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Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Jeffrey Waddell
Designation: Architect
Born: 1876
Died: 4 December 1941
Bio Notes: John Jeffrey Waddell was born in Glasgow in 1876, the son of Robert Gillan Waddell, railway branch manager and his wife Jane Jeffrey. He was at first educated privately and then at Glasgow High School. He was a nephew of Peter Macgregor Chalmers's formidable wife, Barbara Greig Steel, and so far as is known, was articled to him c.1891, studying at Glasgow School of Art under William James Anderson and at the Royal Technical College under Charles Gourlay. Whether he had any experience elsewhere is not yet known, but he first came into prominence in 1919-21 as a designer of picture houses, mainly in Glasgow. When Chalmers died on 15 March 1922 Mrs Chalmers and John Jeffrey Waddell took over the practice. They did not succeed in retaining the Paisley Abbey commission, whereafter Mrs Chalmers seems to have had no more than a financial interest in the practice, but Waddell did succeed in retaining Chalmers's Church of Scotland connections, mainly for the re-ordering of Georgian and Victorian churches on ecclesiological lines by the addition of chancels. He built relatively few churches completely anew and his only significant restoration was St Bean's (or St Beanus's) at Fowlis Wester which was his best work.

Waddell married Jean Leadbetter Swan in 1903, their first house being at Uddingston. They had two daughters, both active in the Travelling Children's Theatre and the publication of children's books, the better known being Bertha, born 1907. Waddell himself had a literary and antiquarian bent, being the author of 'By Bothwell Banks, Rambles through Lanarkshire' and a pioneer study of Alexander Thomson, published in the Transactions of the Scottish Ecclesiological Society, 1925, v.III part 31-35. In his obituary he is described as architect and archaeologist; he 'discovered many ancient carved stones including the Cross of St Ninian now standing in front of Hamilton Parish Church'. In later years the Waddells lived in considerable style at Caldergrove, a sizable late Georgian country house near Cambuslang.

From c.1925 Waddell was in partnership with Thomas Peach Weir Young as Waddell & Young. The practice ended in tragedy. Around 1940 Waddell instructed an ill-advised lawsuit which he won but subsequently regretted. Although at the time there were rumours that his sudden death was suicide, the death certificate shows that he died of a cerebral thrombosis at 4.10am on 4 December 1941, at Caldergrove. His death was reported by his daughter Jenny.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 3Drumoyne, Uddingston, Lanarkshire, ScotlandPrivate1896 *  
Item 2 of 3Caldergrove, Cambuslang, Lanarkshire, ScotlandPrivateAfter 19034 December 1941 
Item 3 of 395, Bath Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1924After 1939 

* 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 2Peter Macgregor Chalmersc. 1891(?)c. 1896(?)Apprentice 
Item 2 of 2Waddell & Youngc. 19251941Partner 

