Basic Biographical Details

Name: Cowie, Torry & Partners
Designation: Architectural practice
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. For some years prior to his death in 1980 Torry was a consultant and R H B Lowe, W D Bain and I Ross McKay were associates. In 1981 Mcgill is listed as sole partner.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1Ayr, Ayrshire, ScotlandBusiness   

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 4William Cowie 1947Partner 
Item 2 of 4John Frederick ('Fred') Torry1970 * Partner 
Item 3 of 4Robert Hutton Black Lowe1970 *After 1980Assistant(?) 
Item 4 of 4Ian Graham McGill (or MacGill)After 1970 *After 1981PartnerLater consultant.

* 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 32 Blackfriars WalkAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 2 of 321959Girvan Central Development AreaGirvan AyrshireScotland 
Item 3 of 321969Citadel Leisure CentreAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 4 of 32Late 1960sBuilding for Church of Scotland, Broomfield RoadAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 5 of 321970s463 sheltered housing groups, 3 residential homes, offices and supermarketsGirvan Ayrshire  
Item 6 of 321970sEntertainment CentreGirvan AyrshireScotland 
Item 7 of 321970sHousing offices for Kyle & Carrick District CouncilAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 8 of 321970sNew Cumnock Swimming PoolNew Cumnock AyrshireScotland 
Item 9 of 321970sRozelle HouseAyr AyrshireScotlandAlterations
Item 10 of 321970sWest of Scotland Agricultural College, Auchincruive/AuchencruiveSt Quivox AyrshireScotlandAddition to Dairy Research building
Item 11 of 321970Swimming BathsAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 12 of 321972MacLaurin Art GalleryAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 13 of 321975Riverside HouseAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 14 of 32Before 1975Department of the Environment officesSaltcoats AyrshireScotland 
Item 15 of 32Before 1975Kincaidston Community Development with 800 houses and Shopping CentreAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 16 of 32Before 1975Residential home and mentally handicapped unitGirvan AyrshireScotland 
Item 17 of 32Before 1975Swimming bathsGirvan AyrshireScotland 
Item 18 of 32Before 1975Village HallCatrine AyrshireScotland 
Item 19 of 32Early 1970sGirvan TownGirvan AyrshireScotlandRenovations and environmental improvements
Item 20 of 32Before 1980Three churchesAyr Ayrshire  
Item 21 of 32c. 1980Inspection chamber for coastal sewage pumping schemePrestwick AyrshireScotland 
Item 22 of 32c. 1980Pumping StationPrestwick AyrshireScotland 
Item 23 of 321981CarwinshochSauchrie AyrshireScotlandDesigned house of which Carwinshoch is now the service quarters
Item 24 of 32Before 1981Ayr Football Club StadiumAyr AyrshireScotlandUpgrading of stadium
Item 25 of 32Before 1981Cash & Carry warehouse for IanottiAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 26 of 32Before 1981Grougar Primary SchoolMoscow, Galston AyrshireScotland 
Item 27 of 32Before 1981Housing Action AreaPrestwick AyrshireScotlandPlans drawn up
Item 28 of 32Before 1981Pumping Stations for Garnock Valley Sewage Scheme  AyrshireScotland 
Item 29 of 32Before 1981Tesco SupermarketSaltcoats AyrshireScotland 
Item 30 of 321985Clydesdale BankAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 31 of 32c. 1985Kyle CentreAyr AyrshireScotlandWith Sheppard Robson
Item 32 of 321987Alloway Street BankAyr AyrshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
Item 1 of 1Glendinning, M, MacInnes, R and MacKechnie, A1996A History of Scottish Architecture  p562

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architectural practice:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers John Frederick Torry: A no 7383 (Combined Box 187)