Basic Biographical Details

Name: Coad & MacLaren
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1884
Ended: 1887
Bio Notes: Richard Coad was born in Liskeard, Cornwall on 13 February 1825. He was articled to Henry Rice of Liskeard and subsequently worked as assistant to Sir George Gilbert Scott from 1847 to 1864. He returned to Liskeard in the latter year to commence independent practice, and opened a London office in 1868.

In 1884 Coad took James Marjoribanks MacLaren into partnership. MacLaren had been born on 12 January 1853, the sixth of the eleven children of John MacLaren, famer at Middleton of Boquhapple, Thornhill, Callander and his first wife Janet Downie; the family was both Free Church and Liberal. About 1868 he had been articled to Salmon Son & Ritchie in Glasgow, in whose office he worked alongside George Washington Browne and William Flockhart. In 1873 Browne left for Campbell Douglas & Sellars's office as an assistant, MacLaren joining him either then or shortly thereafter. While still an articled pupil in Salmon's office, in 1872 MacLaren had obtained honourable mention in the competition organised by 'The Building News' with a house design which drew a complaint of plagiarism from Richard Norman Shaw. In 1875 MacLaren and Browne moved to the office of John James Stevenson in London and joined the Architectural Association. He must have assisted Coad from early on in his time in London, as on 7 January 1876 MacLaren entered the Royal Academy Schools on Coad's recommendation. Although still not in independent practice MacLaren built two large houses at Grangemouth in 1877, that for his cousin Daniel Alexander MacLaren so close in style to William Leiper's Balgray as to suggest that he must have spent some time in Leiper's office, or at least have had an entrée to it, and in 1878 an artist's house at Fulham which does not appear to have been built. In May of the same year he went to Paris to design some furniture, and while there used his Architectural Association tickets to attend lectures at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. The influence of these lectures, and of what he saw there, was to be in evidence for a year or two, most notably in his design for the Liverpool School of Art competition of 1881. In the course of his travels in France he visited Rouen and Fontainebleau. Later in the same year (1878) MacLaren visited Spain and Switzerland. MacLaren's movements between offices at that time cannot be securely dated but at some point he was in the office of the Surveyor of Public Buildings for the County of Surrey, Charles Henry Howell, and then in the office of Howell's former assistant William Young, probably just after Young won the Glasgow Municipal buildings competition. While in London MacLaren and his brother Thomas, with whom he shared lodgings, attended St John's Presbyterian Church in Allen Street, Kensington where the minister was the Rev Dugald MacColl from Glasgow. There they became friends of MacColl's son, the future art critic Dugald Sutherland MacColl and on 20 February 1883 James MacLaren married Dugald's sister Margaret Mathieson MacColl. The marriage was made possible by James MacLaren's senior position at Coad's Duke Street office.

The Coad & MacLaren partnership seems to have been a somewhat loose one, MacLaren assisting with work for Coad's clients with freedom to enter competitions in his own name and build up a practice of his own. That arrangement lasted until late in 1887 when James MacLaren moved out to start a completely independent practice nearby at 21 King William Street.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 13, Duke Street, Adelphi, London, EnglandBusiness18841887 

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 2James Marjoribanks MacLaren18831887Partner 
Item 2 of 2Richard Coad18831887Partner 

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 111884St Hydren's ChurchLansallos CornwallEngland 
Item 2 of 111885Fulham Vestry HallFulham LondonEnglandCompetition design - not successful
Item 3 of 111885Lanhydrock House  CornwallEngland 
Item 4 of 111886Balnald cottagesGlen Lyon PerthshireScotland 
Item 5 of 111886Balnald SawmillGlenlyon PerthshireScotlandReconstruction of former threshing mill
Item 6 of 111886Balnald Steading and farmhouseGlen Lyon PerthshireScotland 
Item 7 of 111886BowringsleighKingsbridge DevonEnglandMajor restoration of cut-down Tudor house
Item 8 of 111886Cottages at EastnorEastnor HerefordshireEngland 
Item 9 of 111886Ledbury Park  HerefordshireEnglandRestoration and extension
Item 10 of 111886Policeman's cottage blockFortingall PerthshireScotlandFirst scheme
Item 11 of 11c. 1886Miss Menzies HouseFortingall PerthshireScotlandAdditions


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.