Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Thomson & Sons
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: After 1867(?)
Bio Notes: James Thomson was born in Airdrie in 1822, the son of a weaving agent who was a town councillor. He was apprenticed as a joiner in 1837, but attended classes in draughtsmanship in Coatbridge, obtaining an unspecified 'diploma' in architecture in Edinburgh in 1846. Shortly thereafter he obtained the commission for New Monkland Poorhouse which inaugurated his career as an architect, his office being in Coatbridge rather than Airdrie in the 'Architect's Engineer's and Building Trades' Directory' of 1868. He was a competent classicist.

Thomson had three sons: John, born 1846, who was articled to his father c.1862, and was for a time an assistant in the office of Alexander Thomson, probably c.1865-67 and continued the Airdrie practice; Peter, born 1849, who practised as a civil engineer and died relatively young in 1895; and Robert Miller Thomson, born 1856 who practised in his own name in Glasgow from 1878 but was apparently still in partnership with his father and elder brother. He had only just made his name as an architect of tall office buildings with Andrew Wilson as his assistant when he died in 1900.

James Thomson died in 1898, and his son John in March 1912. The practice was then at 7 Victoria Place Airdrie and John was living at Largiemeanach, Drumgelloch Street, Airdrie. The Airdrie end of the partnership was continued by John's son James Thomson Junior, born 17 April 1878 and educated at Airdrie Academy, who had been articled to his father and grandfather in 1892, and had attended Glasgow School of Art under William James Anderson and Alexander McGibbon. He was taken into partnership by his father in 1906, and admitted LRIBA in the mass intake of 20 July 1911, proposed by John Bennie Wilson and the Glasgow Institute of Architects. He is said to have been a skilful painter and etcher. He died on 19 March 1921. The practice was continued by Alexander Houston Thomson who was James Junior's younger brother, born 1 May 1882 and had also been taken into partnership in 1906. He had been articled to his father 1897-1902, during which period he attended Glasgow School of Art and was admitted LRIBA a year after his brother on 24 June 1912. He retired to Arran in the early 1960s; the practice records were destroyed soon afterwards.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 17, Victoria Place, Airdrie, Lanarkshire, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1896After 1912Measurers' Companion gives East Victoria Place in 1911

Clarke's Directory gives James Thomson & Son (not Sons)

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 10James ThomsonAfter 1867(?)1898Partner 
Item 2 of 10John ThomsonAfter 1867(?)1912Partner 
Item 3 of 10John Scotlandc. 1875(?)c. 1880(?)Apprentice 
Item 4 of 10John Scotlandc. 1880(?)c. 1883(?)Assistant 
Item 5 of 10James Thomson (junior)1892c. 1897Apprentice 
Item 6 of 10Alexander Houston Thomson1 October 1897c. 1902Apprentice 
Item 7 of 10James Thomson (junior)c. 18971906Assistant(?) 
Item 8 of 10Alexander Houston Thomsonc. 19021 January 1906Assistant(?) 
Item 9 of 10James Thomson (junior)19061921Partner 
Item 10 of 10Alexander Houston Thomson1 January 1906After 1960Partner 

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 441874Royal Bank of ScotlandAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 2 of 441874St Margaret's SchoolAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 3 of 441876Rutherglen Town HallRutherglen LanarkshireScotlandWorked in association with Kennedy and Dalgleish (probably this John Thomson)
Item 4 of 441880FruitfieldAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 5 of 441880Rawyards HouseAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 6 of 441882Ebeneezer Congregational ChurchAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 7 of 44After 1892Airdrie County BuildingsAirdrie LanarkshireScotlandRestoration and alterations on three occasions
Item 8 of 44After 1892Villa for John KennedyAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 9 of 44After 1892Villa for R Adam EsqAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 10 of 441897The Red HouseAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 11 of 44After 1897Cottages, farm steading etc, Cairnhill estateAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 12 of 44After 1897Cottages, farm steading etc, Carnbroe estateAirdrie (near) LanarkshireScotland 
Item 13 of 44After 1897Cottages, farm steading etc, Milnwood estateAirdrie (near) LanarkshireScotland 
Item 14 of 44After 1897Cottages, farm steading etc, Wester Moffat estateAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 15 of 44After 1897Cottages, farm steading etc, Woodhall estateAirdrie (near) LanarkshireScotland 
Item 16 of 44After 1897Ebeneezer Congregational ChurchAirdrie LanarkshireScotlandAlterations and decorations
Item 17 of 44After 1897Masonic HallBellshill LanarkshireScotland 
Item 18 of 44After 1897Villa for Colin BrownAirdrie? Lanarkshire?Scotland 
Item 19 of 44After 1897Villa for John MotherwellAirdrie? Lanarkshire?Scotland 
Item 20 of 44After 1897Villa for William McAllisterAirdrie? Lanarkshire?Scotland 
Item 21 of 44Late 1800sTenement, 2 East High StreetAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 22 of 441905Chapelside Primary SchoolAirdrie LanarkshireScotlandAddition - north wing
Item 23 of 44After 1906Airdrie AcademyAirdrie LanarkshireScotlandAdditions
Item 24 of 44After 1906Airdrie County BuildingsAirdrie LanarkshireScotlandAlterations
Item 25 of 44After 1906Chapelside Public SchoolAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 26 of 44After 1906Masonic HallNew Stevenston Lanarkshire/Ayrshire?ScotlandWon competition to secure job
Item 27 of 44After 1906Post officeBathgate West LothianScotlandDesigns - approved but possibly unexecuted
Item 28 of 44After 1906Victoria SchoolAirdrie LanarkshireScotlandAdditions
Item 29 of 44After 1906Villa for A Frame EsqBearsden GlasgowScotland 
Item 30 of 441910Sir John Wilson Town HallAirdrie LanarkshireScotlandWon competition to secure job
Item 31 of 441911St Margaret's SchoolAirdrie LanarkshireScotlandManual instruction rooms
Item 32 of 44c. 1911Cairnhill HouseAirdrie LanarkshireScotlandRestoration
Item 33 of 44After 1918Terrace of houses, Forrest Street and Katherine StreetAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 34 of 441920Offices for the North West Rivet Bolt & Nut FactoryAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 35 of 44c. 1920Cairnhill Housing SchemeAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 36 of 441923Shop for Messrs W Spence & Cuthbert, chemistsAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 37 of 44Before 192320 Council HousesGreengair LanarkshireScotland 
Item 38 of 44Before 192350 Council HousesChapelhall LanarkshireScotland 
Item 39 of 44Before 192380 Council HousesNew Stevenston LanarkshireScotland 
Item 40 of 441934Campbeltown Town HouseCampbeltown ArgyllScotlandInternal alterations
Item 41 of 441936Dalintober Housing SchemeCampbeltown ArgyllScotland 
Item 42 of 441949St James ChurchAyr AyrshireScotlandGates - WW2 memorial
Item 43 of 441959Village HallBrodickArranButeScotlandW addition
Item 44 of 44Before 1930109 Forrest StreetAirdrie LanarkshireScotlandDescription in Close et al (2016, p.116) matches the property currently at 109 Forrest Street, and ascribes it to James Thomson, sub-1930s.


Currently, there are no references for this architectural practice. The information has been derived from: the British Architectural Library / RIBA Directory of British Architects 1834-1914; Post Office Directories; and/or any sources listed under this individual's works.