Basic Biographical Details

Name: William Gillespie Lamond
Designation: Architect
Born: 4 December 1854
Died: 23 June 1912
Bio Notes: William Gillespie Lamond was born on 4 December 1854 at West Calder where his father was factor, described by the Registrar as 'Steward'. His mother was Christina Gillespie. His father having obtained another post, he completed his school education in Dumfries and it was in that town that he was apprenticed, though to which office is not yet known. Subsequently he went to Northampton to widen his experience, but again the office is not known. In 1883 he designed a byre at Westfield of Newholm, Lanarkshire, a commission probably related to his father's employment at that date.

At about that year he settled in Arbroath as architect and civil engineer with a house at Frockheim. In 1884 he was commissioned to design the water tower at Arbroath. The first designs were in a 'Moorish or Spanish style of architecture' but in deference to local opinion they were changed to 'Scotch Baronial or Castellated'. Once the design had been provided the Burgh Surveyor claimed the right to supervise its building, Lamond refused to hand over the drawings, and the Burgh went to court for them. After attempting to continue his practice in the Arbroath area, Lamond was eventually compelled to give up and c.1896 applied for employment to Charles and Leslie Ower in Dundee, apparently as a result of financial problems arising from the building of Friockheim Turning Works with which his daughter thought he was personally involved.

At the Owers, Lamond was remembered for his extraordinary ability and resourcefulness, which made him something of a hero figure among the younger assistants and the apprentices. The Owers allowed him to design the Pearl Building, and when multiple copies were required he etched his drawings rather than send them to a printer. Although there were tales of Lamond ushering Charles Ower out of the drawing office with a red-hot poker when he did not want to be disturbed, there was briefly at least, a period of real rapport between Charles Ower and Lamond as the latter named his son after him. Unfortunately the partnership of Charles and Leslie Ower broke up in 1898; Lamond remained with Charles, but neither brother ever did so much business again, and Lamond decided to leave for the office of Thomas Martin Cappon, where much of the design work had been delegated to a brilliant apprentice, Harry East. East had largely designed St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church as a third-year apprentice in 1896 and 1897, but left in 1898 while it was still building. Lamond revised the design of the confessionals, substituting for East's gables a curved parapet that seems to have been taken from Hall Cooper & Davis's designs for Chesterfield School and Baths. Drawing other motifs from the work of Charles Harrison Townsend, particularly rounded angles, convex moulding, cantilevered semi-circular canopies and domical cappings, Lamond evolved a very personal style which made its first appearance at the twin campanili of St Mary's Forebank and in varying degrees quickly spread into the work of Lamond's circle from the C & L Ower office, particularly Patrick Hill Thoms, Charles Geddes Soutar and William Gauldie.

By early 1904 Cappon's office was less busy than it had been. Lamond moved to the office of James Hendry Langlands Senior, then about to embark on a major programme of school building as a result of the Education Act of 1901, which raised the school leaving age. His style developed rapidly in Langland's office, and Jugendstil lettering featured prominently in the earlier schools. Unfortunately the architectural features of his best school, Stobswell, provoked complaints from the rate payers and although the Board defended its architect, the generous eaves and detailing of the Stobswell School were pared back thereafter.

Lamond remained with Langlands until his sudden death at Stirling Cottage, Friockheim, on Sunday, 23 June 1912. During his time at Langland's office Lamond assisted other architects with whom he was friendly. Miss Jessie Lamond also remembered a lot of design work being done for an architect outwith Dundee, she thought 'down south' but this has never been traced. Although she remembered him working almost every evening and weekend throughout her childhood, his moveable estate when he died was only £50.

Although James Hendry Langlands Junior - who remembered him with great affection - described him as always smartly dressed, he was not conventional enough to fit easily into the Edwardian business world: he abhorred ties as non-functional, preferring simply a prominent gold collar stud: and after ash from his pipe burned a hole in a very large waxed linen drawing he chewed tobacco instead.

Lamond was a superb draughtsman and a good watercolourist with a preference for pale washes. The Langlands office was hung with large framed watercolour presentation drawings, some of which were retained by Langlands when the office closed, but most were deposited with the buildings depicted. Characteristic of these was the use of figures drawn to a smaller scale than the buildings: of that for the Leng Memorial Chapel (not seen and perhaps no longer extant) Frank Thomson observed that he had made quite a small building seem like the Sainte Chapelle in Paris.

