Basic Biographical Details

Name: Leadbetter & Fairley
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1895
Ended: 1909
Bio Notes: The practice of Leadbetter & Fairley was formed in 1895 when Thomas Greenshields Leadbetter took James McLellan Fairley into partnership.

Leadbetter (b. 1859), the son of James Greenshields Leadbetter (1827-1897) of Stobieside, Lanarkshire and Margaret Macpherson, daughter of Hugh Macpherson of Blantyreferme, had commenced independent practice c. 1884 renting chambers at 122 George Street, Edinburgh - an address which suggests some kind of link with Peddie and Kinnear as Peddie owned it. Information on his training is as yet lacking but the precocious neo-Tudor vernacular of Dundhu, comparable with W L Carruthers's early houses at Inverness suggests a similar London background as do his RA exhibits. On 28 August 1890 Leadbetter married Mary Anne Usher of Norton and Wells, substantially extending the family connections which were the basis of the practice. Although some commentators have found his work bland his understated unturreted early-17th-century Scots style reflected J J Stevenson's advocacy of such an idiom in 'House Architecture' (1880) and paralleled Rowand Anderson's Allermuir and Glencoe.

Fairley was born in 1860, the son of a US army officer, Captain Alexander Fairley and had served his apprenticeship with Hippolyte Jean Blanc from 1875, subsequently working in the offices of Wardrop & Reid, Archibald Macpherson, Walter Wood Robertson of the Office of Works and Arthur George Sydney Mitchell, before founding his practice c. 1885. He passed the qualifying exam in 1886 and was admitted ARIBA on 21 June of that year his proposers being Arthur Cates, George Washington Browne, John Kinross, ___ Berry (?) and, rather oddly, Leadbetter who does not seem to have been a fellow of the institute: his inclusion suggests that he had already been assisting Leadbetter's practice for some time.

Leadbetter seems to have lived chiefly at Spittal Tower, Hawick from 1903 onwards, but his name appears in the directories along with the firm at 17 Young Street until his semi-retirement in 1909, following which Fairley took into partnership Robert Stirling Reid (b. 1883) - the practice becoming Leadbetter, Fairley & Reid (see separate entry).

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 117, Young Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness18951909 

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 14Robert Raeburn Grieve18951898 or 1899Apprentice 
Item 2 of 14Thomas Greenshields Leadbetter1895After 1903PartnerLeadbetter semi-retired in 1903 but was still involved in some projects thereafter
Item 3 of 14James McLellan Fairley18951909Partner 
Item 4 of 14Thomas Sinclairc. 1895c. 1899Apprentice 
Item 5 of 14James Aynsworth Lindsay18961896Assistant 
Item 6 of 14Robert Raeburn Grieve1898 or 18991900Draughtsman 
Item 7 of 14William Dean18991899 or 1900Assistant 
Item 8 of 14Walter Fairbairn18991901Assistant 
Item 9 of 14James Robb Scottc. 1900c. 1905Apprentice 
Item 10 of 14Robert Stirling Reid1901c. 1905Apprentice 
Item 11 of 14Alexander InglisJanuary 1901December 1901Assistant 
Item 12 of 14Robert Stirling Reidc. 19051907Junior Draughtsman(?) 
Item 13 of 14James Aynsworth Lindsay19061908Senior Assistant 
Item 14 of 14James Aynsworth LindsayLate 1908 or early 19091909Senior Assistant 

