Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Smith
Designation: Architect
Born: 1783
Died: 13 September 1864
Bio Notes: John Smith born in 1783 (christened 28 March of that year) and Thomas Smith born in 1785 were the sons of John Smith (c.1748-1805), master mason at Darnick and his wife Mary Williamson. They continued their father's business as both architects and builders and were very highly regarded by Sir Walter Scott and the local gentry. The Smith brothers were employed mainly on designing and enlarging country houses, rural churches, schools and manses.

Although not members they gave a paper to the RIBA on the building of bridges in whinstone without the use of rubble in 1837. They employed this material themselves successfully on various occasions. In 1848 they were financially ruined when their bridge at Ashiestiel collapsed during construction: it was the largest rubble span then attempted at 131 feet, 6 inches and was successfully rebuilt.

John Smith also occasionally practised as a sculptor his best known work being the colossal statue of William Wallace at Dryburgh.

Thomas Smith died in 1857 and John on 13 September 1864. James Smith of Edinburgh, architect to the Bank of Scotland, was their elder brother.

Information from monumental inscriptions, Melrose Churchyard

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1Darnick, Roxburghshire, ScotlandBusiness   

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 1John & Thomas Smith  Partner 

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 491808Melrose Parish ChurchMelrose RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 2 of 491812Parish ChurchGalashiels SelkirkshireScotland 
Item 3 of 491813Bowland HouseWhitehill MidlothianScotlandSuperintended construction for James Gillespie Graham.
Item 4 of 491814Statue of William WallaceDryburgh RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 5 of 491815Melrose ManseMelrose RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 6 of 491816AbbotsfordMelrose RoxburghshireScotlandBuilder of first phase (addition of breakfast parlour, armoury and dining room to original farmhouse) - to the designs of William Atkinson
Item 7 of 491816Darnley HouseMelrose RoxburghshireScotlandFor himself
Item 8 of 491817AbbotsfordMelrose RoxburghshireScotlandCourtyard walls and mounting block
Item 9 of 491817Chain BridgeDryburgh RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 10 of 491818HuntlyburnMelrose RoxburghshireScotlandAdditions 1818, 1824, 1844, 1854
Item 11 of 491819Oberlisk in memory of John Thomson, poetEdnam RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 12 of 491820ChiefswoodDarnick RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 13 of 491820Cowdenknowes  BerwickshireScotlandExtension to west elevation
Item 14 of 491820Lauder Parish ChurchLauder BerwickshireScotlandMajor additions and refurnishings
Item 15 of 491820Torsonce InnStow MidlothianScotlandChecked plans and progress of construction as Brown was still a surveyor at this date.
Item 16 of 491821AbbotsfordMelrose RoxburghshireScotlandBuilder of second phase - drawing room, library, study, great hall, and clearance of original farmhouse
Item 17 of 491823AllerlyGattonside RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 18 of 491824Ettrick Parish ChurchEttrick SelkirkshireScotland 
Item 19 of 491824GattonsideMelrose RoxburghshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 20 of 491824Ravenswood House with stables and south lodgeMelrose RoxburghshireScotlandHouse and possibly south lodge
Item 21 of 491824St Ronan's LodgeInnerleithen PeeblesshireScotland 
Item 22 of 491825Holylee HouseWalkerburn PeeblesshireScotland 
Item 23 of 491825Wolflee HouseHawick RoxburghshireScotlandNew house built around single remaining vault of original 17th-century building
Item 24 of 491826GattonsideMelrose RoxburghshireScotlandEast Lodge
Item 25 of 49c. 1826AbbotsmeadowMelrose RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 26 of 491828ManseSt Boswells RoxburghshireScotlandAlterations
Item 27 of 491831Bridge over the River Ettrick on the road from Selkirk to Galashiels  SelkirkshireScotland 
Item 28 of 491831Bridge over the River Tweed on road from Selkirk to Galashiels  SelkirkshireScotland 
Item 29 of 491831Old SchoolBowden RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 30 of 491832Bridge over Hermitage Water in Liddesdale for 5th Duke of Buccleuch  RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 31 of 491832North Bridge over River TeviotHawick RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 32 of 491833Tweed BridgePeebles PeeblesshireScotlandWidening
Item 33 of 491833Yarrow Bridge  SelkirkshireScotland 
Item 34 of 491834Bowhill HouseSelkirk SelkirkshireScotlandDrive carrying bridge at Fauldshope
Item 35 of 491835Kirk Yetholm Parish ChurchKirk Yetholm RoxburghshireScotlandOriginal building
Item 36 of 491836Ettrick MillsSelkirk SelkirkshireScotlandFirst phase
Item 37 of 49Before 1837PavilionMelrose (near) RoxburghshireScotlandAddition of wing with cavity walls
Item 38 of 491839Westruther ChurchWestruther BerwickshireScotland 
Item 39 of 491844St George's UF ChurchHawick RoxburghshireScotlandOriginal church - with Andrew Thomson
Item 40 of 491847Wilton Parish ManseHawick RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 41 of 49c. 1847Longformacus HouseLongformacus BerwickshireScotlandCentrepiece added
Item 42 of 491848Ashiestiel BridgePeel SelkirkshireScotland 
Item 43 of 491848Eckford Parish ChurchMorebattle RoxburghshireScotlandAlterations
Item 44 of 491850Ettrick MillsSelkirk SelkirkshireScotlandSecond phase
Item 45 of 49c. 1854Kelso Union PoorhouseKelso RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 46 of 491855Linton Pauper's HouseLinton RoxburghshireScotlandDrew up plans for hospital
Item 47 of 491857Linton Parish ChurchLinton, Morebattle RoxburghshireScotlandNew windows and south porch
Item 48 of 491861Darnick TowerDarnick RoxburghshireScotlandPlans for extension - unclear whether these were carried out or not
Item 49 of 49Early 1800sSchoolMorebattle RoxburghshireScotlandProvided design


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 5Colvin, H M1995A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-18403rd editionNew Haven and London: Yale University Press 
Item 2 of 5Institution of Civil Engineers2002Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers V.1 and 2 
Item 3 of 5Johnston, W T2003Artists of Scotland Officina Publications CDROM 
Item 4 of 5Strang, Charles Alexander1994Borders and Berwick: An Illustrated Architectural Guide   
Item 5 of 5Tait (ed.)1950The Journal of Sir Walter Scott  p732

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Transactions1837Part I pp52-60

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 4National Archives of Scotland (formerly SRO)Gifts and depositsGD 241/250Smith family papers
Item 2 of 4National Archives of Scotland (formerly SRO)Register House PlansRHP 5525, 7190-3, 7196, 8220-1 
Item 3 of 4National Library of ScotlandManuscript CollectionMS. 3899, f.199Letter to Scott, 1824
Item 4 of 4NMRSJohn Smith of Darnick Extracts from Diary and Letter Book NMRS 10840 D3/L (NLS Acc 7792, MS.8499)