Basic Biographical Details

Name: Charles William Gray
Designation: Architect
Born: 15 May 1899
Died: 17 January 1987
Bio Notes: Charles William Gray was born on 15 May 1899. He studied under the direction of John Ross McKay from May 1921 until 1927, both in the latter's office and at home, and attended classes at Edinburgh College of Art from October 1922. He was successful in his studies, winning a number of prizes including a travelling bursary in 1925, and spent three months of every year sketching in France, Italy, Spain and England. In June 1928 he was elected an Associate of the RIAS, and he acted as the secretary of its Associate section in that year.

He spent November 1928 to January 1930 with Harry Stuart Goodhart-Rendel in Cannes and St Raphael, thereafter joining the office of René Darde, Architect of the Société Centrale de Paris. In September 1931 (or 1932 - sources vary) he commenced practice on his own account at Ste Maxime with a small villa at St Raphael. He was admitted LRIBA in late 1931, his proposers being Goodhart-Rendel, Reginald Francis Joseph Fairlie and John Begg. Over the following years he carried out a considerable amount of work in the area, including the restorations of the ruined Carthusian monastery at Montrieux and of the monastery of La Grande Chartreuse near Grenoble, as well as new villas on the French Riviera for British and French celebrities.

He returned to Edinburgh in 1936 and was appointed chief of staff to Reginald Fairlie, who was then working on the National Library of Scotland. He remained with Fairlie until 1939, whilst also carrying out his own private practice which consisted mainly of church halls.

Gray reached the rank of Major during the Second World War. In 1948 Fairlie took him into partnership, joined soon after by Alexander Ritchie Conlon. Gray's principal work within the partnership was the Ewing Building, University College, Dundee. He continued the practice of Reginald Fairlie & Partners after Fairlie's death in 1952, and practised alone from 1953 to at least 1960. The address given for him in the RSA catalogue of 1958 shows that he had an office in the same building as Leslie Grahame-Thomson & Associates. He was elected FRIBA on 21 June 1960, proposed by Grahame-Thomson, Ian Gordon Lindsay and William Hardie Kininmonth.

Gray died at Nazareth house, Lasswade on 17 January 1987. His wife, Lysette (her name is given as 'Mary Alice Breton' in death register) had predeceased him but he was survived by his daughters Nicole and Rosline, his son Gilbert and his grandchildren. At some point prior to his death he was elected a Knight of St Gregory.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 7Villa Idargalym, Ste Maxime, Var, FrancePrivate1931 *  
Item 2 of 7St Raphael, Var, FrancePrivate(?)1931 *  
Item 3 of 74, Craiglockhart Bank, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1938 *  
Item 4 of 77, Ainslie Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1938 Reginald Fairlie's office
Item 5 of 7Tigh-Na-Geat, Lothianburn, Midlothian, ScotlandPrivate1950 *1987 
Item 6 of 76, Ainslie Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1964 *  
Item 7 of 765, York Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1970 *  

* 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 8John Ross McKayMarch 19211927ApprenticeMostly home study directed by McKay; in McKay's office for one year, 1923 to 1924
Item 2 of 8Reginald Francis Joseph Fairlie19281929Draughtsman 
Item 3 of 8René Darde1930 or 19311931 or 1932Assistant(?) 
Item 4 of 8Reginald Francis Joseph Fairlie19361939Assistant 
Item 5 of 8Reginald Fairlie & Partners1948(?)1953Partner 
Item 6 of 8Reginald Fairlie & Partners1957 * Partner 
Item 7 of 8Leslie Grahame-Thomson & Associatesc. 1958 * Partner 
Item 8 of 8Charles W Gray & PartnersBefore 1970 Partner 

* earliest date known from documented sources.


