The Great Glasgow Architects : David Hamilton

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The Great Glasgow Architects : David Hamilton

Postby Socceroo » Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:20 pm

David Hamilton – Architect – (May 11, 1768 – December 5, 1853) – “Father of the Profession” in Glasgow

David Hamilton was responsible for many of the buildings which regularly have featured on Hidden Glasgow over the last five years or so. As we are toying with the idea of having Project Threads on the great and the good i thought i would kick it off with David Hamilton.

Some of Hamilton’s most noted buildings and structures in Glasgow which regularly feature on here are :

• The Royal Exchange building in Royal Exchange Square (1827 – 32) which is now the Gallery of Modern Art
• The Lord Nelson Oblisk (1806) in Glasgow Green
• Hutchesons Hospital (1802 – 05) in Ingram Street


A fairly comprehensive list of known Hamilton buildings and structures both existing and demolished is as follows :

Aikenhead House, King's Park, Glasgow, for John Gordon (1806 & 1823)

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Airth Castle, Stirlingshire (1807)
Ardenconnel (1790)
Ascog Hall, Bute - (James Hamilton 1843)
Auchinraith, Blantyre (1809)

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Ayr, New Kirk (1807)
Barnton Castle, Midlothian (Porch) (1810)
Barskimming House, Mauchline (Alterations) (1816)
Bothwell Parish Kirk (1825-33)
The British Linen Bank, Queen St., Glasgow (1840-41)
Broadmeadows House, Hutton, Berwickshire (1810)
233-5 Buchanan St., Glasgow - David Hamilton's own house (1811)
Cadder house, Lanarkshire for Charles Stirling (Drawing Room) (1817)
Callander House, Falkirk (Library) (1827)
Calton Green Housing (layout and elevation) (1812)
Camisekan House, Dunbartonshire (Additions to) (1840)
Campsie High Kirk, Lennoxtown (1827)
Castle House, Dunoon for James Ewing MP & Provost (1820)
Castle Toward, Innellan for Kirkman Findlay, former Provost (1820)
Castlehill House, Ayr (1804)
Castlemilk House and Bridge (1834)
Cathcart Church, Glasgow (1830-31)
The Cleland Testimonial Building, 235-49 Buchanan St., Glasgow (1835-36)
The Clydesdale Bank, Queen St., Glasgow (1840)
Duke of Hamilton's Palace (1822-30)
Dunlop House, Ayr (1831-34)
Dunoon Kirk - enlargements to Gillespie Graham's church (1834)
Erskine Parish Kirk, Bishopton (1813)
Falkirk Town Steeple (1813-14)
Garnkirk House, Cadder - retaining old facade (1820)
George Hotel, 249 Buchanan St., Glasgow (1835-36)
Germiston House enlarged for Lawrence Dinwiddie (1810)
(Improvements to the nave of) Glasgow Cathedral (1812)
(Additions to) Hamilton Ho, Portman Sq, London, for 10th Duke (1820)
Houses of Parliament Competition - 3rd Prize (1834)
Hutcheson's Hospital, 158 Ingram St, Glasgow (1802-5)
Irvine Royal Academy (1814-16)
John Knox Parish Kirk, Gorbals, Glasgow (1804)
Justiciary Buildings, Glasgow (1808)
Kenmure House, Lanarkshire for Charles Stirling (1806)
(Lodge and gates of) Keir, Dunblane for Archibald Stirling (1820)
Kilwinning Abbey Bell Tower (1815)
Kincaid House, Stirlingshire (1812)
Ladyland, Kilbirnie (1817)
Larbert Church (1818-19)
Larbert House, Stirlingshire (1822-5)
Lennox Castle, near Lennoxtown (1837-1841)
Moorepark, Govan, Glasgow (1805)

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Mosesfield House, Springburn Park, Glasgow (1838)
Egyptian Vaults - Necropolis, Glasgow (1837)
Entrance - Necropolis, Glasgow (1833-39)
Nelson Monument, Glasgow Green (1806)
The Normal School, 6 New City Rd., Glasgow (1835-37)
Port Glasgow Town Buildings (1815-16)
Priory Lodge, Largs (1829)
(151-157) Queen St., Glasgow (1834)
Ralston House, Renfrewshire for Wm Orr (1810)
Robert McBriar's House, Glasgow (1808)
The Royal Exchange, Glasgow (1827-29)
St Enoch's Kirk, Glasgow (1827)
St Fillan's Villa (now Manor Park), Skelmorlie, Largs (1840)
St John's, Bell St., Glasgow, (1817-18)
St Paul's Kirk, John St (1835)
Scotstoun House, Glasgow, refronted (1825)
The Ship Bank, 191 Ingram St., Glasgow (1841)
(Additions to) Stonebyres House, Lesmahagow (1840)
Theatre Royal, Queen St., Glasgow (1803-5)
Tolbooth, Trongate for James Clelland (1814)
Trades House, Glassford St., Glasgow, Extention at rear (1808)
The Western Bank, Miller St., Glasgow (1840)
Western Club, 147 Buchanan St., Glasgow (1841)

There is much written about David Hamilton as he was in many ways - as he is often referred to - "the father of the Profession in Glasgow". Much of Glasgow's Victorian Built Heritage stemmed from him and his students through the early part to the middle part of the 19th Century.

