© All rights reserved. RIASQ 1925-6, p99. Courtesy of the RIAS. 

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Basic Biographical Details

Name: William Burn
Designation: Architect
Born: 20 December 1789
Died: 15 February 1870
Bio Notes: William Burn was born in Edinburgh on 20 December 1789, the fourth and eldest surviving child of the sixteen children of Robert Burn, architect, Edinburgh, and his wife, Janet Laing. Robert Burn was the owner of a small estate and was able to give his son an entrée into society and an understanding of the gentry who were to become the younger Burn’s main patrons.

William Burn was educated at the Royal High School and in 1808 was sent as a pupil to the office of Sir Robert Smirke in London. There he obtained experience in dealing with clients and the business of building. He was site architect for the Convent Garden Theatre and had to instruct the contractor Alexander Copeland, well-known in the building trade in London, and it was a salutary experience.

Burn returned to Scotland in 1811 as site architect for Smirke’s Kinmount, Dumfriesshire. He commenced business on his own account from the family yard in Leith Walk. His first independent commissions were public buildings (the earliest was for the assembly rooms in Greenock in 1812). In 1813 he was invited to report on the plans submitted for the layout of the Calton Hill area. This was soon followed by the commission for North Leith Parish Church. (Robert Burn was influential in obtaining this for his son). It was a large job and made his reputation, enabling him to establish an office away from that of his father at 78 (later 131) George Street, Edinburgh. He was also then in a financial position to marry and did so to Elizabeth (Eliza) MacVicar on 3 August 1815. The couple had seven children, although two died in infancy. The family moved to Hermiston on the Riccarton estate which Burn rented.

In 1816 Burn entered the competition for the completion of Robert Adam’s University buildings and was narrowly defeated by William Henry Playfair, whose uncle Professor John Playfair may have had an influence on the choice of architect. This engendered in Burn a lifelong dislike of competitions and of Playfair, the latter perhaps partly because Burn was the architect of the Tory landed gentry while Playfair was that of the Whig advocates.

Burn’s career as a country house architect began shortly after this. His skill in country house planning was one important factor which led Burn to have a larger practice than any other Scottish architect by 1830. His clients included the Dukes of Hamilton and Buccleuch, the earls of Haddington and Kinnoull and many other wealthy Tories. Camperdown was one of the earliest commissions in which his skill in planning came to the fore. Here the suite of family apartments occupied one wing and was separate from the public rooms which themselves formed a logical sequence as they were to be used. By 1840 he had already designed or altered over ninety country houses as well as numerous churches and public buildings.

Overwork led to health problems and Burn formed a partnership with his assistant David Bryce. In 1844 he moved to London to capitalise of the number of English commissions he was acquiring. He settled in Stratton Street from which he conducted his practice. Bryce was left in charge of the Scottish office. However the arrangement only lasted a few years before there was friction between the two men partly because they were being commissioned separately in Scotland and Bryce’s Scottish end of the practice became more profitable. The partnership was dissolved in 1850. Near the end of his life he formed a partnership with his nephew John MacVicar Anderson who continued the practice after his death.

In 1817-18 he had obtained his first commission as a country house architect which was to become his specialty. Almost certainly influenced by Smirke’s design for Kinmount, in 1817 and 1819 Burn produced two stylish designs for neo-Greek country houses, with top-lit central saloons, Craigielands and Adderston. The design of Adderston was further developed at Camperdown, Angus in the 1820s which borrowed from William Wilkins design of Grange Park, Hampshire. Camperdown was notable for its large scale, Greek revival design and for its planning. Further essays in the Greek Doric style at the early period are John Watson’s School and the Merchant Maiden hospital.

Burn was adept as a designer in a variety of different styles. He had acquired knowledge of Gothic detail through his work for Smirke on Lowther Castle. This was exploited in his church commissions – such as St John’s Episcopal Church, Princes Street, Edinburgh or at New Abbey church Dunfermline. He worked in the castellated style at Dundas Castle, Midlothian. The massing of Saltoun Hall, also castellated in style, was inspired by Smirke in its large cubic forms, although with its Gothic lantern lighting the central hall, it resembled Archibald Elliot’s Taymouth while other houses such as Carstairs, Blairquhan and Garscube, all dating from the 1820s, are more akin to William Wilkins’ neo-Tudor Dalmeny. At Carstairs some details were more Jacobean than Tudor and by about 1825 Burn had made the Jacobethan manor house his speciality. Dupplin, Perthshire and St Fort, Fife were according the David Walker ‘the most accomplished neo-Jacobean houses built in the United Kingdom before 1830’.

In 1838 Burn was commissioned to complete Harlaxton, Lincolnshire begun by Anthony Salvin. To what extent the continental baroque interiors were already in place is not known but it led to a series of ‘magnificent’ (DNB, Walker) neo-Jacobean houses for example Falkland, Fife and Whitehill, Midlothian and a number in England and Ireland, the last in the series and the largest being Dartrey, Co. Monaghan.

Burn also developed a picturesque style for the smaller country house. He built several of these in Perthshire, the most notable being Snaigow. Burn came into contact with Sir Walter Scott. Through his influence, Burn secured the patronage of the Duke of Buccleuch. He undertook a series of jobs for the 5th Duke starting with alterations at Drumlanrig. He went on design several good churches on the Buccleuch estates as well as work at Bowhill and Granton. To Scott’s guidance, a change in thinking by Burn has been attributed. Scots vernacular elements start to appear in his buildings (for example in the alterations at Lauriston, Midlothian) and by the mid-1830s he was making additions to houses in a Scottish late 16th century style. This change is apparent in Milton Lockhart and at Tyninghame. Gradually the more fully developed Scottish Baronial style came to be used though it was more fully exploited by David Bryce rather than by Burn himself.

Burn continued to turn out countless houses in Elizabethan, Jacobethan or Scottish vernacular styles. He could also produce competent designs in a classical or Georgian manner. His interiors of the 1820s and 1830s were relatively simple with some good Jacobean ceilings. Interiors were generally relatively simple though some had good Jacobean ceilings. His later interiors recreated different ‘period’ styles, for example high Baroque at Harlaxton, although the responsibility for some of the later interiors may have rested partly with David Bryce.

