Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Milne
Designation: Architect
Born: 1823
Died: May 1904
Bio Notes: John Milne was born at Fettercairn in 1823, the son of a joiner and contractor there to whom he was initially apprenticed. He then became a pupil of John Henderson of Edinburgh, subsequently transferring to David Bryce for whom he acted as clerk of works in the St Andrews area, probably at Clatto. He 'came out' (left the Established Church) at the Disruption, and after he settled permanently in St Andrews many of his early commissions were for the Free Church. He was a very competent Gothic designer with a preference for early geometrical, and an inventive neo-Jacobean and Scots Baronial architect of the Bryce school. Somewhat unusually for a provincial practitioner he exhibited his best work at the Royal Scottish Academy in the 1860s.

Milne was of a scientific cast of mind, patenting his pyro-pneumatic grate and inventing a type of ventilator with simultaneous action, and engaged in an unrelenting campaign of municipal improvements in St Andrews. These included the piping of the Mill Lade and the planting of trees in South Street, Market Street, Argyle Street, the Scores and the Lade Braes which he maintained at his own expense until his death. In 1874 he turned his attention to the foreshore, successfully persuading the Town Council, of which he had been elected a member, to extend the Links embankment northwards and in 1882 he produced a still more ambitious scheme for a concrete retaining wall and carriage esplanade from the cliffs to the West Sands, enclosing some twelve and a half acres of reclaimed land as a public recreation area. The proposal stalled, partly because of cost and partly because another councillor, George Bruce, and his civil engineer son Henry, had put forward a rival scheme for a ‘bathing lake’ and an aquarium for the same site. Nevertheless Milne persevered and in 1887 he succeeded in making his scheme the Town’s Jubilee project. John Paterson as Provost offered to fund it but as the committee formed to implement it had Jessie Hall - with whom Milne had a poor professional relationship – as its convener and George Bruce as a member, the arguments over which scheme was the better continued even after the first sod was cut in December. In January 1888 Paterson withdrew his offer and in September 1893 Bruce began constructing the present embankment on his own. It was duly taken over by the Town Council and named the Bruce Embankment in 1897 but found to require a concrete bulwark as Milne had predicted. In 1901 Milne made a formal attempt to have it reconstructed as a memorial to Queen Victoria but did not succeed.

For a time Milne had an office in Cupar as well as in St Andrews but details and dates are lacking. He retained a connection with Fettercairn as he designed three buildings there. What his relationship with Robert Milne who is described at the time of his death in 1891 as 'architect, Inchgrey, Parish of Fettercairn' is as yet unclear. It may be that they were brothers and that they had some kind of informal partnership with John assisting with jobs which required greater design input or simply when Robert was too busy to handle jobs alone. Robert Milne died on 27 September 1891 at Inchgrey.

John Milne died in May 1904.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 2Cupar, Fife, ScotlandBusiness  Branch office
Item 2 of 281, Market Street, St Andrews, Fife, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1862After 1866 

