Basic Biographical Details

Name: [James] Fenton ('Tony') Wyness
Designation: Architect
Born: 15 August 1903
Died: 12 March 1974
Bio Notes: [James] Fenton Wyness ('Tony') was born in Aberdeen on 15 August 1903, the son of J Morrison Wyness, and came of an old Aberdeenshire Quaker family. He was articled to James Cobban, Lord Aberdeen's Estate Architect, in 1921, transferring to the office of Brown & Watt in 1924 or 1925 (Nomination Papers conflict) to complete his apprenticeship. He studied at Aberdeen School of Architecture, Gray's School of Art and was awarded a diploma and the Byrne Scholarship in 1926, and a post-diploma in 1927. In the latter year he entered the office of Robert Leslie Rollo as an assistant, as well as spending time studying castellated architecture in Scotland and England. He sat the qualifying exam in July 1927 and was admitted ARIBA on 5 December of that year, his proposers being George Watt, James B Nicol and Robert Gordon Wilson, and commenced independent practice in 1929 at 25 Belmont Street, Aberdeen after a short period as a lecturer in the School of Architecture in 1928. By 1931 he was practising from his house at 45 Salisbury Terrace, where he lived with his sister, Alice G Murray.

Wyness's practice was small and confined to conservation projects and memorials although he did undertake specialised work for other practices, being an extremely good draughtsman. While he could be entertaining, his intolerance of compromise, strongly opinionated and somewhat touchy temperament together with his contempt for civic authority made him difficult to work with. The great interests of his life were Aberdeenshire history and archaeology and the Scout Movement. Initially these were in association with Dr W Douglas Simpson, but they soon quarrelled and it was only towards the very end of Simpson's life that there was a measure of reconciliation. As County Commissioner of Boy Scouts for the City of Aberdeen Wyness was the prime mover in the purchase of Templar's Park, Maryculter where he restored the buildings. He ultimately received the Movement's highest award, The Silver Wolf, in 1973.

Wyness published extensively in books and magazine articles, particularly the Deeside Field of which he was editor, but none of these fully reflects the depth of his scholarship. In his last years he was working on a history of architecture in Aberdeen with assistance from Norman Marr but regrettably this was never published. He also turned his hand to ceramic design, being a consultant to the Bovey Pottery Company in Devon in 1940. Wyness's other main interest was the Order of St John in which he was a Knight.

Wyness never married. In his earlier years he travelled by motor cycle in preference to a motor car. He was elected FRIBA on 12 February 1946, his proposers being John Alexander Ogg Allan, John Wittet and James Brown Nicol. He retired from architectural practice in 1964, collapsed from a heart attack on 11 March 1974 and died in Woodend Hospital on the 12th. A memorial service attended by the Lord Provost, the Marquess of Aberdeen and the Chancellor of the Order of St John was held in St Machar's Cathedral on 26 April.

'The House of Schivas' (1928), for the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
'Craigievar Castle' (1934), for the Washington Archeological Society
'A Scottish Quaker of the 17th Century' (1941)
'Aberdeen' (1942)
'Deeside' (1942)
'Donside' (1942)
'Buchan' (1942)
'Mediaeval Elgin' (1944)
'Mediaeval Edinburgh' (1944)
'Eilean Donnain Castle' (1944)
'A Buchan Tower-house' (1944)
'Kalendar of Saints: early Christian missionaries of the North-East' (1945)

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 245, Salisbury Terrace, Aberdeen, ScotlandPrivate/businessBefore 1927(?)Early 1970 
Item 2 of 225, Belmont Street, Aberdeen, ScotlandBusiness1928Before 1946 

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 3James Cobban19221924 or 1925Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3Brown & Watt1924 or 19251925Assistant 
Item 3 of 3Robert Leslie Rollo1927 Assistant 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6John Alexander Ogg Allan12 February 1946for Fellowship
Item 2 of 6James Brown Nicol5 December 1927for Associateship
Item 3 of 6James Brown Nicol12 February 1946for Fellowship
Item 4 of 6George Watt5 December 1927for Associateship
Item 5 of 6Robert Gordon Wilson (junior)5 December 1927for Associateship
Item 6 of 6John Wittet12 February 1946for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 1Robert Philip ShawJuly 1920For Associateship

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 16 1715 MonumentBraemar AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 2 of 16 Cairn for the Deeside Field ClubCorrichie Kincardineshire/AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 3 of 16 Cairn, ClochnahillStonehaven KincardineshireScotland 
Item 4 of 16 Glenbervie Churchyard, Burns gravestone and associated work  KincardineshireScotland 
Item 5 of 161908Parliament House, Supreme Courts of Scotland  EdinburghScotlandAs assistant to Oldrieve in H M Office of Works - alterations and extensions, including reconstruction of lobby and oak library adjoining court IX
Item 6 of 161930Crathes CastleCrathes Aberdeenshire/KincardineshireScotlandRestoration of the Great Hall
Item 7 of 161933Memorial to George Watt FRIBA   Scotland 
Item 8 of 161934House of Schivas  AberdeenshireScotlandRestoration, extensive alterations and additions, including great hall
Item 9 of 161934Mar Estate, Johann Von Lamont MemorialInverey AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 10 of 161936Manse of MaryculterMaryculter KincardineshireScotlandRestoration
Item 11 of 161938Grant Memorial SundialFraserburgh AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 12 of 161938King's College, Malcolm Bulloch Bookcase  AberdeenScotland 
Item 13 of 16c. 1938Templar's Park, associated buildingsMaryculter KincardineshireScotlandRestoration of associated buildings
Item 14 of 161943Friendville  AberdeenScotlandRestoration and formal garden
Item 15 of 161960Morrone Hill IndicatorBraemar (near) AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 16 of 161970Slack of Tillylodge view indicator  AberdeenshireScotlandPossible attribution


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 3Municipal Annual1964Scottish Municipal Annual1964-1965  
Item 2 of 3RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 3 of 3Scottish Biographies1938  E J Thurston (pub.) 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 3Aberdeen Press and Journal13 March 1974  Obituary
Item 2 of 3Aberdeen Press and Journal27 April 1974   
Item 3 of 3People's Journal16 March 1974  Obituary

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 Fenton Wyness
Item 2 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers F no4140 (box 33); A no 4157 (Box 7)
Item 3 of 3School of Architecture, Garthdee, Aberdeen, RGIT: former pupils, 1937-1970Galletly, James