I could quite quickly identify in the above list the buildings that are quite clearly lost, but i will leave that for now as some of the other buildings on the list are credited to him, when in some instances he is only responsible for remodelling existing buildings and carrying out alterations etc. Anyway, each building that has been lost has a story worth investigating, as to why it is gone and what replaced it.

I am currently reading up on him and i will post some photographs of the more obscure buildings in his portfolio soon.

One thing for sure is that he was prolific.

It would be good to get a definitive photographic catalogue on David Hamilton's life work as it currently stands. Photographs of his buildings which still stand, and past / present features on his buildings that have been lost.

The other avenue which would be worth going down is researching some of his clients who were in their own right real Glasgow Characters.
Last edited by Socceroo on Wed Oct 03, 2007 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Great Glasgow Architects : David Hamilton

Postby HollowHorn » Wed Oct 03, 2007 11:00 pm

Socceroo wrote:I could quite quickly identify in the above list the buildings that are quite clearly lost, Anyway, each building that has been lost has a story worth investigating, as to why it is gone and what replaced it.
This was going to be my first question ::): Cracking post, it's great to view an Artist via a body of work, it gives a greater insight too, into why Glasgow looks the way it does.
'The Normal School' ? Tell us more.

Socceroo wrote:It would be good to get a definitive photographic catalogue on David Hamilton's life work as it currently stands. Photographs of his buildings which still stand.

I'm away to search my archives.

Socceroo wrote:The other avenue which would be worth going down is researching some of his clients who were in their own right real Glasgow Characters.

Yes & also the students you mentioned earlier.
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Re: The Great Glasgow Architects : David Hamilton

Postby Socceroo » Wed Oct 03, 2007 11:19 pm

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The Normal School for the Training of Teachers - Cowcaddens, later became Dundas Vale Teacher Training College and after Jordanhill Teacher Training College opened it became a Teachers Resource Centre.

The Normal School transferred over from the Town Council in the mid 19th Century to the Church of Scotland who were responsible at that time for much of the Teacher Training in Glasgow and indeed Scotland.

Now this was a building ahead of it's time when it first opened, as it was the first such building of its kind in the United Kingdom and one of the first in Europe. Perhaps another little known Glasgow fact.
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Re: The Great Glasgow Architects : David Hamilton

Postby HollowHorn » Wed Oct 03, 2007 11:55 pm

Socceroo wrote:Now this was a building ahead of it's time when it first opened, as it was the first such building of its kind in the United Kingdom and one of the first in Europe. Perhaps another little known Glasgow fact.

Indeed, now who was the Architect that designed the building in the background
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Re: The Great Glasgow Architects : David Hamilton

Postby Cyclo2000 » Thu Oct 04, 2007 9:00 am

Yon Building's now a business centre, if memory serves. Think I had a customer in there a few years back. It's an unusual building, what with the huge lantern et al...shades of the Stirling library richt enough. [The GOMA was formally the Stirling Library - which itself was previously in Miller Street - and before that the Commercial Library. The mansion was built as dwelling house for tobacco merchant William Cunningham circa 1780 and built onto and around by Hamilton, so it was more of a conversion than a totally new construct although at a reported £50,000 at the time, it was some make-over! Hamilton built onto the front and covered the gardens at the back. The building was used as a business exchange until after WW2 when the cooncil bought it. It opened as the Commercial and Stirling Library in the mid 50's. I'm told some of the Stirling library is now housed in the basement area but I huvnae been in fur ages so I'm no' sure. He was also responsible for the Western Club next door but apparently there's hee haw left but the wa's. I've never been in - anybody?]

Re Hamilton Palace - Hamilton's role was a similar one to the situ reported above. The South Front was built in 1695 for the 3rd Duke by James Smith. The North Front was added by Hamilton for Alexander the 10th Duke in 1842. The state rooms were by William Adam and Smith. Hamilton did commence El Magnifico's Mausoleum - although it was completed by David Bryce and Alexander Ritchie some years after the 10th Dukes' death.
A virtual reconstruction of the palace including Hamilton's monumental North Front available here...
http://www.rcahms.gov.uk/hamilton/index.html

Re Auchinraith - does the house still stand? I know there's a mansion house next to Whistleberry Industrial Estate that used to be either a retreat or a nunnery (my dad called there once, in the 60's) but I dinnae know if that's it or if it's the one you can see from Auchinraith Road...anyhoo here's a link - all I could find.
http://gdl.cdlr.strath.ac.uk/smihou/smihou003.htm
Yet more available from the front page here http://gdl.cdlr.strath.ac.uk/smihou/index.html

