Basic Biographical Details

Name: William Shanks
Designation: Architect
Born: 1860
Died: 1915
Bio Notes: William Shanks was born in 1860 and articled to McKissack & Rowan from 1882 to 1886, studying at Glasgow School of Art in 1884-5. He then became an assistant to James Chalmers prior to commencing practice in partnership with an unidentified architect named Mitchell in Glasgow in 1889. Shanks acted as architect to Shotts School Board from 1891 to 1894; he continued in independent practice when his partnership with Mitchell was dissolved in the latter year.

In or after 1899 Shanks emigrated to Capetown, South Africa, where he obtained a position as an assistant to Baldwin John Knox. When Knox died in 1903 he joined Edward Barnato Brothers in Transvaal, moving to Edward Rand Proprietary Mines in 1905. Thereafter he was briefly in the Transvaal Public Works Department prior to recommencing practice on his own account in Johannesburg c.1906. He was admitted LRIBA on 24 June 1912, his proposers being James Campbell Turner Murray and Andrew Noble Prentice, both London Scots, and William Tait Conner, then of Johannesburg and previously of Glasgow.

Shanks Shanks was devoted to his own profession and was also a fine flautist. He died of pernicious anaemia at the Kensington Sanatorium in Johannesburg in 1915.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 3Fruitfield, Airdrie, Lanarkshire, ScotlandPrivate1884 *  
Item 2 of 368, Bath Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness18891899 
Item 3 of 3Room 21, Couper's Building, Quarty Street, Johannesburg, South AfricaPrivate1912 *  

* 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 3McKissack & Rowan18821886Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3James Chalmers18861889Assistant 
Item 3 of 3Shanks & Mitchell18891894Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3William Tait Conner24 June 1912for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 3John Campbell Turner Murray24 June 1912for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 3Andrew Noble Prentice24 June 1912for Licentiateship

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 81890Baptist ChurchAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 2 of 81890Polmont Park Mansion, gate lodge and estate workPolmont Park StirlingshireScotland 
Item 3 of 81891Five schoolsShotts LanarkshireScotland 
Item 4 of 8After 1894IronworksDenny StirlingshireScotland 
Item 5 of 8After 1894Paulville TownshipBathgate West LothianScotland 
Item 6 of 8After 1894Tenements  GlasgowScotland 
Item 7 of 8After 1894Three paper worksDenny StirlingshireScotland 
Item 8 of 81899Rochsolloch Primary SchoolAirdrie LanarkshireScotlandAwarded second premium of 10


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of Website of artefacts, for the recording of South African buildingsAccessed February 2017

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Journal4 December 1915v23London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp56

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Additional research by Iain Paterson
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v25 no2090