Basic Biographical Details

Name: Ronald Carswell
Born: 11 March 1876
Died: April 1947
Bio Notes: Ronald Carswell was born on 11 March 1876 in Lochgilphead, the son of Archibald Carswell and his wife. He was educated there. He served his apprenticeship with Neill Gillies of Lochgilphead from 1890 to 1894, remaining thereafter as assistant. He left in 1897 when he was appointed assistant in the practice of John Proudfoot Goodsir of Falkirk. He commenced independent practice in Lochgilphead in 1900, moving his office to Yoker in 1906. He was elected LRIBA in the mass intake of 20 July 1911, proposed by John Bennie Wilson and the Glasgow Institute of Architects.

In 1912 Carswell emigrated to Canada and set up practice in Winnipeg, Manitoba with an office at 502 Northern Crown Bank Building, but returned to Scotland with the Cameron Highlanders of Canada after the outbreak of the First World War in October 1914. He subsequently transferred to the Black Watch in Scotland and saw active service in France, at the rank of Captain and was mentioned twice in dispatches.

He continued to practise from his Winnipeg office after the war but in the later 1920s the depression in Canada induced him to return again to Scotland, where he practised at 125 George Street, Edinburgh until at least 1934. He had joined the Scottish Board of Health in 1920 as architect (but presumably maintained his office in George Street) and in this post he specialised in the design of hospitals and wartime nurseries. He remained with it after it became the Department of Health for Scotland.

Carswell was awarded the MBE in 1945. He died in April 1947 having collapsed while attending morning service at his church, Mayfield North, in Edinburgh. His wife, Grace Mackay, predeceased him.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 7Lochgilphead, Argyll, ScotlandPrivate1890(?)1897 
Item 2 of 7Lochgilphead, Argyll, ScotlandPrivate/business19001910 or 1911 
Item 3 of 7Commercial Bank Buildings/4, Bank Place, Yoker, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1911 *  
Item 4 of 7Willowbank, Yoker, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1911 *  
Item 5 of 7502 Northern Crown Bank Building, Winnipeg, Manitoba, CanadaBusinessBefore 1914After 1925 
Item 6 of 7125, George Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessBefore 19301939 or after 1940 
Item 7 of 7Salisbury Road, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1947  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 3Neil (or Neill?) Gillies18901894Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3Neil (or Neill?) Gillies18941897Assistant 
Item 3 of 3John Proudfoot Goodsir18971900Assistant 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 1John Bennie Wilson20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects

Buildings and Designs

This 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 29After 1890Ardmarnock HouseArdmarnock ArgyllScotlandAs assistant to Neill Gillies
Item 2 of 29After 1890Auchnaba HousePort Ann ArgyllScotlandAdditions
Item 3 of 29After 1890Inverneill HouseInverneill ArgyllScotlandAs assistant to Neill Gillies - additions
Item 4 of 291896Dwellings and villasFalkirk StirlingshireScotlandAs assistant to John Proudfoot Goodsir
Item 5 of 291897Kerse Parish ChurchGrangemouth StirlingshireScotlandAs assistant to John Proudfoot Goodsir
Item 6 of 291897WallacerigPolmont StirlingshireScotlandPossibly involved as assistant to John Proudfoot Goodsir (this may be one of the 'dwellings & villas, Polmont' mentioned in his LRIBA nomination papers)
Item 7 of 29After 1897Dwellings and villasPolmont StirlingshireScotlandAs assistant to John Proudfoot Goodsir
Item 8 of 29After 1897Dwellings and villasColinton EdinburghScotlandAs assistant to John Proudfoot Goodsir
Item 9 of 29After 1897Iron foundriesFalkirk StirlingshireScotlandAs assistant to John Proudfoot Goodsir
Item 10 of 291897 or 1898Larbert West UP Church hallLarbert StirlingshireScotlandAs assistant to John Proudfoot Goodsir
Item 11 of 291898Villa for J A S Ogilvie EsqColinton EdinburghScotlandPossibly involved as assistant to John Proudfoot Goodsir (this may be one of the 'dwellings & villas, Colinton' mentioned in his LRIBA nomination papers)
Item 12 of 291900Larbert West UP ChurchLarbert StirlingshireScotlandAs assistant to John Proudfoot Goodsir
Item 13 of 29After 1900Bowling clubhouse and recreation roomsClydebank DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 14 of 29After 1900Church hallLochgilphead ArgyllScotland 
Item 15 of 29After 1900Ellary CastleArdrishaig ArgyllScotlandNew estate buildings
Item 16 of 29After 1900Estate House for John NeillKeills ArgyllScotland 
Item 17 of 29After 1900Excise Officer's House JuraArgyllScotland 
Item 18 of 29After 1900Free ChurchLochgilphead ArgyllScotland 
Item 19 of 29After 1900Golf clubhouseScotstounhill GlasgowScotland 
Item 20 of 29After 1900Jura House JuraArgyllScotlandAlterations
Item 21 of 29After 1900Schools in mid Argyll for three Boards  ArgyllScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 22 of 29After 1900Shops and dwellingsClydebank DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 23 of 29After 1900Shops and dwellingsRenfrew RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 24 of 29After 1900Shops and dwellings  GlasgowScotland 
Item 25 of 29After 1900Shops and dwellingsOld Kilpatrick DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 26 of 29After 1900Steam laundryYoker GlasgowScotland 
Item 27 of 29After 1900Villas, shops and dwellingsArdrishaig ArgyllScotland 
Item 28 of 29After 1900Workmen's houses for Crinan Canal Commissioners  ArgyllScotland 
Item 29 of 291911Free Church, DalintoberCampbeltown ArgyllScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 3Measurers\' Companion1911The Scottish Architects' and Measurers' Companion   
Item 2 of 3RIBA1930The RIBA Kalendar 1930-1931 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 3 of 3RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 3Builder2 May 1947172 p423 (states that he specialised in hospitals and wartime nurseries but seems to suggest that he only joined the Board of Health after the war)
Item 2 of 3Scotsman21 April 1947  p7 Death notice
Item 3 of 3Scotsman21 April 1947  Obituary p3

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Research by Iain Paterson
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v16 no 1174