Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Murdoch
Designation: Architect
Born: 1825
Died: 29 December 1907
Bio Notes: John Murdoch was born in 1826 in Ayr and educated at Ayr Academy. He trained as a civil engineer and by the date of his marriage 4 October 1854, to Harriet Helen Miller, eldest daughter of Captain Miller who was an adjutant with the Royal Ayr Militia Rifles, he had qualified being described then as John Murdoch Esq, CE. He also qualified as an architect 'passing the different examinations for admission' and became a member of the Institute of Architects. By 1868 he was in practice at 48 Newmarket, Ayrr. In the early 1880s he seems to have formed a brief partnership with James Inglis McDerment. By 1894 he had moved to 62 Sandgate.

Murdoch and his wife had a large family: at least five daughters and four sons. Two of his sons became architects, John who was born about 1858 and George Alexander who was born about 1862. Murdoch's early work is dry post-late Georgian. By the late 1870s he was proficient in both Bryce-school Scots baronial and a Queen Anne-inspired free Renaissance, perhaps because one or both of his sons had joined the practice. However neither son remained in Ayr. They may have emigrated. Three years before his death on 29 December 1907 Murdoch senior was joined in partnership by John Whitelaw Lockhart. Lockhart had been born in 1877 and articled to Morris & Hunter from 1894 until 1899 when he had obtained a place in the office of James Salmon & Son as an improver, enabling him to attend the courses at Glasgow School of Art and the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College under Charles Gourlay. The practice retained Murdoch's name after his death.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 5Redholm/11, Ronaldshaw Park Road, Ayr, Ayrshire, ScotlandPrivate 1907 
Item 2 of 548, Newmarket Street, Ayr, Ayrshire, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1868After 1889 
Item 3 of 5Westerlea, Racecourse Road, Ayr, Ayrshire, ScotlandPrivate1881 *  
Item 4 of 5Newfield/6, Southpark Road, Ayr, Ayrshire, ScotlandPrivatec. 1884After 1891 
Item 5 of 562, Sandgate Street, Ayr, Ayrshire, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1894After 1899 

* 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 2McDerment & Murdoch18811882Architect 
Item 2 of 2John Murdoch & Lockhart19041907Partner 

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 2William John Blain18851889Apprentice 
Item 2 of 2Thomas Stewart PurdieSeptember 1886December 1890Apprentice 

