© All rights reserved. Edinburgh Architectural Association 1907 Exhibition Catalogue  

Larger versions of these images are located at the foot of the page.

Basic Biographical Details

Name: Robert Wilson
Designation: Architect
Born: 9 September 1834
Died: 1 July 1901
Bio Notes: Robert Wilson was born on 9 September 1834, the son of Edinburgh architect Patrick Wilson and his wife Catherine Peddie, who died on 1 June 1843 when he was only eight years old. Around 1849 he was articled to his father, then based at 2 Queen Street, and he entered the Trustees' Academy on 31 October 1850 on the recommendation of James Eckford Lauder. Some time after he had completed his articles, he moved to London to widen his experience there.

Patrick Wilson died on 6 February 1871. Robert returned from London to take over his practice and within a few years secured the appointment of architect to Edinburgh School Board, most of his early buildings being in quiet but distinctive London Gothic manner with attenuated details. In the later 1880s first a late classical and then Jacobean manner was adopted. From 1893 onwards most of the design work of the office was undertaken by his pupil John Alexander Carfrae who had worked in London with Arthur Cawston and in Edinburgh with Sydney Mitchell and Wilson.

Robert Wilson was a prominent Baptist and was for a time Vice-President of the Baptist Union of Scotland. He was interested in philanthropic movements and was the Director of the Free Breakfast Mission in Edinburgh. He was also associated with the Carrubers Close Mission, the Medical Mission and the Destitute Sick Society.

He died as a result of a chill sustained while driving in an open cab, followed by pneumonia on 1 July 1901, survived by his wife Isabella Gunn who died 15 August 1911 and was buried with him at Grange Cemetery. Carfrae succeeded to his practice and his appointment to Edinburgh School Board.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 52, Queen Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1874  
Item 2 of 51, Craigie Terrace, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1875  
Item 3 of 556, Blacket Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1884  
Item 4 of 560, Blacket Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1889  
Item 5 of 53, Queen Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 18911898 

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 2Patrick Wilsonc. 1849c. 1854(?)Apprentice 
Item 2 of 2Edinburgh School Board Architects Departmentc. 1875(?) Chief Architect 

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 12James Andrew Minty18781882Assistant 
Item 2 of 12John Alexander CarfraeDecember 1881December 1885Apprentice 
Item 3 of 12John MacKintosh18841887Assistant 
Item 4 of 12John Alexander CarfraeDecember 1885February 1889Assistant 
Item 5 of 12John Wilson18921898Apprentice 
Item 6 of 12David Wishart Galloway18931894Assistant 
Item 7 of 12John Alexander CarfraeJanuary 18931 July 1901Principal Assistant 
Item 8 of 12David Webster RobertsonOctober 18951899Apprentice 
Item 9 of 12Victor James de SpiganoviczAugust 18981 July 1901Apprentice 
Item 10 of 12William Henry Johnson (junior)18991900Assistantalso working with John Alexander Carfrae
Item 11 of 12Alexander Murray Hardie18991901AssistantUnder John Alexander Carfrae
Item 12 of 12David Webster RobertsonAugust 1900January 1901Assistant 