Lamond's son Charles Ower Lamond also became an architect but emigrated to the USA. He was chief architect of the Federal Housing Association in Iowa from 1938 to 1968. He also held supervisory positions with the Iowa Emergency Relief Administration and Works Progress Administration in Clinton Dubuque and Davenport.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 3Stirling Cottage, Friockheim, Angus, ScotlandPrivate 1912 
Item 2 of 3Arbroath, Angus, ScotlandBusinessc. 1883  
Item 3 of 3Friockheim, Angus, ScotlandPrivatec. 1883  

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 4C & L Owerc. 18961898Chief Assistant 
Item 2 of 4Charles Ower (junior)1898c. 1898Chief Draughtsman 
Item 3 of 4Thomas Martin Capponc. 18981904Senior Assistant 
Item 4 of 4James Hendry Langlands (senior)19041912Assistant 

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 29 St Vigeans Parish ChurchArbroath AngusScotlandUnspecified work - date unknown
Item 2 of 291883Westfield of Newholm, byreWestfield of Newholm LanarkshireScotlandMixed byre
Item 3 of 291884Water TowerArbroath AngusScotlandDesign only; executed by burgh surveyor
Item 4 of 29c. 1890St Vigeans SchoolhouseArbroath AngusScotland 
Item 5 of 291893Fairweather's Turning WorksFriockheim AngusScotland 
Item 6 of 291896Craigmount HouseKirkton of Strathmartine AngusScotlandAs draughtsman to C & L Ower
Item 7 of 291896Pearl Assurance Building  DundeeScotlandMainly responsible for design
Item 8 of 291897British Linen Bank  DundeeScotlandMainly responsibly for design
Item 9 of 29c. 1898Leng Memorial Chapel, lodge and gateway, Vicarsford CemeteryForgan FifeScotlandPerhaps perspective only - as senior assistant to T M Cappon
Item 10 of 291899Episcopal Church hall (St Margaret of Scotland)Tayport FifeScotlandMay have been by Lamond while with Cappon - on stylistioc grounds
Item 11 of 291899Forfar Fever HospitalWhitehills, Forfar AngusScotlandAs assistant to T M Cappon on third premiated competition design, which was nevertheless awarded job
Item 12 of 291899St Mary's RC Church  DundeeScotlandMajor rebuilding of earlier church - mainly new façade - as draughtsman to T M Cappon
Item 13 of 291899Wishart Memorial Church  DundeeScotlandAs assistant to Cappon
Item 14 of 291900Airlie Memorial Tower, GlenprosenTullahill, Cortachy AngusScotlandWon in competition - as senior assistant to T M Cappon
Item 15 of 291901Freemasons HallFriockheim AngusScotlandConverted from former church
Item 16 of 29c. 1901St Joseph's RC School for Boys  DundeeScotlandNew gateway and other alterations
Item 17 of 291904St Joseph's RC ChurchBroughty Ferry DundeeScotland 
Item 18 of 29After 1904Fairmuir Special SchoolFairmuir DundeeScotlandCompetition drawing
Item 19 of 29190513 Lammerton Terrace  DundeeScotland 
Item 20 of 291905Ancrum Road School  DundeeScotlandReconstruction - as assistant to Langlands
Item 21 of 291905Semi-detached bungalow, Forfar Road  DundeeScotlandAs assistant to Langlands
Item 22 of 291905St Joseph's RC Schools  DundeeScotlandOriginal building
Item 23 of 291907Dens Road School  DundeeScotlandAs assistant to Langlands
Item 24 of 291907Dundee Technical Institute  DundeeScotlandWon in competition
Item 25 of 291907Stobswell Public School  DundeeScotlandAs draughtsman to Langlands
Item 26 of 291909Druimbeg mansion house and motor house  DundeeScotlandPerhaps as spare-time assistant to Edward Tough
Item 27 of 291911Eastern SchoolBroughty Ferry DundeeScotlandAs draughtsman
Item 28 of 291911Glebelands School  DundeeScotlandRebuilding
Item 29 of 29c. 1911Harris Academy, Park Place  DundeeScotlandReconstruction of Ireland & MacLaren building with additional floor.


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 1RCAHMS1992Dundee on Record RCAHMSSt Mary's RC Church; Image of the east gable p46

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Architectural ReviewApril 1958  pp269-271
Item 2 of 2Dundee Courier and Advertiser24 April 1968  Re: Charles Ower Lamond

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 James H Langlands Junior, Jessie Lamomd, Frank Thomson, W Sinclair Gauldie (derived from his father)