Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||Carver & Symon |
|Designation: ||Architectural practice |
|Started: ||1888 |
|Ended: ||1934 |
|Bio Notes: ||John Carver was born on 11 November 1834 and appears to have been the son of John Carver of Carverfield, Kinloch (see Howard Colvin, 'Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840') who died 27 February 1858 and the cousin of the much older David Carver (born 1803, died 19 July 1878) who practised from Kinloch throughout his career (no work yet identified). John was trained as an architect by his father but was also apprenticed as a joiner before entering the office of an Edinburgh architect: the style of his draughtsmanship suggests that of David Bryce. He returned to Meigle to take over his father's practice in the mid-1850s. |
The parish church at Coupar Angus shows Carver to have been a very able Gothic designer while the City of Glasgow Bank at Kirriemuir showed an original if idiosyncratic approach to Scottish baronial. Although he designed a few large houses his practice seems to have consisted mainly of secondary estate work.
In his later years Carver also had offices in Arbroath and Forfar, the latter becoming the main office. These were in partnership with Archibald Anderson Symon, born 1846 at Crathie who was articled to Carver 1866-71 and remained as assistant until he became a partner in 1888.
John Carver died at his house, Kirkhill, Meigle on 2 August 1896 and was buried beside his cousin David in Meigle Churchyard, his wife, Ellen Binny Isles (25 December 1836-28 February 1894) having predeceased him.
Symon retained the style of Carver & Symon into the 20th century. In 1890 Symon's son Alexander (b 1875) entered the practice as an apprentice and remained as an assistant 1895-98 before seeking wider experience first with Forman and Alston in Belfast in 1898 and then with Horace Field in London and finally the firm's ex-assistant, Archibald Campbell Dickie who was then in partnership with William Curtis Green. While in London he attended the classes of the Architectural Association, passing the qualifying exam in 1900. He applied for Associateship of the RIBA in October 1900, by which time he was working for the London County Council, and was admitted ARIBA on 3 December that year, proposed by the then president and secretary of the Architectural Association, William Howard Seth Smith and G B Carvill.
Alexander had returned to his father's office as a partner by 1912. A London office was opened in 1919 with Alexander in charge, his father being based in Arbroath with an additional office in Forfar and retaining responsibility for the Angus end of the practice.
Archibald Anderson Symon died in 1930 at the age of 84; Alexander on 4 September 1934. Prior to his death a Dundee office had been opened and he had taken into partnership Donald Ross, from Thoms and Wilkie's practice, the firm becoming Carver Symon & Ross.
Information from gravestones in Meigle Churchyard.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|Meigle, Perthshire, Scotland||Business|| || || |
|Brothock House, Brothock Bridge, Arbroath, Angus, Scotland||Business||Before 1911 *||After 1912|| |
|34, Castle Street, Forfar, Angus, Scotland||Business||1912 *|| ||Main office|
|12, Hart Street, London, England||Business||1930 *|| || |
* earliest date known from documented sources.
Employment and Training
Employees or Pupils
Buildings and Designs
|The following books contain references to this architectural practice:|
|Colvin, H M||1995||A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840||3rd edition||New Haven and London: Yale University Press|| |
|Measurers\' Companion||1911||The Scottish Architects' and Measurers' Companion|| || || |