Basic Biographical Details

Name: Clarke & Bell and R A Bryden
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1875(?)
Ended: 1902
Bio Notes: The practice of Clarke & Bell & R A Bryden began as a loose affiliation between the firm of William Clarke (1809-89) and George Bell (1814-87) and that of Robert Alexander Bryden (b. 1841). Bryden served his apprenticeship with Clarke & Bell and by 1864 was allowed to insert his name in The Glasgow Directory as 'at Clarke and Bell's'. In the Directory of 1875-76 he appears as 'of Clarke and Bell', implying a very senior position within the firm if not an actual partnership; and from 1876 Bryden seems to have run a simultaneous practice within the same office at 37 West Nile Street, a situation which persisted until 1891 when he was again described as 'of Clarke and Bell' and is known to have been in a formal partnership with the firm. By that time William Clarke and George Bell had died, and George Bell's son George Bell II, made a partner in 1880, was in charge of the firm.

Bryden's practice remained a near-separate one with its own glazed door within the Clarke and Bell office and, even when in partnership, his work was usually publicised in his own name rather than that of the firm. Bryden had particularly good connections in the philanthropic field and was a director of the Scottish National Sabbath School Union. In 1901 he was described as having travelled extensively on the continent 'more especially in Germany, the Austrian Tyrol and Italy' although his architecture tended to be either Gothic or a rather coarse Netherlandish free Renaissance.

The Clarke & Bell & R A Bryden partnership was dissolved in 1902. The reasons for the break-up are uncertain but may relate to the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College. Bryden was its architect and had prepared a design for a new college in 1892. He did not, however, retain the commission and in early 1901 a limited competition was held in which the invitation was to George Bell II who submitted a design by his principal assistant James Hoey Craigie (born 1870). This was placed second by the professional staff. The final catalyst seems to have been Bryden's son Andrew Francis Stewart Bryden. Born on 21 October 1876, Andrew was articled to his father's firm from 1893 to 1898 and remained as assistant but left in 1901 to gain wider experience. When he proposed to return in 1902 there would appear to have been some disagreement: although the younger Bryden had considerable ability, his health was unstable. The elder Bryden separated his practice from Bell's and commenced independent practice with his son as chief assistant, moving out of the Clarke & Bell office at 212 St Vincent Street to one of their own at 147 Bath Street. Bell continued the practice and three years later took Craigie into partnership. The Clarke & Bell practice first reverted to its former name, and then to Clarke & Bell & J H Craigie (see separate entries).

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1212, St Vincent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness18751902 

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 15William Clarke1875(?)c. 1880(?)Partner 
Item 2 of 15George Bell I1875(?)Before 1887Partner 
Item 3 of 15Robert Alexander Bryden18751902Partner 
Item 4 of 15George Bell II18801902Partner 
Item 5 of 15William Sharp1883(?) * Assistant(?)Sharp's address matches that of this firm at this date
Item 6 of 15Andrew Robertson18891890Junior Draughtsman 
Item 7 of 15Andrew Robertson18901896Chief Draughtsman 
Item 8 of 15Andrew Francis Stewart Bryden30 August 1893c. August 1898Apprentice 
Item 9 of 15Robert Whitelaw Caldwell1894c. 1899Apprentice 
Item 10 of 15James Hoey CraigieMay 18951902Principal Assistant 
Item 11 of 15John Rutherford Johnstone18971902Apprentice 
Item 12 of 15Andrew Francis Stewart Brydenc. August 18981901Assistant 
Item 13 of 15James S Kent (or James J Kent)Before 1899Before 1910Assistant(?) 
Item 14 of 15Robert Whitelaw Caldwellc. 1899c. 1900Assistant 
Item 15 of 15James Allan Lauchlan19021902Apprentice 

