Basic Biographical Details

Name: Walter Ralph Herring
Born: 1862
Bio Notes: Walter Ralph Herring was born in Islington, London in 1862, the son of George Herring and Frances Woodhouse (married 1858). He initially trained with the surveyor WE Stoner and engineers A.Killby, Dennet & Ingle before being articled to the architect Charles Henman (1814-1884). In 1881 at the age of 19 he was working with Henman, and the following year was elected to the RIBA, his proposers being JE Saunders, Alexander Marshall Peebles, William Harvey and R W Edis.

At some stage he must have decided to specialise in engineering, and by the time he published ‘The Construction of Gas Works practicably described’ in 1892 he was already known in his field, being the Engineer for Huddersfield Corporation gasworks. He later (1899) published a Report on European Gasworks, and was the author of several patents.

He was appointed the Chief Engineer and Manager of the Edinburgh and Leith Gas Commissioners company on 12 February 1897 at a salary of £900 p.a. He retained this post until he resigned in 1910, when his salary was £1500 p.a. and was replaced by Mr Masterton, although he was retained as a consultant on a salary of £500 p.a.

On appointment in Edinburgh Herring immediately had to choose an appropriate site for the Gas Works and after Leith was discounted the 106 acre Granton site was purchased from the Duke of Buccleuch for £124,000. Work started in October 1898 and it opened on 27 February 1902. Herring was responsible for all of the pre-1910 buildings on the site including the gasholder, gatehouse, offices, stores, fitting shop, control shop and station. His architectural training is evident in the handsome Edwardian classicism of the buildings erected on the site in two stages between 1899-1902 and 1903-1910.

In 1891 he married Cora Annie Austin in Hastings, and two children were born in Huddersfield, Cora Esme in 1893 and Ralph Austin in 1896. Shortly afterwards his wife and family moved to Hastings, whilst Walter moved to Edinburgh, where he lived at Granton House, in Gipsies Brae, adjacent to the Granton gasworks. (1901 census).

Herring's membership to the RIBA lapsed in 1916. His date of death is not yet known.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 2Chief Engineer's Department, Gas Commissioners/15, Calton Hill, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1900After 1911 
Item 2 of 2Granton House, Gipsies Brae, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1901 *  

* 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 1Charles Henmanc. 18781881Apprentice 

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 1James Thomas Alexander Taylor1900After 1911Assistantin Chief Engineer's Department, Edinburgh & Leith Corporations Gas Commissioners Office


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 4(Sir) Robert William Edis1882 
Item 2 of 4William Harvey1882 
Item 3 of 4Alexander Marshall Peebles1882 
Item 4 of 4James Ebenezer Saunders1882 

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 21898Granton Gas Works and entrance gatewayGranton EdinburghScotland 
Item 2 of 2After 1900Edinburgh & Leith Corporations Gas Commissioners Office  EdinburghScotlandAs Chief Engineer & Manager to the Edinburgh & Leith Corporations Gas Commissioners


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 2British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   
Item 2 of Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints: Website 

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3Courtesy of Steven RobbInformation via website  
Item 2 of 3Edinburgh City LibrariesEdinburgh Census Records  
Item 3 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A v8, p137 (Fiche 32/F7)