After Burn moved to London he contacted Robert William Billings and persuaded him to undertake ‘The Baronial and Ecclesiastical Antiquities of Scotland’ (published 1845-52) which was to become a vital source book for the Scottish Baronial style. After the move to London, Burn’s later houses rarely matched the significance of the earlier houses, but some of the best were in Scotland or for Scottish clients: Poltalloch, Argyll, Dunira, Perthshire and Buchanan, Stirlingshire. The finest building of his later years was Montagu House, Whitehall in the French chateau style for the Duke of Buccleuch.

The importance of Burn’s houses also lies in their internal arrangements. By 1830 his houses were usually two stories in height with hall-corridor plans with symmetrically arranged main rooms all hidden from sight from the entrance. The private block was usually stepped back, creating a sheltered private garden area while the service block was usually at right angles to the main house. The service blocks were neatly planned with male and female servants kept strictly separate.

Although his practice was largely based on country houses, Burn continued his general practice throughout the 1830s. He pioneered the Italian palazzo style in his 1834 New Club design, inspired by a visit to London where the neo-Greek was being superseded by the Italian Renaissance by Charles Barry and his circle. This style spread to the design of banks, insurance, hotel and other commercial buildings and was developed by Bryce and others throughout the 19th century. Burn sometimes broke with tradition and designed public buildings in the Jacobethan style, a notable example being Madras College, St Andrews or in the castellated style such as Inverness County Buildings.

In his ‘Memoir of the late William Burn, fellow’ Thomas Leverton Donaldson described Burn: ‘frank and plain spoken, occasionally even to roughness… no flatterer … somewhat impulsive and gifted with great shrewdness and common sense… he was a man of the highest integrity and independence, and so far from leading his clients into any needless or extravagant outlay, he would demur at any expense beyond his employers’ means’. However he was very patient with his clients who could sometimes be idiosyncratic. He rarely entered competitions and never exhibited at the Royal Academy. He never allowed his work to be published and refused election to the Royal Scottish Academy, rather than exhibit. He kept the knowledge of the planning of a house confidential, the information imparted only to the client. He did accept some public offices: on the retirement of Edward Blore he became consulting architect to the government of Scotland and in that capacity undertook the rebuilding of King’s College, Aberdeen amongst other commissions. He was the main juror in the Whitehall competitions in 1857 and 1858. Although George Gilbert Scott was placed second in the competition Burn awarded the commission to Scott because he thought the plans were the most suitable. This sums up his attitude to design: fitness to purpose was paramount above all other factors.

Colvin considers that Burn ‘cannot be ranked as a great architect’. His output was perhaps more impressive than the actual designs. His early neo-Greek buildings were pioneering in Scotland but they are derivative. After about 1840 his Gothic churches are standard Gothic revival in style. His Jacobethan houses are often dull and repetitive in detailing. However it is the convenient planning of his houses which make his work remarkable. His career which spanned the whole course of nineteenth century architecture from Greek revival to Scottish Baronial is also exceptional.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 3131, George Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness   
Item 2 of 378, George Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1816  
Item 3 of 344, Stratton Street, Piccadilly, London, EnglandBusiness1854 *  

* 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 2Burn & Bryce18441849Senior Partner 
Item 2 of 2Burn & Anderson18681870Partner 

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 18John Honeyman    
Item 2 of 18William Bunn Colling  Assistant 
Item 3 of 18George Bell IAfter 1820(?)1841Assistant 
Item 4 of 18David BryceAfter 18231844Assistant 
Item 5 of 18William Clarkec. 1823c. 1827(?)ApprenticeRemained as draughtsman.
Item 6 of 18William Lambie Moffatt (originally William Lambie Moffat)Before 1824(?) Apprentice 
Item 7 of 18William Clarkec. 1827(?)1841Draughtsman 
Item 8 of 18John LesselsBefore 1832c. 1846Inspector of Works 
Item 9 of 18George Meikle Kempc. 1835 Assistant 
Item 10 of 18Thomas Brown IIBefore 1837Before 1837Improver 
Item 11 of 18___ HewisonBefore 18381943Clerk 
Item 12 of 18Richard ArmstrongBefore 1839 ApprenticeUncertain.
Item 13 of 18James Campbell WalkerJanuary 18421844Apprentice 
Item 14 of 18William Eden Nesfield1851 Apprentice 
Item 15 of 18David MacGibbon18511855Assistant 
Item 16 of 18John Wornham Penfoldc. 1851 *   
Item 17 of 18John Macvicar Andersonc. 18561868Assistant 
Item 18 of 18James BurnetBefore 1860(?)Before 1860(?)Apprentice(?)Uncertain, but may have trained in Burn's office as his detailing is similar to Burn's

* earliest date known from documented sources.


RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3John Macvicar Anderson19 December 1864for Associateship
Item 2 of 3John Macvicar Anderson14 December 1868for Fellowship
Item 3 of 3David Bryce15 December 1845for Fellowship

