2171871Sighthill Cemetery, Muir Monument  GlasgowScotland 
Item 152 of 217c. 1871Block of Tenements with Shops, 126-138 Sauchiehall Street  GlasgowScotlandConversion to hotel
Item 153 of 217c. 1871CastlehillPollokshields GlasgowScotland 
Item 154 of 217c. 1871EllislandPollokshields GlasgowScotland 
Item 155 of 217c. 1871Tenements on Lorne Terrace  GlasgowScotland 
Item 156 of 2171872Cowcaddens Cross Buildings  GlasgowScotland 
Item 157 of 2171872Design for terrace of houses  GlasgowScotland 
Item 158 of 2171872Double Villa on Albert Road and Lethington Avenue  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain
Item 159 of 2171872Double Villa on Camphill AvenueLangside GlasgowScotland 
Item 160 of 2171872House, 105-107 West Regent Street  GlasgowScotlandExtension and alterations for commercial use
Item 161 of 2171872Royal Horse BazaarHillhead GlasgowScotland 
Item 162 of 2171872Scottish Exhibition Rooms  GlasgowScotlandConversion to coach house and stables
Item 163 of 2171872The Sixty Steps  GlasgowScotlandSome sources claim the steps and adjacent wall were designed by Greek Thomson. However more recent research inidcates that this is not the case and that the scheme was part of the larger engineering undertaking (with Queen Margaret Bridge) for John Ewing Walker.
Item 164 of 217c. 1872Egyptian Halls  GlasgowScotlandSix cast-iron lamp standards, cast by the saracen Foundry of Walter Macfarlane & Co, Glasgow - since removed
Item 165 of 217c. 1872Tenements on Govan Road and Carmichael Street  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable
Item 166 of 21718731-11 Great Western Terrace  GlasgowScotlandContinued building of terrace
Item 167 of 217187384-112 Nithsdale Road  GlasgowScotlandAttribution by 'Buildings of Scotland'
Item 168 of 2171873Chalmers Memorial Free Church  GlasgowScotlandChurch enlarged
Item 169 of 2171873Edgehill HouseLangside GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable
Item 170 of 2171873Tenement with Shops on King Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 171 of 2171873Tenements on Cecil StreetHillhead GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable
Item 172 of 217Before 1873Customs House  GlasgowScotlandInternal alterations
Item 173 of 217c. 1873Craigton Cemetery, Cleghorn-Thomson Monument  GlasgowScotlandAttribution by McFadzean
Item 174 of 217c. 1873Shore Road Bridge over Dowall BurnCove DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 175 of 217c. 1873Tenements with Shops, 504-554 Maryhill Road  GlasgowScotland 
Item 176 of 217c. 1873Warehouses and Shops on Alston and Gordon Streets  GlasgowScotland 
Item 177 of 2171874Block of Tenements and Shops at Gorbals Cross  GlasgowScotland 
Item 178 of 2171874(?)Cockburn Hotel  GlasgowScotlandAdditions--Attribution undocumented but probable
Item 179 of 2171874Parkhall UP ManseDuntocher DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 180 of 2171874RyslandNewton Mearns RenfrewshireScotlandOne of the last of Thomson's personally executed works
Item 181 of 2171874Sighthill Cemetery, Stewart Monument  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented
Item 182 of 2171874Tenements, 79-87 Smith StreetHillhead GlasgowScotland 
Item 183 of 217c. 1874(?)18-25 Moray Place  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented: probably not by Thomson but too good for Turnbull himself
Item 184 of 217c. 1874Lenzie UP ChurchLenzie Dunbartonshire/LanarkshireScotlandUnexecuted Romanesque design, probably adapted from an early Thomson design
Item 185 of 217c. 1874Tenement with Shops, 106-132 Gorbals Street  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable
Item 186 of 2171875Alexandra Hotel  GlasgowScotlandAdditions and alterations to existing building to form hotel
