© All rights reserved. © Glasgow Institute of Architects 

Larger versions of these images are located at the foot of the page.

Basic Biographical Details

Name: George Bell II
Designation: Architect
Born: 1854
Died: 18 October 1915
Bio Notes: George Bell II was born in 1854 in Springburn at Lower Mosesfield, the son of George Bell (1814-87) of the firm Clarke & Bell and his Beatrice Turnbull. He was articled to his father's firm in October 1869; attended Glasgow School of Art 1869-74, studying under the supervision of Robert Greenlees; and became a partner in 1880. Like Charles Kinnear and David MacGibbon, he was an enthusiastic volunteer. He joined the 3rd Lanarkshire Rifles as a private but obtained a commission in the 1st Lanarkshire Artillery, retiring as their Colonel in 1893. He was elected FRIBA on 3 December 1906 his proposers being John James Burnet, Thomas Lennox Watson, John Keppie, James Milne Monro and C J MacLean.

Although George Bell II was a friend of William Landless, this did not lead to a partnership. From 1874 onwards, Clarke & Bell were in a loose partnership with Robert Alexander Bryden. Bryden was appointed as architect for the new Glasgow Technical College, for which he prepared a design in 1892. However, he failed to retain the commission; and when a limited competition was held in early 1901, the invitation was to George Bell II who submitted a design by his principal assistant James Hoey Craigie which was placed second by the professional staff. This may have been one of the factors which led to the Clarke & Bell & R A Bryden practice being dissolved. Bell certainly seems by 1902 to have been concerned to secure Craigie's position within the firm, as his Graeco-Baroque was more in touch with the times than Bryden's free Renaissance and better able to compete with Burnet, Campbell and Sandilands; Bell took Craigie into partnership on 1 January 1905.

George Bell II married Florence Elizabeth Miller and they had three children, Florence, Beatrice and George (III). He was President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects in 1903 and again in 1909-10. Along with Alexander Wingate, Bell was appointed Glasgow Institute of Architects representative to the Architectural Department of the Royal Technical College in 1913. He died on 18 October 1915, at 71 Ann Street, Glasgow of diabetes and gangrene of the foot. He left moveable estate of only £1,583. 1. 7, although he probably owned significant heritable property. The practice was continued by his son George Bell III under the same name, Clarke & Bell & J H Craigie.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 2212, St Vincent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1888 *  
Item 2 of 24, Viewfield Terrace, Hillhead, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate18881915 