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6John BeggLate 1931for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 6Reginald Francis Joseph FairlieLate 1931for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 6Harry Stuart Goodhart-RendelLate 1931for Licentiateship
Item 4 of 6(Sir) William Hardie Kininmonth 21 June 1960for Fellowship
Item 5 of 6Ian Gordon Lindsay21 June 1960for Fellowship
Item 6 of 6Leslie Grahame Thomson (or Leslie Grahame-Thomson; later Leslie Grahame MacDougall)21 June 1960for Fellowship

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 77 St Columba's RC CathedralOban ArgyllScotlandFont (no date given by Frank Walker)
Item 2 of 771926RC Church of St John the BaptistCorstorphine EdinburghScotland 
Item 3 of 77After 1932Estate of Mr DebenhamBeauvallon  FranceUnspecified estate work
Item 4 of 77After 1932Monastery of La Grande ChartreuseGrenoble (near) IsereFranceRestoration
Item 5 of 77After 1932Montrieux Carthusian monasteryMontrieux, near Toulon VarFranceRestoration of ruin
Item 6 of 77After 1932Villa for Gilbert FrancoCap Ferrat VarFrance 
Item 7 of 77After 1932Villa for Monsieur Carrabussier   France 
Item 8 of 77After 1932Villa for Monsieur Combartet   France 
Item 9 of 77After 1932Villa for Mr Thomson of Thomson & HoustonCap Ferrat VarFrance 
Item 10 of 77After 1932Villa for Princess Marie of GreeceSt Tropez VarFrance 
Item 11 of 77After 1932Villa for Sir Samuel HoareCap Ferrat VarFrance 
Item 12 of 77After 1932Villa for the director of l'Illustration   France 
Item 13 of 771936National Library of Scotland  EdinburghScotlandChief of Staff for Reginald Fairlie during this project
Item 14 of 771950Ewing Building, Dundee University College  DundeeScotlandIn partnership with Reginald Fairlie, but responsible for design
Item 15 of 771950St Michael RC ChurchKilmarnock AyrshireScotland 
Item 16 of 771951Our Lady of Lourdes RC Church  GlasgowScotlandPlans to be prepared for extensions, alterations and additions
Item 17 of 771952St Catherine Laboure RC ChurchBalornock GlasgowScotland 
Item 18 of 77After 1953Carmelite Convent  EdinburghScotlandLarge additions
Item 19 of 77After 1953Carmelite ConventDunfermline FifeScotlandLarge additions
Item 20 of 77After 1953ChurchBonnyrigg MidlothianScotland 
Item 21 of 77After 1953ChurchLiberton EdinburghScotland 
Item 22 of 77After 1953Church (probably RC)Kirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 23 of 77After 1953Church (probably RC)Dunfermline FifeScotland 
Item 24 of 77After 1953ConventOulton StaffordshireEnglandAlterations
Item 25 of 77After 1953Convent of the Good ShepherdColinton EdinburghScotlandLarge additions
Item 26 of 77After 1953Home for mentally deficient girlsGalashiels SelkirkshireScotland 
Item 27 of 77After 1953St Hugh's Charterhouse, ParkminsterCowfold, Horsham SussexEnglandRestoration and rebuilding
Item 28 of 77After 1953St James RC ChurchPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 29 of 77After 1953St Joseph's Convent of the Little Sisters of the Poor  EdinburghScotlandLarge additions
Item 30 of 77After 1953St Margaret's Convent of the Ursulines of Jesus  EdinburghScotlandLarge additions
Item 31 of 77After 1953St Patrick's public hall  EdinburghScotland 
Item 32 of 77After 1953St Peter's RC ChurchPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 33 of 77After 1953St Saviour's RC Church  GlasgowScotland 
Item 34 of 77After 1953Youth club for Jesuits  EdinburghScotland 
Item 35 of 7719543 ArnothillFalkirk StirlingshireScotlandChapter house addition
Item 36 of 771954St Augustine RC ChurchMilton GlasgowScotlandAs a partner with Reginald Fairlie & Partners (from address given in RSA catalogue)
Item 37 of 771954St Laurence RC Church and PresbyteryDrumchapel GlasgowScotland 
Item 38 of 771954St Philip RC ChurchRuchazie GlasgowScotland 
Item 39 of 771955Baro HouseGifford East LothianScotlandCompleted
