Basic Biographical Details

Name: William Walker
Born: 1881
Died: February 1923
Bio Notes: William Walker was born in 1881, the son of a wine merchant of the same name in Cupar, where he was educated at the Bell Baxter School, but his family originally came from Longforgan, Perthshire. He was articled to Gillespie & Scott in St Andrews in 1897 or 1898 and remained as assistant, and latterly 2nd chief assistant in a staff of 15, until 1906 when he joined Swanston & Syme in Kirkcaldy as chief assistant. During that period he sketched extensively in Scotland and England, spending a total of ten months touring the cathedral cities, and made at least one study tour in France, working in Normandy, Brittany and the area around Paris, as well as visiting Belgium and the north of Italy; he would later undertake further travels at home and abroad after commencing practice. Walker and his two sisters were very musical, William being secretary of the St Andrews Musical Association.

Walker appears to have begun entering design competitions on his own account in 1906, from his home in Cupar. He commenced practice in 1907, in partnership with an older friend and colleague in Gillespie & Scott's office, Andrew David Haxton (born 1878). The partnership of Haxton & Walker was based in Leven at 3 High Street, Walker having won the competition for a commercial block there. Both partners were admitted LRIBA on 24 June 1912, proposed by William Fleming Wilkie and the Dundee Institute of Architects.

Walker enlisted at the beginning of the First World War and was commissioned in the Highland Cyclists Battalion, initially stationed at his native Cupar and at Lundin Links. Having risen to the rank of Captain he was posted to India but was invalided home. He was known thereafter as Captain Walker.

Walker was not well enough to resume the Leven partnership, but he married Jenny Reid McCririck of St Andrews and continued to practise from their home at 81 North Street, St Andrews whilst being cared for by her. He was elected FRIBA in January 1921, his proposers being William Williamson, William Fleming Wilkie and John Wilson. His nomination papers state that he was architect to the Commissioners of the Burghs of Pittenweem and Crail and the District Committee of Cupar, and that he had acted as expert adviser to Fife County Council on the erection of a sanatorium, although it is unclear to which sanatorium this applies. He died at home in February 1923. His widow then asked William Fleming Wilkie, then living at Graigower, St Andrews, to take over the practice and complete the work in hand.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 4Cupar, Fife, ScotlandPrivate/business19061907 
Item 2 of 43, High Street, Leven, Fife, ScotlandBusiness1907After 1912 
Item 3 of 4Parkhill, Leven, Fife, ScotlandPrivate1912 *  
Item 4 of 481, North Street, St Andrews, Fife, ScotlandPrivate/businessBefore 1919February 1923 

* 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 4Gillespie & Scott1897 or 18981902Apprentice 
Item 2 of 4Gillespie & Scott19021906AssistantLatterly 2nd Chief Assistant
Item 3 of 4Swanston & Syme19061907Chief Assistant(?) 
Item 4 of 4Haxton & Walker19071923(?)Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 4William Fleming Wilkie24 June 1912for Licentiateship - as President of the Dundee Institute of Architects
Item 2 of 4William Fleming WilkieJanuary 1921for Fellowship
Item 3 of 4William WilliamsonJanuary 1921for Fellowship
Item 4 of 4John WilsonJanuary 1921for Fellowship

