Galbraith & Winton

Tilers

Colour photograph of Galbraith & Winton's invoice for laying floors in W. basement of the Glasgow School of Art, 1909

Like many Victorian business partnerships, monumental sculptors, marble-cutters and tilers Galbraith & Winton were brothers-in-law. David Winton (1830–1862) and established mason William Galbraith (c. 1809–1864), married to Winton's sister, entered partnership in 1854. 1

James Gilfillan (c. 1822–1878), the firm's manager, became sole partner in 1870. 2 His son, William Gilfillan (c. 1850–1916), and grandsons continued the trade. 3 William joined the board of the Architectural Section of Glasgow Philosophical Society, alongside architects like P. M. Chalmers and Campbell Douglas. 4

The firm supplied fireplaces for Buchanan Castle (1860); solid-marble baths and a fountain for the Russian Tsar's yacht Livadia (1880); and more utilitarian floor-tiles for Broomhill Hospital, Kirkintilloch (1883). 5 They executed all the marble and mosaic, the 'chief glory' of Glasgow City Chambers (1888–9), and exhibited Mexican-onyx and mirrored chimneypieces at the 1886 Edinburgh International Exhbition. 6 Many commissions were ecclesiastical, such as the pulpit and flooring in William Leiper's Hyndland Church (1887). 7 A font based on a Thorvaldsen statue (St Margaret's, Newlands 1895), and a mural-tablet to famous Govan minister John Macleod (St Bride's, Partick, 1899) were collaborations with architect Peter McGregor Chalmers. 8 Later contracts included the Iona marble King Edward VII Memorial communion-table, at Crathie Kirk (A. Marshall, MacKenzie, 1911); and the pulpit (by P. M Chalmers) for Pollokshields Church in 1914. 9 Galbraith & Winton's craftsmen included James Morrison, George N. Walton, Alex Adair, and Thomas Dalziell. The firm also collaborated with carver James Young. 10

B/W Advertisement for Galbraith & Winton, 'Glasgow Building Trades Exchange', 1896, p. 209

Notes:

1: Census 1841–1901, www.ancestry.co.uk; Wills database, www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk [both accessed 25 February 2013]; Glasgow Herald, 21 April 1854, p. 1.

2: Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1862–3, p. 130; Edinburgh Gazette, 11 January 1870, p. 55. Gilfillan died from injuries sustained in a street robbery in 1878: Dundee Courier, 25 January 1878, p. 3; 25 April 1878, p. 3.

3: Census 1841–1901, www.ancestry.co.uk; Wills database, www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk [both accessed 25 February 2013].

4: Glasgow Herald, 19 March 1889, p. 3.

5: Invoice No. GD220/6/566/3, National Archives of Scotland, www.nas.gov.uk [accessed 25 February 2013]; Glasgow Herald, 4 October 1880, p. 4; 7 March 1883, p. 6.

6: Glasgow Herald, 16 June 1886, p. 5; 18 July 1889, p. 7.

7: Glasgow Herald, 23 April 1887, p. 10.

8: E. Williamson, A. Riches and M. Higgs, Buildings of Scotland: Glasgow, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1990, pp. 538–9; Glasgow Herald, 17 April 1899, p. 12.

9: Scotsman, 11 September 1911, p. 6; 14 September 1914, p. 11.

10: Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1900–01, pp. 34, 449, 627; Glasgow Herald, 22 January 1898, p. 1; Scotsman, 14 September 1914, p. 11.