© All rights reserved. Edinburgh Architectural Association 1907 Exhibition Catalogue  

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Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Campbell Walker
Designation: Architect
Born: 11 April 1821
Died: 10 January 1888
Bio Notes: James Campbell Walker was born at Strathmiglo, Fife on 11 April 1821, the son of Thomas Walker and his wife Barbara Campbell. The Walkers were bleachers (their surname implies that they always had been) but a branch of the family (Archibald Walker and Henry West Walker) had become solicitors in Auchtermuchty. Although Walker was to have considerable success in competitions, these trade and legal connections were to be the bedrock of his practice.

Walker was articled to William Burn in January 1842 through the influence of Onesiphorus Tyndall Bruce of Falkland. His entry in the 'Architects Engineers and Building Trades Directory' suggests that he followed Burn to London but by the 1850s he was certainly back at 131 George Street, Edinburgh as David Bryce's principal clerk, figuring as such in the correspondence with Stewart of Shambellie.

Sometime before September 1854, when still in Bryce's employ, Walker was appointed architect to the Agricultural Labourer's Improvement Association, and began independent practice on a part-time basis from their offices at 51 George Street, Edinburgh. This brought commissions for agricultural dwellings in Sir John Stuart Forbes's Fettercairn and Pitsligo estates, and probably others. Within a couple of years work of this kind had enabled him to set up practice on his own account at 53 Frederick Street, which was evidently house as well as office, in 1856 or very early 1857. In those early years he also made his name as an architect of poorhouses, mainly won in competition, but he also designed a number of sizeable villas with distinctive hammer-dressed long-and-short window dressings, two of which appeared in Blackie's 'Villa and Cottage Architecture', published in 1868. But by the later 1860s he had established a broader-based practice, being commissioned to design the giant Blair Drummond, modelled on Burn's earlier unexecuted schemes for Fonthill, and the plain Waverley Hydropathic at Melrose in which he pioneered the use of mass concrete in Scotland. In 1875 he won the competition for Dunfermline Town Hall and in 1883 that for Hawick Town Hall, both outstanding buildings of the Bryce Franco Scottish school with imaginative sculpture.

In 1869 Walker moved to 2 North East Circus Place, again house as well as office, from which address he practised until his death. In his later years he benefited from the death of David Bryce in 1876, acquiring a significant clientele for country house work which included the Duke of Atholl and the Earl of Home.

In 1875 Walker married a much younger cousin, Agnes Walker, third daughter of Edward Walker, then living at Eastbourne, by whom he had two daughters, both born in Edinburgh: Edith Emily was born in 1878 and Alice Campbell was born in 1880. Late in 1886 or early in 1887 Walker became ill with chronic bronchitis. He died on 10 January 1888 and was buried at Auchtermuchty, his death being reported by his bleacher brother George, then living at 11 Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh. He left no will, his pre-nuptial marriage settlement being treated as one as it sufficiently provided for his widow and any children of the marriage. At the time of his death his estate was somewhat complicated as he was then administering that of his brother David who lived at Strathmiglo and at 22 Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh, and had died at Southport on 22 January 1886: 969 2s 5d was still due to George as the surviving brother. Although he owned no heritable property, James Campbell Walker left the then substantial net estate of 8,245 11s, mainly invested in American and colonial stocks. His inventory records work for Henry Cook (probably the Edinburgh WS, 21 19s), Sir John D Hope (presumably work on Pinkie House and/or estate, 82 0s.), R Hall & Co (36 15s) and the Trustees of the late J A Beveridge (250, not yet traced, implies major building work).

After his death the lease of his house and office at 2 North East Circus Place was immediately given up. Agnes may have moved back to Eastbourne where she had at least one brother, David.

James Campbell Walker's practice was continued by his draughtsman Henry W Walker (perhaps a son of the Auchtermuchty solicitor of that name) from an office in Albert Buildings, Shandwick Place: the drawings for the alterations at Myres Castle, Auchtermuchty in 1887-1889 bear both the North East Circus Place and Shandwick Place addresses.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 4131, George Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness  In 1850s as clerk to David Bryce
Item 2 of 451, George Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness18541856As architect to the Agricultural Labourers Improvement Association
Item 3 of 453, Frederick Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/businessc. 18581869 
Item 4 of 42, North East Circus Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/business18691888 

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 3William BurnJanuary 18421844Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3Burn & Bryce18441849(?)AssistantInitially still an apprentice
Item 3 of 3David Bryce1849(?)1856 or early 1857Principal Clerk 

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 1James Bow DunnMarch 18761881Apprentice 

