Basic Biographical Details

Name: Robert Somerville Ellis
Born: 13 March 1903
Died: 28 December 1984
Bio Notes: Robert Somerville Ellis was born on 13 March 1903, the son of John Somerville Ellis, theatre musical director, and his wife Emily Alma Wary. He was articled to James Bow Dunn in 1920, attending classes at Edinburgh College of Art and Heriot-Watt College. During his spare time he made measured drawings of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century buildings. On completing his apprenticeship he remained as assistant to Dunn, undertaking 'mansion house work and reconstruction'. He left Dunn in 1927 when he secured a position as chief designer for 'Clark & Firm', a company specialising in the reconstruction and design of fibrous plaster and detailing in cinemas and public buildings. Two years later he was appointed architect to Craighall Cast Stone Company, where he was responsible for the design and manufacture of cast stone features and their installation. After a year in that post he joined Edinburgh City Architect's Department, working as assistant to the then City Architect Ebenezer James MacRae.

In 1940 he left the City Architect's Department and was appointed assistant architect to the Scottish Special Housing Association. He was still in that post when he was admitted LRIBA on 12 February 1946, his proposers being MacRae, Alexander Allan Foote and Alfred Hugh Mottram. In his nomination papers, he states that he had 'done a considerable ammount [sic] of private work at various times'.

Ellis died aged 81 at the Northern General Hospital Edinburgh on 28 February 1984. His wife Angusina MacLeod had predeceased him. He was survived by at least one daughter.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 135, Craigleith Drive, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivateBefore 19381981 

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 5James Bow Dunn19201925Apprentice 
Item 2 of 5James Bow Dunn19261927Assistant 
Item 3 of 5Edinburgh City Architect's Department (Edinburgh Corporation)19301940AssistantWorking under Ebenezer James MacRae, City Architect
Item 4 of 5Ebenezer James MacRae19301940AssistantIn Edinburgh City Architect's Department
Item 5 of 5Scottish Special Housing Association (SSHA)1940After 1946Assistant 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Alexander Allan Foote12 February 1946for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 3Ebenezer James MacRae12 February 1946for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 3Alfred Hugh Mottram12 February 1946for Licentiateship

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 71929 or 1930Colinton HouseColinton EdinburghScotlandAlterations to stonework - as architect to Craighall Cast Stone Company
Item 2 of 71935South Sloan and Iona Street council tenementsLeith, Edinburgh  Scotland 
Item 3 of 71936Craigmillar Council HousingCraigmillar, Edinburgh EdinburghScotlandIndividual tenement
Item 4 of 71936St Marks Council Housing, WarristonWarriston, Edinburgh  EdinburghScotland 
Item 5 of 71939Barony Street, block of council housing on north west  EdinburghScotland 
Item 6 of 71939Tenement, 174-80 Morrison Street  EdinburghScotlandFinished in flat roof due to lack of timber in wartime
Item 7 of 71955House, Craigleith View  EdinburghScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 2Post Office Directories     
Item 2 of 2RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L no5826 (combined box 102)