Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Gibb Marr
Designation: Architect
Born: 30 September 1890
Died: 29 July 1983
Bio Notes: John Gibb Marr was born on 30 September 1890, the son of Alexander Marr, general labourer, and his wife Ann Gibb. He was articled to Sutherland & George of Aberdeen on 1 June 1907, attending classes at Robert Gordon's Technical College and Gray's School of Art. On completion of his apprenticeship on 1 June 1912 he joined A Marshall Mackenzie & Son as a draughtsman, later becoming chief assistant before being assumed as a partner on 1 January 1927. Lack of work led to the consolidation of the Mackenzie practices in London and Aberdeen with the London practice of Herbert Wigglesworth and that of Clement George in Aberdeen.

After the deaths of and Clement George in 1932 and Alexander Marshall Mackenzie in 1933, Mackenzie's son, Alexander George Robertson Mackenzie ('AGR'), determined to strengthen the Aberdeen office, where Marr had had little opportunity for design and still less for the modern design required to keep the practice in business: his relationship with Marshall Mackenzie had been a very close one in which he never sought to do more than carry out his wishes as faithfully as he possibly could. AGR's choice fell on Leonard Stokes's son David, who had left the Architectural Association in 1930 and set up practice with Peter Fleetwood Hesketh. He had run out of work. His office in Lincoln's Inn was near to Mackenzie and Wigglesworth's, and shortly after his father's death AGR asked Stokes to take charge of the design work of the Aberdeen office. It was an arrangement on which Marr had not been consulted and with which he may not have been entirely happy: much later he observed that he felt Stokes had been sent up to keep an eye on him. Introducing a London Catholic to Aberdeen society of that time was not without problems, but Stokes found that 'the natives in Aberdeen became friendly in about six months.'

Marr was a member of the Council of the Aberdeen Society of Architects throughout the 1930s, and was admitted FRIBA in late 1933, his proposers being AGR, Arthur Hay Livingstone Mackinnon and John Alexander Ogg Allan.

Although the Aberdeen office was commissioned to build a large new office for the Halifax Building Society, by 1935 the Mackenzie & Wigglesworth practice in London was at a low ebb: Robert W R Mackenzie (1913-75) of the Perth bleaching (Lumsden & Mackenzie) side of the family was to have joined the office, but in the event there was not enough work to justify him coming. The Wigglesworth and Stokes partnerships were dissolved, AGR returned to Aberdeen and the Stokes 'went back to London without any reluctance'. Apart from some country house work, most importantly Candacraig, the business of the post-war practice was mainly conservation work, the National Trust for Scotland being the main client.

AGR Mackenzie and John Gibb Marr remained in partnership until 1960 when AGR retired completely, following a disagreement with Marr, which was regretted on both sides and subsequently made up. Marr continued the practice, and it was not until this time that its title was changed to A Marshall Mackenzie & Marr. He closed the practice in 1972, when most of the drawings were dispersed to the firm's clients or to the current owners of the buildings. He retired to Raigmore Tower, Westhill, Inverness and died at Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, on 29 July 1983. He had been married twice, first to Isabella Cranna and second to Kathleen Kinnaird. His son registered his death.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 5The Tower, Westhill, Inverness, Inverness-shire, ScotlandPrivate 1983 
Item 2 of 5173A, Union Street, Aberdeen, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1930After 1933 
Item 3 of 5The Corner, Pitfodels, Cults, Aberdeenshire, ScotlandPrivate1933 *  
Item 4 of 53, Bon Accord Square, Aberdeen, ScotlandBusinessc. 1939  
Item 5 of 5235, Great Western Road, Aberdeen, ScotlandBusinessc. 1970  

