Basic Biographical Details

Name: Barbour & Bowie
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1902
Ended: 1946
Bio Notes: James Barbour was born in 1834 in the parish of Dunscore, his twin brother being named Robert, later of the drapery firm of Barbour & Sons. Their father farmed at Shangan and was one of the founders of the Reformed Presbyterian Church at Dunscore later Craig United Free Church.

The twins went to school at Glenesslin and c.1848-49 James was articled to Walter Newall, architect and civil engineer in Dumfries (Barbour's obituary refers to 'Adam' Newall, perhaps a son who predeceased him). Around 1854 Barbour sought wider experience in an unrecorded Glasgow office: his early involvement in Newtonairds suggests that he may have had some connection with the architects of that house, Peddie & Kinnear.

In 1860 Barbour set up practice as architect and civil engineer at 27 Buccleuch Street, which was house as well as office, and seems to have largely succeeded to the practice of Walter Newall who retired in or about that year and died in 1863. After some years he married the daughter of the Dumfries ironmonger James Halliday, and at some point joined the Established Church, becoming an elder at St Michael's. The practice moved to 134 High Street in or befofre 1863 and remained there until 1870. In that year he made a short-term move to 60 High Street, but in 1871 Barbour acquired 33 (from 1898 53) Buccleuch Street and then (1872) built St Christopher's, a fine Gothic villa at the corner of English Street and Hood's Loaning for his own occupation. Its design was substantially repeated at Park House (built about the same date). At the time of Barbour's commencement of practice in 1860 his brother had already been in business as a draper in High Street for some years: he prospered, in 1878-79 commissioning his brother to design a large department store for him in Buccleuch Street when the High Street shop became too small.

The Barbours had two sons and a daughter. The elder brother trained with his father as a civil engineer, mainly on the several water schemes for which he was responsible and emigrated to South Africa where he became engineer to the Corporation of Port Elizabeth. The younger son Robert, named after his uncle, was also apprenticed to his father. He became a partner in 1895 and assisted MacGibbon & Ross with their accounts of Kirkconnel Tower and Isle Castle but emigrated to New South Wales.

Following his son's departure for Australia in 1896 Barbour recruited an assistant, John McLintock Bowie (born 1871), who had been articled to Thomas Frame & Son of Alloa in 1886 and had remained with them as assistant until 1895 when he undertook a study tour in England and Scotland which extended into the following year. Three years after joining Barbour he commenced practice on his own account, although still assisting Barbour with some projects, and finally joined Barbour in partnership in 1902. Although now advanced in years Barbour remained active in the practice, particularly in respect of works of an antiquarian or ecclesiastical nature.

Barbour was one of the ablest Scottish architects in the provinces in the mid-19th century with an individual approach to Gothic best seen at the Cumberland Street Reformed Presbyterian Church in Glasgow, now unfortunately demolished. On 6 March 1866 he joined the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Scoiety and was later elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. He became a distinguished archaeologist, his interests being reflected in the late Scots Gothic tracery proposed in the original 1876 scheme for Closeburn Church and repeated in his later churches. He excavated the Roman station at Birrens in the parish of Middlebie in 1895, the results being published jointly with Dr James Macdonald.

Barbour died of paralysis (probably a stroke) on 5 May 1912 while on holiday with his daughter in Harrogate, his library and collections being sold by Peter Stobie in November. His wife predeceased him on the same date nine years earlier, and his brother Robert some twenty months earlier in September 1910.

The practice was continued by Bowie who was elected FRIBA on 2 December 1907, his proposers being Neil Campbell Duff, Horatio Kelson Bromhead of Glasgow and Percivall Currey of London. He moved office from Buccleuch Street to 27 Castle Street in 1919, and in the same year took his former chief assistant David Robertson into partnership following the latter's return from war service. Robertson left in 1924, but another partner, Colin Macaulay Middleton, was taken on in 1940, the practice still retaining the style of Barbour & Bowie until 1946 when it was merged with that of Matthew Purdon Smith, originally established in Lockerbie in 1922. Smith died in 1954 and Bowie in 1957.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 253, Buccleuch Street, Dumfries, Dumfriesshire, ScotlandBusiness19021919 
Item 2 of 227, Castle Street, Dumfries, Dumfriesshire, ScotlandBusiness1919After 1940 

