Glasgow - City of Sculpture
By Gary Nisbet
Launcelot Hugh Ross

A native of Aberdeen, he was the son of a drapery salesman and was born in Old Machar on 25 January 1885, at 2 Ferryhill Place. He studied at Gray’s School of Art and served his apprenticeship with the Aberdeen City Architect John Rust.

Moving to Glasgow in 1907, he worked in JJ Burnet’s offices there and in London, where he joined Ashley & Newman and W T Parker. Returning to Glasgow in 1912, he set up his own practice at 10 Blytheswood Square.

His work during the inter-war period includes the Westbourne Parish Church War Memorial; Copland & Lye’s Bath Street extension (1934); and the North of Scotland Bank, St Vincent Street, which features a colossal shield modelled and carved by Holmes & Jackson (1926-8).

His most important contribution to Scottish architecture was his involvement in the designs for the 1938 Empire Exhibition held in Bellahouston Park.

As an assistant to the exhibition’s chief architect Thomas Tait, he was responsible for designing the pavilions for the Army and Royal Air Force; the Palace of Engineering; and the Palace of Art, the only building in the exhibition that was retained in the park .

He also supervised the construction of the exhibition’s iconic Tait’s Tower, which was demolished in 1939 before it could become a landmark for Nazi bombers.

Ross died of coronary thrombosis on 30 January 1956, his practice being continued by his partner Archibald T Lindsay, as Ross & Lindsay, at 79 West Regent Street.


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