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 91 Lanrick Castle  Perthshire/StirlingshireScotlandLodge - HS attrbution?
Item 2 of 91 MonktonOld Craighall MidlothianScotlandSome plans in Lorimer Collection
Item 3 of 91Between 1850 and 1860Anglefield CroftFettercairn KincardineshireScotland 
Item 4 of 911854Pair of cottages   Scotland 
Item 5 of 911854Pair of cottages   Scotland 
Item 6 of 911854Pair of cottages with attics   Scotland 
Item 7 of 911854Two storey cottage   Scotland 
Item 8 of 91After 1854Craigiebanks Bothy   Scotland 
Item 9 of 911855Lodging house for unmarried workmen   Scotland 
Item 10 of 911855Single cottage   Scotland 
Item 11 of 911855SmiddyNew Pitsligo AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 12 of 911856Blacksmith's cottageNew Pitsligo AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 13 of 911856Castleton Bothy   ScotlandAdditions
Item 14 of 911856Craigmoston BothyCraigmoston AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 15 of 911857Double cottage   ScotlandAs agent to the Agricultural Labourers Improvement Association.
Item 16 of 911857Langlee House, Porter's Lodge  RoxburghshireScotlandAs architect to the Agricultural Labourers Improvement Association
Item 17 of 911857Single cottage   Scotland 
Item 18 of 911857Single storey cottage   Scotland 
Item 19 of 911857Two storey cottages   Scotland 
Item 20 of 91Before 1857Pauper cottages   Scotland 
Item 21 of 911859Galashiels PoorhouseGalashiels SelkirkshireScotland 
Item 22 of 911859Old CalabarLundin Links FifeScotland 
Item 23 of 911859Old FieldLundin Links FifeScotland 
Item 24 of 911860Cottage and saddlery   ScotlandAs agent to the Agricultural Labourers Improvement Association.
Item 25 of 911860Cottage and schoolroom   ScotlandConversion to cottage and shop
Item 26 of 911860Dysart Combination PoorhouseThornton FifeScotland 
Item 27 of 911860LangleeGalashiels SelkirkshireScotland 
Item 28 of 91c. 186024 and 26 Mansionhouse Road  EdinburghScotlandHS says 'style of James Campbell Walker'
Item 29 of 91c. 1860Cottage   ScotlandAppears to be by Walker
Item 30 of 911861Atholl and Breadalbane PoorhouseLogierait PerthshireScotland 
Item 31 of 911861Daneshalt school and schoolhouseDunshelt/Cupar Muir FifeScotland 
Item 32 of 911862Auchterarder PoorhouseAuchterarder PerthshireScotland 
Item 33 of 911862Dumbarton Combination PoorhouseDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandOriginal building
Item 34 of 911862Single storey cottage   Scotland 
Item 35 of 91c. 186211 and 13 Tantallon Place  EdinburghScotlandHS says 'style of James Campbell Walker'
Item 36 of 9118635 Ettrick Road  EdinburghScotland 
Item 37 of 9118635 Napier RoadMerchiston EdinburghScotland 
Item 38 of 911863Arngask SchoolGlenfarg PerthshireScotland 
Item 39 of 911863Collessie School and Schoolmaster's HouseCollessie FifeScotlandAddition to schoolmaster's house
Item 40 of 911863Kirtle Lodge  EdinburghScotland 
Item 41 of 911863Stonehaven Co BuildingsStonehaven KincardineshireScotland 
Item 42 of 911863Stonehaven Sheriff CourtStonehaven KincardineshireScotlandNew front building
Item 43 of 911865Fettercairn workmen's housesFettercairn AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 44 of 911865Islay Combination PoorhouseBowmoreBowmoreArgyllScotland 
Item 45 of 911865Pitlochry SchoolPitlochry PerthshireScotland 
Item 46 of 911865Rabbit HallPortobello EdinburghScotland 
Item 47 of 911865Two Baronial villas adjacent to Rabbit HallPortobello EdinburghScotland 
Item 48 of 911865Two houses, Skene StreetStrathmiglo FifeScotland 
Item 49 of 911865Wardie House  EdinburghScotlandAdditions
Item 50 of 9115 November 1865Collessie Parish ChurchCollessie FifeScotlandAlterations (improvement to 'arrangements for Baptism and Comomunion) - by 'Walker' (presumably James Campbell Walker)
Item 51 of 91Before 1865Auchtermuchty Primary SchoolAuchtermuchty FifeScotlandOriginal school
Item 52 of 91Before 1865Episcopal SchoolNew Pitsligo AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 53 of 91Before 1865Glencorse SchoolGlencorse MidlothianScotland 
Item 54 of 91Before 1865Mr Smeaton's SchoolSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 55 of 91Before 1865School MullArgyllScotland 
