Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||George Turnbull Ewing |
|Designation: ||Architect |
|Born: ||c. 1852 |
|Died: ||10 December 1925 |
|Bio Notes: ||George Turnbull Ewing was born in c.1852, the second son of Robert Ewing, farmer, tenant of Fintalich and Concraig on the Baroness Willoughby d’Eresby’s Drummond Castle estate. He was articled to Andrew Heiton II in Perth c.1868-73, and was probably employed in the Drummond Castle estate office at the end of his articles, remodelling Drummond Castle for the Baroness from 1878 onwards. |
Ewing was in independent practice in Crieff by 1881 when he received his first major new–build commission, the Free Church at Comrie. He was a Free Churchman himself, later designing his own congregation’s church at Muthill in 1895. In the following year, 1882, he was appointed architect for the new parish church at Crieff, superseding James Majoribanks MacLaren who had won the competition. Its Dunblane-inspired architecture was probably derived from MacLaren’s design as it had nothing at all in common with the French gothic of his Comrie church. Thereafter most of Ewing’s business was related to the feuing of Crieff where he designed a great many houses and villas.
In 1884 Ewing bought Lintibert on the Drummond Castle estate having previously been its tenant. There he had his house and office for the local estate business until 1891 when it was renamed Beechlea and let to a widow, Esther Purves. In 1899 he became factor as well as architect to the Drummond Castle estate in succession to W H Curr, moving house and office to the factor’s house at Pitkellony, Muthill. He remained factor to the estate until his death from a heart attack on 10 December 1925. He left very substantial moveable estate of £30,843 8s 5d, and was survived by his widow, four sons and four daughters. The engineer and physicist Sir Alfred Ewing, then principal of Edinburgh University, was his cousin.
Ewing was prominent in Perthshire public life. He was a JP: at the time of his death he had been a county councillor for twenty-five years, and for part of that period he was convenor of the Finance Board. Until his retirement from it in 1924 he had been a parish councillor for a similar twenty five year period and was a member of the Muthill School Board until the County Council took over; and he was a governor of Morrison’s Academy where his sons were educated. His interests were cricket, curling, bowling and St John’s Masonic Lodge at Muthill of which he was for a time Master.
Of Ewing’s four sons, Harry Ewing became an engineer and emigrated to the USA; George Hedley Ewing was a banker in London; and James Douglas Ewing went to Java. The practice was continued by Ewing’s eldest son Charles Turnbull Ewing, born in 1880 and educated at Morrison's Academy, Crieff and at the University of Glasgow (1896-98). He was articled to John James Burnet from 1899 to 1903, remaining as assistant until 1905 and taking classes at Glasgow School of Art and Glasgow Technical College. Thereafter he worked with his father for a time before securing London experience with Sir Aston Webb, from whose office he returned in 1910 to become principal assistant in his father's practice. He was a very skilful Burnetian designer, and commenced practice as a principal in 1910, though his father remained factor to the Drummond Estate.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|Crieff, Perthshire, Scotland||Private/business||c. 1877||1899|| |
|Lintibert, Culdees (near), Perthshire, Scotland||Private/business||1883||1890|| |
|Pitkellony, Muthill, Perthshire, Scotland(?)||Private||1899 *||1925||NB there is a conflict of information as the Episcopal Church at Comrie is supposed to have been designed by Robert T N Speir with 'Mr Ewing of Comrie' suggesting he had an office here as well. However other sources e.g. The Builder give this address.|
* earliest date known from documented sources.
Employment and Training
|The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):|
| ||Name||Date from||Date to||Position||Notes|
|G T & C T Ewing||1910(?)|| ||Partner|| |
Employees or Pupils
Buildings and Designs
|The following books contain references to this architect:|
|Jamieson, Fiona||1993||Drummond Castle Gardens|| || || |
|Measurers\' Companion||1911||The Scottish Architects' and Measurers' Companion|| || ||Gives Pitkellony House address|
|The following periodicals contain references to this architect:|
| ||Periodical Name||Date||Edition||Publisher||Notes|
|Strathearn Herald||12 December 1925|| || || |
|The following archives hold material relating to this architect:|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|Courtesy of Margaret Lye||Information to D M Walker|| ||Sent August 2008|
|RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert Museum||RIBA Nomination Papers|| ||L v1 no79 (microfilm reel 29); F no2351 (microfilm reel 17) (William Finlayson's paper giving details of jobs and time spans)|