Basic Biographical Details

Name: William Cowie & Torry
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1947
Bio Notes: William Cowie was born in 1867. He served his apprenticeship with Alexander and William Reid of Elgin from 1883-1888. He then moved to Edinburgh becoming an assistant in the office of Sydney Mitchell for two-and-a-half years, transferring to Glasgow to the office of Clarke and Bell thereafter. During his early training he showed a particular interest in medieval ecclesiastical architecture, making measured drawings of a number of buildings including Elgin Cathedral, Holyrood Church, Glasgow Cathedral and Crossraguel Abbey. He passed the qualifying exam and was elected ARIBA on 5 June 1893, his proposers being Robert Alexander Bryden, William Forrest Salmon and Thomas Lennox Watson. From this time he was chief draughtsman to John and Henry Vincent Eaglesham for twelve years, commenced independent practice in Ayr in 1905 and taking Torry into partnership. He was elected FRIBA in late 1933 or early 1934, his proposers being James Lochhead, George Arthur Boswell and James Archibald Morris. In addition to the specific works listed on his nomination paper, he mentions "Several Private Houses, Warehouses, Factories etc.".

On Cowie's retirement in 1947, Fred Torry took over the practice. Fred Torry (who is probably the same as John F Torry who appears in the RIBA Kalendar of 1939-1940) was born in 1910. Initially the firm was William Cowie & Torry and subsequently after the retirement of Fred Torry, William Cowie, Torry & Partners, with Ian McGill as senior partner.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 3Alloway Chambers/239, High Street, Ayr, Ayrshire, ScotlandBusiness 1914Ar least until 1914
Item 2 of 312, Wellington Square, Ayr, Ayrshire, ScotlandBusinessAfter 19141940 
Item 3 of 35, Wellington Square, The Sandgate, Ayr, Ayrshire, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1951After 1964 

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 2William Cowie1947 Partner 
Item 2 of 2John Frederick ('Fred') Torry1947 Partner 

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 111951Catholic Church, DalmellingDalmelling AyrshireScotland 
Item 2 of 111953Dalmilling Church, St QuivoxAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 3 of 1112 June 1953Housing Scheme, CraigieCraigie AyrScotlandScheme of 32 houses
Item 4 of 1130 October 1953St Andrew's House, AyrAyr AyrshireScotlandPlans in hand for alterations and extensions
Item 5 of 111954The Schaw KirkDrongan AyrshireScotland 
Item 6 of 111955Cathedral of the Good ShepherdAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 7 of 111964St Paul RC ChurchAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 8 of 111965Trinity UF Church and hallsAyr AyrshireScotlandSuite of halls added
Item 9 of 111965Wallacetown and Newton Redevelopment, AyrWallacetown, Ayr AyrshireScotland 
Item 10 of 111968Three tower blocksWallacetown AyrScotland 
Item 11 of 11c. 1970St Margaret's RC ChurchAyr AyrshireScotlandPresbytery


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
Item 1 of 3British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   
Item 2 of 3Municipal Annual1964Scottish Municipal Annual1964-1965  
Item 3 of 3Post Office Directories     

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architectural practice:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 3Builder2 March 1951  p332
Item 2 of 3Builder12 June 1953  p932
Item 3 of 3Builder30 October 1953  p680