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 741902Building plotsUddingston LanarkshireScotland 
Item 2 of 741903Glasgow Cathedral, Grainger Memorial nave pulpit  GlasgowScotlandExecuted drawing as assistant to Chalmers (see Academy Architecture 1903)
Item 3 of 741908Cathedral Works  GlasgowScotland 
Item 4 of 74c. 1910Three-storey terraced house   Scotland 
Item 5 of 741918BarncluithHamilton LanarkshireScotlandAdditions
Item 6 of 741918Camps WorksMotherwell LanarkshireScotlandAlterations, new workshop and gantry
Item 7 of 741918Eglinton Street UF Church  GlasgowScotlandNegotiations over the site
Item 8 of 741918Newlandsfield Bleach WorksPollokshaws GlasgowScotland 
Item 9 of 741918Paragon Picture House  GlasgowScotlandReconstruction
Item 10 of 741918UP ChurchUddingston LanarkshireScotlandAlterations
Item 11 of 741919Castle Picture HouseNew Cumnock AyrshireScotland 
Item 12 of 741919Fern Villa, Wester CraigsDennistoun GlasgowScotland 
Item 13 of 741919FerniehurstShawlands GlasgowScotland 
Item 14 of 741919Provands Lordship  GlasgowScotlandAlterations
Item 15 of 741920New Bedford Picture House, Eglinton Street  GlasgowScotlandOriginal building
Item 16 of 741920Rutherglen Free ChurchRutherglen LanarkshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 17 of 74c. 1920War MemorialKirkcaldy FifeScotlandCompetition (?) entry - not successful
Item 18 of 741921Cambridge Picture House  GlasgowScotlandOriginal building - conversion of church into cinema?
Item 19 of 741921Dalmarnock Picture House  GlasgowScotland 
Item 20 of 741921Garage for Frank N Fisher  GlasgowScotland 
Item 21 of 741921Maxwell Picture HousePollokshaws GlasgowScotland 
Item 22 of 741921Picture House in Mordaunt Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 23 of 741922Ardrossan War MemorialArdrossan AyrshireScotlandCompletion of Chalmers's design (he was not in partnership with young until 1925 - 'Buildings of Scotland' error)
Item 24 of 741922St Nicholas Parish ChurchUphall West LothianScotlandWar memorial tablet
Item 25 of 741923Abdie Parish ChurchAbdie FifeScotlandInterior recast with new oak communion table, lectern and font
Item 26 of 741923Camelon Church of ScotlandFalkirk StirlingshireScotlandExecution of chancel addition to the designs of Peter Macgregor Chalmers
Item 27 of 741923Gigha and Cara Parish ChurchArdminishGighaArgyllScotland 
Item 28 of 741923Kenmore Parish ChurchKenmore PerthshireScotlandTracery of south transept window and removal of Breadalbane Gallery
Item 29 of 741923Paisley Abbey, war memorialPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandExecuted Blomfield's standard war cross design
Item 30 of 741923Penpont Parish ChurchPenpont DumfriesshireScotlandCommunion table
Item 31 of 741924Maryhill Old Parish ChurchMaryhill GlasgowScotlandNew neo-classical façade added
Item 32 of 741924St David's UF ChurchKirkintilloch DunbartonshireScotlandRevised scheme (executed)
Item 33 of 741924St Margaret's Hall ChurchKnightswood GlasgowScotlandHalls carried out, but commission for church lost to Lorimer 1928 (see separate entry)
Item 34 of 741925Dollar Parish ChurchDollar ClackmannanshireScotlandShort chancel and organ chamber added, also furnishings including chancel panelling, communion table etc.
Item 35 of 741925Gourock Old Parish ChurchGourock RenfrewshireScotlandLectern and choir
Item 36 of 741925Scottish ChurchIxelles BrusselsBelgium 
Item 37 of 741925St Cuthbert's ChurchMonkton and Prestwick AyrshireScotlandRebuilding and redecoration of chancel
Item 38 of 741926College and Kelvingrove UF Church halls  GlasgowScotland 
Item 39 of 741926Langside Synagogue  GlasgowScotland 
Item 40 of 741926St Margaret's ChurchKnightswood GlasgowScotlandDesigns for church and halls - halls only executed, whilst commission for church went to Lorimer & Matthew
Item 41 of 741926St Mary's Parish ChurchBanff BanffshireScotlandApsed chancel and furnishings added.
Item 42 of 741927Denny Old Parish ChurchDenny StirlingshireScotlandAddition of chancel and addition of stair turret to tower