* 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 6Sutherland & George1 June 19071 June 1912Apprentice 
Item 2 of 6A Marshall Mackenzie & Son1 June 19121921Draughtsman 
Item 3 of 6Alexander Marshall Mackenzie192131 December 1926Senior Assistant 
Item 4 of 6A Marshall Mackenzie & Son1 January 19271960Partner 
Item 5 of 6A Marshall Mackenzie Son & GeorgeMay 1931March 1932Partner 
Item 6 of 6A Marshall Mackenzie & Marr19601972Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3John Alexander Ogg AllanLate 1933for Fellowship
Item 2 of 3Alexander George Robertson MackenzieLate 1933for Fellowship
Item 3 of 3Arthur Hay Livingstone MackinnonLate 1933for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 42Alfred Easton Allan9 May 1938for Associateship
Item 2 of 42Joseph Anderson Allan3 December 1934for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 42Joseph Anderson Allan16 October 1945for Fellowship
Item 4 of 42Frederick George Grant AngusMid 1935for Associateship
Item 5 of 42Douglas Beaton12 April 1937for Associateship
Item 6 of 42John Ronald Beaton19 June 1939for Associateship
Item 7 of 42Ian Fyfe Cameron5 December 1938for Associateship
Item 8 of 42John Ross Cheyne6 December 1937for Associateship
Item 9 of 42Maxwell Fordyce Christie13 August 1940for Associateship
Item 10 of 42John Lamont Coghill8 March 1937for Associateship
Item 11 of 42Ronald Davidson Cruickshank14 November 1944for Licentiateship
Item 12 of 42William Affleck Dalgleish17 November 1942For Associateship
Item 13 of 42Gordon David Diack9 May 1938for Associateship
Item 14 of 42John Flett Duncan11 February 1935for Associateship
Item 15 of 42Willie James Fenton10 February 1948For Licentiateship
Item 16 of 42John Findlay2 December 1935for Licentiateship
Item 17 of 42Kenneth John Finlayson10 January 1956For Licentiateship
Item 18 of 42George Flett24 June 1935for Associateship
Item 19 of 42William James Geddes14 January 1935for Associateship
Item 20 of 42Isobel Margaret Gordon (Mrs Adams)3 December 1934for Associateship
Item 21 of 42William Halkerston11 February 1935for Associateship
Item 22 of 42Douglas William InnesEarly 1956For Fellowship
Item 23 of 42William James Castell Irvine18 October 1937for Associateship
Item 24 of 42Jessie Elizabeth Kennedy (Mrs Bassett)11 March 1935for Associateship
Item 25 of 42Stewart Kilgour5 March 1934for Associateship
Item 26 of 42Lionel Ethelbert Knight13 May 1935for Associateship
Item 27 of 42Arthur Lyall (or Lysall) Chisholm Lemon7 January 1941for Associateship
Item 28 of 42John Maclennan10 April 1956For Fellowship
Item 29 of 42John Edward Martin19 June 1939for Associateship
Item 30 of 42William McAndrew9 October 1956For Licentiateship
Item 31 of 42Edward Alexander Meldrum6 February 1957For Associateship
Item 32 of 42Frances Jane Harvey Mercer11 May 1936for Associateship
Item 33 of 42Herbert Henry Reid6 April 1948for Fellowship
Item 34 of 42John Charles Richardson12 April 1937for Associateship
Item 35 of 42James Rattray Riddell10 April 1956For Fellowship
Item 36 of 42Henry Edwin Scott30 November 1936for Associateship
Item 37 of 42William Wyllie Clark Shewan3 April 1951For Fellowship
Item 38 of 42Gordon Alexander Smart4 June 1940for Associateship
Item 39 of 42Robert ThomsonMid 1935for Associateship
Item 40 of 42Alexander Milne Wilson6 December 1937for Associateship
Item 41 of 42David Gordon Wilson16 July 1940for Associateship
Item 42 of 42John Phin Miller Wright5 June 1968For 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 54After 1921Scottish Alliance Assurance Buildings  AberdeenScotland 
Item 2 of 541926Huntly Parish ChurchHuntly AberdeenshireScotlandProposal for new tower - only partly built. Working as assistant
Item 3 of 541926Huntly Parish Church HallHuntly AberdeenshireScotlandAs assistant (1926) and (partner) with A Marshall Mackenzie & Son: design for hall - only partly built; formed part of more ambitious scheme for both church and hall with tower made c.1913-14
Item 4 of 541926King's College, Elphinstone Hall  AberdeenScotlandAs chief assistant and subsequently partner
Item 5 of 541928Kemnay Parish ChurchKemnay AberdeenshireScotlandReconstruction and reordering with intersecting tracery added in windows
Item 6 of 541928Knappach HouseCrathes AberdeenshireScotlandMarr as assistant
Item 7 of 541929Banchory Devenick ChurchBanchory Devenick KincardineshireScotlandRestoration
Item 8 of 541929CanmoreBraemar AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 9 of 541929St Mary's Parish ChurchMonymusk AberdeenshireScotlandRestoration and reordering of Priory church
