Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Lymburn Cowan
Designation: Architect
Born: c. 1840
Died: 15 March 1905
Bio Notes: James Lymburn Cowan was born c.1840, the son of William Cowan, joiner, and Jean Lymburn. He began practice in 1868 at 135 Buchanan Street, Glasgow in partnership with Andrew J Smith as Cowan & Smith, but was on his own by 1871.

Cowan subsequently practised from 136 Wellington Street, originally with a house in Hill Street, Garnethill. He married Maggie (sic) Barbour of Lochwinnoch and by the 1890s he was sufficiently prosperous to have a house (Cyprus Lodge) at Kilmacolm. In the mid-1890s James Lymburn was practising from Cowan's address at 136 Wellington Street. What his relationship was with James Lymburn Cowan is yet to be established. In 1904 he formed the short-lived partnership of Cowan & Knox; the identity of Knox has yet to be established.

Cowan died at 1 Kingley Avenue, Crosshill on 15 March 1905 of atrophic dyspepsia and asthenia, leaving moveable estate of £822 10s 2d. He had had five children: William A (born c.1874), Matthew (born c.1876) and Maggie J (born c.1878), all born in Cathcart, Janie (born c.1880), born in Kilmacolm, and Robert M (date of birth unknown).

James Lymburn Cowan's practice should not be confused with that of Joseph Cowan & Sons, the latter being variously given as James Cowan and J L Cowan. Unlike theirs, James Lymburn Cowan's practice was essentially a Protestant one.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 7Hill Street, Garnethill, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate   
Item 2 of 7421, St Vincent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate   
Item 3 of 7135, Buchanan Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 18681870 or 1871In partnership with Smith
Item 4 of 7103, West Regent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1870 or 1871After 1880 
Item 5 of 7Cyprus Lodge, Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire, ScotlandPrivate18881899 
Item 6 of 7136, Wellington Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 18881905 
Item 7 of 71, Kingsley Avenue, Crosshill, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate15 March 1905 * Place of death

* 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 2Cowan & Smith1868Before 1871Partner 
Item 2 of 2Cowan & Knoxc. 19041905Partner 

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 1William Haldane18931897Apprentice 

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 161869Schools in connection with St Stephen’s  GlasgowScotland 
Item 2 of 161872Albert Street UP Church  GlasgowScotland 
Item 3 of 161884Shields Road School  GlasgowScotlandHamilton gives 1883
Item 4 of 161886Glasgow Academy  GlasgowScotlandNew blocks (£8,000) (S wing).
Item 5 of 1618921512-1528 Maryhill Road  GlasgowScotland 
Item 6 of 16c. 189358 Clevedon DriveKelvinside GlasgowScotland 
Item 7 of 161894Joint Infectious Diseases HospitalNitshill GlasgowScotlandOriginal buildings
Item 8 of 161895Glasgow Masonic Halls  GlasgowScotland 
Item 9 of 161896Glasgow Academy  GlasgowScotlandFurther new block (on Holland Street) - N wing
Item 10 of 161896Johnstone Infectious Diseases HospitalJohnstone RenfrewshireScotlandExtension
Item 11 of 161896Milngavie Public SchoolMilngavie DunbartonshireScotlandNorth extension
Item 12 of 161898Amalfi House, Cleveden Drive  GlasgowScotlandRear wings
Item 13 of 16c. 18983-7 Lancaster CrescentKelvinside GlasgowScotland 
Item 14 of 161900Masonic HallsMotherwell LanarkshireScotland 
Item 15 of 161902Tureen Street SchoolCalton GlasgowScotlandSouthern block
Item 16 of 161905Glasgow Academy  GlasgowScotlandAssembly Hall


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 2Johnston, W T2003Artists of Scotland Officina Publications CDROM 
Item 2 of 2Post Office Directories     

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 2 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Research by Iain Paterson