Basic Biographical Details

Name: Carruthers & Alexander
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 9 May 1914(?)
Ended: 1916(?)
Bio Notes: William Laidlaw Carruthers was born at Inverness on 9 May 1859, the son of Robert Carruthers and Ann Ballantyne Laidlaw. He was educated from 1874 at the newly opened Fettes College where he was later to design the sports pavilion. In 1876 he was articled to Alexander Ross of Inverness and in 1881 at the end of the apprenticeship he found a place in the office of Ernest George and Harold Ainsworth Peto. He commenced business on his own account at 39 Union Street, Inverness, in 1883 and was successful at once designing several large arts and crafts neo Tudor houses indistinguishable from those of George, challenging comparison with the very best domestic work of Burnet Son and Campbell and Thomas Lennox Watson. These secured his election as FRIBA on 7 March 1892: his proposers were George, John Belcher and John James Stevenson, a measure of the esteem in which his work was held.

Carruthers took his assistant Samuel Grant Alexander into partnership in 1901. Alexander was born in Inverness in 1875 and articled to Duncan Cameron of Inverness in 1892. While with Cameron he was resident Clerk of Works at Glenfinnan House, Inverness-shire, overseeing the additions being made there. He entered William Laidlaw Carruthers' office as an assistant in 1896.

The practice of W L Carruthers & Alexander excelled in restoration work, the rebuilding of Dalcross Castle being exemplary for its date. Its later new-build work at such houses as Invertrossachs tends to be more anodyne than that of the earlier years, but always has a distinctive understated quality.

Alexander was admitted LRIBA on 20 March 1911, his proposers being Carruthers, Alexander Ross and Herbert Read.

William Laidlaw Carruthers died on 5 April 1914. The practice was continued by Alexander in partnership with Carruthers' son Robert (Roy) Ballantyne Carruthers. Robert was born on 14 September 1891, and assumed the additional surname of Ballantyne c.1920 when he inherited the estate of Holylee in Peeblessshire from William Laidlaw Ballantyne (presumably an uncle), who was factor at Abbotsford. While at school he had to have a foot amputated as a result of osteomyelitis following a kick in a rugby game. He refused to wear an artificial foot and had a peg leg throughout adult life. He trained at the Architectural Association and with Sir Guy Dawber, and spent part of 1914 acting as Clerk of Works for James Ransome.

Ballantyne was on war service from 1916 to 1919, and did not return to the practice therafter, being employed instead as a draughtsman by W C Lucas in 1920 before resuming independent practice in 1921. Alexander appears to have continued the practice of Carruthers & Alexander alone.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 117, Queen's Gate, Inverness, Inverness-shire, ScotlandBusiness   

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 3Samuel Grant Alexander1914(?)1916(?)Partner 
Item 2 of 3Robert Carruthers-Ballantyne (or Robert Ballantyne Carruthers; or Roy Carruthers Ballantyne)1914(?)1916(?)Partner 
Item 3 of 3Albert Victor RobertsonOctober 1918September 1923Apprentice 

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 21914Badan RohiCarrbridge Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 2 of 21914Killilan Lodge  Ross and CromartyScotland 

References

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.