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 67 Girvan Parish ChurchGirvan AyrshireScotlandUndated exhibition drawing
Item 2 of 67 Westland Steading   ScotlandDate unknown
Item 3 of 671860Wellington SquareAyr AyrshireScotlandLaid out garden to accommodate the erection of the first memorial. With ___Davidson, head gardener at Culzean.
Item 4 of 67c. 1860St John's TowerAyr AyrshireScotlandConversion to house for John Miller
Item 5 of 671861Alton Albany HouseBarr AyrshireScotlandWings added
Item 6 of 671861Doune CemeteryGirvan AyrshireScotland 
Item 7 of 671861Old School near Episcopal ChurchAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 8 of 671862Ayr Cemetery, entrance and lodgeAyr AyrshireScotlandDesigned gates
Item 9 of 671863Angus Galbraith's houseOld Rome AyrshireScotlandPlans drawn up
Item 10 of 671863County Buildings and Sheriff CourtAyr AyrshireScotlandLower pavilions to S added
Item 11 of 671863ReigateAyr AyrshireScotland'Probably' (Buildings of Scotland)
Item 12 of 671863Reigate and GreensideAyr AyrshireScotlandProbably by Murdoch (Buildings of Scotland)
Item 13 of 671867Police StationTroon AyrshireScotland 
Item 14 of 671868Maybole Police StationMaybole AyrshireScotland 
Item 15 of 671869Villas, 29-31 Miller RoadAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 16 of 671870Windsor VillasAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 17 of 671871Police StationLargs AyrshireScotland 
Item 18 of 671872ClubAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 19 of 671873Country ClubAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 20 of 671874Boys Industrial SchoolAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 21 of 671874Doune SchoolGirvan AyrshireScotland 
Item 22 of 671874Dumfries House, Cumnock Gate lodge and gates  AyrshireScotlandConflict of information - Green gives architect as Railton.
Item 23 of 671875Building, High streetMaybole AyrshireScotland 
Item 24 of 671875SchoolSinclairston AyrshireScotland 
Item 25 of 671876Cumnock New CemeteryCumnock AyrshireScotland 
Item 26 of 671876Ladyland SchoolMaybole AyrshireScotland 
Item 27 of 671876Police StationDalmellington AyrshireScotland 
Item 28 of 671877Ayr Town HallAyr AyrshireScotlandExtension to High Street, and alterations - placed first in competition but job went to Campbell Douglas & Sellars
Item 29 of 671877Greenan, feuing planAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 30 of 671878Glenbuck House  AyrshireScotland 
Item 31 of 671878Patna Waterside Parish ChurchPatna AyrshireScotlandExtension
Item 32 of 671879Carlton TurretsAyr AyrshireScotlandFrom 1879 onwards
Item 33 of 671879Craigweil House, 3 Craigweil RoadAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 34 of 671879Villa, 1 Craigweil RoadAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 35 of 671879WestfieldAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 36 of 671880Killochan CastleOld Dailly AyrshireScotlandAdditions and alterations; new carriage entrance and gate lodge
Item 37 of 671880NewsteadAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 38 of 671880Tenement, Newmarket StreetAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 39 of 671881Ayr County HospitalAyr AyrshireScotlandOriginal hospital building
Item 40 of 671881Glenbuck Parish ChurchGlenbuck AyrshireScotland'Buildings of Scotland' gives McDerment & Murdoch as responsible.
Item 41 of 671881SchoolPrestwick AyrshireScotland 
Item 42 of 671882Ayr County HospitalAyr AyrshireScotlandWashing house for fever wards
Item 43 of 671882Clydesdale BankCumnock AyrshireScotland 
Item 44 of 671882Congregational ChurchCumnock AyrshireScotland 
Item 45 of 671882Feuing plan for W T McWhinnie's propertyPrestwick AyrshireScotlandPlans dated
Item 46 of 671883Holmston Primary SchoolHolmston AyrshireScotland 
Item 47 of 671883North Newton Church and ManseAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 48 of 671883St James ChurchAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 49 of 671884225-231 High StreetAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 50 of 671884247-255 High StreetAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 51 of 671884NetherbyAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 52 of 671885Ashgrove, feuing planKilwinning AyrshireScotlandOriginal feuing plans
Item 53 of 671886St Leonard's Parish ChurchAyr AyrshireScotlandOriginal building
Item 54 of 671888Police stationArdrossan AyrshireScotland 
Item 55 of 671888Property for George HartAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 56 of 671890CartlandLanark LanarkshireScotlandAlterations
Item 57 of 671892AuchendoonHollybush AyrshireScotland 
Item 58 of 671893Evangelical Union ChurchMuirkirk AyrshireScotland 
Item 59 of 671895Glendoune  Ayrshire?ScotlandPlans dated
Item 60 of 671896ManseCumnock AyrshireScotlandAdditions and alterations
Item 61 of 671896Police StationNewmilns AyrshireScotland 
Item 62 of 671897Police StationGalston AyrshireScotlandAnother storey added
Item 63 of 671899Police StationStevenston AyrshireScotland 
Item 64 of 67Late 1800s2, 4 Charlotte Street and 43 Fort StreetAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 65 of 671900Straiton Parish ChurchStraiton AyrshireScotlandAddition of porch, belfry and tower, and restoration of church - uncertain if he is executant but seems to have drawn plans
Item 66 of 671901Commonhead, feuing plansAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 67 of 671903Police StationPrestwick AyrshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 3Architects Engineers and Building Trades Directory1868Architect's, Engineer's and Building Trades' Directory London, Wyman 
Item 2 of 3Ayr Directories Ayr Directories   
Item 3 of 3British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Builder4 January 1908v94 p20
Item 2 of 2RIBA Journal18 October 1924 London: Royal Institute of British ArchitectsObituary of John Whitelaw Lockhart p677

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Courtesy of Mr James BrownInformation sent via 'Contact Us' on website Sent July 2015
Item 2 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Research on addresses by Iain Paterson