George Walton

Decorators and furnishers

George Walton (1867–1933) was a successful Glasgow-born designer and later architect, who set up business in the city before moving to England in 1897. He was part of a large family of 12 children which included the painters Edward Arthur Walton and Constance Walton. Walton produced some of the most refined furniture and interiors of the period, in a style that was, in part, indebted to the English Aesthetic Movement. His early career was supported by the patronage of Miss Catherine (Kate) Cranston, and saw him working alongside Mackintosh on her tea room interiors in the 1890s.

Walton worked initially as a bank clerk, attending evening classes at the Glasgow School of Art. A commission from Catherine Cranston to design interiors for her tearoom premises at 114 Argyle Street encouraged him to set up his own business, George Walton & Co., Ecclesiastical and House Decorators. By the 1890s this had expanded to include design and production of woodwork, furniture and stained glass. In 1896 he worked again for Miss Cranston, at her premises in Buchanan Street. The following year he set up a new home and studio in London and forged a creative alliance with George Davison of Kodak, for whom he designed showrooms in the United Kingdom and Europe. His first building, The Leys, Elstree, was designed in 1901. He resigned from George Walton & Co. in 1903 (the business was wound up in 1905) and worked independently thereafter. The White House, Shiplake (1908) and Wern Fawr, Harlech (1908), both for Davison, are among his most significant achievements. The Great War had a crippling impact on his career. From 1916 to 1919 he worked as assistant architect and designer to the Central Control Board (liquor traffic) on public house refurbishments, and after the war he turned to textile design, notably for Morton Sundour Fabrics, Carlisle, until 1930. 1


1: For a list of Walton's architectural works see; for a full account of his life see Karen Moon, George Walton, Wendlebury: White Cockade, 1993; drawings and photographs relating to his later practice are held in the British Architectural Library Collection.