Basic Biographical Details

Name: William de B M Galloway
Designation: Architect
Born: 1830 or 1831
Died: 11 September 1897
Bio Notes: William de B M Galloway was born c.1830, the son of William Galloway who is described as being of independent means in the census of 1841 and as a proprietor of houses in that of 1851, but the family lived relatively modestly, first at Roxburgh Terrace, Edinburgh and later in Rankeillor Street.

Galloway was educated at the High School and was articled to Patrick Wilson c. 1844-49, probably remaining with him as an assistant as he was described as an architect’s clerk living with his parents in the 1851 census. His father, by then a divinity student as well as a proprietor, died in 1854 and seems to have left Galloway financially independent, free to do what he chose by the later 1860s. There is no record of where he was employed in the later 1850s but his watercolour of the Hays’ St John’s Episcopal Church at Perth at the RSA in 1866 suggests that his excellent draughtsmanship had brought him work on presentation perspectives from other architects, and by 1861 he had begun to take a near-professional interest in photography to which his residence in North Street, St Andrews in the census of that year may relate. By 1865 he had made his first visit to Iona, exhibiting a watercolour of Maclean’s Cross at the Glasgow Institute that year. He may have had some employment in Glasgow at that time as he was living as a boarder in West Princes Street but by 1866 he was back in Edinburgh, first in Gillespie Street and later (1873-77) at Gardener’s Crescent in practice as a watercolourist as well as an architect.

Galloway does not seem to have married. Although Gardener’s Crescent was his home for most of the 1870s he lived a peripatetic existence as a guest or boarder until later middle age. In 1865 probably on the strength of his Iona watercolours, the Society of Antiquaries commissioned him to copy Sir Henry Dryden’s Orkney notes and drawings, but other commitments delayed its implementation until 1868 when he spent an extended period at Canons Ashby. On his return he lithographed the drawings of St Magnus Cathedral which were published by the Architectural Institute of Scotland in 1871 at which date he was living as a boarder at 3 Heriot Terrace, Lower Broughton Road. Also undertaken at that time were the rescue and recording of the sculptured stones at Meigle following the parish church fire of 1869, plaster casts being taken of those that survived, further forays into Argyll and on Iona from at least 1871 and the commencement of his long-running study of St Blane’s Church at Kingarth on Bute which was not to be finalised until 1890.

From 1875 the antiquary Sir Malcolm McNeill invited Galloway to undertake an archaeological survey of Colonsay as his guest at Colonsay House. He was there until 1876 and again in 1881-83 and 1885-87. In the course of the second of these visits they excavated a Viking boat grave at Kiloran Bay in 1882-83, their finds being an exhibit at the International Fisheries Museum in London; and on 10 May of the same year, he gave a paper on the Iona Crosses to the Society of Antiquaries in London.

In parallel with his activities on Colonsay, Galloway excavated and recorded Restenneth Priory with Dr John Stuart and excavated Corsehope Rings in Midlothian, moving his home base from Gardener’s Crescent to Midfield at Inveresk, these and various other finds being reported in a series of eight papers given to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 1876-80. He was elected a corresponding member on 11 June 1877 but his farther progress to election as fellow was blocked by Joseph Anderson. The reasons are not recorded but probably relate to his finds being offered to the Department of Science and Art and the British Museum rather than to the Society’s museum when it was the Society which had launched his career as an archaeologist. From 1880 onwards he had to publish in Archaeologia Scotica rather than the proceedings. None of this affected the esteem in which he was held by others, or the aristocratic though unremunerative patronage of his later career. He remained a welcome guest at Canons Ashby: in June 1883 the McNeills commissioned him to excavate and partly re-erect Oronsay Priory and even write a privately published account of Sir John Carstairs McNeill’s 1885 military activities in the Eastern Sudan: and from that year onwards his main patron was the Third Marquess of Bute who financed the excavation and repair of Whithorn Cathedral (1886-97), Cruggelton and Kirkmadrine Churches (1889-90) and the Well of Rees at Kilgallioch (1889). For these he charged the Marquess only his expenses. These caused Galloway to settle permanently at 87 George Street, Whithorn, the better to supervise the work on the cathedral and negotiate with a local committee anxious to avoid disturbance to graves and gravestones, although other interests frequently saw him engaged in study elsewhere. Whithorn also served as a base from which to assist David MacGibbon and Thomas Ross in south-west Scotland. Despite their fundamental disagreement on the interpretation of the surviving fabric of St Blane’s Church, Galloway provided plans and sketches for Barr Castle and Castle Semple Church in Renfrewshire; Kilwinning Abbey in Ayrshire, where he had been working since 1878; St John’s Church at Dalry in Kirkcudbrightshire; and Castle Stewart, Castle Wigg, Ardwell, Carscreuch, Garlies, Isle of Whithorn, Killasser, Myrton and Penninghame Castles and Portpatrick church in Wigtownshire.

