Thomas Graham Abercrombie is particularly associated with his home town of Paisley and many of his designs can be seen there today. He developed a sensitively handled Scottish Renaissance style which adds much to the streetscape of the area.
The Scottish Renaissance style was closely aligned to the Scottish Baronial form and favoured by the Arts and Crafts Movement. for its richness and flexibility. It referenced the towers and crow-stepped gables of historic tower houses but combined these with elements such as regular fenestration and classical decorative elements from the sophisticated Scottish Renaissance buildings of the 16th and 17th centuries. The South and East ranges of Falkland Palace contain arguably the finest Renaissance work of the 1530s in the country.
In 1890 Abercrombie took on William Kerr as his chief assistant and they were responsible for the outstanding Clark Memorial Church in Largs which was constructed in 1890-2 in the Early English Gothic style. This building is particularly well-detailed and its plan form is unusual with the tall tower and spire linked to the main body of the church by a hall and semi-octagonal vestry. It is listed at category A in recognition of its national importance.
In Paisley, the former Territorial Army Centre of 1896 in the High Street and the former Welfare Offices of 1898 on the corner of Back Sneddon Street and Maxwell Street are characteristic of Abercrombie’s work with their use of red and cream sandstone, corner turrets and dormer windows.
You can find out more about Abercrombie and his work from the Dictionary of Scottish Architects at www.scottisharchitects.org.uk