Basic Biographical Details

Name: William Gilmour Wilson
Born: 1856
Died: 1943
Bio Notes: William Gilmour Wilson was born in 1856 at Rothesay. In 1872 he was articled to Robert Baldie, studying at Glasgow School of Art, and after completing his apprenticeship in 1877 he was successively assistant to Alexander Adamson and John Honeyman in Glasgow, George Fowler Jones in York, Francis Mackison in Stirling (perhaps for the Callander Hydropathic project) and William Owen of Warrington. By 1880 he had set up independent practice at 134 Wellington Street, Glasgow, and in the same year he entered the competition for Liverpool School of Art in partnership with A B Miller, who then moved to Wilson's office from his previous premises at 139 St Vincent Street, their design being exhibited at the Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts the following year. They exhibited again together at the Glasgow Institute in 1882, but no more is known of Miller. Wilson had been admitted ARIBA on 3 January the previous year, his proposers being Honeyman, Jones and John Burnet, Senior. The practice appears to have initially been successful despite the severity of the recession in the early 1880s, and by c.1883 Wilson had taken James B Stewart into partnership as Wilson & Stewart.

In the early 1890s the practice appears to have run out of work; the partnership was dissolved and Stewart, who seems to have had good connections in Greenock and Port Glasgow, continued the practice on his own. It was probably at this time that Wilson moved to Warrington to work for William Owen.

In the mid-1890s Wilson recommenced independent practice in Liverpool as partner of John Joseph Talbot, but by 1899 the partnership had been dissolved. In the following year he relocated yet again in London, initially with both house and office at Bloomsbury Mansions, Hart Street, but by 1905 he had a separate house at Ardbeg, London Road, Croydon. He was admitted FRIBA on 6 March of that year, his proposers being William Flockhart, Samuel Bridgman Russell and Alfred William Stephens Cross. After the First World War the practice was relocated in central London, first at 9 Mitre Court, and then from c.1925 at 9 Warwick Court, Holborn. In 1928 he took his son John William Gilmour Wilson - who had been born in 1888 and trained in London - into partnership as W G Wilson & Son. William Gilmour and his wife Margaret (daughter of William Law of Langside), whom he had married in 1882, also had a daughter.

William Gilmour Wilson was one of the founders of the Glasgow Architectural Association and was its first Vice-President. He was a Freemason, being a member of the Royal Arch Lodge no 153. He enjoyed golf, yachting and music. He retired in 1935, and died in 1943. His son continued the practice under its existing title after his retirement, until his death in 1947.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 9134, Wellington Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1880After 1888 
Item 2 of 917, Hamilton Street, Greenock, Renfrewshire, ScotlandBusiness1882 or 1883 *  
Item 3 of 9Fern Villa, Bothwell, Lanarkshire, ScotlandPrivate1886 *  
Item 4 of 9Ardaros, , Bothwell, Lanarkshire, ScotlandPrivate1888  
Item 5 of 9Liverpool, EnglandBusiness1894 or 1896Before 1899 
Item 6 of 95 Bloomsbury Mansion, Hart Street, London, EnglandPrivate/business1899After 1905 
Item 7 of 9Ardbeg, London Road, Croydon, Surrey, EnglandPrivate1905 *  
Item 8 of 99, Mitre Court, London, EnglandBusinessAfter 1914  
Item 9 of 99, Warwick Court, Holborn, London, EnglandBusinessc. 1925  

* 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 10Robert Baldie18721877Apprentice 
Item 2 of 10John HoneymanAfter 1877Before 1880Junior Assistant 
Item 3 of 10Gascoigne Hastings Fowler JonesAfter 1877Before 1880Senior Assistant 
Item 4 of 10Francis MackisonAfter 1877Before 1880Senior Assistant 
Item 5 of 10Alexander Adamsonc. 1877Before 1880Junior Assistant 
Item 6 of 10A B Miller & W G Wilson1880c. 1882Partner 
Item 7 of 10Wilson & Stewartc. 1882c. 1890Partner 
Item 8 of 10William Owenc. 18901894 or 1896Managing Assistant 
Item 9 of 10Talbot & Wilson1894 or 1896Before 1899Partner 
Item 10 of 10W G Wilson & Son19281935Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6John Burnet (senior)3 January 1881for Associateship
Item 2 of 6Alfred William Stephens Cross6 March 1905for Fellowship
Item 3 of 6William Flockhart6 March 1905for Fellowship
Item 4 of 6John Honeyman3 January 1881for Associateship
Item 5 of 6William Owen3 January 1881for Associateship
Item 6 of 6Samuel Bridgman Russell6 March 1905for 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 151880Liverpool School of Art  LiverpoolEnglandUnsuccessful competition design for original building, Mount Street
Item 2 of 15After 1880Bridgelands HouseSelkirk SelkirkshireScotlandAdditions and alterations - unclear whether alone or in partnership
Item 3 of 15After 1880Masonic HallPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandUnclear whether alone or in partnership
Item 4 of 151882Balfron Parish ChurchBalfron StirlingshireScotlandTower and transepts added
Item 5 of 151882Stables    Design exhibited
Item 6 of 151883Fynone Cottage, ForthillBroughty Ferry DundeeScotland 
Item 7 of 151884Buchlyvie Village HallBuchlyvie StirlingshireScotland 
Item 8 of 151884Tenement, Cadder Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 9 of 151886Copland Road SchoolGovan GlasgowScotland 
Item 10 of 151886Moffat LibraryPort Glasgow RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 11 of 151886Motherwell Town Hall and Municipal OfficesMotherwell LanarkshireScotlandCompetition design - placed third
Item 12 of 151886Proposed Board SchoolBarrhead RenfrewshireScotlandFirst premiated competition design
Item 13 of 151886Public HallBothwell LanarkshireScotland 
Item 14 of 151887Moffat Orphanage, Carnegie Park Orphan HomesPort Glasgow RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 15 of 151898Bridgelands House, stablesSelkirk SelkirkshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 3British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   
Item 2 of 3Pike, W T London  p299
Item 3 of 3Post Office Directories     

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Builder21 May 1943  Obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3British Architectural Library, RIBARIBA Biographical Files Very little information
Item 2 of 3Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Addresses from research by Iain Paterson
Item 3 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A v6 p144 (microfiche 26/C5); F v15 p109 no994 (microfilm reel 11)