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 46189552 Garscube Terrace  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 2 of 461895Airlie Lodge  EdinburghScotland 
Item 3 of 461895Carnegie Public LibraryWick CaithnessScotlandDrew up design - with Sinclair MacDonald as executant architect
Item 4 of 461895JohnstounburnHaddington East LothianScotlandImproved garden front
Item 5 of 461895Sandeman Public LibraryPerth PerthshireScotlandCompetition design - unplaced
Item 6 of 46After 1895Grandtully Castle  PerthshireScotlandRestoration
Item 7 of 461896Airlie Lodge  AngusScotlandAlterations
Item 8 of 461896Arthur Lodge  EdinburghScotlandAdditions and alterations
Item 9 of 461896Coach house and stables for John UsherRoseburn EdinburghScotland 
Item 10 of 461896Rowallan Castle and Rowallan HouseKilmaurs AyrshireScotlandRebuilding and additions -'proposed addition to old Scots mansion' - not executed
Item 11 of 461897Broxburn Public SchoolBroxburn West LothianScotlandAdditions and alterations
Item 12 of 46189822 Belgrave CrescentDean EdinburghScotlandAdditions
Item 13 of 461898Border mansion house   ScotlandDesign exhibited
Item 14 of 461898Chapel of St Kentigern  ArgyllScotland 
Item 15 of 461898Eccles House  BerwickshireScotland 
Item 16 of 461898Edinburgh Academy, Library  EdinburghScotlandCentre block
Item 17 of 4618994 Belford Park  EdinburghScotlandConversion of stables to flats
Item 18 of 461899Burntisland Golf ClubhouseBurntisland FifeScotlandDesign exhibited
Item 19 of 461899Fitzgerald Memorial HallTorphichen West LothianScotlandDesign exhibited
Item 20 of 461899Lodge and gates    Design exhibited
Item 21 of 461899SummerhillKirkcudbright KirkcudbrightshireScotlandDesign exhibited
Item 22 of 461900Blairhoyle House  PerthshireScotlandAlterations
Item 23 of 461900Edinburgh Academy, Library  EdinburghScotlandDrawing for carved panel dated
Item 24 of 461900Edinburgh Academy, Main Building  EdinburghScotlandSite plan showing arrangement of covered ways
Item 25 of 461900ParkhillDalry AyrshireScotlandAddition of wings
Item 26 of 46c. 190022 Moray Place  EdinburghScotlandLight installed
Item 27 of 461901Bonded StoreQueen's Park, St Leonard's EdinburghScotland 
Item 28 of 461901Mansion houseSlateford EdinburghScotland 
Item 29 of 461901(?)University of Edinburgh, John Usher Institute of Public Health  EdinburghScotland 
Item 30 of 46190216 Gillespie RoadColinton EdinburghScotlandAdditions
Item 31 of 46c. 19027-8 Moray Place  EdinburghScotlandAlterations and subdivision into 5 dwellings
Item 32 of 461903New Parish Church (St Paul's)Milngavie DunbartonshireScotlandWon competition to secure job
Item 33 of 461904DalveahLoch Ard, Aberfoyle PerthshireScotlandDesign exhibited
Item 34 of 461904Lee CastleCarnwath LanarkshireScotlandNew lodge, gate, large dairy
Item 35 of 46c. 1904GlenparkBalerno MidlothianScotlandNew build/alterations? (Plans dated)
Item 36 of 4619059 Lennox Street Lane  EdinburghScotlandConversion of stable and coachhouse to garage
Item 37 of 461905Carlung HouseWest Kilbride AyrshireScotlandDesign for rebuilding after fire (not executed)
Item 38 of 461905QueenshillRingford (near), Kirkcudbright KirkcudbrightshireScotlandDesign exhibited
Item 39 of 461905Swinton ManseSwinton BerwickshireScotlandAlterations? Repairs?
Item 40 of 461905Swinton Parish ChurchSwinton BerwickshireScotlandAlterations?
Item 41 of 46c. 1905Simprin Church and Manse  BerwickshireScotland 
Item 42 of 461906Wells House  RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 43 of 461907Low Drumclog  LanarkshireScotlandHS Attribution
Item 44 of 461908Dean Cemetery, Leadbetter MemorialDean EdinburghScotland 
Item 45 of 461908StobiesideDrumclog LanarkshireScotland 
Item 46 of 461909The AbbeyNorth Berwick East LothianScotlandDesign exhibited


Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architectural practice:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1DMW ArchiveSmall, G P: The Leadbetters' Victorian Legacy, Unpublished paper, 21 September 1994 Research on Leadbetter by Sam Small