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 360c. 1810The Binns  West LothianScotlandNorth side remodelled in castellated style. Morning room and dining room added in court about 1810. SE and SW wings refaced in castellated style.
Item 2 of 3601812Assembly RoomsGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 3 of 3601812Kinmount HouseAnnan DumfriesshireScotlandExecutant architect for Smirke
Item 4 of 3601813Keir Parish ChurchKeirmill Village DumfriesshireScotlandOriginal church
Item 5 of 3601814Gallanach HouseOban ArgyllScotland 
Item 6 of 3601814North Leith Parish ChurchNorth Leith EdinburghScotland 
Item 7 of 3601815St John's Episcopal Church  EdinburghScotland 
Item 8 of 3601816Castle Fraser  AberdeenshireScotlandRedecoration of hall and minor alterations
Item 9 of 3601816Feuing plan of ground in Bath StreetPortobello EdinburghScotland 
Item 10 of 3601816George Watson's College  EdinburghScotlandOriginal building
Item 11 of 3601816Old Calton Burying Ground, Monument to Robert Burn (father of William Burn)  EdinburghScotland 
Item 12 of 3601817CraigielandsMoffat (near) DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 13 of 3601817Custom HouseGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 14 of 3601818Charleton HouseColinsburgh FifeScotlandUnexecuted scheme by Burn to remodel house.
Item 15 of 3601818Dundas Castle  MidlothianScotlandOriginal building
Item 16 of 3601818Episcopal ChapelCupar FifeScotland 
Item 17 of 3601818Saltoun Hall  East LothianScotlandEnlarged
Item 18 of 3601818The New Abbey ChurchDunfermline FifeScotland 
Item 19 of 3601819Adderstone HallBelford (near) NorthumberlandEngland 
Item 20 of 3601819Castle of MeyCanisbay CaithnessScotlandAlterations
Item 21 of 3601819Linlithgow Town Hall Linlithgow West LothianScotlandTwo storied range of County Buildings to north added.
Item 22 of 3601819Steil's InstitutionTranent East LothianScotland 
Item 23 of 3601820Blairquhan CastleStraiton AyrshireScotlandHouse - and bridge by Ayr Lodge
Item 24 of 3601820Camperdown House  DundeeScotland 
Item 25 of 3601820George Watson's Hospital  EdinburghScotlandAdditions - demolished 1870.
Item 26 of 360c. 1820Mount Stuart, North Lodge ButeArgyll & ButeScotland 
Item 27 of 3601821Custom HousePort Glasgow RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 28 of 3601821Houses, Lothian Road  EdinburghScotland 
Item 29 of 3601821James Murray Royal Lunatic AsylumPerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 30 of 3601821Luffness HouseDrem East LothianScotlandAddition
Item 31 of 3601821Melville Monument  EdinburghScotland 
Item 32 of 3601821St Anthony's Place  EdinburghScotland 
Item 33 of 3601821Trinity Masonic Lodge and Assembly RoomsElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 34 of 3601822Carstairs HouseCarstairs LanarkshireScotland 
Item 35 of 360182319 Claremont Crescent  EdinburghScotland 
Item 36 of 36018237-22 Claremont Crescent  EdinburghScotlandDesign
Item 37 of 3601823Edinburgh Academy, Main Hall  EdinburghScotland 
Item 38 of 3601823Forth HotelBurntisland FifeScotland 
Item 39 of 3601823LennoxloveLennoxlove East LothianScotlandMinor alterations to tower and roof
Item 40 of 3601823Lochend HouseDunbar (near) East LothianScotland 
Item 41 of 3601823Manse, Cromwell RoadBurntisland FifeScotland 
Item 42 of 3601823Niddrie House  MidlothianScotlandEnlargement
Item 43 of 3601823Riccarton  MidlothianScotlandEnlargement
Item 44 of 3601823Town's Churches, St Mary's Church and church hall  DundeeScotlandAlterations
Item 45 of 3601823Union Bank  DundeeScotland 
Item 46 of 3601824Brodie Castle  MorayshireScotlandNew wing (east range) in Jacobethan style; three lodges
Item 47 of 3601824ChurchKingarthButeArgyll & ButeScotland 
Item 48 of 3601824Custom HouseLeith EdinburghScotlandAdditions and alterations
Item 49 of 3601824Dundee Royal Lunatic Asylum and feuing of groundsStobswell DundeeScotlandNew wings and plan for reconstruction
Item 50 of 3601824Episcopal ChurchSt Andrews (later, Buckhaven) FifeScotlandOriginal building (seated 170, cost £1,400)
Item 51 of 3601824GasworksTanfield EdinburghScotland 
Item 52 of 3601824Ratho HouseRatho MidlothianScotlandOriginal house
Item 53 of 3601824Snaigow  PerthshireScotland 
Item 54 of 3601824Strathendry CastleMarkinch FifeScotlandOffice ranges.
Item 55 of 3601824Strathendry HouseLeslie FifeScotland 
Item 56 of 36018252-28 and 32-42A Henderson Row  EdinburghScotland 
Item 57 of 3601825Aros House MullArgyllScotlandOriginal house
Item 58 of 3601825BalnamoonBrechin, near AngusScotlandExtension
Item 59 of 3601825Freeland House  PerthshireScotlandRadical reconstruction of existing house, apparently largely designed by Blore and executed by Burn
Item 60 of 3601825John Watson's School  EdinburghScotland 
Item 61 of 3601825Killiecrankie CottageBlair Atholl PerthshireScotland 
Item 62 of 3601825Pinkie HouseMusselburgh MidlothianScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 63 of 3601825Teasses HouseCeres FifeScotlandOriginal house
Item 64 of 3601825Tenements, 162-168 Dundas Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 65 of 3601825Tenements, 1A, 2-4 Perth Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 66 of 3601825Union Street  DundeeScotlandLine fixed by Burn
Item 67 of 3601826Dalhousie Castle  MidlothianScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 68 of 3601826Duntrune  AngusScotland 
Item 69 of 3601826Fettercairn HouseLaurencekirk KincardineshireScotlandNew front wing and reconstruction of original house
Item 70 of 3601826Garscube House  DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 71 of 3601826Kinnoull Parish ChurchKinnoull PerthshireScotlandOriginal church
Item 72 of 3601826St Monans Parish ChurchSt Monans/St Monance FifeScotlandMajor restoration
Item 73 of 3601826Town HouseKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 74 of 360c. 1826Hoddom CastleEcclefechan DumfriesshireScotlandAdditions to south and west (subsequently demolished in the 1970s)
Item 75 of 3601827Abdie Parish ChurchAbdie FifeScotlandTook over from Playfair, adapting design by James Milne