Galloway died on 11 September 1897 aged sixty-five (Wigtown Free Press) or sixty-seven (death certificate) and was buried at Whithorn rather than at the family grave in Grange Cemetery in Edinburgh. He left moveable estate of £850 8s 7d with an eke of £175 5s 11d. This was inherited by his sister Miss J M Galloway who sold the collection of artefacts to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland for £20 and his negatives and rubbings for £12: the latter have unfortunately not survived. In his obituaries he was described as a poet but only one, ‘The Twa Auld Whinstones’ is now known.

His parents are both buried though he is buried in Whithorn.


Galloway, W B M 1871 Illustrations of some parts of the Cathedral Church dedicated to St. Magnus, at Kirkwall in Orkney, delineated in lithography by W B M Galloway, Esqr, Archt. From drawings and measurements by Sir H E L Dryden, Bart. Of Canons Ashby, Northamptonshire, Honorary Member of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Trans Architectural Institute of Scotland (1868−71).

Galloway, W 1878a ‘Notice of the ancient kil or burying-ground termed “Cladh Bhile” near Ellary, Loch Caolisport, South Knapdale’, Proc Soc Antiq Scot 12 (1877–8): 32−58.

Galloway, W 1878b ‘Notice of two cists at Lunan-Head, near Forfar, containing remains of unburnt skeletons, etc’, Proc Soc Antiq Scot 12 (1877–8): 288−300, pl 18.

Galloway, W 1878c ‘Notice of several sculptured stones at Meigle, Perthshire, still undescribed’, Proc Soc Antiq Scot 12 (1877–8): 425−34.

Galloway, W 1878d ‘Notes’, in Laing, A ‘Notice of a fragment of an ancient cross found at Carpow, in the parish of Abernethy, Perthshire’, Proc Soc Antiq Scot 12 (1877–8): 462−4 (463−4).

Galloway, W 1878e ‘Notes on a sculptured stone in Logierait Churchyard’, in Anderson, A ‘Notice of the discovery of a sculptured stone at Logierait, Perthshire’, Proc Soc Antiq Scot 12 (1877–8): 561−4.

Galloway, W 1879a ‘Notice of an ancient Scottish lectern of brass, now in the parish church of St Stephen’s, St Albans, Hertfordshire’, Proc Soc Antiq Scot 13 (1877–9): 287−302.

Galloway, W 1879b ‘Notice of a sculptured stone in the churchyard at Tullibole, Kinross-shire’, Proc Soc Antiq Scot 13 (1877–9): 316−20.

Galloway, W 1880 ‘Notice of a camp on the Midhill-Head, on the estate of Borthwick Hall, in the parish of Heriot, Midlothian, the property of D. J. MacFie, Esq’, Proc Soc Antiq Scot 14 (1879–80): 254−60.

