Basic Biographical Details

Name: A & W Black
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1867(?)
Ended:  
Bio Notes: The practice was founded by Alexander Black, burgh architect of Falkirk who died in 1876. It was continued by his son William Black under the style of A & W Black.

William Black was born on 20 October 1840 and was articled to his father, but determined to gain experience as a civil engineer. In the earlier 1860s he joined the staff of Joseph Mitchell on the construction of the Highland Railway, spending his first year in the office in Inverness and the other two years as site supervisor of the Aberfeldy branch; this was followed by a further year with James Fairlie Blair on the City of Glasgow Union Railway. These seem to have given him useful experience as a valuer which became an important aspect of the practice.

Black became a Freemason in 1876, rising to become Provincial Grand Master of Stirlingshire (1904), Depute Grand Z of Scotland and Grand Superintendent of the Stirlingshire Province of Royal Arch Masons in 1906 which must have brought useful contacts. He died at Wellside on 18 November 1921 and was buried at Camelon Cemetery.

William Black's work as an architect was mainly in a Free Renaissance manner, his best building being the round-arched Falkirk Town Hall. His other buildings are relatively undistinguished. His son Captain Alexander Black became a partner in 1904. His influence is reflected in the increasingly Edwardian Renaissance and Arts and Crafts character of the firm's work from the mid-1890s onwards.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 2Falkirk, Stirlingshire, ScotlandBusiness1868 *  
Item 2 of 25, Kings Arms Court, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, ScotlandBusiness1883 *After 1911 

* earliest date known from documented sources.


Employment and Training

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architectural practice (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 8William Black1867(?)Before 1921Partner 
Item 2 of 8John Proudfoot Goodsir18891896Assistant 
Item 3 of 8Alexander McKee1897 * Draughtsman 
Item 4 of 8Thomas Walker Clarkc. 1899(?)c. 1904(?)Apprentice 
Item 5 of 8(Captain) Alexander ('Sandy') Black1904 Partner 
Item 6 of 8Cecil Harry Friston NimmoSeptember 19121921ApprenticeWith the exception of war service, January 1916 to late 1919
Item 7 of 8Archibald Thomson CaldwellFebruary 1916May 1918Apprentice 
Item 8 of 8Cecil Harry Friston Nimmo1921Early 1942Assistant 

* earliest date known from documented sources.


Buildings and Designs

This architectural practice 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 361876Town hallFalkirk StirlingshireScotland 
Item 2 of 361877Scottish National Institution for the Training of Imbecile ChildrenLarbert StirlingshireScotlandLodge and new wing (demolished); alteration to Pilkington's buildings later
Item 3 of 361879Bainsford Free ChurchBainsford, Falkirk StirlingshireScotland 
Item 4 of 361881Falkirk Infectious Diseases Hospital and SanatoriumFalkirk StirlingshireScotland 
Item 5 of 361882Carronshore ChurchCarronshore, Falkirk StirlingshireScotlandReconstruction from school to church
Item 6 of 361882Zetland ParkGrangemouth StirlingshireScotlandLay-out and gates
Item 7 of 361884Grangemouth Town HallGrangemouth StirlingshireScotlandWon competition
Item 8 of 361888Grangemouth Public LibraryGrangemouth StirlingshireScotland 
Item 9 of 361889Avonbridge UP ChurchAvonbridge StirlingshireScotland 
Item 10 of 361890Airth Parish ChurchAirth StirlingshireScotlandAlterations to furnishings
Item 11 of 361891Larbert Primary SchoolLarbert StirlingshireScotland 
Item 12 of 361893Laurieston ChurchLaurieston StirlingshireScotland 
Item 13 of 361893Stirling District AsylumLarbert StirlingshireScotlandNew hospital wing - rebuilding of William Stirling III and James Brown of Currie's buildings
Item 14 of 361894Falkirk District Infectious Diseases HospitalFalkirk StirlingshireScotlandMain block
Item 15 of 361895Falkirk and Counties Savings BankFalkirk StirlingshireScotland 
Item 16 of 361898Falkirk High SchoolFalkirk StirlingshireScotland 
Item 17 of 361898Falkirk Volunteer Drill HallFalkirk StirlingshireScotland 
Item 18 of 361900Dobbie HallLarbert StirlingshireScotland 
Item 19 of 361900Victoria Primary SchoolGrahamston StirlingshireScotland 
Item 20 of 361901Masonic HallSlamannan StirlingshireScotland 
Item 21 of 361902Larbert Masonic HallLarbert StirlingshireScotland 
Item 22 of 361903Erskine UF Church, SummerfordFalkirk StirlingshireScotland 
Item 23 of 361903Falkirk PoorhouseFalkirk StirlingshireScotland 
Item 24 of 361904Lint Riggs, east sideFalkirk StirlingshireScotlandEnd sections, carried out to David Ronald's design
Item 25 of 361904Smallpox Hospital  StirlingshireScotlandProposed - probably not executed
Item 26 of 361904Stirling County Council OfficeFalkirk StirlingshireScotland 
Item 27 of 361906Camelon High SchoolFalkirk StirlingshireScotlandReconstruction
Item 28 of 36190775 High StreetFalkirk StirlingshireScotland 
Item 29 of 361907Stirling District AsylumLarbert StirlingshireScotlandNurses' home
Item 30 of 361908KirkmailingLarbert StirlingshireScotland 
Item 31 of 361910Caretaker's HouseFalkirk StirlingshireScotland 
Item 32 of 361910Falkirk High SchoolFalkirk StirlingshireScotlandFree-standing block fronting Griffiths Street
Item 33 of 361914Stirling District AsylumLarbert StirlingshireScotlandReception Hospital
Item 34 of 361924Falkirk District Infectious Diseases HospitalFalkirk StirlingshireScotlandHalf-timbered gables added to heighten end bays
Item 35 of 361927Monument to Second Battle of FalkirkFalkirk StirlingshireScotland 
Item 36 of 361937Memorial to Rev James Aitchison, Erskine Parish ChurchFalkirk StirlingshireScotland 

References

Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
 Author(s)DateTitlePartPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Measurers\' Companion1911The Scottish Architects' and Measurers' Companion   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architectural practice:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Falkirk Herald6 February 1907   
Item 2 of 2Falkirk Herald19 November 1921  William Black's Obituary