Basic Biographical Details

Name: Arthur & MacNaughtan
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: Late 1920s
Ended: 1935
Bio Notes: John Arthur was born the son of John Arthur, farmer at Barr, Ayrshire in 1866 and his wife Margaret Donald. He studied at Glasgow School of Art 1896-97 and was articled to John Mercer of Ayr, 1882-89, and moving thereafter to Burnet Son & Campbell and opting to join Campbell on the breakup of that partnership in 1897. He established his own practice in 1900, first with an office in Glasgow (131 West Regent Street, later 164 Bath Street) and then a branch in Kilmarnock (31 Rennie Street), his practice being very much Ayrshire and Renfrewshire-based and concerned with domestic, ecclesiastical, school and estate work. Like the apparently unrelated Airdrie architect, John Maurice Arthur, John Arthur became a Licentiate of the RIBA in the mass intake of 20 July 1911, his proposers being John Bennie Wilson and the Glasgow Institute of Architects as a body.

Arthur married Elizabeth Smith McMillan. He was remembered in the Burnet office as being very able. His known works are very few but relatively large. He won the competition for Newton Park School, Ayr, but the commission was given to the Ayr architect, H V Eaglesham. He did, however, secure the competition for Marr College at Troon in 1919. Work on the main building did not begin until the late 1920s and the Kilmarnock office does not seem to have been re-opened after the First World War.

By the late 1920s Arthur had merged his practice with that of Alan George MacNaughtan. MacNaughtan had been born in Partick in 1878 (District No 646/2, entry 1135), son of Glasgow architect Duncan McNaughtan [sic] and his wife Elizabeth Smith. He had met Arthur whilst articled to Burnet, Son & Campbell from 1895, and had remained with Burnet after the break-up of that partnership in 1897, working largely on villas. During those years he had studied under William James Anderson and Alexander McGibbon at the School of Art and under Charles Gourlay at the Technical College. At the end of his apprenticeship in 1901 he had moved to London to work for Aston Webb and Edward Ingress Bell, which had enabled him to study at the Architectural Association. He had won its Silver Medal and Travelling Scholarship, enabling him to spend nine months of the year 1903 in Italy with Alexander Wingate, a friend and colleague from Burnet's office. There his pencil and brush were never idle and on his return he had given a paper to the Glasgow Architectural Association: 'A walk through Etruria'. He would continue his artistic pursuits throughout his life, exhibiting drawings and watercolours at the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts until 1941, mostly of Italian and Arran subjects. He had joined his father's practice in 1904, becoming a partner in 1907 and joining the Glasgow Institute of Architects in the same year. He had been admitted LRIBA in the mass intake of 20 July 1911, proposed by John Bennie Wilson and the Glasgow Institute of Architects, and had become sole practitioner when his father died at Froach, Bearsden on 26 February 1912. MacNaughtan was both an 'ardent Highlanderon a suitable occasion could tune up the pipes with the best of them' and a territorial. He had gone to France with the 9th Highland Light Infantry and whilst still on active service on 14 August 1918 had married Mary Henrietta Jebb at St Ninian's Episcopal Church, Glasgow. Serious wounds sustained in battle had ended his war service; his health would never fully recover.

Arthur & MacNaughtan won the competition for Glasgow University Students Union with a Burnetian Scots Renaissance design in 1929. It fell to MacNaughtan to finish both this and Marr College after Arthur died at 5 Springvale Park, Ayr on 10 July 1936 of a cerebral haemorrhage.

Alan George MacNaughtan's health deteriorated after the Second World War, his 'heavy illness' being aggravated by the loss of the son who had intended to continue the practice. He died in Canniesburn Hospital on 24 August 1952, leaving estate of 1,820 15s 2d.

(NB: Duncan McNaughtan signed himself thus; his son Alan George inserted an 'a' to become MacNaughtan.)

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1164, Bath Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessLate 1920s1936 

Employment and Training

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architectural practice (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 2John Arthur1920s1935Partner 
Item 2 of 2Alan George MacNaughtanc. 19251935Partner 

Buildings and Designs

This architectural practice 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 5c. 1928Marr CollegeTroon AyrshireScotlandCompleted in partnership with John Arthur
Item 2 of 51929University of Glasgow Students Union  GlasgowScotlandWon competition and secured job
Item 3 of 51932House for D F NicolBearsden GlasgowScotland 
Item 4 of 51932Inverness High SchoolInverness Inverness-shireScotlandPlaced second in competition
Item 5 of 51935Killermont Parish ChurchBearsden GlasgowScotlandHalls


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
Item 1 of 1Close, Robert1992Ayrshire and Arran, an Illustrated Architectural Guide Edinburgh: RIASp46

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architectural practice:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1Glasgow UniversityGlasgow University Archives Plans for University of Glasgow Students' Union