Item 56 of 91Before 1865SchoolAppin ArgyllScotland 
Item 57 of 911867Beachborough VillaPortobello EdinburghScotland 
Item 58 of 91c. 1867Eastbourne HousePortobello EdinburghScotland 
Item 59 of 911868(?)Blair Drummond House  PerthshireScotlandNew house, stables, gamekeeper's house
Item 60 of 91Before 1868NetherbyGalashiels SelkirkshireScotland 
Item 61 of 911869Waverley HydropathicMelrose RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 62 of 911870Moulin ChurchPitlochry PerthshireScotlandRebuilding and remodelling of fire damaged church, spire added
Item 63 of 91c. 1870St James Terrace, Bath StreetPortobello EdinburghScotland 
Item 64 of 911872Balbirnie Estate, Sweetbank FarmhouseMarkinch FifeScotlandAdditions
Item 65 of 911872Myres CastleAuchtermuchty FifeScotlandRepairs and alterations
Item 66 of 91187416 Castle Street  EdinburghScotlandAlterations and addition at rear (with John Watherston & Sons as builders)
Item 67 of 911874Balbirnie House, including walled garden and stablesMarkinch FifeScotlandAlterations to gates and screen wall
Item 68 of 911875Dunfermline Municipal BuildingsDunfermline FifeScotlandWon in competition
Item 69 of 911877Aberdour ManseAberdour FifeScotlandReported on repairs and alterations
Item 70 of 911877Aberdour Parish ChurchAberdour FifeScotlandHeritors approve report by Walker for repairs and alterations
Item 71 of 911877Balbirnie Estate, Dams FarmhouseMarkinch FifeScotland 
Item 72 of 911877Kirkmichael Parish ChurchKirkmichael PerthshireScotlandAlterations and repairs
Item 73 of 911877Kirkmichael Parish SchoolKirkmichael PerthshireScotlandEnlargement
Item 74 of 911877Markinch Cemetery Lodge, NorthallMarkinch FifeScotland 
Item 75 of 911877Small Houses at West EndMarkinch FifeScotlandPlans dated 1880
Item 76 of 911878Balbirnie Estate, Nottingham Farmhouse, cartshed and granaryMarkinch FifeScotland 
Item 77 of 911879Old Parish ChurchArngask PerthshireScotlandInterior renovated and windows inserted under gallery
Item 78 of 911880Blair CastleBlair Atholl PerthshireScotlandAlterations - kitchen, new chimney
Item 79 of 911880Dunfermline Carnegie LibraryDunfermline FifeScotland 
Item 80 of 911880Dwelling house, lodge and gateway for James DewarLassodie FifeScotland 
Item 81 of 911880Houses at West MarkinchMarkinch FifeScotland 
Item 82 of 911880Kinnaird HouseLittle Dunkeld PerthshireScotlandNew wing, including alterations to kitchen
Item 83 of 911881Balbirnie Estate, Lalathan FarmhouseMarkinch FifeScotland 
Item 84 of 911881Ladybank Parish ChurchLadybank FifeScotland 
Item 85 of 911882Parish ChurchLilliesleaf RoxburghshireScotlandMajor enlargement
Item 86 of 911883Hawick Town HallHawick RoxburghshireScotlandWon competition to secure job
Item 87 of 911883Thistle Golf ClubLeven FifeScotland 
Item 88 of 911884Ancrum Police StationAncrum RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 89 of 91March 1884The HirselColdstream BerwickshireScotlandSmall addition and alterations, since demolished - plans dated
Item 90 of 911885Blair CastleBlair Atholl PerthshireScotlandAddition to centre of south wing
Item 91 of 911885Blair CastleBlair Atholl PerthshireScotlandAdditions and alterations including new ballroom wing and new bedroom


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 4Architects Engineers and Building Trades Directory1868Architect's, Engineer's and Building Trades' Directory London, Wyman 
Item 2 of 4Johnston, W T2003Artists of Scotland Officina Publications CDROM 
Item 3 of 4Pride, Glen L1999The Kingdom of Fife2nd EditionThe Rutland Pressp176
Item 4 of 4Scotlands People Website Wills & Testaments  Edinburgh Sheriff Court Inventories SC70/1/266 and Edinburgh Sheriff Court Wills SC70/4/231 and Inventories Sc70/1/266

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Don Montague via the websiteInformation fron Don Montague Sent February 2008
Item 2 of 2GROCensus 1881 Volume 685-1/EnumDist 103/page 8


© All rights reserved. Edinburgh Architectural Association 1907 Exhibition Catalogue  

© All rights reserved. Edinburgh Architectural Association 1907 Exhibition Catalogue