Hamilton's daughter, Janet, married James Smith, builder, on the 24th March 1833. Their daughter was...
Madelaine Smith.
Alter Aterius Auxilio Veget
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Re: The Great Glasgow Architects : David Hamilton

Postby HollowHorn » Thu Oct 04, 2007 9:57 pm

This is one of my favourite views of Nelson's Monument on Glasgow Green:
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Nelson's Monument Struck by Lightning by John Knox (1778-1845).
The Nelson Monument was designed by David Hamilton and erected on Glasgow Green in 1806 to commemorate Admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805), who had been killed while leading his fleet to victory at the Battle of Trafalgar the previous year. The 144 feet-high obelisk was struck by lightning in August 1810 and the top 20 feet of masonry crashed to the ground.

http://www.theglasgowstory.com/

1806, and a 43.5 metre high Column is erected (by public subscription) on the Green to commemorate Viscount Horatio Nelson's battles of Aboukir, Copenhagen and of course Trafalgar the year before. This monument predates the Dublin memorial by 2 years and the London column by 3 decades. Four years later, lightning struck the column destroying the top 6 metres. Repairs were swiftly carried out and the monument restored. In 2002 a complete restoration including the installation of floodlighting and repairs of the ravages of the last 200 years were carried out at a cost of £900,000. The Royal Navy held a remembrance service at the monument in 2005 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the battle of Trafalgar.

Friends of Glasgow Green

'You'll Die Facing the Monument' means to elderly Glaswegians, that you're going to be hanged. When, in the nineteenth century, the south jail stood in 'Jail (now Joycelyn) Square', any malefactor who was to be hanged was, as they say 'turned off' between the two pillars of the entrance to the jail.
Hangings were in public then & the scaffold was built outside the entrance. It faced across to Glasgow Green & Nelson's Monument, so that the last thing the poor wretch saw was the Monument.

Jack House "The Heart of Glasgow" 1965
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Re: The Great Glasgow Architects : David Hamilton

Postby Socceroo » Sat Oct 06, 2007 5:18 pm

Mosesfield House in Springburn Park

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Built by James Duncan, a bookseller and publisher, for his wife in 1838.

From 1861-1895, the Reverend James Johnston of Springburn's United Presbyterian Church in Springburn Road lived in the house, the Church was later renamed Johnston Memorial Church. The Reverends son, George Johnston, was co-founder of Arrol-Johnston motor company, who designed and constructed Scotland's first motorised dog-cart the "Dogcart" or "Mo-car" in 1896.

In 1904, the Reid family purchased Mosesfield and donated it to the then Glasgow Corporation as an addition to Springburn Park. The house then became a museum in 1905. In 1951 the house was transferred to the Corporation parks department in 1951, soon after the Museum closed and the ground floor of the house was converted into an old men's club.

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Re: The Great Glasgow Architects : David Hamilton

Postby Socceroo » Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:05 pm

Some more images of Mosesfield House in Springburn Park.

This is the south elevation of the house.

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This is the rear elevation of the house.

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Bird or Bat Box on the rear of the house.

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Detail is still remarkably sharp on some of the stone features on the building.

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Springburn Heritage Trail Plaque commemorating George Johnston, the co-founder of Arrol - Johnston.

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Re: The Great Glasgow Architects : David Hamilton

Postby Socceroo » Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:16 pm

I have been looking to see if i could find a photo on the web of the Arrol - Johnston - Mo-car Dogcart, but so far with no success, i found this description of it on autoclssic.com...

"The Arrol-Johnston marque was founded very early in the life of the British motor industry, in 1897, when Sir William Arrol (the noted civil engineer) and George Johnston got together to develop the original ‘Dogcart’ model, which went into production in a factory at Camlachie, an industrial area of Glasgow. The city was not short of industrial skills, of course, but in the Victorian era they had been applied mainly to heavy industries, such as shipbuilding.

A ‘dogcart’ was a particularly compact style of horse-drawn carriage, where two rows of seats were placed back-to-back. The carriage was so small and light that, on a private estate at least, it could be drawn by a pony or a large dog! Like many ‘horseless carriages’, the pioneering Arrol-Johnston’s style was lifted from the earlier era, though in this case the solid-tyred wheels were altogether larger, and the flat-twin opposed-piston engine was positioned under the floor, driving the rear wheels by chain. Although the performance was distinctly limited (and, even then, it was beginning to look old-fashioned), this was such a strong, reliable, popular and practical layout that it was produced, with only minor changes, until 1907, by which time a more modern front-engined 12/15 model had appeared."
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Re: The Great Glasgow Architects : David Hamilton

Postby Peekay » Sat Oct 06, 2007 9:13 pm

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