© All rights reserved. İand courtesy of RIAS. From RIASQ Spring 1956, no1, p39 

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Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Alexander Arnott
Designation: Architect
Born: 1871
Died: 2 September 1950
Bio Notes: James Alexander Arnott was born in 1871, the son of George Arnott, builder, and Ann Soutar Macintosh. He attended Edinburgh University, studing Classics for a year, but abandoned the course for architecture. He was then articled to John Russell Walker from 1886 to 1889, and subsequently to Kinnear & Peddie, remaining as assistant until 1898: according to Ebenezer James MacRae he 'never ceased to acknowledge the influence of Peddie in his training'. While with Peddie he attended the Edinburgh School of Design in the Royal Institution, Heriot-Watt College and the School of [Applied?] Art. In 1898 he transferred to Dunn & Findlay, who were then under pressure with the commission for the Scotsman buildings in North Bridge, Edinburgh; later he was to have a hand in the Wesleyan Halls at Tollcross but in 1904 he moved to the office of Hippolyte Jean Blanc. He travelled for study in Belgium and France. Later Norway was to 'cast a spell over him' according to MacRae. In 1907 he published the folio volume on the Petit Trianon of Louis XV at Versailles, with John Wilson who had become a close friend while in Peddie's office.

Arnott commenced independent practice in 1908 in Edinburgh, sharing an office with a former colleague at Dunn & Findlay's, James Inch Morrison, at 21 York Place, with a partnership in view. Although the obituaries of neither Arnott nor Morrison mention a formal partnership at this time, between 1907 and 1910, they did win the competition for the Charlotte Street Baptist Chapel together in 1908. If a partnership did exist, clearly for Arnott the attraction of taking over Sydney Mitchell's practice and the ability of Ernest Arthur Auldjo Jamieson to fund it was too great for the Arnott/Morrison alliance to last. The partnership of Jamieson & Arnott was founded in 1910 or 1911, the Sydney Michell & Wilson name being retained as a sub-head on their stationery.

Surprisingly, given his background, Arnott did not take the qualifying exam but was admitted LRIBA in 1910, his proposers being Blanc, Dunn and Thomas Lennox Watson. He was elected FRIBA in 1920, proposed by William Thomas Oldrieve, John Wilson, and Alexander Lorne Campbell.

Arnott was Vice-President of the Edinburgh Architectural Association in 1930-31 and its President from 1932 to 1934, and served on the Education Committee of the Royal Incorporation and the local Chapter. He had a lifelong association with the Barclay Church, serving on the fabric committee and designing the war memorial.

After Jamieson's retirement in 1935 (or possibly 1936) Arnott at first worked alone for a short period, but he soon entered into partnership with James Inch Morrison, the practice becoming Arnott & Inch Morrison, as planned thirty years earlier. After Morrison's death on 25 September 1944 Arnott continued the practice, assisted by John Denoon (Ian) Carnegie.

Arnott, who had become a widower in 1939, worked right up to his death at 7 Mansionhouse Road on 2 September 1950. He left £14,114 2s 4d.

Publication (with John Wilson FRIBA): Le Petit Trianon, Marie Antoinette's Palace Ar Versailles'.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1084, George Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness   
Item 2 of 1032, Morningside Road, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/business1903 *1908House and office
Item 3 of 1032, Morningside Road, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate19081913 
Item 4 of 1021, York Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness19091910 
Item 5 of 1013, Young Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1912After 1930 
Item 6 of 1076, Warrender Park Road, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1913(?)1925 
Item 7 of 107, Mansionhouse Road, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1925c. 1950 
Item 8 of 1064, Frederick Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1935 or 19361937With Inch Morriosn
Item 9 of 1024, Duke Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1938 * With Inch Morrison
Item 10 of 1050, Queen Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/business(?)1950 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 9John Russell WalkerApril 18861889Apprentice 
Item 2 of 9Kinnear & Peddie1889c. 1890Apprentice 
Item 3 of 9Kinnear & Peddiec. 1890c. 1895Assistant 
Item 4 of 9Peddie & Washington Brownec. 1895May 1898Assistant 
Item 5 of 9Dunn & FindlayMay 18981904Principal Assistant 
Item 6 of 9Hippolyte Jean Blanc19041908Assistant 
Item 7 of 9Sydney Mitchell & Wilson1909 or 1910 PartnerE A O Jamieson took over the business from Sydney Mitchell in 1909 or 1910; effective partner after that date, occasionally using the old firm name of Sydney Mitchell & Wilson despite continuing his own partnership of Jamieson & Arnott
Item 8 of 9Auldjo Jamieson & Arnott1910 or 19111936Partner 
Item 9 of 9Arnott & Inch Morrison19361950Partner 

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 1Thomas ('Tom') Bertram1909(?)1910 or 1911(?)ApprenticeIt is unclear whether Bertram commenced his apprenticeship with Jamieson or Arnott, but he continued in the firm of Jamieson & Arnott after the two entered into partnership in 1910 or 1911.