Item 43 of 741927St Bean's ChurchFowlis Wester PerthshireScotlandRe-mediaevalisation of Georgianised 18th century church
Item 44 of 741927St Mungo's Church  EdinburghScotland 
Item 45 of 741927St Paul's Church HallsGalashiels SelkirkshireScotland 
Item 46 of 741928Dunino Parish ChurchDunino FifeScotlandReduced scheme for remodelling of interior - new chancel but omitting transepts, also furnishings
Item 47 of 741928Parish ChurchLogierait PerthshireScotlandInterior recast
Item 48 of 741929Hillhead Established ChurchHillhead GlasgowScotlandMemorial baptistery and font
Item 49 of 741929Kelvinside Free ChurchKelvinside GlasgowScotlandAddition of halls
Item 50 of 741930House for N C MarplesWhitecraigs GlasgowScotland 
Item 51 of 741930Kilmonivaig Parish ChurchSpean Bridge Inverness-shireScotlandAddition of chancel and vestry
Item 52 of 741930Kinlochleven ChurchKinlochleven ArgyllScotland 
Item 53 of 741930St Bride's Parish ChurchSanquhar DumfriesshireScotlandAddition of chancel and furnishings
Item 54 of 741930St Paul's Church of ScotlandGreenock RenfrewshireScotlandNew reredos
Item 55 of 74c. 1930Church of ScotlandArisaig Inverness-shireScotlandInterior refurnished with new oak memorial pulpit and communion table
Item 56 of 74c. 1930Dumfries Municipal ChambersDumfries DumfriesshireScotlandCompetition drawings (not successful)
Item 57 of 74c. 1930Petrol and service station   Scotland 
Item 58 of 74c. 1930Town Hall   Scotland 
Item 59 of 741931Castle Douglas Parish ChurchCastle Douglas KirkcudbrightshireScotlandAddition of chancel
Item 60 of 741931St Modan's Parish ChurchRosneath / Roseneath DunbartonshireScotlandNew vestry and conversion of session house to memorial chapel
Item 61 of 741932Dennyloanhead ChurchDennyloanhead StirlingshireScotlandAddition of chancel
Item 62 of 741932Memorial to Samuel Rutherford CrockettLaurieston StirlingshireScotland 
Item 63 of 741932Parish ChurchKilsyth StirlingshireScotlandAddition of chancel
Item 64 of 741933Bothwell Parish Church and Hamilton MonumentBothwell LanarkshireScotlandAlterations: amalgamation of original 14th-century choir with Hamilton building, and remodelling of interior
Item 65 of 741933St Barnabas Episcopal ChurchDennistoun GlasgowScotlandDesign exhibited - presumably unsuccessful competition design
Item 66 of 741933St Leonard's Church HallsNewington EdinburghScotland 
Item 67 of 741934Montrose Old ChurchMontrose AngusScotlandDesign for a 'long church' on an east-west axis to replace existing church - not executed
Item 68 of 741935Garelochhead Parish Church  ArgyllScotlandRestoration
Item 69 of 741935St Columba's ChurchBlackhall EdinburghScotlandAddition of aisle and extensive furnishing
Item 70 of 741935Toward ChurchToward ArgyllScotlandChancel added
Item 71 of 74c. 1936Rothesay PavilionRothesayBute ScotlandCompetition drawings ( not successful)
Item 72 of 741937Renfrew Parish ChurchRenfrew RenfrewshireScotlandReredos
Item 73 of 741938Johnstone Parish ChurchJohnstone RenfrewshireScotlandAdditions
Item 74 of 74c. 1941(?)23 Lauder Road  EdinburghScotlandAlterations? New garage? (Apparently executed in 1946, after Waddell's death)


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 4Post Office Directories     
Item 2 of 4RIBA1930The RIBA Kalendar 1930-1931 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 3 of 4Scottish Biographies1938  E J Thurston (pub.) 
Item 4 of 4Walker, Frank Arneil1986South Clyde Estuary: An Illustrated Architectural Guide to Inverclyde and Renfrew  p8

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Builder19 December 1941  Obituary - p546 (contains no further information about his training)

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2National Monuments Record of Scotland/NMRS, RCAHMSWaddell Collection  
Item 2 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Personal information from Alfred G Lochhead; additional research by Iain Paterson


© All rights reserved. © courtesy of RCAHMS. Licensor www.rcahms.gov.uk 

© All rights reserved. © courtesy of RCAHMS. Licensor www.rcahms.gov.uk