* 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 591875Avondale Parish ChurchStrathaven LanarkshireScotlandRenovation
Item 2 of 591875Dunoon UP ChurchDunoon ArgyllScotland 
Item 3 of 591875Home for Destitute Children  GlasgowScotland 
Item 4 of 591875Innellan School  ArgyllScotland 
Item 5 of 591875Strone SchoolStrone ArgyllScotland 
Item 6 of 591875Toward SchoolToward ArgyllScotland 
Item 7 of 591876Dunoon Free ChurchDunoon ArgyllScotland 
Item 8 of 591876Quarrier's HomesBridge of Weir RenfrewshireScotlandR A Bryden responsible
Item 9 of 591876Western Baths  GlasgowScotlandPrincipally by Clarke & Bell
Item 10 of 59c. 1876Cadzow Parish Church, HamiltonHamilton LanarkshireScotland 
Item 11 of 591878English Free ChurchStornowayLewisRoss and CromartyScotland 
Item 12 of 591880Dunoon Infants' SchoolDunoon ArgyllScotland 
Item 13 of 591880Two tenements, Maxwell RoadPollokshields GlasgowScotland 
Item 14 of 591881Quarrier's HomesBridge of Weir RenfrewshireScotlandBethesda (45 Quarrier's Village)
Item 15 of 591884Quarrier's HomesBridge of Weir RenfrewshireScotlandOvertoun (14 Quarrier's Village)
Item 16 of 59c. 1884Seaman's Institute  GlasgowScotland 
Item 17 of 591886Broughton Parish ChurchCalzeat PeeblesshireScotlandRebuilding
Item 18 of 591886Fish Market  GlasgowScotlandAdditions
Item 19 of 591886Quarrier's HomesBridge of Weir RenfrewshireScotlandAlan Dick Home
Item 20 of 591888Quarrier's Homes, Mount Zion ChurchBridge of Weir RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 21 of 591888Seafield House and lodgeAyr AyrshireScotlandRebuilding - and construction of lodge
Item 22 of 591889Jubilee FountainJedburgh RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 23 of 591891Paisley Board SchoolPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandThird premiated competition design (15 premium)
Item 24 of 591891Premises in New City RoadConcaddens GlasgowScotland 
Item 25 of 591892Carntyne Free Church and hallCarntyne GlasgowScotland 
Item 26 of 591892Dalmarnock SchoolDalmarnock GlasgowScotland 
Item 27 of 591892Free ChurchBroughton PeeblesshireScotlandChurch 'Gothicised'
Item 28 of 591893Dunoon Town HallDunoon ArgyllScotlandAdditions, alterations, new gallery and decoration
Item 29 of 591893Quarrier's HomesBridge of Weir RenfrewshireScotlandSabbath School Home - R A Bryden responsible
Item 30 of 591894Baptist Mission HallPartick GlasgowScotland 
Item 31 of 591894Lanarkshire Regiment Drill Hall  GlasgowScotland 
Item 32 of 591894MacSorley's Bar Building  GlasgowScotlandDesigned by George Bell II
Item 33 of 591894Quarrier's Homes, Consumptive HospitalBridge of Weir RenfrewshireScotlandFirst block - R A Bryden responsible
Item 34 of 59After 1894Higher Grade Secondary SchoolDuns BerwickshireScotland 
Item 35 of 59After 1894Holmscroft Higher Grade SchoolGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 36 of 59After 1894North Kelvinside Secondary SchoolNorth Kelvinside GlasgowScotlandor just Clarke & Bell? - conflicting information on assistants' nomination papers
Item 37 of 591895Christian Institute  GlasgowScotlandYMCA club at west end and Bible Training College at east end added
Item 38 of 591895School, WishawWishaw LanarkshireScotland 
Item 39 of 59After 1895Weekly Mail Building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 40 of 591896Dunoon Pier and OfficesDunoon ArgyllScotlandRebuilding - in collaboration with W R Copland and C J M Mackintosh
Item 41 of 591896Sir Charles Cameron Memorial FountainWoodside GlasgowScotland 
Item 42 of 591897AshgroveMaybole AyrshireScotlandBryden was responsible for additions after it became a children's home that year.
Item 43 of 591897Belmont HouseSpringburn GlasgowScotlandLarge additions
Item 44 of 591897ChapelgillBroughton PeeblesshireScotland 
Item 45 of 591897Clackmannan County HospitalAlloa ClackmannanshireScotland 
Item 46 of 591897Quarrier's HomesBridge of Weir RenfrewshireScotlandGlenfarg (34 Quarrier's Village)
Item 47 of 591898Quarrier's Homes, Consumptive HospitalBridge of Weir RenfrewshireScotlandSecond block - R A Bryden responsible
Item 48 of 59After 1898(?)County Insurance Buildings  GlasgowScotlandPossibly not this firm but R A Bryden & Son
Item 49 of 59After 1898(?)General Life Assurance Company Buildings  GlasgowScotlandPossibly not this firm but R A Bryden & Son
Item 50 of 59After 1898Southbar HouseBishopton RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 51 of 59After 1898(?)Young Men's Christian Association Club  GlasgowScotlandPossibly not this firm but R A Bryden & Son
Item 52 of 591899Barony Parochial AsylumLenzie LanarkshireScotlandVilla for children
Item 53 of 591899Ocean Accident Insurance Company Buildings  GlasgowScotland 
Item 54 of 591899The Roost  GlasgowScotlandJames Hoey Craigie responsible
Item 55 of 59Late 1800sArdbuchoBroughton PeeblesshireScotland 
Item 56 of 591900Napiershall Street School  GlasgowScotland 
Item 57 of 591900Tollcross UF Church  GlasgowScotland 
Item 58 of 591901Belmont HouseSpringburn GlasgowScotlandFurther additions
Item 59 of 591901Quarrier's HomesBridge of Weir RenfrewshireScotlandElise Hospital

References

Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
 Author(s)DateTitlePartPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Architects Engineers and Building Trades Directory1868Architect's, Engineer's and Building Trades' Directory London, Wyman 
Item 2 of 2Post Office Directories     

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architectural practice:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 6Ayrshire Advertiser17 January 1889  Obituary of Clarke
Item 2 of 6Builder22 January 1887  p163 Obituary of Bell
Item 3 of 6Builder12 November 1887  p663 Obituary of Bell
Item 4 of 6Builder19 January 1889  Obituary of Clarke, p52
Item 5 of 6Builder21 April 1906  p442 Obituary of Bryden
Item 6 of 6RIBA Journal1906v13London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp340 Obituary of Bryden Check this for exact date