Pollokshields Heritage Heritage Trail Two 

William Gardner Rowan (1846-1924)

Responsible for Pollokshields Trinity Church and Pollokshields West Church.

William Gardner Rowan was a prominent church architect, born in c1846 near Duntocher. From 1862 to 1867 he was apprenticed to George Penrose Kennedy where he remained as assistant till c1869. He left to take up a position as a civil engineering assistant with James Fairlie Blair in Westminster before returning to Glasgow. In 1872 he went into partnership with John McKissack. His earliest major works Pollokshields Free Church and St John Wesleyan Church were both influenced by James Sellars, but afterwards his churches were either Gothic or Romanesque in design. His partnership with John McKissack was dissolved in 1890 and he continued to practise alone from his office at 234 West George Street, Glasgow until the First World War. His business was dependent on his few regular customers and success in architectural competitions which were predominantly for churches and schools. His motto was ‘art for art’s sake’ and highlighted his preference for late English Gothic architecture. When he retired from practice he moved the family from 48 Herriet Street, Pollokshields to Kittochside, Auldhouse Road, East Kilbride where he died aged 78 on 30th June 1924.