Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Duff
Designation: Architect
Born: 28 December 1873
Died: 14 November 1929
Bio Notes: John Duff was born on 28 December 1873 at East Mains, Auchtergaven, Perthshire, the son of Duncan Duff, master joiner and his wife Mary Chalmers. He was the third of five children, his brother Henry becoming a joiner and subsequently taking over their father's business. John was articled to Alexander Gorrie Chalmers of Perth and simultaneously attended Perth Academy and Sharp's Institution from 1888 to 1891, achieving first-class certificates in all subjects. Thereafter he was assistant to the Perthshire County Sanitary Inspector (1891-93) and to the Earl of Mansfield's Estate Architect in 1893, before serving an apprenticeship with a firm of joiners and contractors from 1894 to 1896. He joined the architectural office of solicitors Condie & Co in Perth in the latter year, remaining with them until 1904 with the exception of a 15-month period of active service in South Africa in 1901-02. After leaving Condie & Co he was appointed architect to the Earl of Stair's estates in Wigtownshire and Ayrshire, carrying out over 4000 worth of work per year on the farmhouses, cottages and other estate buildings and also making improvements to manses, schools and police stations outwith the estates. He was awarded the Silver Medal in the Highland & Agricultural Society of Scotland's 1908 competition for plans of buildings suitable for smallholdings, a bronze medal in that for a horse farm in the same year, and came third in a similar competition organised by the Glasgow and West of Scotland Garden City Association in 1909. He was elected a Licentiate of the RIBA on 6 June 1910, his proposers being Edmund Walter Wimperis, Max Clarke and Arthur Needham Wilson. He appears to have returned to his previous employers, by then named Condie, Mackenzie WS, by 1925.

John Duff married Agnes Craig Scott in 1905. They had two children, Duncan a chartered elecrtical engineer and Jessie, a science teacher.

Duff died on 14 November 1929 at 3 Dupplin Road, Kinnoull, Perth. He was buried at Cargill in Perthshire in the Scott family grave.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 4Rephad, Stranraer, Wigtownshire, ScotlandBusiness1910 *  
Item 2 of 4Edinburgh Road, Stranraer, Wigtownshire, ScotlandPrivate1910 *  
Item 3 of 4British Linen Bank House, Perth, Perthshire, ScotlandPrivate1914 *  
Item 4 of 43, Dupplin Road, Kinnoull, Perth, Perthshire, ScotlandPrivate1929 *  

* 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 4Alexander Gorrie Chalmers18881891Apprentice 
Item 2 of 4Perthshire County Sanitary Inspector18911893Assistant 
Item 3 of 4Condie & Co / Condie, Mackenzie18961904Assistant(?)except when on active service in 1901-2
Item 4 of 4Condie & Co / Condie, Mackenzie1925 * Chief Surveyor 

* earliest date known from documented sources.

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 1Robert BlythJune 1925June 1928Assistantat Condie, Mackenzie


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Max Clarke6 June 1910for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 3Arthur Needham Wilson6 June 1910for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 3Edmund Walter Wimperis6 June 1910for Licentiateship

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 91896Nether Durdie FarmNether Durdie PerthshireScotlandRemodelling - as principal assistant
Item 2 of 91897Barcaldine Castle  ArgyllScotlandRestoration including re-roofing and extensive internal work - as principal assistant to Alexander Buttar/Condie & Co
Item 3 of 91904Huntingtower House  PerthshireScotlandAdditions - as assistant to Alexander Buttar/Condie & Co
Item 4 of 91906Balkail HouseGlenluce WigtownshireScotlandAdditions
Item 5 of 91906High Balyell Farm  Wigtownshire/Ayrshire?ScotlandRemodelling
Item 6 of 91908Balkail HouseGlenluce WigtownshireScotlandFurther additions
Item 7 of 91908Stennock Farm  WigtownshireScotlandRemodelling
Item 8 of 91909High Balyell Farm  Wigtownshire/Ayrshire?ScotlandFurther remodelling
Item 9 of 91910South Milton Farm  Wigtownshire/Ayrshire?ScotlandRemodelling


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 1Who's Who in Architecture1914    

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Information from Duff's granddaughter, Jean Rae Percival
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v1 no26 (microfilm reel 29)