Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Cousland
Designation: Architect
Born: c. 1833
Died: 12 June 1866
Bio Notes: James Cousland was born c.1833, the son of Alexander Cousland and his wife Elizabeth Stark. The Couslands were prosperous wire-workers with a manufactory in Mitchell Street, Glasgow. Cousland was articled to Charles Wilson, where he met James Boucher, an assistant some seven years his senior, with whom he formed a partnership in c.1853. In 1857 they built for themselves a pair of semi-detached houses, Swiss Cottage at 35-37 St Andrews Drive, Pollokshields, and within a few years Boucher had built the similarly styled Swiss Villa at Coulport, Loch Long as a weekend house.

The Boucher & Cousland practice was successful at once, designing the ambitious Gothic Renfield Free Church on Bath Street, a large block of warehouses and shops for Black at the corner of Gordon Street and Renfield Street in 1857-58, and a considerable number of very ambitious villas exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1860 and the Glasgow Institute in 1861. Within a year or two Walter Macfarlane of Saracen Iron Works became a client and in addition to the Macfarlane warehouse in Washington Street (1862) and the Saracen Ironworks at Possilpark (begun 1869), the practice made many designs for architectural castings.

The Couslands had some sort of business connection with John Kibble whose father had a wire and metal warehouse at Turner's Court in Argyle Street. In the early 1860s Kibble built the large Italian Romanesque villa Coulport House adjacent to Boucher's Swiss Villa at Loch Long for which they designed the conservatory which in enlarged form became the Kibble Palace in the Botanic Gardens at Kelvinside: Cousland is said to have made a model in wire, to show Kibble what it would look like. In 1862-64 the partnership reached its zenith with the towered Romanesque Free Church at Kinning Park and their cruciform Renaissance Free St George's Church, but Cousland's career was to be brief: his health was upset by a fatal accident at the building of Free St George's and he died at Swiss Cottage on 12 June 1866 after several months of paralysis, survived by his wife Jessie Knox Anderson.

Boucher was thereafter sole practitioner until 1875 when he took into partnership his pupil Henry Higgins (born 1848) who had been his assistant for two years, the style of the firm now becoming Boucher & Higgins.

NB Cousland must have had some connection with Paisley as his will was registered there.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1Swiss Cottage/35-37, St Andrews Drive, Pollokshields, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivatec. 18571866Died there.

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 2Charles Wilsonc. 18481854 or 1855Apprentice 
Item 2 of 2Boucher & Couslandc. 18531866Partner 

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 361853Kemp's, 37 Buchanan Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 2 of 36After 1854Eaton BankDowanhill GlasgowScotland 
Item 3 of 36After 1854Villa for James McBrideGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 4 of 361855Speculative building, Sauchiehall Street (south side)  GlasgowScotland 
Item 5 of 361857Renfield Free Church  GlasgowScotland 
Item 6 of 361857Swiss Cottage (Double Villa)Pollokshields GlasgowScotland 
Item 7 of 361857Thornton LodgeHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 8 of 361858Black's warehouse  GlasgowScotlandAlterations
Item 9 of 361858Hopeville  GlasgowScotland 
Item 10 of 361858Villa for Alexander McGawPort Glasgow RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 11 of 36c. 1858CastlebankBothwell LanarkshireScotland 
Item 12 of 36c. 1858(?)Villa for Robert CuthbertGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 13 of 361859Mansefield ChurchKilwinning AyrshireScotland 
Item 14 of 361860Balclutha HouseGreenock (near) RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 15 of 361860VillaDowanhill GlasgowScotland 
Item 16 of 36c. 186053 Buchanan Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 17 of 36c. 1860Benvue, Sydenham Road  GlasgowScotland 
Item 18 of 36c. 1860Double villa for T L Paterson  GlasgowScotland 
Item 19 of 36c. 1860Norwood, Sydenham RoadDowanhill GlasgowScotland 
Item 20 of 36c. 1860Villa for David BurgesHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 21 of 36c. 1860Villa for David JohnstoneGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 22 of 36c. 1860Villa for John HendersonCanniesburn GlasgowScotland 
Item 23 of 361861Coulport HouseLoch Long ArgyllScotland 
Item 24 of 361861Mansion at AscogAscogButeButeScotland 
Item 25 of 361861Wellington Arcade  GlasgowScotlandNew entrance and enlargement.
Item 26 of 361862Kinning Park Free ChurchKinning Park GlasgowScotland 
Item 27 of 361862Sanitary Warehouse  GlasgowScotland 
Item 28 of 361863Free ManseTighnabruaich ArgyllScotland 
Item 29 of 361863Glasgow Botanic Garden, Kibble Palace  GlasgowScotlandCousland made wire model, executed by ironfounder John Boyd of Paisley; it is unclear whether Cousland was involved in later phases of work
Item 30 of 361863St George's Free Church  GlasgowScotland 
Item 31 of 361863The Lodge, LochgoilheadLochgoilhead ArgyllScotland 
Item 32 of 361863Tighnabruaich Free ChurchTighnabruaich ArgyllScotland 
Item 33 of 361865Greenock ClubGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 34 of 36c. 1865Aytoun House  GlasgowScotland 
Item 35 of 361866Ravensleigh  GlasgowScotlandProbably by Boucher & Cousland
Item 36 of 361886Richmond  GlasgowScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 2Johnston, W T2003Artists of Scotland Officina Publications CDROM 
Item 2 of 2Scotlands People Website Wills & Testaments  Paisley Sheriff Court SC58/42/33

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Personal information from the Cousland family to A G Lochhead; further information from Iain Paterson.