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 12William Bell18981902Apprentice 
Item 2 of 12Stuart Veitch Smith25 April 190025 April 1904Apprentice 
Item 3 of 12William Bell19021903Assistant 
Item 4 of 12James Barbour19021912Partner 
Item 5 of 12John McLintock Bowie19021946Partner 
Item 6 of 12Stuart Veitch Smith25 April 19042 September 1905Assistant 
Item 7 of 12David Robertson19121915Chief Assistant 
Item 8 of 12David Robertson19191924Partner 
Item 9 of 12James Home Kerr Hislop19221923Assistant 
Item 10 of 12Colin Macaulay Middleton19261931Apprentice 
Item 11 of 12William Jardine19351940Apprentice 
Item 12 of 12Colin Macaulay Middleton19401946Partner 

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 1021902Comlongon Castle and mansion houseComlongon DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 2 of 1021902Kirkpatrick-Irongray Parish ChurchKirkpatrick-Irongray KirkcudbrightshireScotlandWork at churchyard
Item 3 of 1021902Lockerbie Police StationLockerbie DumfriesshireScotlandFurther work
Item 4 of 1021902Newlands HouseKirkmahoe DumfriesshireScotlandExtensive additions
Item 5 of 1021902Newlands, gardener's cottageNewlands DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 6 of 1021902Premises for MacaraMoniaive DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 7 of 1021902Rosebank HouseLockerbie DumfriesshireScotlandFurther work - commenced prior to partnership
Item 8 of 1021904Brydekirk waterworksAnnan DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 9 of 1021904Colvend ChurchColvend KirkcudbrightshireScotlandDesign drawn - presumably not executed
Item 10 of 1021904Corbieton  KirkcudbrightshireScotland 
Item 11 of 1021904Cowhill TowerHolywood DumfriesshireScotlandAlterations
Item 12 of 1021904Crichton Royal Institution, Low LodgeDumfries DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 13 of 1021904Crichton Royal Institution, Upper Brownhall LodgeDumfries DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 14 of 1021904Dumfries and Galloway Royal InfirmaryDumfries DumfriesshireScotlandAlterations
Item 15 of 1021904Dumfries Sheriff CourtDumfries DumfriesshireScotlandAlterations
Item 16 of 1021904House for William RaeMoffat DumfriesshireScotlandFurther work?
Item 17 of 1021904Irving Street Congregational ChurchDumfries DumfriesshireScotlandReroofing and redecoration
Item 18 of 1021904Middlebie ManseMiddlebie DumfriesshireScotlandAlterations to recessed wings
Item 19 of 1021904Middlebie Parish ChurchMiddlebie DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 20 of 1021904Moffat Police StationMoffat DumfriesshireScotlandFurther work
Item 21 of 1021904Morton Parish ChurchThornhill DumfriesshireScotlandAddition of vestry
Item 22 of 1021904Premises for T & W CarlyleDumfries? DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 23 of 1021905Anwoth Parish ChurchAnwoth KirkcudbrightshireScotlandNew roof, furnishing and gallery
Item 24 of 1021905BengairnCastle Douglas (near) KirkcudbrightshireScotlandAdditions
Item 25 of 1021905Chicken's BakeryDumfries DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 26 of 1021905Cottage at NewlandsNewlands DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 27 of 1021905Hardgate SchoolHaugh of Urr KirkcudbrightshireScotland 
Item 28 of 1021905High TownheadsDalswinton DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 29 of 1021905Noble Hill   Scotland 
Item 30 of 1021905Ruthwell Parish ChurchRuthwell DumfriesshireScotlandRecasting of building
Item 31 of 1021905St Bride's MansionSt Bride's PembrokeshireWalesExtensive additions, including new water pumping and drainage scheme, electric light etc.
Item 32 of 1021905Stables (for Rotchell House?)Maxwelltown, Dumfries DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 33 of 1021905Villa, Gillespie RoadColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 34 of 1021906Allanton Mansion HouseAuldgirth (near) DumfriesshireScotlandAlterations/additions?
Item 35 of 1021906Dalbeattie Primary SchoolDalbeattie KirkcudbrightshireScotland 
Item 36 of 1021906Ecclefechan water supplyEcclefechan DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 37 of 1021906Foxwood   Scotland 
