Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Davidson
Designation: Architect
Born: 1848
Died: April 1923
Bio Notes: James Davidson was born in Airdrie in 1848, the son of a weaver. He was educated at Airdrie Academy and initially trained as a joiner. In his teens he moved to Glasgow to attend the classes in the Athenaeum in Ingram Street, and while acting as foreman joiner on Flowerhill Parish Church in 1875 he impressed sufficiently to be made master or works for other Baird Trust church building projects. This enabled him to be articled to Hugh Hough MacLure from 1875 until 1882 when he commenced practice on his own account in Coatbridge, immediately becoming architect to Coatbridge School Board and, as a prominent local Freemason, achieving the position of master of St John's Lodge within a very few years. He was elected a councillor in Coatbridge in 1889, became a Baillie, and by 1911 was Provost.

In 1898 Davidson took Thomas Martin into partnership. Martin (born 1868) had been articled to Davidson in 1883 and had remained thereafter as junior and latterly senior assistant, studying at Gartsherrie Science School and Glasgow School of Art. The Davidson & Martin partnership was dissolved in 1903, both continuing to practise on their own account.

Davidson was elected FRIBA on 3 December 1906, his proposers being James Milne Monro, Alexander Cullen and David Barclay. He was a very competent free Renaissance designer and a specialist in the design and construction of theatres.

Davidson died in April 1923. The practice was continued by his son Alexander, born 1879, who was articled to him and studied at Coatbridge Technical School 1894-99 and at Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College 1899-1902. He became his father's partner in 1908 and was elected LRIBA in the mass intake of 20 July 1911, his proposers being his father, David Bateman Hutton and James Campbell Reid. He died in 1976.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 2Greenhill House, Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, ScotlandPrivate1906(?)1923(?) 
Item 2 of 2Academy Street, Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1906After 1914 

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 3Hugh Hough (or Heugh, or Heuch) MacLure18751882Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3Davidson & Martin18981903Partner 
Item 3 of 3James Davidson & SonAugust 1908April 1923Partner 

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 7Thomas Martin18831888Apprentice 
Item 2 of 7Thomas Martin18881893 or 1894Junior Assistant 
Item 3 of 7Thomas Martin1893 or 18941898Senior Assistant 
Item 4 of 7Alexander DavidsonAugust 1894c. 1898Apprentice 
Item 5 of 7Alexander Davidson1903August 1908Assistant 
Item 6 of 7Gilbert Telfer Scott19051908Assistant 
Item 7 of 7Hugh Stewart Robertsonc. 1936 Apprentice 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3David Barclay3 December 1906for Fellowship
Item 2 of 3Alexander Cullen3 December 1906for Fellowship
Item 3 of 3James Milne Monro3 December 1906for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 5William Brown20 March 1911for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 5William Brown1920 or 1921for Fellowship
Item 3 of 5Alexander Davidson20 July 1911for Licentiateship
Item 4 of 5Alexander McGregor Mitchell (junior)20 July 1911for Licentiateship
Item 5 of 5Gilbert Telfer Scott19 December 1910for Licentiateship

