Weir, James

London architect, born in March 1835 who originally attended Kings Cross WM church. Articled in 1859-1864 to George Devey (1820-1886), he was subsequently his assistant and then also to Richard Norman Shaw (1831-1912). In his own practice from 1873, he developed from commercial work to become almost exclusively a chapel architect, designing in particular the surviving WM chapels at Bell Road, Hounslow (1879), Egham (1880), Putney (1882), Hinde Street, London (1887), Beckenham (1887), Aylesbury (1894), Norman Road, St. Leonards-on-Sea (1901), The Drive, Sevenoaks (1904) and Stepney Central Hall (1907); and for the PMs, London Road, Brighton (1894-95). From 1876 he worshipped at High Street, Clapham (1874), also to his design, but now replaced. His principal chapels that no longer survive were New Barnet (1879), Queen's Road, Wandsworth (1881), Munster Park, Fulham (1882, Putney being based on that design), Kingston on Thames (1890) and, for the Primitive Methodists, Surrey Chapel, London (1888).

In January 1905 the practice became Weir, Burrows and Weir, when he formed a partnership with his manager, Frederick Burrows and his nephew William May Weir. His chapels were primarily in the Gothic style, although there were notable exceptions in the Italianate style at Bell Road, Hounslow, Aylesbury and Queen's Road, Wandsworth. He is best known for the chapel at Hinde Street, a boldly classical building whose attractive interior is relatively unaltered.

He died on 27 August 1905. His son was the Rev. James Howard Weir (born 1880; e.m. 1905; died 8 October 1946).

  • The Builders Journal, 4 Feb.1896
  • Obituaries in: The Builder, 2 Sept. 1905, Clapham Observer, 2 Sept. 1905
  • Methodist Recorder, 7 Sept. 1905
  • Alan Brooks, West End Methodists: the story of Hinde Street (2010) pp. 120-29
  • Alan Brooks, 'James Weir, a Wesleyan Architect' in Chapels Society Journal (2016) pp,3-20
  • Directory of British Architects 1834-1914