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6Hippolyte Jean Blanc1910for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 6Alexander Lorne Campbell1920for Fellowship
Item 3 of 6James Bow Dunn1910for Licentiateship
Item 4 of 6William Thomas Oldrieve (sometimes William Thomas Oldgrieve)1920for Fellowship
Item 5 of 6Thomas Lennox Watson1910for Licentiateship
Item 6 of 6John Wilson1920for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 30David Gordon BannermanEarly 1933for Associateship
Item 2 of 30Archibald James BaxterEarly 1934for Associateship
Item 3 of 30Alexander Shepherd Brodie10 October 1930for Licentiateship
Item 4 of 30James Davidson Cairns1929for Fellowship
Item 5 of 30John Denoon CarnegieEarly 1932for Associateship
Item 6 of 30George Arthur Cassells1930for Associateship
Item 7 of 30James Findlay Coull3 December 1934for Associateship
Item 8 of 30Stewart Hunter Cruden12 December 1939for Associateship
Item 9 of 30William Davidson14 June 1926for Fellowship
Item 10 of 30James GalletlyEarly 1933for Associateship
Item 11 of 30David HarveyEarly 1933for Associateship
Item 12 of 30Robert Charles Hutchison (sometimes misspelt Robert Charles Hutchinson)Mid 1932for Associateship
Item 13 of 30George Haslehurst Lawrence (sometimes misspelt George Hazelhurst Lawrence)2 December 1935for Associateship
Item 14 of 30Ebenezer James MacRae5 March 1934for Fellowship
Item 15 of 30John Edgar McCulloch12 March 1946For Assoiateship
Item 16 of 30John Burn MoffatLate 1931 or early 1932for Associateship
Item 17 of 30James Inch Morrison30 November 1925for Fellowship
Item 18 of 30Rona Helen Inch Morrison (Mrs Allan)30 November 1936for Associateship
Item 19 of 30David Alexander Murray20 July 1943for Licentiateship
Item 20 of 30(Sir) Matthew Montgomerie OchterlonyLate 1932 or early 1933for Fellowship
Item 21 of 30(Sir) Matthew Montgomerie OchterlonyMid 1932for Licentiateship
Item 22 of 30John Okell9 January 1939for Associateship
Item 23 of 30John PattersonEarly 1934for Associateship
Item 24 of 30Arthur Forman Balfour PaulMid 1933for Fellowship
Item 25 of 30Robert Stirling ReidEarly 1931for Licentiateship
Item 26 of 30Patrick Henry Dudgeon Ronaldson2 December 1935for Associateship
Item 27 of 30(Dr) Frederic ('Eric') Robert Stevenson 10 January 1938for Associateship
Item 28 of 30George Patrick Houston WatsonJanuary 1933for Fellowship
Item 29 of 30Henry Rochead Williamson9 April 1946for Licentiateship
Item 30 of 30Alexander Buchan Wylie9 January 1939for Associateship