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 591874Dean Board SchoolDean Village EdinburghScotland 
Item 2 of 591879Cambridge Street School  EdinburghScotland 
Item 3 of 591879North Canongate School  EdinburghScotlandOriginal school
Item 4 of 591879St Leonards School  EdinburghScotland 
Item 5 of 591880Abbeyhill Board School  EdinburghScotland 
Item 6 of 591880Clarebank School  EdinburghScotland 
Item 7 of 591880Dalry Road SchoolDalry EdinburghScotlandExtension
Item 8 of 5918815 Tipperlin Road  EdinburghScotland 
Item 9 of 591882Leith Sailors' HomeLeith EdinburghScotlandCompetition design - not successful (French Renaissance style)
Item 10 of 591882Marchmont Road School  EdinburghScotland 
Item 11 of 591882North Merchiston School  EdinburghScotland 
Item 12 of 591884Leith Baptist ChurchLeith EdinburghScotland 
Item 13 of 591885Edinburgh Sabbath Free Breakfast Mission  EdinburghScotland 
Item 14 of 591885Granton School  EdinburghScotland 
Item 15 of 591885Leith Walk School and lodge  EdinburghScotlandExtension
Item 16 of 591885Royal High School, Lodge  EdinburghScotlandLodge and classroom block to north east of main school
Item 17 of 591885South Bridge School  EdinburghScotland 
Item 18 of 591886Edinburgh School Board Offices  EdinburghScotland 
Item 19 of 591886Milton House School  EdinburghScotlandSchool and janitor's house
Item 20 of 591887Castlehill School  EdinburghScotlandOriginal design?
Item 21 of 591887George Heriot's School, St Bernard's Crescent  EdinburghScotland 
Item 22 of 591887Heriot's Trust School, Davie Street  EdinburghScotlandAdditions
Item 23 of 591887Heriot's Trust School, Dean StreetStockbridge EdinburghScotlandAddition
Item 24 of 591887London Street School  EdinburghScotlandOriginal building
Item 25 of 591887Torphichen Street School  EdinburghScotland 
Item 26 of 591889Sciennes School  EdinburghScotlandSchool and janitor's house refashioned from an existing house
Item 27 of 591890Alnwickhill Industrial Home for Fallen WomenAlnwickhill EdinburghScotlandRebuilding
Item 28 of 591890Dalry Road SchoolDalry EdinburghScotlandUpper floor added to single storey school
Item 29 of 591890St Cuthbert's Public SchoolGorgie EdinburghScotlandUpper floor added
Item 30 of 591891Aged Christian Friendly Society CottagesColinton EdinburghScotlandFirst buildings (no 15/1-4)
Item 31 of 591891Bonaly SchoolBonaly EdinburghScotland 
Item 32 of 591891South Morningside School  EdinburghScotland 
Item 33 of 591892Dean Board SchoolDean Village EdinburghScotlandFurther work
Item 34 of 591893Bruntsfield Public School  EdinburghScotlandCarfrae as chief assistant in Wilson's office
Item 35 of 591893Roseburn School  EdinburghScotlandCarfrae as chief assistant in Wilson's office
Item 36 of 591894Abbeyhill Board School  EdinburghScotlandAdditions
Item 37 of 591894Church and church hall, Orwell Terrace  EdinburghScotlandChurch hall - as mission of West Coates
Item 38 of 591894Leith Walk School and lodge  EdinburghScotlandEnlargement (Carfrae as chief assistant in Wilson's office)
Item 39 of 591894Niddrie Mains SchoolNiddrie Mains EdinburghScotlandCarfrae as chief assistant in Wilson's office
Item 40 of 591894Regent Road SchoolAbbeyhill EdinburghScotlandAdditions. Carfrae as chief assistant in Wilson's office
Item 41 of 591895Preston Street School  EdinburghScotlandJohn Alexander Carfrae largely responsible, as assistant
Item 42 of 591896Castlehill School  EdinburghScotlandCarfrae as chief assistant in Wilson's office
Item 43 of 591896Morrison and Gibbs's Printing WorksTanfield EdinburghScotlandCarfrae as chief assistant in Wilson's office
Item 44 of 591896Outlook Tower  EdinburghScotlandAdditions and alterations
Item 45 of 591897Broughton Higher Grade School  EdinburghScotlandPrincipally by Carfrae as chief assistant in Wilson's office
Item 46 of 591897Industrial School  EdinburghScotland 
Item 47 of 591897North Berwick High SchoolNorth Berwick East LothianScotlandCarfrae mainly responsible as chief assistant in Robert Wilson's office
Item 48 of 591897North Merchiston School  EdinburghScotlandEnlargement
Item 49 of 591898Anderson InstituteLerwickMainlandShetlandScotlandEnlargement
Item 50 of 591898Central Public SchoolLerwickMainlandShetlandScotlandReport and Sketch Proposals
Item 51 of 591899Flora Stevenson's SchoolComely Bank EdinburghScotlandDesign appears to be chiefly Carfrae's
Item 52 of 591899Portobello Public School and janitor's housePortobello EdinburghScotlandAddition to east
Item 53 of 591900North Canongate School  EdinburghScotlandEnlargement - Carfrae as chief assistant in Wilson's office
Item 54 of 591901Ashley Terrace School  EdinburghScotlandDesign appears to be principally Carfrae's - though wilson is credited with the design in the Builder.
Item 55 of 591901Craiglockhart SchoolCraiglockhart EdinburghScotlandWilson died during construction
Item 56 of 591901Peebles High SchoolPeebles PeeblesshireScotlandAssisted by Carfrae intially; later Carfrae on his own. ' Buildings of Scotland' have reversed roles of Wilson & Carfrae
Item 57 of 591901Royal Blind Asylum School  EdinburghScotland 
Item 58 of 591901SchoolParson's Green Edinburgh Scotland 
Item 59 of 59Before 1901Business premises, Colson Street  EdinburghScotland 


Bibliographic References

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

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Builder13 July 1901  Obituary - p37
Item 2 of 2Building News5 July 1901  p7 Obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Draft biographical note by Howard Colvin, not used in his Dictionaries


© All rights reserved. Edinburgh Architectural Association 1907 Exhibition Catalogue  

© All rights reserved. Edinburgh Architectural Association 1907 Exhibition Catalogue