Item 187 of 2171875Annan Town HallAnnan DumfriesshireScotlandUnsuccessful competition design
Item 188 of 2171875Block of tenements and shops on Beaufort Gardens  GlasgowScotlandProbably designed by Thomson and completed by Turnbull after his death; later block shows slight design modifications
Item 189 of 2171875CraigardDullatur DunbartonshireScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain
Item 190 of 2171875(?)Double villa, Norwood and HillcroftDullatur DunbartonshireScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain
Item 191 of 2171875Dunblane Hydropathic InstitutionDunblane PerthshireScotlandDesign only - not built; consulted after cost of original Peddie & Kinnear scheme exceeded capital of company
Item 192 of 2171875DunluceDullatur DunbartonshireScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain
Item 193 of 2171875(?)KynachanDullatur DunbartonshireScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain
Item 194 of 2171875OakfieldLenzie Dunbartonshire/LanarkshireScotlandAttribution undocumented but very likely by Turnbull
Item 195 of 2171875Office Building for Daniel McLean  GlasgowScotland 
Item 196 of 2171875Offices, Ingram Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 197 of 2171875(?)Richmond HouseDullatur DunbartonshireScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain
Item 198 of 2171875(?)Stanley House/GlensideDullatur DunbartonshireScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain
Item 199 of 2171875(?)WoodendDullatur DunbartonshireScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain
Item 200 of 217Before 1875Blocks of Tenements on Sandbank Street  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented - possibly by Turnbull reworking Thomson's designs for other sites
Item 201 of 217Before 1875Caledonain Railway administrative offices  GlasgowScotlandConsulted and may have produced sketch scheme
Item 202 of 217Before 1875(?)Glasgow Necropolis, Blackie MonumentDennistoun GlasgowScotlandProbably an adaptation of a previously unused design
Item 203 of 217Before 1875(?)Glasgow Necropolis, Mitchell MonumentDennistoun GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable
Item 204 of 217Before 1875HolmwoodNorth Walkerville AdelaideAustraliaDesigned; the house was built posthumously from published designs
Item 205 of 217Before 1875(?)House, 336-338 Albert DrivePollokshields GlasgowScotlandProbably designed by Thomson and executed by Turnbull after his death; does not appear in David Thomson's job list and probably begun pre-partnership
Item 206 of 217Before 1875(?)Tenements on High Street and Glasgow RoadRutherglen LanarkshireScotlandAttribution undocumented but possible: not in David Thomson's job list, suggesting a start date before 1876
Item 207 of 217Before 1875(?)Tenements with Shops on Titwood PlaceStrathbungo GlasgowScotlandProbably designed by Thomson and executed by Turnbull after his death
Item 208 of 217Before 1875(?)Terrace of Four Houses, 84-92 Millbrae Crescent  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable: does not appear in David Thomson's job list, suggesting a start date before 1876
Item 209 of 217Before 1875(?)Terrace of Houses, 2-38 and 40-46 Millbrae Crescent  GlasgowScotlandPossibly designed by Thomson and carried out by Turnbull after his death
Item 210 of 217Before 1875Turnbull Monument, Auld Aisle CemeteryKirkintilloch DunbartonshireScotlandDesigned; later adapted by Turnbull for his first wife, who died in 1877
Item 211 of 217Before 1875(?)WingfieldStrathaven LanarkshireScotlandAttribution undocumented but possible - date of execution is after Thomson's death
Item 212 of 217c. 1875(?)Craigard and Warwick CroftLenzie Dunbartonshire/LanarkshireScotlandAttribution undocumented but possibly by Thomson