Item 10 of 541930Britannic Assurance Buildings  AberdeenScotland 
Item 11 of 541930Fodderty Parish Church, War Memorial ArchFodderty Ross and CromartyScotlandWith Donald Matheson
Item 12 of 541930Mortlach Parish ChurchDufftown BanffshireScotlandRestoration
Item 13 of 541930Strathpeffer War Memorial gatewayStrathpeffer Ross and CromartyScotland 
Item 14 of 541930Woodside North Church  AberdeenScotland 
Item 15 of 541931Kintore Church HallKintore AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 16 of 54Early 1932Capitol Cinema  AberdeenScotland 
Item 17 of 541933Jackson's Garage  AberdeenScotland 
Item 18 of 541934Halifax Building Society  AberdeenScotlandBy Stokes in partnership with A Marshall Mackenzie & Son
Item 19 of 541934Littleways  AberdeenScotland 
Item 20 of 541934Model Tenement block  AberdeenScotlandMainly responsible?
Item 21 of 54c. 1934Flats, The Spittal  AberdeenScotland 
Item 22 of 541935All Saints Episcopal ChurchWoodside AberdeenScotland 
Item 23 of 541935House for Mrs StuartBanchory KincardineshireScotlandBy Stokes in partnership with A Marshall Mackenzie & Son
Item 24 of 54193616 ChanonryOld Aberdeen AberdeenScotland 
Item 25 of 541936St Nicholas East Parish Church  AberdeenScotlandReordering and refurnishing
Item 26 of 541936St Ninian's Episcopal ChurchSeaton AberdeenScotland 
Item 27 of 541937Douglas Hotel  AberdeenScotlandReconstruction
Item 28 of 541937House at PowisOld Aberdeen AberdeenScotland 
Item 29 of 541937Northern Hotel (2)Kittybrewster AberdeenScotland 
Item 30 of 541937St Mary's Church  AberdeenScotland 
Item 31 of 541938Little ColstropeHambledon BuckinghamshireEngland 
Item 32 of 541938St Andrew's Episcopal Church  AberdeenScotlandExecuted the design and installation of the Seabury Memorial - on behalf of Comper
Item 33 of 541939Pittodrie ChurchPittodrie AberdeenScotland 
Item 34 of 541939University of Aberdeen, King's College Sports Pavilion  AberdeenScotlandNew pavilion
Item 35 of 54c. 1939Durris House  AberdeenshireScotlandProposed alterations- not carried out
Item 36 of 54Mid 1930sGlen Tanar HouseAboyne AberdeenshireScotlandAlterations
Item 37 of 541947St Machar's CathedralOld Aberdeen AberdeenScotlandNew east window
Item 38 of 54c. 1949Castle Fraser, farm cottagesCastle Fraser AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 39 of 54c. 1949Farm cottagesDalcross NairnshireScotland 
Item 40 of 541950Northern Hotel (2)Kittybrewster AberdeenScotlandProposed addition
Item 41 of 541953Kincorth Church  AberdeenScotland 
Item 42 of 541953Kincorth Manse  AberdeenScotland 
Item 43 of 541953St Machar's CathedralOld Aberdeen AberdeenScotlandNew east wall within the crossing
Item 44 of 541954Pitmedden HouseUdny AberdeenshireScotlandRepairs to Great Garden for NTS. Also alterations to house.
Item 45 of 541954Provost Ross' House  AberdeenScotlandRestoration
Item 46 of 541956Candacraig HouseStrathdon AberdeenshireScotlandReconstruction after fire and new gates
Item 47 of 541956Royal Bank of Scotland, 150 Union Street  AberdeenScotlandReinstatement of ground floor
Item 48 of 541957Balbithan House  AberdeenshireScotlandRestoration
Item 49 of 541957Pitcaple House  AberdeenshireScotlandRepairs
Item 50 of 541958Crathie Church, King George VI MemorialCrathie AberdeenshireScotlandIn association with William Reid Dick (sculptor)
Item 51 of 541958Electricity Sub-StationKintore AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 52 of 541958Electricity Sub-StationCults AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 53 of 541958Esslemont House and stables  AberdeenshireScotlandInternal alterations, mainly at stairs
Item 54 of 541960St Mary's Parish ChurchMonymusk AberdeenshireScotlandFurther work


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 2Bailey, Rebecca M1996Scottish architects' papers: a source book Edinburgh: The Rutland Pressp97
Item 2 of 2RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Builder7 May 1948  p548-51

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Personal information from: Mrs AGR Mackenzie; John Gibb Marr; Ian G Lindsay; Robert W R Mackenzie (of Perth); Mrs Adams ('Dr Marshall Mackenzie's quine'); David Stokes (interview with Charles McKean on 17 December 1985)
Item 2 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers F no3158 (box 18)
Item 3 of 3School of Architecture, Garthdee, Aberdeen, RGIT: former pupils, 1937-1970Galletly, James