Item 40 of 771957RC Church of St Mary of the Assumption  AberdeenScotlandAlterations to adapt Cathedral to modern liturgical requirements.
Item 41 of 771957St Paul's RC ChurchWhiteinch GlasgowScotland 
Item 42 of 771958Church of the Holy NameOakley FifeScotlandDesign of building as constructed
Item 43 of 771958St Francis Xavier RC ChurchFalkirk StirlingshireScotland 
Item 44 of 771958St Giles RC ChurchKennoway FifeScotland 
Item 45 of 771958University of St Andrews, St Mary's CollegeSt Andrews FifeScotlandSouth extension to library (cost: £85,000)
Item 46 of 771959St Bernard's RC ChurchBallingry FifeScotland 
Item 47 of 771959St Matthew's RC ChurchAuchtermuchty FifeScotland 
Item 48 of 77Mid 1950sSt Columba's CollegeSt Boswells RoxburghshireScotlandAdditions including chapel
Item 49 of 771960s(?)RC ChurchCorstorphine EdinburghScotland 
Item 50 of 771960sRC ChurchMastrick AberdeenScotland 
Item 51 of 771960sRC ChurchDalmellington AyrshireScotland 
Item 52 of 771960Church (probably RC)Kilmarnock AyrshireScotland 
Item 53 of 771960St Columba's CollegeSt Boswells RoxburghshireScotlandLarge extension
Item 54 of 771960St Joseph RC ChurchCatrine AyrshireScotland 
Item 55 of 771960St Paul RC ChurchHurlford AyrshireScotlandAlterations to church
Item 56 of 771960St Teresa's RC ChurchCraigmillar EdinburghScotland 
Item 57 of 771960Theological collegeMelrose RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 58 of 77c. 1960Liverpool RC Cathedral of Christ the King  LiverpoolEngland 
Item 59 of 771961Our Lady of Mount Carmel RC ChurchKilmarnock AyrshireScotland 
Item 60 of 771962Our Lady of Perpetual SuccourBroomhill GlasgowScotland 
Item 61 of 771963Our Lady of Lourdes and St Patrick RC ChurchAuchinleck AyrshireScotlandChurch
Item 62 of 77c. 1963Our Lady of Mount Carmel RC ChurchKilmarnock AyrshireScotlandDesign for Civory, HES Archives, LOR LOR K/10/1/1
Item 63 of 771964St Vincent's RC Church BarraInverness-shireScotland 
Item 64 of 771965Our Lady of Lourdes RC ChurchBlackburn West LothianScotland 
Item 65 of 771965Roman Catholic Church, Spean Bridge  Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 66 of 771965St Francis Xavier RC ChurchWaterside AyrshireScotlandOpen porch
Item 67 of 771965St Peter's RC Church  AberdeenScotlandSanctuary re-ordered
Item 68 of 771966St Paul RC ChurchHurlford AyrshireScotlandPresbytery - may have been responsible
Item 69 of 77c. 1966St Benedict's AbbeyFort Augustus Inverness-shireScotlandWest narthex, baptistery and porch
Item 70 of 771967St Edward's RC ChurchAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 71 of 771967St Joseph's RC ChurchSpean Bridge Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 72 of 771967St Serf's RC ChurchAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 73 of 771969St Martin of Tours RC ChurchTranent East LothianScotland 
Item 74 of 771970RC ChurchClarkston GlasgowScotland 
Item 75 of 771970St John's RC ChurchCaol, Fort William Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 76 of 771970St Martin of Tours RC ChurchRenton DunbartonshireScotlandPerhaps retired by this date
Item 77 of 771973St Francis Xavier RC Church (new)Carfin LanarkshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 8Glendinning, Miles1997Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75  Tuckwell Press Ltdp162 National Library of Scotland
Item 2 of 8Municipal Annual1964Scottish Municipal Annual1964-1965  
Item 3 of 8Post Office Directories    First appears 1938
Item 4 of 8Pride, Glen L1999The Kingdom of Fife2nd EditionThe Rutland Pressp20
Item 5 of 8RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 6 of 8RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 7 of 8RSA1957   426
Item 8 of 8RSA1958   436, 440 etc

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Builder12 March 1965  p605

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L no3979 (box 19); F no5460 (combined box 80)