© All rights reserved. Edinburgh Architectural Association 1907 Exhibition Catalogue  

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Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Russell Walker
Designation: Architect
Born: 1847
Died: 25 July 1891
Bio Notes: John Russell Walker was born at Monimail, Fife in 1847, the son of Robert Walker, farmer, and his wife Jane Graham. He was articled to David Rhind for five years from c.1863, after or during which period he made a study tour of Normandy. Thereafter he was principal assistant to James Cubitt of Broad Street, London for two years, living at 28 Salisbury Road, Dalston. While in London he exhibited church designs at the RSA in preparation for his return to Edinburgh, initially as assistant to the City Architect Robert Morham for eighteen months. Whilst there he lived at 15 Leopold Place and continued to exhibit at the RSA. He left Morham to commence practice on his own account in the late spring of 1873.

At some point after May 1875, Walker was taken into partnership by James Sutherland, who had been practising as an architect and surveyor from his house at 12 Lauriston Gardens since c.1870. After the partnership was formed, probably as a result of Walker being invited to help with the design of Hope Park Independent Church, more central premises were obtained for the practice at 63 Hanover Street, which appears to have been Walker's home as well as his office, Sutherland's house at Lauriston Gardens becoming either wholly domestic or limited to the surveying side of the practice. The firm had acquired a higher profile by 1878 or 1879 with the competition win for a second Italian Romanesque church at Rosehall, Edinburgh. Published reports of their practice in 1877-78 sometimes give Walker's name only, suggesting he had the lead design role.

Sutherland appears to have died in 1880 or 1881, Walker retaining the house and office at 63 Hanover Street. He was admitted ARIBA on 20 March 1882 at the relatively late age of thirty-five, his proposers being Robert Roward Anderson, John Bryce II and William Mackison of Dundee. His nomination was probably based on his antiquarian studies, his large folio volume 'Pre-Reformation Churches in Fifeshire' being published in 1885. There was little evidence of his antiquarian studies in his work, his later church architecture following the London Gothic manner he had learned in Cubitt's office.

Around 1884 Sutherland's son James Sutherland (junior) appears to have left Walker's practice to set up on his own account with an office at 4 George Street, but his practice does not appear to have prospered as it closed within a very few years.

In late 1888 or early 1889 Walker moved office to 67B Hanover Street. He died on 25 July 1891 at Lochside House, Duddingston. His widow, Isabella Williamson, appears to have lived briefly at Duddingston and then moved to Rainhill near Liverpool and died on 30 December 1892.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 5Lochside House, Duddingston, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate 1891 
Item 2 of 528, Salisbury Road, Dalston, London, EnglandPrivatec. 1872(?)c. 1874(?) 
Item 3 of 515, Leopold Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivateEarly 18741875 
Item 4 of 563, Hanover Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/businessc. 1875Late 1888 or early 1889 
Item 5 of 567B, Hanover Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessLate 1888 or early 18891891(?) 

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 5David Rhindc. 1863c. 1868Apprentice 
Item 2 of 5James Cubittc. 1868c. 1870Senior Assistant 
Item 3 of 5Edinburgh City Architect's Department (Edinburgh Corporation)c. 18711873Assistantunder Robert Morham, City Architect
Item 4 of 5Robert Morhamc. 18711873Assistantin Edinburgh City Architect's Office
Item 5 of 5Sutherland & Walker18751880 or 1881Partner 

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 4Alexander Hunter Crawfordc. 18801885 or 1886Apprentice 
Item 2 of 4John Dall18811886Apprentice 
Item 3 of 4Robert Robertson18861890ApprenticeMay have been apprentice from 1883 and assistant towards the end of this period.
Item 4 of 4James Alexander ArnottApril 18861889Apprentice 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3(Sir) Robert Rowand Anderson20 March 1882for Associateship
Item 2 of 3John Bryce II (or John Bryce (junior))20 March 1882for Associateship
Item 3 of 3William Mackison20 March 1882for 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 151873Design for a Town Church    design exhibition at RSA
Item 2 of 151874Design for a Church with Galleries    Design exhibited
Item 3 of 151875Church Interiors, sketch designs    Designs exhibited
Item 4 of 15After May 1875Hope Park Independent Church  EdinburghScotlandDesigned by Sutherland alone; completed in partnership
Item 5 of 1518768 Ettrick RoadMerchiston EdinburghScotland 
Item 6 of 151876Premises, Leith Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 7 of 151877Rosehall UP ChurchNewington EdinburghScotlandWon competition to secure job
Item 8 of 151877Wick UP ChurchWick CaithnessScotlandWon competition (15 premium) and secured job
Item 9 of 151878Newton School and SchoolhouseBridgend ArgyllScotland 
Item 10 of 151879Rosehall UP ChurchNewington EdinburghScotlandConstruction
Item 11 of 151881Viewforth UP Church and hall  EdinburghScotlandDesigned and constructed after competition
Item 12 of 151882Buccleuch Memorial and Science and Art SchoolHawick RoxburghshireScotlandCompetition designs - not successful
Item 13 of 151884Tenement with shops, 1-4 Upper Bow and 338-340 Lawnmarket  EdinburghScotland 
Item 14 of 151886Linlithgow Town Hall Linlithgow West LothianScotlandProposals for alterations - not executed
Item 15 of 151888Victoria HallLinlithgow West LothianScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 4British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   
Item 2 of 4Edinburgh Architectural Association1907Edinburgh Architectural Association Exhibition Catalogue Edinburgh 
Item 3 of 4Post Office Directories     
Item 4 of 4Scotlands People Website Wills & Testaments  Edinburgh Sheriff Court Wills SC70/1/317

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A v9 p21 (microfiche 33/G1)


© All rights reserved. Edinburgh Architectural Association 1907 Exhibition Catalogue  

© All rights reserved. Edinburgh Architectural Association 1907 Exhibition Catalogue