Item 76 of 3601827Ardnamurchan ChurchKilchoan ArgyllScotland 
Item 77 of 3601827BalcaskiePittenweem FifeScotlandAlterations including bridge in park
Item 78 of 3601827Cliveden House  BuckinghamshireEngland 
Item 79 of 3601827Double house, Perth Road  DundeeScotland 
Item 80 of 3601827Fintray HouseFintray AberdeenshireScotlandOriginal designs
Item 81 of 3601827Lauriston CastleCramond EdinburghScotlandEnlargement
Item 82 of 3601827PitcairnsDunning PerthshireScotland 
Item 83 of 3601827Sir William Forbes' Bank  EdinburghScotland 
Item 84 of 3601827Tealing House  AngusScotlandE service and nursery wing, W wing and S entrance porch (including re-harling) by William Burn, 1827-29, constructed under supervsion of James Black of Dundee.
Item 85 of 3601827Whittingehame HouseWhittingehame East LothianScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 86 of 3601828Bank of Scotland  GlasgowScotland 
Item 87 of 3601828Corstorphine Parish ChurchCorstorphine EdinburghScotlandLargely rebuilt
Item 88 of 3601828CraigiehallCramond EdinburghScotlandDining room extension. North east pavilion remodelled. Colvin gives: 'addition to east and west fronts'
Item 89 of 3601828Cramond Parish ChurchCramond EdinburghScotlandRepairs and alterations
Item 90 of 3601828Dalkeith Palace, estate buildings including lodge and gateway    Lodge and gateway
Item 91 of 3601828Dupplin CastleForteviot PerthshireScotlandRecasing of wing and new house after fire
Item 92 of 3601828Gilmerton HouseHaddington (near) East LothianScotlandAltersations and new stables
Item 93 of 3601828Pilrig House  Edinburgh Additions for James Balfour
Item 94 of 3601828Pitfour Castle  PerthshireScotlandAdditions
Item 95 of 3601828Robert Gordon's CollegeSchoolhill AberdeenScotlandTudor scheme - unexecuted
Item 96 of 3601829Currie Parish SchoolCurrie MidlothianScotlandSchool and schoolhouse designed by Burn; schoolhouse executed by Bryce
Item 97 of 3601829Dunach HouseLoch Feochan, near Oban ArgyllScotland 
Item 98 of 3601829Faskally  PerthshireScotland 
Item 99 of 3601829Milton LockhartCarluke LanarkshireScotland 
Item 100 of 3601829Raehills HouseJohnstonebridge DumfriesshireScotlandLarge additions
Item 101 of 3601829St FortForgan FifeScotland 
Item 102 of 3601829St Giles Cathedral  EdinburghScotlandReconstruction of exterior
Item 103 of 3601829Stenton Parish ChurchStenton East LothianScotland 
Item 104 of 3601829Tyninghame House  East LothianScotlandRemodelling
Item 105 of 3601830Ayton HouseGlenfarg PerthshireScotlandAdditions
Item 106 of 3601830BalcaskiePittenweem FifeScotlandWork on house
Item 107 of 3601830Belleisle HouseAlloway AyrshireScotlandDavid Bryce responsible while in Burn's office
Item 108 of 3601830Dalmahoy House and lodgesRatho EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 109 of 3601830Dundee Royal Lunatic Asylum and feuing of groundsStobswell DundeeScotlandNorth front, kitchen and water tower
Item 110 of 3601830Dunskey HousePortpatrick WigtownshireScotlandEnlargement or rebuilding
Item 111 of 3601830Lothian Road UP Church  EdinburghScotlandWith David Bryce - or perhaps Bryce on his own.
Item 112 of 3601830Spott House  East LothianScotlandReconstruction
Item 113 of 3601830St Peter and St Andrew ChurchThurso CaithnessScotland 
Item 114 of 3601830Theatre Royal  EdinburghScotlandNew facade and other alterations
Item 115 of 360c. 1830BlanerneDuns (near) BerwickshireScotland 
Item 116 of 360c. 1830Dalkeith PalaceDalkeith MidlothianScotlandUnexecuted scheme for remodelling house
Item 117 of 360c. 1830Drumlanrig CastleDrumlanrig DumfriesshireScotlandRepairs and alterations including a new gardener's house and probably the forecourt wings of the main house.
Item 118 of 360c. 1830Edmonstone House  EdinburghScotlandDrawing room
Item 119 of 360c. 1830Hermiston HouseRiccarton West LothianScotlandBaronial additions
Item 120 of 360c. 1830Pitcaple House  AberdeenshireScotlandRestoration
Item 121 of 3601831Ardgowan HouseInverkip RenfrewshireScotlandAdditions
Item 122 of 3601831Auchmacoy HouseEllon AberdeenshireScotlandHouse rebuilt (or completed?)
Item 123 of 3601831Bowhill HouseSelkirk SelkirkshireScotlandEnlargement
Item 124 of 3601831Dupplin Castle, estate officeForteviot PerthshireScotlandEstate office
Item 125 of 3601831Erskine House, Obelisk in memory of Lord Blantyre  RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 126 of 3601831Hopetoun Mausoleum  West LothianScotland 
Item 127 of 3601831Hopetoun, Hope Family Monument  West LothianScotland 
Item 128 of 3601831Kilconquhar HouseKilconquhar FifeScotlandNew south-east front.
Item 129 of 3601831Kirkpatrick Irongray Churchyard, Monument to Helen WalkerKirkpatrick Irongray KirkcudbrightshireScotland 
Item 130 of 3601831Parish ChurchKirkcudbright KirkcudbrightshireScotland 
Item 131 of 3601831Schaw's HospitalPreston East LothianScotlandDesigned hospital - George Smith's design superseded Burn's.
Item 132 of 3601831UrrardBlair Atholl (near) PerthshireScotlandEnlargement
Item 133 of 3601832Aberdalgie Manse  PerthshireScotland 
Item 134 of 3601832Auchterarder House and west lodge and gates  PerthshireScotlandOriginal house
Item 135 of 3601832Charleton HouseColinsburgh FifeScotlandExtensions including new dining room at east end with John Lessels as clerk of works
Item 136 of 3601832Dalkeith Palace, Chamberlain's House and polygonal conservatoryDalkeith MidlothianScotland 
Item 137 of 3601832Dawyck HouseBroughton (near) PeeblesshireScotlandOriginal house
Item 138 of 3601832Gosford Old House  East Lothian Remodelling of old house as a temporary residence for 6th Earl of Wemyss.
Item 139 of 3601832Madras College, South StreetSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 140 of 3601832Newbyth HouseEast Linton East LothianScotlandAddition of kitchen offices, with connecting corridor and castellated tower.
Item 141 of 3601832Spottiswoode HouseWestruther BerwickshireScotland 
Item 142 of 3601832St Katherine's Parish ChurchNewburgh FifeScotland 
Item 143 of 3601833Bank of ScotlandKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 144 of 3601833Bank of Scotland, King StreetStirling StirlingshireScotland 