Buildings and Designs

This architect was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 74 Bakehouse Close and Reids CloseHigh Street EdinburghScotlandRestoration - date unknown
Item 2 of 74 Country Houses   ScotlandDates and locations unknown
Item 3 of 74 George Heriot's Hospital  EdinburghScotlandRestoration of NW stair tower - date unknown
Item 4 of 741891(?)Fife and Kinross District AsylumSpringfield, Cupar FifeScotlandas assistant to Kinnear & Peddie
Item 5 of 741898(?)Caledonian Hotel  EdinburghScotlandFormation of hotel over station, incorporating Kinnear & Peddie's Caledonian Station - prepared drawings, as assistant to Peddie & Washington Browne
Item 6 of 741898(?)London County Hall  LondonEnglandCompetition design- as assistant to Hippolyte Jean Blanc
Item 7 of 741898Wesleyan Methodist Mission Halls  EdinburghScotlandAs principal assistant to Dunn & Findlay
Item 8 of 741899Arbroath Infectious Diseases HospitalArbroath AngusScotlandCompetition design - unsuccessful
Item 9 of 741899Scotsman Buildings  EdinburghScotlandAs principal assistant to Dunn & Findlay
Item 10 of 741904(?)Bangour Village AsylumUphall West LothianScotlandAsylum - as assistant to Hippolyte Jean Blanc
Item 11 of 741908Charlotte Street Baptist ChapelNew Town EdinburghScotlandWon commission through competition - not in partnership but working as 'joint architect'
Item 12 of 741908(?)Kirkwall CathedralKirkwallMainlandOrkneyScotlandCompetition design for restoration - as assistant to Hippolyte Jean Blanc
Item 13 of 741909Little Church in the FieldGorgie/Dalry EdinburghScotlandAlterations and additions for the Baptist congregation - as 'joint architect' with Morrison
Item 14 of 741910Woodthorpe, House, Cottage and Laundry  EdinburghScotlandAdditions at rear
Item 15 of 74After 19106 Oswald Road  EdinburghScotlandInstructed Scott Morton & Co on interior work
Item 16 of 741911Crichton Royal Institution, male convalescent wardDumfries DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 17 of 741911Crichton Royal Institution, male observation villaDumfries DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 18 of 741911Crichton Royal Institution, women's observation villaDumfries DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 19 of 741911LennoxloveLennoxlove East LothianScotlandAlterations, including work on outhouses, including coachhouse etc
Item 20 of 74After 1911CraighouseCraiglockhart EdinburghScotlandTook over from Sydney Mitchell & Wilson after 1911 (but may have been responsible for work before this)
Item 21 of 74c. 1911Commercial Bank, DalkeithDalkeith MidlothianScotland 
Item 22 of 74c. 1912Royal Victoria Hospital Farm ColonyPolton MidlothianScotland 
Item 23 of 741914Greenfield HouseAlloa ClackmannanshireScotlandAlterations (still trading as Sydney Mitchell & Wilson)
Item 24 of 74c. 1914Sanatorium and Farm Colony for Tuberculosis, HairmyresEast Kilbride LanarkshireScotlandCottages near road/and/or near farm, also male & female pavilions, children's pavilion, observation block, administration block, farm buildings, laundry and power house, gate lodge and doctor's residence
Item 25 of 741915Rosebery House  MidlothianScotlandAdditions
Item 26 of 74c. 1919Housing for Midlothian County CouncilStow MidlothianScotland 
Item 27 of 74c. 1919Newbyth, stables and officesNewbyth East LothianScotlandAlterations
Item 28 of 74Before 1920Chapel for the Earl of Rosebery   Scotland 
Item 29 of 74Before 1920Memorial Gateway for Lord Tweedmouth  BerwickshireScotland 
Item 30 of 74Before 1920Royal College of Physicians  EdinburghScotlandDecoration of hall
Item 31 of 74c. 19202 Randolph Cliff  EdinburghScotlandInternal alterations
Item 32 of 74c. 1920Housing for Midlothian County CouncilInveresk MidlothianScotland 
Item 33 of 74c. 1920Housing for Midlothian County CouncilRoslin/Rosslyn MidlothianScotland 
Item 34 of 74c. 1920Royal Hospital for Sick Children  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 35 of 74c. 1921Cargilfield School  EdinburghScotlandMemorial hall and alterations. Also cricket pavilion (1929)
Item 36 of 74c. 1921Housing for Midlothian County CouncilGorebridge MidlothianScotland 
Item 37 of 741922Cardross House and stables  PerthshireScotland 
Item 38 of 741922Milton Lodge and stablesNorth Berwick East LothianScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 39 of 741922Royal Naval Airship StationEast Fortune East LothianScotlandAlterations to convert Airship Station to hospital
Item 40 of 741922Southfield HouseLiberton EdinburghScotlandChildren's pavilion and other alterations
Item 41 of 741923Allanton House  LanarkshireScotlandAlterations