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 81 New Cemetery, monument to Bailie IrelandSt Andrews FifeScotlandDate unknown
Item 2 of 81 New Cemetery, monument to Provost PatersonSt Andrews FifeScotlandDate unknown
Item 3 of 811845Clatto Estate, House and Steading (Clatto Cottage)Cupar FifeScotland 
Item 4 of 811851St Andrews Free ChurchSt Andrews FifeScotlandFirst church remodelled (same site)
Item 5 of 811853Abbey VillaSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 6 of 811853St Leonard's College EastSt Andrews FifeScotlandNew front
Item 7 of 811854Arbirlot Free ChurchArbirlot AngusScotland 
Item 8 of 811854Carnbee ChurchCarnbee FifeScotlandRefurnishing
Item 9 of 811855WellfieldStrathmiglo FifeScotlandAdditions planned but not executed
Item 10 of 81c. 185523 South StreetSt Andrews FifeScotland'Building for a New Age' attribution
Item 11 of 811856Free Church Manse, RathelpieSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 12 of 811856Free St Bernard's Church  EdinburghScotland 
Item 13 of 811856Free Tolbooth Church  EdinburghScotlandUnsuccessful competition entry
Item 14 of 811856Kinburn HouseSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 15 of 811856Parish Church of St AthernaseLeuchars FifeScotlandRestoration and rebuilding of nave
Item 16 of 811856SchoolDunino FifeScotland 
Item 17 of 81c. 1856Martyrs' Free Church ManseSt Andrews FifeScotlandStylistic attribution
Item 18 of 811857Free Church Manse and stablesCarnbee FifeScotland 
Item 19 of 811857Invertiel Free ManseKirkcaldy FifeScotlandImprovements
Item 20 of 811857Mr Don's House, shop and bank officeFettercairn KincardineshireScotland 
Item 21 of 811857Rathelpie feuingSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 22 of 811857(?)St Andrews Town HallSt Andrews FifeScotlandUnsuccessful competition design
Item 23 of 811858Collessie Free ManseCollessie FifeScotlandImprovements
Item 24 of 811858Logie Parish SchoolLogie FifeScotland 
Item 25 of 8118592-4 Queen's TerraceSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 26 of 811859Anstruther Free ManseAnstruther FifeScotlandImprovements
Item 27 of 811859Edzell Free ManseEdzell AngusScotlandImprovements
Item 28 of 811859Queen's GardensSt Andrews FifeScotlandSome of houses (probably including nos 12, 11-15 and 18-21) - commission shared with George Rae
Item 29 of 81186040-42 South StreetSt Andrews FifeScotlandAddition of bay window (B of S and 'Building for a New Age' attribution - but HS attributes it to George Rae)
Item 30 of 811860ShopfrontCupar FifeScotland 
Item 31 of 811860 or 1881(?)RockviewSt Andrews FifeScotlandCompleted villa - or entirely responsible?
Item 32 of 811861Dura HouseKemback FifeScotlandLarge additions
Item 33 of 811861Lathockar House  FifeScotland 
Item 34 of 811861Parish SchoolLeuchars FifeScotlandAdditions
Item 35 of 811861Rathelpie Villa, RathelpieSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 36 of 811862Newburgh Free Church manseNewburgh FifeScotlandImprovements
Item 37 of 811863Commemorative ArchFettercairn KincardineshireScotland 
Item 38 of 811863Madras Female SchoolNewburgh FifeScotland 
Item 39 of 811863Madras Parish School and teacher's residenceNewburgh FifeScotland 
Item 40 of 811864WellfieldStrathmiglo FifeScotlandAlterations - and possibly cottages of 1867
Item 41 of 811865Ceres Parish ChurchCeres FifeScotlandRoof rebuilt in present gabled form - originally piended
Item 42 of 811865Pagan MonumentLeuchars FifeScotland 
Item 43 of 811865WesterleeSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 44 of 811866Flisk ManseFlick FifeScotlandRepairs
Item 45 of 811866Pittormie HouseDairsie FifeScotlandBaronial additions and courtyard buildings
Item 46 of 811867Design for a mansion  ArgyllScotland 
Item 47 of 811868Dairsie Parish SchoolDairsie FifeScotland 
Item 48 of 811869Duncan InstituteCupar FifeScotlandWon competition to secure job
Item 49 of 811870Gordon LodgeSt Andrews FifeScotlandPerhaps by John Milne?
Item 50 of 81c. 1870MayfieldSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 51 of 81c. 1870WestlandsSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 52 of 811871Baxter Institute for Female EducationCupar FifeScotlandBegun
Item 53 of 811872Monimail Free ManseMonimail FifeScotlandImprovements
Item 54 of 811873Conservative ClubSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 55 of 811874East SchoolKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 56 of 811875Tayport SchoolTayport FifeScotland 
Item 57 of 811880The Scores HotelSt Andrews FifeScotland'Building for a New Age' attribution
Item 58 of 811880Union ClubSt Andrews FifeScotlandTop floor added
Item 59 of 81c. 1880BeechwoodKirkcaldy FifeScotland'Probably' (HS on stylistic grounds)
Item 60 of 81c. 1880(?)North CliffSt Andrews FifeScotlandCompleted villa according to 'Buildings of Scotland' but this has been questioned by Dr Robin Evetts who can find no evidence of Milne's involvement.
Item 61 of 81c. 1880Villa, 24 Bennochy RoadKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 62 of 811882Freuchie Parish ManseFreuchie FifeScotland 
Item 63 of 81188625, 27, 29 MarketgateCrail FifeScotland 
Item 64 of 811887Melville TerraceMontrose AngusScotland 
Item 65 of 81188989-95 Market StreetSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 66 of 811889(?)Double villa, Doubledykes RoadSt Andrews FifeScotlandHS Lists attribute to Milne but Frew attributes to Gillespie & Scott
Item 67 of 811890sBuilding, Pilmour LinksSt Andrews FifeScotland'Building for a New Age' attribution
Item 68 of 81c. 1890St Helen's, Pilmour LinksSt Andrews FifeScotlandAttribution by John Frew
Item 69 of 811891Fettercairn Public HallFettercairn KincardineshireScotland 
Item 70 of 811892Cottages at LongrowLongrow FifeScotland 
Item 71 of 81189420-22 Murray ParkSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 72 of 81189430 The ScoresSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 73 of 811894Royal HotelSt Andrews FifeScotlandAddition
Item 74 of 81189523, 25 Murray ParkSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 75 of 81189626 The ScoresSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 76 of 81189712-14 Pilmour LinksSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 77 of 81189728 The Scores ("Hazelbank") St Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 78 of 8118981 Murray ParkSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 79 of 8118984 Murray ParkSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 80 of 811900Rusack's HotelSt Andrews FifeScotlandAddition of porch
Item 81 of 811901Double villa, Queen's TerraceSt Andrews FifeScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 7Architects Engineers and Building Trades Directory1868Architect's, Engineer's and Building Trades' Directory London, Wyman 
Item 2 of 7Cant, Ronald Gordon1991St Andrews Architects Three decades of historical notes (Revised text), St Andrews 
Item 3 of 7Ledgard, Annabel John Milne (1823-94) Frew, John (ed) 'Building for a new age' 
Item 4 of 7Pride, Glen L1999The Kingdom of Fife2nd EditionThe Rutland Pressp96, p109, p114, p115, p122, p132, p135, p137, p144
Item 5 of 7Watkinson, David2010George Bruce and the Bruce Embankment Part 2 St Andrews Preservation Trust Annual Report & Yearbook 
Item 6 of 7Westwood, _____1862Westwood's Parochial Directory of Fife and Kinross Edinburgh: John Menzies 
Item 7 of 7Westwood, _____1866Westwood's Parochial Directory of Fife and Kinross Edinburgh: John Menzies 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1St Andrews Citizen20 May 1904  Obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1St Andrews University LibraryMilne Ms