Item 145 of 3601833County BuildingsHaddington East LothianScotland 
Item 146 of 3601833Inverness Prison and courthouseInverness Inverness-shireScotlandSheriff court
Item 147 of 3601833James Murray Royal Lunatic AsylumPerth PerthshireScotlandNew wing to north
Item 148 of 3601833Netherby Hall  CumberlandEnglandAdditions
Item 149 of 3601833New Inverawe HouseNew Inverawe, Tirvane ArgyllScotland 
Item 150 of 3601833Portmore HouseEddleston PeeblesshireScotlandPreliminary designs
Item 151 of 3601833Signet Library  EdinburghScotlandRemodelled W H Playfair's staircase in order to open communication between Lower and Upper Libraries. Ionic columns, stairs and ironwork are by Burn. This was for the Writers to the Signet after they had acquired the upper library from the Advocates in 1826.
Item 152 of 3601833St Peter's Episcopal ChurchPeebles PeeblesshireScotland 
Item 153 of 3601833Teviot BankHawick RoxburghshireScotlandRebuilding
Item 154 of 3601833The GartCallander PerthshireScotland 
Item 155 of 3601834Hanley LodgeCorstorphine EdinburghScotland 
Item 156 of 3601834Kirkmichael House  DumfriesshireScotlandColvin gives 1832-3
Item 157 of 3601834Marchmont House, including stables and cottagesDuns (near) BerwickshireScotlandAlterations
Item 158 of 3601834Meigle House  PerthshireScotlandAdditions
Item 159 of 3601834Monkrigg HouseHaddington East LothianScotland 
Item 160 of 3601834New Club  EdinburghScotland 
Item 161 of 3601834Thurso CastleThurso CaithnessScotlandAlterations and additions to old building of the 1660s- demolished about 1875
Item 162 of 3601835Aboyne CastleAboyne AberdeenshireScotlandAlterations and additions (since removed)
Item 163 of 3601835BowerhouseDunbar East LothianScotlandAttributed to Bryce in his obituary though it was certainly done through Burn's office.
Item 164 of 3601835County BuildingsCupar FifeScotlandEnlargement by remodelling of adjacent building (now centre section)
Item 165 of 3601835Crichton Royal Institution, main buildingsDumfries DumfriesshireScotlandDesigned original buildings
Item 166 of 3601835Macbiehill  PeeblesshireScotlandRemodelling
Item 167 of 3601835Parkhill HousePolmont StirlingshireScotlandAlterations
Item 168 of 3601835TyneholmePencaitland East LothianScotland 
Item 169 of 3601835Tynron Church  DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 170 of 3601836Anton's HillColdstream BerwickshireScotland 
Item 171 of 3601836(?)Balcarres HouseColinsburgh FifeScotlandExtensive Scottish manorial additions
Item 172 of 3601836Carmyle CottageCarmyle LanarkshireScotland 
Item 173 of 3601836Duncrub HouseDunning PerthshireScotland 
Item 174 of 3601836Ettrick Bridge ChapelEttrick SelkirkshireScotland 
Item 175 of 3601836Gray's HospitalElgin MorayshireScotlandAlterations
Item 176 of 3601836Irvine HouseLangholm DumfriesshireScotlandEnlargement
Item 177 of 3601836Kirkmichael ManseKirkmichael AyrshireScotlandAttribution for design
Item 178 of 3601836Minnigaff Church  KirkcudbrightshireScotland 
Item 179 of 3601836Newbattle AbbeyNewbattle MidlothianScotlandAddition of attic storey with gables to east front.
Item 180 of 3601836Restalrig Parish Church, King's Chapel and St Triduana's aisleRestalrig EdinburghScotlandRestoration
Item 181 of 3601836St Luke's Church  EdinburghScotland 
Item 182 of 3601836Stenhouse  StirlingshireScotlandEnlargement
Item 183 of 360c. 1836Arthurstone HouseCoupar Angus PerthshireScotlandNorth wing added
Item 184 of 360c. 1836Knowsley  LancashireEnglandBoat-house, bridges, lodges etc.
Item 185 of 3601837Achnacarry House  Inverness-shireScotlandWith Peter Manuel as clerk of works
Item 186 of 3601837Bank of ScotlandGreenock RenfrewshiereScotland 
Item 187 of 3601837Branxholm Castle  RoxburghshireScotlandAlterations
Item 188 of 3601837Craignish CastleKilmelford ArgyllScotlandPartial rebuilding
Item 189 of 3601837Edinburgh Royal Lunatic Asylum  EdinburghScotlandPlans for additions (unexecuted)
Item 190 of 3601837Faskally  PerthshireScotlandFurther alterations and additions
Item 191 of 3601837Holy Trinity ChurchAyr AyrshireScotlandBy David Bryce while in Burn's office
Item 192 of 3601837Invergowrie House  DundeeScotland 
Item 193 of 3601837Lude HouseBlair Atholl (near) PerthshireScotland 
Item 194 of 3601837Roslin ChapelRoslin/Rosslyn MidlothianScotlandSupervised repairs
Item 195 of 3601837Statue of the 1st Duke of Sutherland, Ben BhraigieGolspie SutherlandEnglandPedestal for statue by Chantrey
Item 196 of 3601838ArddarrochFinnart DunbartonshireScotlandOriginal building
Item 197 of 3601838Castle MenziesAberfeldy PerthshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 198 of 3601838Finnart HouseFinnart, Loch Long ArgyllScotland 
Item 199 of 3601838Gladsmuir Parish ChurchGladsmuir East LothianScotland 
Item 200 of 3601838Harlaxton Manor  LincolnshireEnglandCompletion of house by Salvin and Blore.
Item 201 of 3601838Jura House JuraArgyllScotlandAdditions
Item 202 of 3601838Killearndale Kirk, Mausoleum for Colin CampbellKillearndale ArgyllScotland 
Item 203 of 3601838Kirkhope ChurchEttrick Bridge SelkirkshireScotland 
Item 204 of 3601838Monymusk House  AberdeenshireScotlandProposals for enlargement with new Scots Jacobean entrance wing
Item 205 of 3601838Northesk ChurchMusselburgh MidlothianScotland 
Item 206 of 36018395th Duke of Gordon Monument, LadyhillElgin MorayshireScotlandColumn
Item 207 of 3601839Bank of ScotlandMontrose AngusScotland 
Item 208 of 3601839Edinburgh Royal Lunatic Asylum  EdinburghScotlandOriginal building
Item 209 of 3601839Falkland House, with garden buildings and landscape elementsFalkland FifeScotland 
Item 210 of 3601839Hawick Old Parish ChurchHawick RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 211 of 3601839House of FalklandFalkland FifeScotlandOriginal building
Item 212 of 3601839Kilconquhar HouseKilconquhar FifeScotlandNew entrance (north-west) wing.
Item 213 of 3601839Morton Parish ChurchThornhill DumfriesshireScotlandOriginal church
Item 214 of 3601839Muckross HouseKillarney County KerryEire 
Item 215 of 3601839Ninewells HouseChirnside BerwickshireScotland 