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 431897Kirkcaldy Cottage HospitalKirkcaldy FifeScotlandAddition of circular ward - as apprentice/assistant to Gillespie & Scott
Item 2 of 43After 1898Church for Northern District of KirkcaldyKirkcaldy FifeScotlandAs apprentice/assistant to Gillespie & Scott
Item 3 of 431901Baptist ChurchSt Andrews FifeScotlandReconstruction, including new front - as apprentice/assistant to Gillespie & Scott
Item 4 of 431902Fife and Kinross District AsylumSpringfield, Cupar FifeScotlandTwo new blocks - as apprentice/assistant to Gillespie & Scott
Item 5 of 431903University of St Andrews, Chemical LaboratorySt Andrews FifeScotlandProbably involved, as apprentice/assistant to Gillespie & Scott
Item 6 of 431904Dairsie Parish ChurchDairsie FifeScotlandReseating, redecoration and new furniture - as apprentice/assistant to Gillespie & Scott
Item 7 of 431904University of St Andrews, St Salvator's CollegeSt Andrews FifeScotlandSouthern extension of east range - as assistant to Gillespie & Scott
Item 8 of 431905King's Theatre  EdinburghScotlandAs chief assistant to Swanston & Syme
Item 9 of 431907(?)Leven Infant SchoolLeven FifeScotland 
Item 10 of 431907Methil Co-operative Society Premises, Harbour WyndMethil FifeScotlandAdditions and alterations
Item 11 of 43After 1907Church HallsElie FifeScotland 
Item 12 of 43After 1907Golf ClubhouseElie FifeScotland 
Item 13 of 43After 1907House for Mr F T WallaceLeven FifeScotland 
Item 14 of 43After 1907House for Mrs BuntireLeven FifeScotland 
Item 15 of 43After 1907Leven Town HallLeven FifeScotlandDecoration
Item 16 of 43After 1907Markinch Parish OfficesMarkinch FifeScotland 
Item 17 of 43After 1907Methil Co-operative Society PremisesMethil FifeScotland 
Item 18 of 43After 1907Pittenweem Town HallPittenweem FifeScotland 
Item 19 of 43After 1907Public HouseWindygates FifeScotland 
Item 20 of 431908(?)GothenburgDenbeath FifeScotland 
Item 21 of 431908Leven Public SchoolLeven FifeScotlandReconstruction
Item 22 of 431908Methil Co-operative Society Premises, Wellesley RoadMethil FifeScotlandExtension
Item 23 of 431908Parkhill Public SchoolLeven FifeScotland 
Item 24 of 431909Methil Co-operative Society Premises, Wellesley RoadMethil FifeScotlandShop and workshops
Item 25 of 431909Shepherds Hall and housesWindygates FifeScotlandPlans dated (the distinct roles of George Charles Campbell and A D Haxton/Haxton & Walker on these building are unclear - perhaps the Haxton plans were a competition design?).
Item 26 of 43c. 1909Methil Co-operative Society PremisesWemyss FifeScotland 
Item 27 of 431910Leven Public SchoolLeven FifeScotlandAdditions
Item 28 of 431910Lundin Mill Primary SchoolLundin Links FifeScotland 
Item 29 of 43c. 1910Buckhaven Co-operative Society premisesBuckhaven FifeScotland 
Item 30 of 43c. 1910Dairsie SchoolDairsie FifeScotlandAdditions and alterations
Item 31 of 43c. 1910Mr McRuvie's house and chemist's shopDenbeath FifeScotland 
Item 32 of 43c. 1910SchoolLower Largo FifeScotland 
Item 33 of 43c. 1910St David's Church HallLower Largo FifeScotlandInternal work - several different phases?
Item 34 of 43191150-52 Hepburn GardensSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 35 of 43c. 1911Public Elementary SchoolPittenweem FifeScotlandPlans dated - east extension (to existing school?) and new school
Item 36 of 431913Social housingRosyth FifeScotland 
Item 37 of 43c. 1913St Monance SchoolSt Monans/St Monance FifeScotlandAdditions and alterations
Item 38 of 431914Picture HouseBuckhaven FifeScotland 
Item 39 of 431914 or 1915Globe Electric TheatreBuckhaven FifeScotland 
Item 40 of 431915Proposed cemeterySt Monans/St Monance FifeScotlandSite plans and section showing ground levels.
Item 41 of 431920Housing in MarygatePittenweem FifeScotland 
Item 42 of 43c. 1920Pitmilly HouseBoarhills FifeScotlandExtensive alterations and additions
Item 43 of 431921Abbey Park Housing EstatePittenweem FifeScotland 


Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Fifeshire Advertiser10 February 1923   
Item 2 of 2RIBA Journal23 February 1923 London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp260

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3National Monuments Record of Scotland/NMRS, RCAHMSHaxton & Watson Collection Plans and drawings.
Item 2 of 3Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Personal information from Glen L Pride
Item 3 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v26 no2132; F no1834 (microfilm reel 15)