Item 42 of 741923Cargilfield School, Library and chapel block  EdinburghScotland 
Item 43 of 74c. 1923Arntomy House  PerthshireScotlandAlterations
Item 44 of 74c. 1923Edinburgh Royal Lunatic Asylum  EdinburghScotlandAlterations - verandahs, kitchen etc
Item 45 of 74c. 1923House in Barnton Avenue West  EdinburghScotland 
Item 46 of 74c. 1923Large Public Building    Scheme - not executed?
Item 47 of 74Before 1924Craigleith House  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 48 of 74c. 1924Royal Victoria Hospital, dispensary  EdinburghScotland 
Item 49 of 741925Astley Ainslie Hospital  EdinburghScotlandNew ward blocks
Item 50 of 741925Astley Ainslie Hospital, Nurses' Home  EdinburghScotland 
Item 51 of 74After 1925Lochgilphead District Asylum for the InsaneLochgilphead ArgyllScotlandNew blocks added
Item 52 of 74c. 1925Busby Glen Park, gates and gatepiers and gates to lodge houseBusby LanarkshireScotlandAlthough Lorimer produced design, commission went to Jamieson & Arnott, practising under the name of Sydney Mitchell & Wilson
Item 53 of 74c. 1926Vogrie HouseBorthwick MidlothianScotlandConversion to nurses' home
Item 54 of 741928George Watson's College  EdinburghScotlandCompetition design - not selected, but awarded 100-guinea premium
Item 55 of 741928Pittencrieff Park, Louise Carnegie Memorial Gates and railings, paths, walls etcDunfermline FifeScotlandWon competition to secure job
Item 56 of 741928Scottish Life Assurance Co  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 57 of 74c. 1928Astley Ainslie Hospital  EdinburghScotlandFurther alterations and additions, including scientific block (1929) and sentry pavilions (1932)
Item 58 of 74c. 1928Engineer's houseNorth Berwick East LothianScotland 
Item 59 of 74c. 1930Rosebank Cemetery, Memorial tablet for Sir Arthur Mitchell  EdinburghScotland 
Item 60 of 74c. 1930Sanatorium and Farm Colony for Tuberculosis, HairmyresEast Kilbride LanarkshireScotlandFurther work
Item 61 of 74c. 1930Warriston Cemetery, Memorial to Sydney MitchellWarriston EdinburghScotland 
Item 62 of 74c. 1931Gullane Free Church and church hallGullane East LothianScotlandAlterations?
Item 63 of 741932Astley Ainslie Hospital, Lodges in Canaan Lane  EdinburghScotland 
Item 64 of 741932Astley Ainslie Hospital, Lodges in Grange Loan  EdinburghScotland 
Item 65 of 741932United Free Church Offices  EdinburghScotlandExtensions - eastern addition; balancing western addition planned but not built; enlargement required as a result of the Union of 1929
Item 66 of 741933Cramond Free Church  EdinburghScotlandAlterations to hall
Item 67 of 741933Davidson's Mains Parish Church HallDavidson's Mains EdinburghScotland 
Item 68 of 741933LennoxloveLennoxlove East LothianScotlandAlterations
Item 69 of 741933Lennoxlove garden gateway  East LothianScotland 
Item 70 of 741934Morningside Asylum, Jordanburn Lecture Hall, West House  EdinburghScotland 
Item 71 of 74c. 1934Royal Naval Airship StationEast Fortune East LothianScotlandSuperintendent's house and nurses' home
Item 72 of 74193646 Frogston Road West  EdinburghScotlandPresumably supervised construction; HS lists the building as 'by James A Arnott for Colcutt and Hemp' [sic]
Item 73 of 741939Cottages, Tyninghame EstateTyninghame East LothianScotland 
Item 74 of 741950Whitecraigs ChurchInveresk MidlothianScotlandCannot have overseen construction as he died in 1950.


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 5Architectural Heritage    Article, no2, 1991, pp98-108
Item 2 of 5British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   
Item 3 of 5Glendinning, M, MacInnes, R and MacKechnie, A1996A History of Scottish Architecture  List of works, etc.
Item 4 of 5Johnston, W T2003Artists of Scotland Officina Publications CDROM 
Item 5 of 5RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 5Builder29 September 1950179 p358 Death notice
Item 2 of 5RIAS QuarterlyFebruary 195183Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS)p45-6
Item 3 of 5RIBA JournalJanuary 1951 London: Royal Institute of British ArchitectsObituary by E J MacRae - p121
Item 4 of 5Scotsman4 September 1950  p5
Item 5 of 5Scotsman11 October 1950  p1 - details of continuation of practice by Arnott after Morrison's death

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2British Architectural Library, RIBARIBA Biographical Files  
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v3 no172 (microfilm reel 30); F no1723 (microfilm reel 12)


© All rights reserved. İand courtesy of RIAS. From RIASQ Spring 1956, no1, p39 

© All rights reserved. İand courtesy of RIAS. From RIASQ Spring 1956, no1, p39