Photo: Andrew Spicer
James St. Clair Wade was educated at Shrewsbury School, and studied architecture at St. John's College, Cambridge and Harvard.
As a student he worked for Arrol and Snell in Shrewsbury and produced the concept designs for Carline Fields, a sheltered housing development on the banks of the Severn, which was later selected for inclusion in the Prince of Wales's A Vision of Britain (1989).
After qualification he worked for eight years at Nicholas Hare Architects in London building up experience through a wide range of commercial and educational projects, including new boarding houses at Leighton Park School in Reading and Benenden School in Kent.
In 1996 he moved back to Shrewsbury and rejoined Arrol and Snell Architects as a senior architect, remaining with them for more than twenty years. During this time he has been involved in numerous conservation and new build projects ranging from cottages to country houses and rural parish churches to cathedrals.
His new classical house, The Mount, is one of the few new buildings in Shropshire to be listed in the latest edition of Pevsner's The Buildings of England (2006) and his cloistered design for the Trinity Centre, a new church hall at Meole Brace near Shrewsbury, was awarded the EASA President's Award in 2008. His conservation work has also been recognised with the SPAB John Betjeman Award (2005) and a Georgian Group Award (Best Restoration of a Church, 2010), both for an extended programme of repairs at St. Alkmund's Church in Shrewsbury.
As an accomplished artist and draughtsman he has illustrated several books and contributed a regular series of caricatures to Shooting Times. In April 2019 he began work on an ambitious project to record the historic streetscape of Shrewsbury in a series of architectural views allowing the whole length of each street to be viewed simultaneously (Shrewsbury Streetscape Project).