* 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 5Clarke & BellOctober 18691873(?)Apprentice 
Item 2 of 5Clarke & Bellc. 1873(?)1880Assistant(?) 
Item 3 of 5Clarke & Bell and R A Bryden18801902Partner 
Item 4 of 5Clarke & Bell188031 December 1904Partner 
Item 5 of 5Clarke & Bell & J H Craigie1 January 19051915Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 5(Sir) John James Burnet3 December 1906for Fellowship
Item 2 of 5John Keppie3 December 1906for Fellowship
Item 3 of 5C J MacLean3 December 1906for Fellowship
Item 4 of 5James Milne Monro3 December 1906for Fellowship
Item 5 of 5Thomas Lennox Watson3 December 1906for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 10David Andrew (junior)2 December 1907for Fellowship
Item 2 of 10George Nicholas Beattie20 July 1911for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 10Andrew Francis Stewart Bryden20 July 1911for Licentiateship
Item 4 of 10Robert Whitelaw Caldwell24 June 1912for Licentiateship
Item 5 of 10Robert Harvie20 March 1911for Licentiateship
Item 6 of 10John Marshall Hunter20 July 1911for Licentiateship
Item 7 of 10James Miller12 June 1912for Licentiateship
Item 8 of 10James Archibald Morris23 May 1881for Associateship
Item 9 of 10James Campbell Reid2 December 1912for Fellowship
Item 10 of 10John Forrest Steel (or John Forrester Steel?)4 July 1910for 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 46 Blackburn, feuing planAyr AyrshireScotlandDate unknown (1915 plans appear to be by another hand), therefore it is uncertain which partners were involved
Item 2 of 461880Skibo CastleSkibo SutherlandScotlandReconstruction
Item 3 of 461883Paisley County Buildings (Sheriff Court), Meeting Room and OfficesPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandWon in competition
Item 4 of 461884Arkleton HouseLangholm DumfriesshireScotlandAlterations - HS suggests that house might be by Andrew MacQueen and gives NMRS as reference
Item 5 of 461884Dalnair HouseDrymen StirlingshireScotlandBuildings of Scotland wrongly ascribes this to James Bell, as does HS List
Item 6 of 461884Dalnair House LodgeDrymen StirlingshireScotland 
Item 7 of 461885AdamtonMonkton AyrshireScotland 
Item 8 of 46188642-50 Gordon Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 9 of 461889Jubilee FountainJedburgh RoxburghshireScotlandPrimarily responsible
Item 10 of 461890Paisley County Buildings (Sheriff Court), Meeting Room and OfficesPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandExtension in St James Street (making the façade asymmetrical)
Item 11 of 461890RedheughKilbirnie AyrshireScotlandAdditions
Item 12 of 461890Titwood Bowling ClubTitwood GlasgowScotland 
Item 13 of 46c. 1890Royal Bank of Scotland, Candleriggs  GlasgowScotland 
Item 14 of 46c. 1890(?)Schools  GlasgowScotland 
Item 15 of 461891 or 1892(?)School for Glasgow School Board  GlasgowScotland 
Item 16 of 461892City and County Buildings and second Merchants' House  GlasgowScotlandReconstruction of former Council Chambers and Municipal Buildings on Ingram Street as Sheriff Courts
Item 17 of 461892Tenements, Garnet Street and Buccleuch Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 18 of 46After 1892BagatelleGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 19 of 461892 or 1892HomesNitshill GlasgowScotland 
Item 20 of 461893City Sawmills  GlasgowScotland 
Item 21 of 461894Fyfe Chambers  GlasgowScotland 
Item 22 of 461894MacSorley's Bar Building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 23 of 461894Warehousing and Bank of Scotland at ground floor  GlasgowScotland 
Item 24 of 46After 1894Higher Grade Secondary SchoolDuns BerwickshireScotland 
Item 25 of 461895Drill Hall and Headquarters for 1st Lanark Rifles  GlasgowScotlandFurther work
Item 26 of 46After 1895Warehouse for H Morrison  GlasgowScotland 
Item 27 of 461897A & G Thomson's Warehouse  GlasgowScotlandAlterations to create restaurant
Item 28 of 46After 1897Port Glasgow improvement schemePort Glasgow RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 29 of 461898North British Daily Mail Building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 30 of 46c. 1900AdamtonMonkton AyrshireScotlandAdditions
Item 31 of 46Late 1900 or early 1901Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College  GlasgowScotlandCompetition design submitted after invitation - Bell submitted his principal assistant J H Craigie's design rather than one by himself - unsuccessful but placed second by professional staff
Item 32 of 461901Workshop, Commerce Street  GlasgowScotlandRebuilding after a fire
Item 33 of 461902Tenement, Causeyside and Orchard StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 34 of 461903Kelvinhaugh Sawmills  GlasgowScotlandWater tower
Item 35 of 461904Caledonia Foundry, Office block for Kerr & Co  GlasgowScotland 
Item 36 of 461904Two blocks of tenements including Hayburn Vaults BarPartick GlasgowScotland 
Item 37 of 461904Warehouse for Philip McSorley/MacSorley  GlasgowScotland 
Item 38 of 461906Public Bar and Billiard Hall  GlasgowScotland 
Item 39 of 46Before 1906Villas, PollokshieldsPollokshields GlasgowScotland 
Item 40 of 461908Marble cutting works  GlasgowScotland 
Item 41 of 461908The Grant Arms  GlasgowScotlandComplete remodelling
Item 42 of 461909Hamilton Academy (and house at school)Hamilton LanarkshireScotlandArchitectural Competition
Item 43 of 461910Justiciary Court Houses  GlasgowScotlandComplete rebuilding retaining portico
Item 44 of 461912Corona Bar  GlasgowScotland 
Item 45 of 461912St Mary's Parish ChurchKirkintilloch DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 46 of 461913Baltic Wire and Metal Works  GlasgowScotlandAdditions


Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 5Builder19 December 1913  p 670
Item 2 of 5Builder1915109 p312 Obituary
Item 3 of 5Building Industries16 November 1915   
Item 4 of 5RIBA Journal6 November 1915 London: Royal Institute of British ArchitectsObituary p16
Item 5 of 5The Bailie10 September 1902   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Additional information from Iain Paterson
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers F v17 p69 no1131 (microfilm reel 12)


© All rights reserved. © Glasgow Institute of Architects 

© All rights reserved. © Glasgow Institute of Architects