William Leiper

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Templeton's carpet factory
Auchenbothie House (1898), a private residence in Kilmacolm.

William Leiper FRIBA RSA (1839-1916) was a Scottish architect notable particularly for his domestic architecture in and around the town of Helensburgh.[1] In addition, he produced a small amount of fine ecclesiastical and commercial architecture in Glasgow and the Scottish Lowlands. He was also an accomplished watercolour artist, and in the late 1870s, took a break from architecture to pursue painting. He lived the last 40 years of his life in Helensburgh, at 'Terpersie', and died there on 27 May 1916.

Early life[edit]

Leiper was born in Glasgow and educated at Glasgow High School. From the mid to late 1850s, he trained with local architectural firm Boucher & Cousland before competing his training in London with W White and JL Pearson.[1] By 1864, he had returned to Glasgow and was in partnership for three years with Robert Grieve Melvin.


A turning point in Leiper's career came in 1864 when, aged 26, he won the commission to build Dowanhill Church[2] in Glasgow's Hyndland.

In his native Glasgow, Leiper was responsible for Templeton's Carpet Factory and the Sun Life Building on West George Street, the banqueting hall of Glasgow City Chambers as well as a number of churches.[1] He also had a reputation for designing residential properties in the city and nearby. His notable works are primarily part of the Arts and Crafts Movement or in the Gothic Revival style.[3]

Leiper was responsible for the design of St Columba's Church and Auchenbothie House in the village of Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire, and a number of works in Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire.[1] One of his residential commissions became the most expensive house sold in the latter town in 2008.[3]

He also worked on the interior of the Russian imperial yacht, Livadia.[1]