Item 216 of 3601839St Mary's ChurchSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 217 of 3601839WhitehillRosewell MidlothianScotlandHouse, lodge etc
Item 218 of 360Before 1839Liff ChurchLiff AngusScotlandScheme drawn up for new church
Item 219 of 3601840Bank of Scotland  DundeeScotlandOriginal building
Item 220 of 3601840ChurchPortpatrick WigtownshireScotland 
Item 221 of 3601840Penninghame ChurchNewton Stewart WigtownshireScotland 
Item 222 of 3601840Redcastle  Ross and CromartyScotland 
Item 223 of 3601840Thirlestane CastleLauder BerwickshireScotlandAddition of wings - begun by Burn, probably partly designed by Bryce; may have been completed in partnership
Item 224 of 3601840West Church and hallsDalkeith MidlothianScotland 
Item 225 of 360c. 1840Cardrona  PeeblesshireScotland 
Item 226 of 360c. 1840Stoke Rochford, obelisk in memory of Sir Isaac Newton  LincolnshireEngland 
Item 227 of 3601841Galloway House  WigtownshireScotlandAlterations - with Bryce - which included internal alterations and full-height additions to main block
Item 228 of 3601841North British and Mercantile Offices  EdinburghScotlandFirst building on sire for North British & Mercantile
Item 229 of 3601841Seacliffe House and cottageNorth Berwick East LothianScotlandWholly or partly by Bryce.
Item 230 of 3601841Stoke Rochford House  LincolnshireEngland 
Item 231 of 3601841Town's Churches, Old St Paul's  DundeeScotlandOriginal designs. Colvin gives 1842-44.
Item 232 of 3601842Langholm Parish ChurchLangholm DumfriesshireScotlandWith David Bryce working in his office prior to partnership
Item 233 of 3601842Oxenfoord Castle  MidlothianScotlandCastellated alterations and additions
Item 234 of 3601842Prestwold Hall  LeicestershireEnglandRemodelling
Item 235 of 3601842South Rauceby Hall  LincolnshireEngland 
Item 236 of 3601842Town's Churches, St Mary's Church and church hall  DundeeScotlandDesigns drawn up for new church following rejection of scheme for rebuilding the medieval church, burnt 1841.
Item 237 of 3601843BalcaskiePittenweem FifeScotlandWest (Carnbee) Lodge
Item 238 of 3601843CarnellHurlford AyrshireScotlandExtensive additions - Bryce responsible, working in Burn's office prior to partnership?
Item 239 of 3601843Edinburgh Life Assurance Company  EdinburghScotland 
Item 240 of 3601843Ladykirk HouseLadykirk BerwickshireScotlandMinor alterations and additions
Item 241 of 3601843Mertoun HouseMertoun BerwickshireScotlandAlterations and additions, including new south wing, reusing old pavilion
Item 242 of 3601843Music Hall and Assembly Rooms  EdinburghScotlandAddition of music hall - with Bryce
Item 243 of 3601843Raby CastleDurham Co DurhamEnglandAlterations and additions
Item 244 of 3601844Bamff HouseAlyth PerthshireScotlandListed as architect by Colvin. Unclear what his role was.
Item 245 of 3601844Banff House  BanffshireScotland 
Item 246 of 3601844Carradale HouseCarradale ArgyllScotland 
Item 247 of 3601844Dartrey  Co. MonaghanEire 
Item 248 of 3601844Fife Arms Hotel and adjoining premises for the Trustees of Lord FifeBanff BanffshireScotland 
Item 249 of 3601844Redrice House  HampshireEnglandRemodelling
Item 250 of 3601844Revesby Abbey  LincolnshireEngland 
Item 251 of 3601844St Mary's Episcopal ChurchDalkeith MidlothianScotland 
Item 252 of 360c. 1844House of Falkland, Bridge over the Roaring or Mill BurnFalkland FifeScotlandProbably
Item 253 of 360c. 1844House of Falkland, East lodgeFalkland FifeScotlandProbably by Burn
Item 254 of 360c. 1844House of Falkland, Gilderland Bridge over Maspie BurnFalkland FifeScotland 
Item 255 of 360c. 1844Riccarton Estate Lodge  West LothianScotlandHES - 'style of William Burn and David Bryce'
Item 256 of 3601845Edinburgh Royal Lunatic Asylum  EdinburghScotlandAddition
Item 257 of 3601845InchdairnieKirkcaldy FifeScotlandMay not have had a significant role in this.
Item 258 of 3601845Leny HouseCallander PerthshireScotlandMay not have had a sigificant role in this design - if at all involved.
Item 259 of 3601846Calwich Abbey  StaffordshireEngland 
Item 260 of 3601846Creedy ParkCrediton (near) DevonEngland 
Item 261 of 3601846Eaton Hall  CheshireEnglandAlterations and additions
Item 262 of 3601847Arundel Castle  SussexEnglandAlterations and additions including main gateway, wall facing town and new lodges
Item 263 of 3601847Bangor Castle  Co. DownNorthern IrelandAlso said to be by Anthony Salvin.
Item 264 of 3601847British Linen Bank, St Andrew Square  EdinburghScotlandInternal alterations to connect two houses with British Linen Bank. Listed in William Burn's list of jobs by Colvin but perhaps had little or no input.
Item 265 of 3601847Dalkeith Union PoorhouseDalkeith MidlothianScotlandScheme drawn up - not selected for job
Item 266 of 3601847Edinburgh and Leith Bank  EdinburghScotlandAddition
Item 267 of 3601847Gorhambury  HertfordshireEnglandAlterations and additions 1847 onwards
Item 268 of 3601847Stoke Rochford Church  LincolnshireEnglandRestoration
Item 269 of 3601847The DeaneryLincoln LincolnshireEngland 
Item 270 of 3601847Town's Churches, Old St Paul's  DundeeScotlandExecuted Burn's design of 1841-42
Item 271 of 3601848Clandeboye  Co. DownNorthern IrelandDesigns drawn up
Item 272 of 3601848Dalkeith House, Duke's GatesDalkeith MidlothianScotland 
Item 273 of 3601848Idsworth House  HampshireEngland 
Item 274 of 3601849Eastwell Park  KentEnglandLarge addition in Jacobean style
Item 275 of 3601849Moor Park  HertfordshireEnglandAlterations to house
Item 276 of 3601849St Mary's RC ChurchBraes of Arisaig ArgyllScotland 
Item 277 of 360c. 1849Poltalloch HouseLochgilphead ArgyllScotlandOriginal house - landscaping in association with William Nesfield
Item 278 of 3601850sKinmel Park  DenbighshireWalesVarious estate buildings including gate lodge, gamekeeper's house and agent's house. Also stables (attribution).
Item 279 of 3601850AlmhousesSouth, Stoke LincolnshireEngland 
Item 280 of 3601850Babworth Hall  NottinghamshireEnglandAlterations and additions
Item 281 of 3601850Pepper ArdenSouth Cowton YorkshireEnglandAlterations and additions
Item 282 of 3601850Staindrop Churchyard, mausoleum for 2nd Duke of ClevelandStaindrop Co. DurhamEngland 
