Basic Biographical Details

Name: Robert Walker Aitken
Designation: Architect
Born: 1840 or 1841
Died: 1909
Bio Notes: Robert Walker Aitken, the brother of George Shaw Aitken (qv), was born in Oxton, London in 1840 or 1841, the son of Robert Shaw Aitken, silversmith, and Margaret Walker. Following the death of his father, he was articled to John Dick Peddie and Charles George Hood Kinnear of Edinburgh about 1856. He is believed to have moved to Manchester in early 1860 and was certainly in attendance at the inaugural meeting of the Manchester Architectural Association, held on 17th December 1860, reported at length in the Builder. Both Robert Walker Aitken and George Shaw Aitken were founder members, of the Association, the latter becoming its first President.

The 1861 Census shows Robert W Aitken residing at 7 Marlborough Terrace, in the Chorlton-on-Medlock district of Manchester, together with his mother, Margaret Aitken, his brother George Shaw Aitken and an unmarried aunt, Ellen Walker. However, by 1864 the brothers were recorded as living at Hassendean Cottage, Monton, near Eccles, but only Robert W Aitken was listed as an architect in the Trades Directory for that year (G S Aitken presumably still employed as an assistant). Their decision to move to this rural location some six miles from Manchester has yet to be explained.

In 1866 the brothers jointly designed an Independent Chapel and Schools in Altrincham but the following year Robert Aitken joined W R Corson in partnership in Manchester, G S Aitken subsequently returning to Scotland. The Corson /Aitken partnership seems to have been dissolved about 1879 or 1880. From about 1881 Aitken worked on his own but appears to have retired or worked outwith Manchester thereafter as he is not listed as having office premises there after 1883.

In 1867 Robert Aitken married Mary Cussons at Manchester Cathedral In the Census of 1881 they were living at Hayfield in Derbyshire. In 1875 Aitken was elected a councillor of St John's Ward, Salford. Aitken and his wife had four sons and one daughter all at that time under the age of 10. By 1901 he and his wife were living at Eccles in Lancashire.

He died in 1909.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 107, Marlborough Terrace, Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester, EnglandPrivate18601861With his mother aunt and brother - G S Aitken
Item 2 of 10Hassenden Cottage, Monton near Eccles, Lancashire, EnglandPrivate/business18641866Shared with G S Aitken. Assumed still at this address in 1866 - see works
Item 3 of 1043, Burgess Terrace, Hyde Road, Manchester, ScotlandPrivate1868After 1871 
Item 4 of 10St James's Chambers, St James's Square, Manchester, EnglandBusiness18681879 
Item 5 of 10Rosmore/390, Lower Broughton Road, Higher Broughton, Manchester, EnglandPrivate18761879 
Item 6 of 10Duchy Chambers/2, Clarence Street, Manchester, EnglandBusiness1880 *  
Item 7 of 10The Cottage, Hayfield, Derbyshire, EnglandPrivate1880 *  
Item 8 of 10Higher Cliffe, Hayfield, Derbyshire, EnglandPrivate1881 *  
Item 9 of 10St George's Chambers/10, Albert Square, Manchester, EnglandBusiness1883 *  
Item 10 of 10Eccles, Lancashire, EnglandPrivate1901 *  

* 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 3Peddie & Kinnear Before 1860Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3Aitken and Aitken18661866Partner 
Item 3 of 3Corson & Aitkenc. 1867c. 1880Partner 

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 21866Independent Chapel and SchoolsAltrincham CheshireEngland 
Item 2 of 21868East UP ChurchGalashiels SelkirkshireScotlandEnlargement


Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1England and WalesBirths, marriages and deaths