Galloway, W 1887 The Battle of Tofrek, fought near Suakin, March 22nd 1885 under Major-General Sir John Carstairs McNeill, V.C., K.C.B., K.C.M.G. London: W H Allen (reprinted 2004 by the Naval & Military Press/Firepower).

Galloway, W 1890a ‘Notice of the Chapel dedicated to St Blane at Kingarth in Bute’, Archaeologia Scotica 5: 317−64, pls 36−41.

Galloway, W 1890b ‘St Ninian and the early Christianisation of Scotland’, Trans Stirling Nat Hist Archaeol Soc (no vol number) (1889−90): 73−84.

Galloway, W 1890c ‘Report on the earlier part of the existing buildings at Restennet Priory’, in Stuart, J 1890 'On the early history of the Priory of Restennet, 'Archaeologia Scotica 5, 296−310, pls 30−35.

Galloway, W 1896 ‘Notes on the Ancient Parish Church of St John the Baptist, Dalry, Kircudbrightshire’, Transactions of the Dumfries & Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society, series 2, 12 (1895-6), 69-80

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 17Dumfries, Dumfriesshire, ScotlandBusiness   
Item 2 of 175, Roxburgh Terrace, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1841 With his parents
Item 3 of 17Rankeillor Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1851 Still living with his parents
Item 4 of 17North Street, St Andrews, Fife, ScotlandPrivate1861 As a lodger
Item 5 of 17132, West Graham Street, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1865 As a lodger
Item 6 of 171, Gillespie Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1866  
Item 7 of 173, Heriot Terrace, Lower Broughton Road, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1871 As a lodger
Item 8 of 1724, Gardener's Crescent, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1873  
Item 9 of 17Colonsay House, Argyll, ScotlandPrivate18751876As a guest
Item 10 of 17Kilchattan, Argyll & Bute, ScotlandPrivate1876 As a boarder
Item 11 of 177, Gardener's Crescent, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate18761877 
Item 12 of 17Colonsay House, Argyll, ScotlandPrivate18811883As a guest
Item 13 of 17Midfield, Inveresk, Midlothian, ScotlandPrivate18831885 
Item 14 of 17Colonsay House, Argyll, ScotlandPrivate18851887As a guest
Item 15 of 17Ardwell, Wigtownshire, ScotlandPrivate1889  
Item 16 of 1787, George Street, Whithorn, Wigtownshire, ScotlandPrivate18891897 
Item 17 of 17Candleriggs Street, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1891 As a boarder

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 1Patrick Wilsonc. 1844c. 1849Apprentice 

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 6 Kirkmaiden ChurchKirkmaiden WigtownshireScotlandExcavation, consolidation, renewal of decayed stones
Item 2 of 61878Kilwinning Parish ChurchKilwinning AyrshireScotlandSurvey and repairs
Item 3 of 6c. 1880Oronsay Priory OronsayArgyllScotlandRestoration of east gable and west cloister arcade
Item 4 of 61889The Well of the ReesKilgallioch AyrshireScotlandRepairs to domed superstructure
Item 5 of 61892Cruggleton ChurchCruggleton WigtownshireScotlandRestoration of 12th century church
Item 6 of 6Late 1800sWhithorn PrioryWhithorn WigtownshireScotlandConsolidation of nave walls and crypt under the priory church's east end


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 3Johnston, W T2003Artists of Scotland Officina Publications CDROM 
Item 2 of 3Scotlands People Website Wills & Testaments  Wigtown Sheriff Court Sc10/41/21
Item 3 of 3Simpson, William Douglas William Galloway … scholar-architect Perhaps appears in one of hispublications?? 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 4Builder189773 p243 - obituary
Item 2 of 4Galloway Advertiser and Wigtownshire Free Press23 September 1897  3g
Item 3 of 4Proceedings of the Soc. of Antiquaries of Scotland2012142 pp435-465. Article by Anna Ritchie.
Item 4 of 4Scotsman11 September 1897  p10

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1Census records onlineCensuses