Item 283 of 360Before 1850(?)Ardoon HouseWaterside AyrshireScotlandTentative attribution in HES Lists - if correct, must be before 1850
Item 284 of 360c. 185013 Castle Terrace  EdinburghScotlandDesign, executed by Watherston.
Item 285 of 360c. 1850Beechwood Park  HertfordshireEnglandRemodelling and other alterations
Item 286 of 360c. 1850Surrenden DeringAshford (near) KentEnglandAlterations and additions
Item 287 of 3601851Dunira HouseComrie PerthshireScotlandOriginal house
Item 288 of 3601851Holkham Hall  NorfolkEnglandStables and north and south gates
Item 289 of 3601851Lochend HouseDunbar (near) East LothianScotlandOffices added
Item 290 of 3601851Orwell ParkIpswich SuffolkEnglandAlterations to house (perhaps superseded by Macvicar Anderson house?)
Item 291 of 3601851Rampton Manor  NottinghamshireEngland 
Item 292 of 3601851Roehampton Grove  SurreyEnglandAddition of Italianate wing
Item 293 of 3601851Stoneleigh Abbey  WarwickshireEnglandConservatory and other works
Item 294 of 3601851The HirselColdstream BerwickshireScotlandInternal alterations, Lodges etc
Item 295 of 3601851The Hirsel, lodgesColdstream BerwickshireScotland 
Item 296 of 360Before 1851University of St Andrews, Chapel of St SalvatorSt Andrews FifeScotlandDesign of parapet on tower - executed by Robert Matheson
Item 297 of 3601852Branksome TowerPoole DorsetEngland 
Item 298 of 3601852Kilruddery  Co. WicklowEireConservatory
Item 299 of 3601852Sandon Hall  StaffordshireEngland 
Item 300 of 3601853AbbotsfordMelrose RoxburghshireScotlandSW wing added
Item 301 of 3601853Godmersham Park  KentEnglandAlterations
Item 302 of 3601853Montagu House  LondonEngland 
Item 303 of 3601854Buchanan CastleDrymen Stirlingshire/DunbartonshireScotlandNew house.
Item 304 of 3601854Castlewellan  Co. DownNorthern Ireland 
Item 305 of 3601854Glasgow General Post Office  GlasgowScotlandWon commission
Item 306 of 3601854House, 22 Arlington Street  LondonEnglandAlterations and additions (including the neo-Georgian street facade)
Item 307 of 3601855Amport House  HampshireEngland 
Item 308 of 3601855Blairquhan Estate, Monument to Colonel James Hunter BlairStraiton AyrshireScotland 
Item 309 of 3601855ChurchBoltby YorkshireEngland 
Item 310 of 3601855National SchoolCockshutt, Salop ShropshireEngland 
Item 311 of 3601855Patshull  StaffordshireEnglandAlterations
Item 312 of 3601855Taplow Court  BuckinghamshireEnglandRemodelling
Item 313 of 3601856Braal CastleHalkirk (Near) CaithnessScotland 
Item 314 of 3601856Fonthill Abbey  WiltshireEngland 
Item 315 of 3601856Hamilton PalaceHamilton LanarkshireScotlandMinor alterations
Item 316 of 3601856Lynford Hall  NorfolkEngland 
Item 317 of 3601856Wharncliffe House  LondonEnglandAlterations
Item 318 of 3601857Sandbeck Park  YorkshireEnglandInternal alterations
Item 319 of 3601858Buchanan Street Railway Station  GlasgowScotlandSubmitted design - not placed (probably really Macvicar Anderson was responsible)
Item 320 of 3601858Cheveley Park  CambridgeshireEnglandAlterations and additions
Item 321 of 3601858Stanway Manor  GloucestershireEnglandAdditions
Item 322 of 3601858Tusmore House  OxfordshireEnglandAlterations
Item 323 of 3601858Wishaw HouseWishaw LanarkshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 324 of 3601859Balintore CastleLintrathen AngusScotland 
Item 325 of 3601860Blithfield  StaffordshireEnglandMinor works
Item 326 of 3601860Brodick CastleBrodickArranButeScotlandProposal for new entrance court modelled in Thirlestane
Item 327 of 3601860Clandeboye  Co. DownNorthern Ireland 
Item 328 of 3601860Dogmersfield Park  HampshireEnglandAlterations and additions
Item 329 of 3601861Eildon HallMelrose RoxburghshireScotlandAdditions. David Bryce probably actually drew up scheme as William Burn was in London by this time.
Item 330 of 3601861Lamport Hall  NorthamptonshireEnglandRebuilding of north front
Item 331 of 3601861Tehidy Park  HampshireEnglandAlterations and additions
Item 332 of 3601861The LeysGanarew HerefordshireEngland 
Item 333 of 3601861The Red HouseRydeIsle of WightHampshireEngland 
Item 334 of 3601862BarganyDailly AyrshireScotlandThree storey addition at NE angle to accommodate drawing room etc
Item 335 of 3601862Packington Hall  WarwickshireEnglandConservatory and carriage-porch
Item 336 of 3601863Ganton Hall  YorkshireEngland 
Item 337 of 3601863No 18 Carlton House Terrace  LondonEngland 
Item 338 of 3601863Polmaise  StirlingshireScotland 
Item 339 of 3601863Roehampton Grove, mausoleum to S Lyne StephensRoehampton SurreyEngland 
Item 340 of 3601863Shirburn Castle  OxfordshireEnglandStables
Item 341 of 3601864Blickling Hall  NorfolkEnglandAlterations to west range
Item 342 of 3601864Kimbolton Castle  HuntingdonshireEnglandAlterations
Item 343 of 3601864Spye Park  WiltshireEngland 
Item 344 of 3601864Swanbourne House  BuckinghamshireEngland 
Item 345 of 3601865House, 17 (later 18) Grosvenor Square  LondonEngland 
Item 346 of 3601865Powerscourt HouseEnniskerry County WicklowEireAlterations and additions (Colvin lists it under Burn). perhaps working with Macvicar Anderson?
Item 347 of 3601865Whittlebury Lodge  NorthamptonshireEngland 
Item 348 of 3601866HighwoodsMortimer BerkshireEngland 
Item 349 of 3601866House, no 7 Grosvenor Place  LondonEngland 
Item 350 of 3601866Weston Park  StaffordshireEnglandAlterations and additions including new entrance and orangery.
Item 351 of 3601866Wickham CourtWest Wickham KentEnglandAlterations
Item 352 of 3601867Branksome Park Estate, Packe Family MausoleumBournemouth DorsetEngland 
Item 353 of 3601867Lockerley Hall  HampshireEnglandAlso further work later.
Item 354 of 3601867Wortley Hall  YorkshireEnglandAlterations and additions
Item 355 of 3601868Brocklesby Park  LincolnshireEnglandAlterations and additions
Item 356 of 3601868Ottershaw Park  SurreyEnglandNew wing on old house
Item 357 of 3601868Rendlesham Hall  SuffolkEngland 
Item 358 of 3601869Crichel  DorsetEnglandAdditions
Item 359 of 3601869Somerley  HampshireEnglandAlterations and additions begun
Item 360 of 360Early 1800sKirkmichael House  AyrshireScotlandW front extended and new porch


