© All rights reserved. Building News 1 August 1890 

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Basic Biographical Details

Name: William Landless
Designation: Architect
Born: 1847
Died: Before 1920
Bio Notes: William Landless was born at Airdrie in 1847, the son of William Landless (1806-63), portioner and later registrar of births marriages and deaths, and his wife Margaret Caddell Burnet (1811-98) who was the elder sister of the Glasgow architect John Burnet Senior. His father died when he was sixteen, and at or about that time he was articled to his uncle, remaining with him for a time as an assistant.

He married Eliza(beth) Jane Bannatyne Lawson, the daugher of grocer Andrew Lawson, in a UP ceremony at 11 Graham Street, Airdrie on 7 June 1870. They had four children, Meta B (born c.1872), William (born c.1874), Norman B (born c.1876) and Adelaide E C (born c.1881), all born in Glasgow. They had a weekend house at Cove and Kilcreggan in 1881 and lived at Mayfield, Helensburgh in the mid-1880s.

Landless commenced independent practice as early as 1873, the original backbone of his business being work for the Glasgow tramways. His practice rose to some prominence in 1882 when he gained two important commissions, the Gothic Glasgow Blind Asylum in Castle Street, and John Street School. He was a close friend of the second George Bell of Clarke & Bell, but no link between their firms was formed. Sometime before July 1885 Landless formed a partnership with H E Clifford, also from Burnet's office, but problems soon arose. Landless was a man of somewhat extravagant habits with a drink problem and in c.1887 he applied for a post as clerk-of-works to Leeds School Board at a salary of 5gns a week, and secured the post out of a large number of applicants. His wife had died on 23 March 1887 at Mayfield, Helensburgh. and her early death is almost certainly a factor in his move to Leeds that same year and possibly even in his drink problem. He retained an office in Glasgow for a further year after moving to Leeds, and his family appear to have remained in Glasgow until 1889, when he was appointed Leeds School Board architect, a post he held until 1893, designing at least four new schools for the Leeds School Board as well as additions to various older buildings; during this period he occupied a house at 9 Belmont Grove, Leeds. In the latter year he left Leeds for a destination at present unknown. He appears to have been in Liverpool in 1914 (see Builder's Journal, 10 June 1914). In the Glasgow Post Office Directories of the mid-1890s, an entry for Landless still appears - he is listed as at the School Board Offices, Leeds, suggesting that he still retained some connections with Glasgow.

Landless had died by 1920, when Andrew Balfour referred to him in 'Building Industries' as 'the late Mr Landless'.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 816, Richmond Street, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate Before 1887 
Item 2 of 89, Belmont Grove, Leeds, Yorkshire, EnglandPrivate 1893 
Item 3 of 8137, West Regent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1874 *(?) 
Item 4 of 8227, West Regent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1879After 1888 
Item 5 of 8Ardmore East, Cove and Kilcreggan, Dunbartonshire, ScotlandPrivate1881 * Weekend house with wife and children
Item 6 of 8198, Annfield Terrace West (now Annfield Road), Partickhill, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1881 *  
Item 7 of 8Mayfield, Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, ScotlandPrivateBefore 18871889 
Item 8 of 8Liverpool, EnglandPrivate/business1914 *  

* 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 2John Burnet (senior)  Apprentice 
Item 2 of 2Landless & Clifford1885July 1887Partner 

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 1Robert Yates Mayor18811887Apprentice 

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 241874Victoress Stove Works  GlasgowScotland 
Item 2 of 24c. 1874BellcairnCove DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 3 of 241876Victoria Baths Club  GlasgowScotlandUnsuccessful competition design
Item 4 of 241879Royal Glasgow Asylum for the Blind  GlasgowScotlandOriginal building
Item 5 of 241880Glasgow Municipal Buildings  GlasgowScotlandUnsuccessful entry in first competition under the motto St. Kentigern
Item 6 of 241881Two tenements, Keir Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 7 of 241882Dennistoun SchoolDennistoun GlasgowScotlandDesign only - not executed?
Item 8 of 241882Glasgow Blind Asylum  GlasgowScotland 
Item 9 of 241882John Street SchoolBridgeton GlasgowScotland 
Item 10 of 241882New buildings in Queen Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 11 of 241883Augustine ChurchGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 12 of 241883Shandon Free Church and SchoolShandon DunbartonshireScotlandAddition of transepts and tower
Item 13 of 241884Barony PoorhouseForesthill GlasgowScotlandChildren's section
Item 14 of 241885Hartwood AsylumShotts LanarkshireScotlandCompetition design, selected but not successful
Item 15 of 241885Hyndland Primary School  GlasgowScotland 
Item 16 of 241885St Kiaran's Episcopal Church and parsonageCampbeltown ArgyllScotlandDesign for church and rectory - only rectory and church gates executed to Clifford & Landless design
Item 17 of 241886Kent Road Secondary School  GlasgowScotlandSouth Block
Item 18 of 241887Central Higher Grade SchoolLeeds YorkshireEnglandAs clerk of works executing designs by Kelly & Birchall
Item 19 of 241887Hamilton Crescent SchoolPartickhill GlasgowScotland 
Item 20 of 241887Three tenements, Hayburn CrescentPartick GlasgowScotland 
Item 21 of 241888(?)Leeds Boys' Modern SchoolLeeds YorkshireEnglandAttribution by Susan Wrathmell
Item 22 of 241890Harehills Board SchoolLeeds YorkshireEngland 
Item 23 of 241891Isles Lane Board SchoolLeeds YorkshireEngland 
Item 24 of 241892Queens Road Board SchoolLeeds YorkshireEngland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 2Post Office Directories     
Item 2 of 2Scotlands People Website Wills & Testaments   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 3British ArchitectJune 1887 or 0700s   
Item 2 of 3Builders Journal10 June 1914   
Item 3 of 3Building News1 August 1890  Portrait and short biography pp146, 166

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 a letter from F G B Hutchings, Leeds City Librarian, 4 May 1960; from Alexander Wright; and from George W Burnet WS; additional research by Iain Paterson


© All rights reserved. Building News 1 August 1890 

© All rights reserved. Building News 1 August 1890