Basic Biographical Details

Name: Arthur John Fryers
Designation: Architect
Born: 1867
Died: 9 August 1954
Bio Notes: Arthur John Fryers was born in 1867, the son and second child of John Fryers, draper, and his wife Isabella Greaves. He was articled to William Forsyth McGibbon, attending classes at Glasgow School of Art where he won bronze medals in Measured Drawing; Building Construction; Graphic Statics; and Quantity Surveying. He commenced independent practice in Largs in 1894 and was a somewhat coarse designer. In his later years he lived in considerable style at Warren Park, Largs, a large Old English house built in 1891 for O E Philips when Fryers was twenty-four. He exhibited this house as his own work at the RGI in 1893 but it is probable that McGibbon had a hand in it as Fryers did not commence independent practice until the following year.

In 1898 he went into partnership with his brother-in-law Larmont Douglas Penman. Penman was born on 9 September 1868 at 10 Robertson Street, Glasgow, the son of, John Sandilands Penman, wine and spirit merchant, hotel keeper, restaurateur and cab proprietor and his wife Mary Struthers (maiden name Steven). He had been articled to Thomas Lennox Watson from June 1884 until 1889, remaining as assistant for a year after completing his apprenticeship and studying at Glasgow School of Art. In 1890 he had moved to Edinburgh as an assistant to George Washington Browne, attending classes at Heriot-Watt College, but late in the same year he had transferred to the office of Charles Davidson of Paisley. In 1892 he had moved briefly to Robert Thomson's office in Glasgow before finding a place in that of Hippolyte Jean Blanc in Edinburgh, and the following year he had moved again to that of Joseph Hall Morton in South Shields. On 26 March 1894 at the Clark Town Hall, Paisley he had married Amy Fryers, sister of Arthur John.

After the formation of the partnership of Fryers & Penman, the quality of design in the Fryers practice notably improved. The practice began with suburban villas mainly for the Glasgow builder George Hamilton, but by 1905 had secured the patronage of the Coats family. At that date the practice was capable of work of the extremely high quality required by its clientele. Between April and June 1910 Fryers married Edith Amelia Bedington in Melton Mowbray Leicestershire.

In 1911 -12 Fryers & Penman's Paisley connections with the Coats and Clark families brought the commission for what was probably the largest commercial office building in the UK, St James' Buiolding on Oxford Street, Manchester for the Calico Printers' Association, seven storeys and attics high and twenty-seven bays long to the street and containing 1,000 rooms. For this project they entered into a short-term partnership or association with the long-established Manchester practice of Charles Clegg & Son as Clegg, Fryers & Penman. The elder Clegg (b.1828) was then 83 years old and it seems likely that the effective partner was his son Charles Theodore Clegg (b.1861). The project was completed in 1913, the Cleggs then reverting to the practice title Charles Clegg & Son.

In 1912 Fryers & Penamn had an office at 22 Bath Street in Largs; by 1914 the practice had moved to Clydeview in the same town.

Penman died in 1931, but Fryers lived on at Warren Park until 9 August 1954. He left 18,37 19s 2d.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 9Warren Park, Largs, Ayrshire, ScotlandPrivate 9 August 1954 
Item 2 of 9Lancaster, EnglandPrivate1867 Place of birth
Item 3 of 948, Overnewton Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1881(?) *  
Item 4 of 9Glen Road, Potterhill, Paisley, Renfrewshire, ScotlandPrivate/business(?)Before 1891 *After 1893 
Item 5 of 9Blythswood, Largs, Ayrshire, ScotlandPrivate1901 *  
Item 6 of 921, Spring Gardens, Manchester, EnglandBusiness1910 * Branch office
Item 7 of 94, Main Avenue, Leverhulme, Lancashire, EnglandPrivate1911 *  
Item 8 of 922, Bath Street, Largs, Ayrshire, ScotlandBusinessBefore 19111939 or after 1940(?) 
Item 9 of 9Clydeview, Largs, Ayrshire, ScotlandBusiness1914 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

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 2William Forsyth McGibbonc. 18891894Apprentice 
Item 2 of 2Fryers & Penman1898 Partner 