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 9Airs, Malcolm (ed.)2000The Victorian Great House Oxford University Departmetn of Continuing Eduation 
Item 2 of 9Colvin, H M1995A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-18403rd editionNew Haven and London: Yale University Press 
Item 3 of 9Colvin, Howard2008A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 London: YUP. 4th edition 
Item 4 of 9Fawcett, Jane (ed.)1976Seven Victorian Architects  Chapter by David Walker: 'William Burn: the Country House in Transition'.
Item 5 of 9Girouard, Mark1979The Victorian Country House  pp22-4, 32
Item 6 of 9New DNB New Dictionary of National Biography  Article by David Walker
Item 7 of 9Pride, Glen L1999The Kingdom of Fife2nd EditionThe Rutland Pressp45
Item 8 of 9RCAHMS1992Dundee on Record RCAHMSp18. Design for proposed Bank of Scotland at 34 Reform Street, Dundee.
p21. Reconstruction drawing of Dundee Lunatic Asylum by David M Walker, showing the Asylum's various building stages between 1812 and 1860 (1952).
p22. Image of original design of Camperdown House by William Burn.
Item 9 of 9Walker, David1984Scottish Pioneers of the Greek Revival   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 5Builder1870  p189, 231 (obituaries)
Item 2 of 5Builder1882  pp667-8
Item 3 of 5Builder27 October 1961  'Architectural Historians' Conference: Papers Submitted to the Edinburgh Meeting' p787 - David Walker delivered a paper entitled 'Towards a New Style' at the SAH (UK) Conference in Edinburgh on 15-17 Sept 1961 in which he mentioned Burn
Item 4 of 5Building News1870  p245
Item 5 of 5RIBA Transactions1869pp121-9 1869-70. Memoir by T L Donaldson.

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2National Monuments Record of Scotland/NMRS, RCAHMSDrawings Collection  
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Drawings Collection Large collection of Burn's drawings


© All rights reserved. RIASQ 1925-6, p99. Courtesy of the RIAS. 

© All rights reserved. RIASQ 1925-6, p99. Courtesy of the RIAS.