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 591887Langloan Free ChurchCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 2 of 591888Broomknoll Free Church (and hall)Airdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 3 of 591888Drapery Buildings for Coatbridge Co-Operative SocietyCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 4 of 591888Wellwynd West Parish ChurchAirdrie LanarkshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 5 of 59After 1888(?)Bothwell Free ChurchBothwell LanarkshireScotlandAdditions - may not have been involved
Item 6 of 59After 1888(?)Memorial HallCoatbridge LanarkshireScotlandMay not have been involved
Item 7 of 59After 1888(?)The Cross MansionsBellshill LanarkshireScotlandMay not have been involved
Item 8 of 591889Baillieston Public SchoolBaillieston GlasgowScotland 
Item 9 of 591889Coatbridge Technical CollegeCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 10 of 591890Gartsherrie Institute and BathsCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 11 of 591890St Thomas Wesleyan Church HallsCoatbridge? LanarkshireScotland 
Item 12 of 591892Calderbank Primary SchoolCalderbank LanarkshireScotlandFor Old Monkland School Board
Item 13 of 591892Gartsherrie Parish ChurchCoatbridge LanarkshireScotlandAlterations
Item 14 of 591892Gartsherrie Parish Church HallsCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 15 of 591893Coatdyke Public SchoolCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 16 of 591894Bargeddie Primary SchoolBargeddie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 17 of 591894Cookery School and Manual Training WorkshopCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 18 of 591894Premises for Larkhall Victualling SocietyLarkhall LanarkshireScotland 
Item 19 of 591894Stables etc for Coatbridge Co-Operative SocietyCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 20 of 591895Blairhill Public SchoolCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 21 of 591895Hotel for P Thornton EsqFauldhouse West LothianScotland 
Item 22 of 591896Co-Operative BakeryCoatbridge LanarkshireScotlandAdditions
Item 23 of 591897Coatbridge Co-Operative Society headquartersCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 24 of 591898Ross Street Masonic HallCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 25 of 591899Armadale Co-Operative Society premisesArmadale West LothianScotlandAdditions
Item 26 of 591899Established ChurchGlenboig LanarkshireScotlandPorch and forestair added
Item 27 of 591900Belleisle HouseAlloway AyrshireScotlandAlterations and interior alterations
Item 28 of 591900ManseTwechar DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 29 of 591900Twechar Parish ChurchTwechar DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 30 of 591900Workmen's Institute and BathsTwechar DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 31 of 591901Dundyvan Public SchoolCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 32 of 591901Mount Vernon SchoolMount Vernon GlasgowScotland 
Item 33 of 591901West Kilbride Co-operative Seaside HomeSeamill, West Kilbride AyrshireScotlandExtension - attribution in Buildings of Scotland
Item 34 of 591902Greenhill SchoolCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 35 of 591902Premises for Coatbridge Co-Operative SocietyAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 36 of 591903Gaiety TheatreLeith EdinburghScotlandReconstruction
Item 37 of 591903Prince of Wales Theatre  GlasgowScotlandEnlargement and refurbishment
Item 38 of 591903Stewart InstituteCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 39 of 591903West Kilbride Co-operative Seaside HomeSeamill, West Kilbride AyrshireScotlandE Lodge - attribution in Buildings of Scotland
Item 40 of 591904Glenboig Union Fireclay Company offices, Glenboig workmen's institute and reading roomGlenboig LanarkshireScotland 
Item 41 of 591905Blair Kimmock Mansion House / Blairtummock Mansion House (?)  Lanarkshire?Scotland 
Item 42 of 591905Gartsherrie SchoolGartsherrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 43 of 591905King's Theatre  EdinburghScotlandDesigned with J D Swanston
Item 44 of 59After 1905(?)Electric Power Station  Lanarkshire?ScotlandPossilby responsible - with Gilbert Telfer Scott as assistant
Item 45 of 591906Villas and cottagesCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 46 of 591907Annathill Mining VillageAnnathill LanarkshireScotland 
Item 47 of 591907Calderbank Parish ChurchCalderbank LanarkshireScotlandAddition of transepts
Item 48 of 591907LibraryDunblane PerthshireScotland 
Item 49 of 591908Clydesdale InstituteMossend LanarkshireScotland 
Item 50 of 591909Drill HallRutherglen LanarkshireScotland 
Item 51 of 591909Drill HallCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 52 of 591909UF Church HallDunblane PerthshireScotland 
Item 53 of 591910Coatbridge Board SchoolWhifflet, Coatbridge LanarkshireScotlandNew block
Item 54 of 59Before 1911West Free ChurchCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 55 of 591914Lanarkshire Coalmasters's Rescue CentreCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 56 of 591914Langloan SchoolCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 57 of 591914Sub-Rescue StationLarbert StirlingshireScotland 
Item 58 of 591920Coatbridge Savings BankCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 59 of 591920The New CinemaAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 3Peden, Allan1992The Monklands: an illustrated architectural guide RIASp43
Item 2 of 3Stothers, Thomas1912Stothers's Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire Xmas and New Year Annual 1911-19121911-1912Hamiltonpp326-327
Item 3 of 3Who's Who in Architecture1914    

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Builder4 May 1923   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers F v17 p100 no1146 (microfilm reel 12)
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Photographs Collection