Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Lessels
Designation: Architect
Born: c. 1834
Died: c. 1905(?)
Bio Notes: James Lessels (born c.1834) was the younger son and partner of John Lessels Senior, the elder brother John having gone into government service. He inherited his father's interest in the practice and his appointment as architect to the City Improvement Trust when his father died in 1883 and worked in a very similar Scots Jacobethan style. He remained sole practitioner at 50 George Street, Edinburgh until 1890 when he took Harry Ramsay Taylor into partnership, the office subsequently moving to 7a Young Street by 1901.

Much of the work of the practice depended on the connection with Nelsons the publishers which had been established by John Lessels. When James Lessels died c.1905 Taylor merged the practice with that of William Ormiston of Cousin & Ormiston as Cousin, Ormiston & Taylor. At the time of his death James Lessels was residing with his sister Elizabeth at Great Ha', Roslin and had been there for some years.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 5Great Ha', Roslin, Midlothian, ScotlandBusiness c. 1905 
Item 2 of 57, East Preston Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1869 Listed separately from father's practice
Item 3 of 550, George Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1879Before 1901With father's practice. After 1891 Lessels & Taylor
Item 4 of 57a, Young Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1900c. 1905Lessels & Taylor's address
Item 5 of 5140, Princes Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1905c. 1907Lessels & Taylor's address

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 Lessels & Sonc. 18601883Partner 
Item 2 of 2James Lessels and Harry Ramsay Taylor1890c. 1905Partner 

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 1Henry ('Harry') Ramsay Taylor18841890Assistant 

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 31186910-11 Abbotsford CrescentSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 2 of 311881Nelsons Publishing Works  EdinburghScotland 
Item 3 of 311884Royal Crescent  EdinburghScotlandExecuted design. Completed to modified design by John Lessels
Item 4 of 31188639 Jeffrey Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 5 of 311887Block of buildings on the corner of Chambers Street and Guthrie Street  EdinburghScotlandFollowing David Cousin's City Improvement Act designs
Item 6 of 31c. 188786-90 GrassmarketOld Town EdinburghScotland 
Item 7 of 3118883-37 Jeffrey Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 8 of 311890Grassmarket Mission HallOld Town EdinburghScotland 
Item 9 of 31After 1890CraigparkRatho MidlothianScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 10 of 31After 1890FosswellAuchterarder PerthshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 11 of 31After 1890Hawkshaw  PeeblesshireScotland 
Item 12 of 31After 1890ParsonageHaddington East LothianScotland 
Item 13 of 31After 1890Printing Works for Ballantyne, Hanson & Co    Additions
Item 14 of 31After 1890St Leonard's WorksParkside EdinburghScotlandAdditions
Item 15 of 31After 1890Stonefield House and estate  ArgyllScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 16 of 31After 1890The LodgeRatho MidlothianScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 17 of 311891Design for Free Library  EdinburghScotlandDesign exhibited - perhaps 1887 competition design for Edinburgh Central Library
Item 18 of 311891Tenement, 4-18 Jeffrey Street and 3-9 Cranston Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 19 of 311893Nelson Hall and West Branch Library  EdinburghScotland 
Item 20 of 311897Boroughloch Brewery  EdinburghScotland 
Item 21 of 311897Warehouse for John Crabbie & CoLeith EdinburghScotlandFront warehouse
Item 22 of 311898Nelson HallStockbridge EdinburghScotland 
Item 23 of 311900Biscuit Factory, Slateford Road  EdinburghScotland 
Item 24 of 311900Falkirk Public LibraryFalkirk StirlingshireScotlandSecond premiated competition design (25 premium)
Item 25 of 311900Penicuik House stablesPenicuik MidlothianScotlandConversion of stables to new house
Item 26 of 311901Nelson Hall and Library  EdinburghScotland 
Item 27 of 311901Stirling Public LibraryStirling StirlingshireScotlandWon in competition
Item 28 of 311903Maryhill Public LibraryMaryhill GlasgowScotlandCompetition design by Lessels and Taylor
Item 29 of 311904Cloan HouseAuchterarder PerthshireScotlandReconstruction
Item 30 of 31Before 1906Ferro-concrete factory  EdinburghScotland 
Item 31 of 31Before 1906MurdostounNewmains LanarkshireScotlandAdditions


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 1Post Office Directories     

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1Edinburgh City ArchivesCity Improvement Trust Minutes