Basic Biographical Details

Name: Kirkland & Hamilton
Born: 1861
Died: 1861
Bio Notes: Alexander Kirkland was born on 24 September 1824 at Kilbarchan, the son of William Kirkland and his wife Janet Neill. Nothing is known of Alexander's training, which seems to have been more as civil engineer than as architect, but he began practice c.1846 and quickly acquired the patronage of James Scott of Kelly whose syndicate had purchased the estate of Stobcross in 1844. For Scott he designed the Bothwell Street and Bothwell Circus developments from 1849 onward, visiting the Continent with him to see contemporary developments in Paris and elsewhere (see Builder, 16 February 1850). Scott's St Vincent Crescent, Minerva Street and Corunna Street developments were undertaken concurrently, 60,000 being expended in the years 1849-57. Around 1854 he entered into a short-lived partnership with George Henry Russell, based in Kirkland's office at 4 Bothwell Street. This was dissolved by the Spring of 1856, whereafter Russell practised on his own account at 62 Buchanan Street, until he either died, left the city or took another job in 1857.

In his Glasgow years Kirkland appears to have been substantially dependent upon others, including John Bryce, for architectural detailing. Around the early 1850s he took on James Hamilton as an apprentice. Hamilton had been born c.1826 the son of John Hamilton, manager of St Rollox Chemical Works and his wife Jane McKay. He remained with Kirkland for several years as an assistant, designing in his own name several monuments in the Glasgow Necropolis including the boldly theatrical one to J H Alexander, and working on Scott's Venetian Eagle Buildings, Bothwell Street, and on the Ulster shirtmakers Tillie & Henderson's Warehouse at 37-51 Miller Street; Professor W J Smith recalled seeing the elevations for these hanging on the office walls of James Hamilton's son John and his grandson Arthur. Very similar in style was Hamilton's Ulster Bank in Belfast which strongly resembles the Miller Street building, suggesting that all three buildings must be to Hamilton's design. The competition win for the Ulster Bank enabled Hamilton to establish his own Glasgow and Belfast practice, although Kirkland and Hamilton appear to have been briefly in partnership in West Nile Street in 1861. Also in the office at the time was Thomas Ross (1839-1930) later of MacGibbon and Ross.

At the end of 1861 Kirkland withdrew from his Glasgow practice, perhaps as a result of a lawsuit, selling his home (Cartbank House, Kilbarchan) and moving to London on 19 February 1862 to practise as a civil engineer. Hamilton continued the Glasgow practice alone thereafter.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1West Nile Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness18611861 

Employment and Training

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 3James Hamilton18611861Partner 
Item 2 of 3Alexander Kirkland18611861Partner 
Item 3 of 3Thomas Ross18611861Assistant(?) 


Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Journal9 November 1935v43London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp38 Obituary of John Hamilton

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Mitchell LibraryGildard's 'Some Old Glasgow Architects' supplementary manuscript  
Item 2 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Information from personal recollections of the late Professor William James Smith