Basic Biographical Details

Name: Moffatt & Aitken (or Moffat & Aitken)
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: May 1873
Ended: c. 1880
Bio Notes: William Lambie Moffat was born on 31 October 1807, the son of John Moffat, clerk of works and Sarah Couch. At some stage, for unknown reasons, he adopted the spelling of Moffatt which is continued by his descendents, although his brother Henry retained the single 't' as Moffat throughout his life. William Lambie was articled to William Burn who was probably his father's employer and appears to have remained as an assistant: his subsequent career suggests he was engaged on the institutional side of the practice. In 1836 he won the competition for Wakefield Corn Exchange with a very original Greek Revival design which induced him to settle in Doncaster. In 1838 William Hurst of Doncaster invited him to become a partner, his previous partner John Woodhead having died, and for the next six years Hurst and Moffat had a flourishing practice, particularly for churches financed by The Incorporated Church Building Society.

On 8 December 1844 Hurst died. Moffat continued the Doncaster practice, but was increasingly dependent on winning competitions for business. As a number of his competition wins were for hospitals and poorhouses in Scotland, he closed his Doncaster practice in 1858, the catalyst probably being the new asylum at Montrose (1856). He returned to Edinburgh, his house being at 4 Fettes Row, and he subsequently remodelled 13 Queen Street for his own occupation. By about 1874 he was so busy with school board work, probably mainly won in competition, that James Aitken, of whom nothing is as yet known, was taken into partnership.

Moffat was equally skilled in Greek, Italianate, Gothic and neo-Jacobean, his work in the last of those being strongly influenced by William Burn's houses of the mid to late 1820s and early 1830s: in the past some writers conflated him with G G Scott's partner, the English William Bonython Moffatt, and in the earlier 'Buildings of England' volumes he is sometimes wrongly given as W B Moffatt.

Moffat died on 5 June 1882 at 23 Minto Street, survived by his widow Wilhelmina Crystal. Information on the subsequent career of James Aitken - if any - is not yet available.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 213, Queen Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivateAfter 1856 Moffat's private address
Item 2 of 212, North St David Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1873c. 1882 

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 3James Aitken  Partner 
Item 2 of 3William Knox (or Wilm Knox?) Before 1882Apprentice 
Item 3 of 3William Lambie Moffatt (originally William Lambie Moffat)c. 1874 Partner 

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 291873Balcurvie SchoolMarkinch FifeScotlandProposed enlargement - uncertain if this was executed
Item 2 of 291873Free Church schoolsRoseburn EdinburghScotlandUpgrade of accommodation
Item 3 of 291873Infant SchoolFountainbridge EdinburghScotlandUpgrade of accommodation
Item 4 of 291873Milton of Balgonie Board SchoolMilton of Balgonie FifeScotlandPlans for additions to old school and for new school on the old site - uncertain which executed, if either
Item 5 of 291873Portobello Public School and janitor's housePortobello EdinburghScotland 
Item 6 of 291873SchoolDalkeith MidlothianScotland 
Item 7 of 291873St Paul's Free Church SchoolsSt Leonards EdinburghScotlandUpgrade of accommodation
Item 8 of 29187411-13 Queen Street  EdinburghScotlandPalace front.
Item 9 of 291874Arbroath Public SchoolArbroath AngusScotland 
Item 10 of 291874Lovers' Loan School  EdinburghScotlandAlterations and upgrade
Item 11 of 291874Public SchoolBurntisland FifeScotland 
Item 12 of 291875Bristo Public School  EdinburghScotland 
Item 13 of 291875Leith Walk School and lodge  EdinburghScotlandOriginal building
Item 14 of 291875Markinch Board SchoolMarkinch FifeScotlandWorking plans and specifications prepared - presumably for new school
Item 15 of 291875Montrose AsylumHillside, Montrose AngusScotlandAdditions - dining hall, recreation room, enlargement of stores, extension of washhouse and laundry offices, new washhouse
Item 16 of 291875Premises for J Horsburgh  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 17 of 291875Prestonhall Board SchoolGlenrothes FifeScotland 
Item 18 of 291876Farm steading at LairgLairg SutherlandScotland 
Item 19 of 291876Two blocks of tenements, Lutton Place  EdinburghScotlandPlans prepared
Item 20 of 291877Mossgreen ChurchDalgety FifeScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 21 of 291877PoorhouseMontrose AngusScotlandPlans for new poorhouse drawn up but project abandoned
Item 22 of 291879Aberdour Public SchoolAberdour FifeScotland 
Item 23 of 291879Feuing plan of Policy ParkAberdour FifeScotland 
Item 24 of 291879Greenock Municipal BuildingsGreenock RenfrewshireScotlandThird premiated competition design
Item 25 of 291879Villa for Miss Auld, Policy ParkAberdour FifeScotland 
Item 26 of 291879Villa for Miss McGill, Policy ParkAberdour FifeScotland 
Item 27 of 291879Woodside HotelAberdour FifeScotland 
Item 28 of 291881Semi-detached cottageJoppa EdinburghScotlandPlans prepared
Item 29 of 291881Semi-detached cottage in Quarry ParkJoppa EdinburghScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
Item 1 of 1Post Office Directories     

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architectural practice:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2H M Register HouseDeath Register Death of Moffatt
Item 2 of 2National Archives of Scotland (formerly SRO)William Lambie Moffatt Cash Book 1859-1881 GD 1/412/1 GD1/421