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 431876House at West KiilbrideWest Kilbride AyrshireScotland 
Item 2 of 431893Lodge, Warren ParkLargs AyrshireScotland 
Item 3 of 431896Houses in Hamilton AvenuePollokshields GlasgowScotland 
Item 4 of 43c. 1896Double villas, Maxwell Drive  GlasgowScotland 
Item 5 of 431898Ardrossan and Saltcoats Infectious Diseases HospitalArdrossan AyrshireScotlandWon competition to secure job
Item 6 of 431899Millport Infectious Diseases HospitalMillportGreat CumbraeButeScotlandWon competition to secure job
Item 7 of 431899Springvale Infectious Diseases HospitalSaltcoats AyrshireScotland 
Item 8 of 431900Kirkcaldy Burgh Infectious Diseases HospitalKirkcaldy FifeScotlandAdditional administrative and ward blocks - won competition to secure job
Item 9 of 431900Kirkcaldy District Infectious Diseases HospitalThornton FifeScotland 
Item 10 of 43c. 1901LindenleePeebles PeeblesshireScotland 
Item 11 of 43c. 1901Neidpath ViewPeebles PeeblesshireScotland 
Item 12 of 431902Double villas, Hatfield Drive  GlasgowScotland 
Item 13 of 431902Villa, Rowan RoadDumbreck GlasgowScotland 
Item 14 of 4319031-10 Whittingehame Gardens  GlasgowScotlandNos 8 & 9 date from c.1904
Item 15 of 431904Auchenames House  AyrshireScotlandAdditions and alterations
Item 16 of 431904Knock CastleLargs AyrshireScotlandWest lodge and enlarged house
Item 17 of 431904Villa, Sherbrooke Avenue  GlasgowScotland 
Item 18 of 431905Houses, Sherbrooke Avenue  GlasgowScotland 
Item 19 of 431905Lindisfarne and Real Tennis CourtTroon AyrshireScotlandVilla
Item 20 of 431906Glen Tanar HouseAboyne AberdeenshireScotlandAlterations
Item 21 of 431906West Park HouseSkelmorlie AyrshireScotlandAdditions
Item 22 of 43c. 1906St Thomas's Episcopal ChurchAboyne AberdeenshireScotlandAlexander Thomson Heathcote claims to be responsible, as chief assistant
Item 23 of 431907Annaginny  County TyroneEire 
Item 24 of 431907Sudbourne HouseOrford SuffolkEngland 
Item 25 of 431908Knock CastleLargs AyrshireScotlandEnlarged house and added billiard room
Item 26 of 431909Houses, West Kilbride  AyrshireScotland 
Item 27 of 431909St James Buildings  ManchesterEnglandAlexander Thomson Heathcote responsible, as chief assistant
Item 28 of 431910Masonic LodgeLargs AyrshireScotland 
Item 29 of 431910St FillansLargs AyrshireScotlandLarge additions with tower
Item 30 of 43Before 1910Crawley CourtCrawley HampshireEnglandEstate buildings.
Item 31 of 43Before 1910Villa ZoraideCap Martin  France 
Item 32 of 431911Fairlie SchoolFairlie AyrshireScotlandEnlargement
Item 33 of 431911Post OfficeWest Kilbride AyrshireScotland 
Item 34 of 431912Fornethy HouseGlenisla AngusScotland 
Item 35 of 431919HayocksStevenston AyrshireScotlandAdditions
Item 36 of 431920sHouses, Caldwell Road and Corsehill RoadWest Kilbride AyrshireScotland 
Item 37 of 431921Old War Memorial West Kilbride AyrshireScotland 
Item 38 of 431923Beith UF ChurchBeith AyrshireScotlandRebuilding and church halls
Item 39 of 431924Nodesdale HouseLargs (near) AyrshireScotlandMajor reconstruction and enlargement
Item 40 of 431928Parker Memorial HallFairlie AyrshireScotlandOctagonal S addition
Item 41 of 431929Building, Main Street and Fort Street cornerLargs AyrshireScotlandDesign only - not executed
Item 42 of 431935Dunn Memorial HallLargs AyrshireScotlandre-worked in Tudor style
Item 43 of 431938Amusement PavilionLargs AyrshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 3Hartwell, Clare2001Manchester (Pevsner Architectural Guides) Yale University Pressp181
Item 2 of 3John J Parkinson-Bailey2000Manchester, an Architectural History Manchester UPp137 (illus)
Item 3 of 3RIBA1930The RIBA Kalendar 1930-1931 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1Courtesy of Sheila GibbonsInformation sent via 'Contact Us' on website Sent 29/06/2011