Item 213 of 217c. 1875(?)Double Villas on Heriot RoadLenzie Dunbartonshire/LanarkshireScotlandAttribution undocumented: probably by Turnbull
Item 214 of 217c. 1875Two Blocks of Commercial Premises on Watson Street  GlasgowScotlandProbably an earlier Thomson design erected posthumously by Turnbull
Item 215 of 217c. 1875(?)Warehouse, countinghouse etc, 89-92 Miller Street  GlasgowScotlandProbably provided original designs; executed by David Thomson and Robert Turnbull after his death
Item 216 of 217Early 1870s(?)Villa, 27 Victoria RoadLenzie DunbartonshireScotlandHS attribution
Item 217 of 217c. 1855Green Bank VillaBothwell LanarkshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 18Alexander 'Greek' Thomson Architect 1817-18751984Alexander 'Greek' Thomson Architect 1817-1875 Architectural Association Exhibition Catalogue, London, 1984 
Item 2 of 18APSD The Dictionary of Architectureed Wyatt PapworthThe Architectural Publication Society (8v 1852-1892) 
Item 3 of 18Barclay, David1904Greek Thomson: his life and opinions Architectural Review May 1904 
Item 4 of 18DNB Dictionary of National Biography   
Item 5 of 18Gildard, Thomas1888Greek Thomson Proceedings of the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow, xix (30 January 1888), pp191-209 
Item 6 of 18Gildard, Thomas1894Greek Thomson Proceedings of the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow, xxiv (3 December 1894), pp99-107 
Item 7 of 18Grove Dictionary of Art Grove Dictionary of Art   
Item 8 of 18Law, Graham1954Greek Thomsoncxv, May 1954Architectural Review, May 1954 (Publication of 1960 Cambridge dissertation, original at NMRS) 
Item 9 of 18McFadzean, Ronald1968The Villas of Alexander Thomson Dissertation, 1968, Held in RIAS Library 
Item 10 of 18McFadzean, Ronald1979The Life and Work of Alexander Thomson London: Routledge & Kegan Paul 
Item 11 of 18McKinstry, Sam1998Rowand Anderson and Greek Thomson Architectural Heritage IX 
Item 12 of 18McMurray, Glen1965Alexander 'Greek' Thomson's Villas Dissertation, Strathclyde, 1965 
Item 13 of 18McNeill, Peter and Walker, David M1965A Note on Greek ThomsonSummer 1965, vol ii, no 2Glasgow Review, vol ii, no2, Summer1965 
Item 14 of 18RCAHMS1999Homebuilders: Mactaggart & Mickel and the Scottish housebuilding industry RCAHMSp 117
Item 15 of 18Stamp, Gavin1999Alexander Thomson: The Unknown Genius London: Lawrence King, in association with Glasgow 1999 
Item 16 of 18Stamp, Gavin (ed)1999The Light of Truth and Beauty: The Lectures of Alexander 'Greek' Thomson, Architect, 1817-75   
Item 17 of 18Stamp, Gavin and McKinstry, eds1994'Greek' Thomson Edinburgh University Press, 1994 
Item 18 of 18Walker, Frank Arneil1986South Clyde Estuary: An Illustrated Architectural Guide to Inverclyde and Renfrew  p28, p42, p107

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 11Architect19 November 1886  Article by D Thomson
Item 2 of 11Architects Journal28 July 1971  pp173-174 - mentioned in context of Heron House development, adjacent to St Vincent Street Church
Item 3 of 11Architectural ReviewMay 1904  Memoir by David Barclay
Item 4 of 11British Architect26 March 1875   
Item 5 of 11British Architect16 April 1875   
Item 6 of 11Builder10 April 1875   
Item 7 of 11Builder27 October 1961  'Architectural Historians' Conference: Papers Submitted to the Edinburgh Meeting' p787 - David Walker delivered a paper entitled 'Towards a New Style' at the SAH (UK) Conference in Edinburgh on 15-17 Sept 1961 in which he discussed Thomson's work
Item 8 of 11Building News26 March 1875   
Item 9 of 11Evening Citizen22 March 1875   
Item 10 of 11Glasgow Herald23 March 1875   
Item 11 of 11North British Daily Mail23 March 1875   


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