Basic Biographical Details

Name: David Steuart Gladstone
Designation: Architect
Born: 4 August 1913
Died: 31 August 2001
Bio Notes: David Steuart Gladstone was born in Dumfriesshire on 4 August 1914, the son of Hugh Steuart Gladstone, landed proprietor, Capenoch, Dumfriesshire, and his wife Cecil Emily Talbot. Gladstone’s grandfather, Thomas Gladstone, had inherited considerable wealth from his father, Robert, who had made his fortune as a merchant. Thomas commissioned David Bryce to design Capenoch. Robert Gladstone was the uncle of William Ewart Gladstone, prime minister. Though interested in his forebears David was particularly proud of his great-great grandfather Samuel Clark who had corresponded with Robert Burns.

David was educated at Eton and although he was unhappy there, he made a life-long friend in Terence O’Neill who was the last prime minister of Northern Ireland. Gladstone’s talent for drawing and painting was apparent at School and he considered going to art school. In the end he went to Cambridge University to study Land Management but left after a year and went to study architecture at the Architectural Association in London from 1934. He was articled to Pilkington & Eastover, having had some previous office experience. After qualification he set up in business with James Cubitt in London. During this period he travelled extensively in Italy as well as in the Loire district in France and in Holland Belgium and Germany. He was elected ARIBA in 1939, his proposers being R E Southorn, G Tillins and Verner O Rees.

During the Second World War Gladstone joined the RAF. Having had some previous flying experience while in Cambridge, he was initially assigned to teach recruits in Leeds and later South Africa. However he volunteered for active service and became squadron leader pilot in Bomber Command of the No 40 Squadron. He made many sortees flying with no navigational instruments in a Wellington bomber generally from the base in Malta. He was mentioned in dispatches.

After the war he married Esther Mary Moreton Macdonald from Largie in Kintyre and settled in Berkshire where Gladstone practised as an architect and began to farm. The couple had four children. In 1953 they returned to Newton Stewart in Scotland where he ran a dairy farm, managed his sister-in-laws estate and ran his architectural practice, which tackled both new build and restoration work. He also campaigned to save old buildings from demolition.

Outhwith his work, Gladstone was interested in speed, whether on land, sea or in the air and was known for being a fast driver. He was also interested in steam trains and traction engines and made a point of travelling on the last journeys of trains in Galloway before the lines were closed down.

Gladstone was careless of his appearance and when later in life he was a farmer, he was often mistaken for the local tramp. From his boyhood days he had known the writer and otter-keeper, Gavin Maxwell. Maxwell occasionally visited Gladstone and his wife in the 1960s. In 1969 the Gladstones moved to a small hill farm to the north of Newton Stewart.

His address in 1981 was in Wigtownshire. He died on 31 August 2001 aged 87, survived by his daughters, Mary, a writer and university tutor, Elisabeth a lavender farmer, Janet, a textile designer, and Colin, a farmer in Argyll. Gladstone’s wife, who was also a farmer, had predeceased him in 1982.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 356, Curzon Street, London, EnglandBusiness1939 *  
Item 2 of 3Carsenstock, Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire, ScotlandPrivate1970 *  
Item 3 of 3Glanoch, Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire, ScotlandPrivate1981  

* 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 2James Cubitt and Partners1930s Assistant 
Item 2 of 2Pilkington & EastoverEarly 1930s Apprentice 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Verner Owen Rees3 April 1939For Associateship
Item 2 of 3R E Southern (or Sothorn)3 April 1939For Associateship
Item 3 of 3G Tillins3 April 1939For Associateship


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 1RIBA1970RIBA Directory 1970   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Scotsman27 September 2001  p14 Obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no 7166 (Combined box 177)