Item 38 of 1021906Gretna Parish ChurchGretna DumfriesshireScotlandDesigns for alterations
Item 39 of 1021906High LawLockerbie DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 40 of 1021906Industrial SchoolDumfries DumfriesshireScotlandAdditions
Item 41 of 1021906KinharvieNew Abbey KirkcudbrightshireScotlandAlterations
Item 42 of 1021906Luffness HouseDrem East LothianScotlandAddition - billiard room
Item 43 of 1021906OvertonNew Galloway KirkcudbrightshireScotland 
Item 44 of 1021906T Biggar & Sons StoresDalbeattie KirkcudbrightshireScotland 
Item 45 of 1021906Torthorwald ManseTorthorwald DumfriesshireScotlandAdditions
Item 46 of 1021906Wallace Hall AcademyCloseburn DumfriesshireScotlandFurther work
Item 47 of 1021907KinharvieNew Abbey KirkcudbrightshireScotlandFurther alterations
Item 48 of 1021907Mansion HouseDumfries (near) DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 49 of 1021907RC SchoolDumfries DumfriesshireScotlandAlterations - Bowie responsible
Item 50 of 1021907School for BoysDumfries DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 51 of 10219085 Portland Place, MaxwelltownDumfries DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 52 of 1021908Eaglesfield water supplyMiddlebie DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 53 of 1021908Free ChurchDumfries DumfriesshireScotlandAlterations
Item 54 of 1021908Thornhill Police stationThornhill DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 55 of 1021909Closeburn SchoolCloseburn DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 56 of 1021909CraigBalmaclellan KirkcudbrightshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 57 of 1021909Dalbeattie Public SchoolDalbeattie KirkcudbrightshireScotlandNew block
Item 58 of 1021909Free ChurchDumfries DumfriesshireScotlandFurther work
Item 59 of 1021909Friars Carse HouseDunscore DumfriesshireScotlandAddition
Item 60 of 1021909GlaistersCorsock KirkcudbrightshireScotland 
Item 61 of 1021909House, Albert RoadDumfries DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 62 of 1021909Kells Parish ChurchNew Galloway KirkcudbrightshireScotlandRemodelling
Item 63 of 1021909Moat House Hostel   Scotland 
Item 64 of 1021909Wallace Hall AcademyCloseburn DumfriesshireScotlandAlterations
Item 65 of 1021910133 High StreetDumfries DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 66 of 1021910Borgue AcademyBorgue KirkcudbrightshireScotlandRemodelling and enlargement
Item 67 of 1021910Buccleuch BuildingsDumfries DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 68 of 1021910Clarencefield Police StationClarencefield DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 69 of 1021910House at DrumstinchallDrumstinchall KirkcudbrightshireScotlandAlterations
Item 70 of 1021910Mabie HouseCargen Bridge (near) KirkcudbrightshireScotlandAlterations and additions, including probably porch and bay windows
Item 71 of 1021910MidsteepleDumfries DumfriesshireScotlandAppears to be by Barbour alone rather than Barbour and Bowie
Item 72 of 1021911Corbieton FarmCastle Douglas KirkcudbrightshireScotland 
Item 73 of 1021911Dumfries and Galloway Royal InfirmaryDumfries DumfriesshireScotlandAlterations
Item 74 of 1021911Glenae HouseAmisfield (near) DumfriesshireScotlandAlterations
Item 75 of 1021911Kingholm QuayDumfries DumfriesshireScotlandUnspecified work
Item 76 of 1021911Neptune ParkKirkcudbright KirkcudbrightshireScotland 
Item 77 of 1021911New Abbey Parish ChurchNew Abbey KirkcudbrightshireScotlandAlterations
Item 78 of 1021911Nurse's CottageDunscore DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 79 of 1021911Premises for T & W CarlyleDumfries? DumfriesshireScotlandFurther work
Item 80 of 1021911Wesleyan Methodist ChurchCastle Douglas KirkcudbrightshireScotlandAlterations
Item 81 of 1021912Assembly RoomsDumfries DumfriesshireScotlandAlterations
Item 82 of 1021912BeechwoodKirkcudbright KirkcudbrightshireScotland 
Item 83 of 1021912Free Church houseDumfries DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 84 of 1021912Hermitage FarmDalbeattie KirkcudbrightshireScotlandAlterations ? New building?
Item 85 of 1021912InstituteMaxwelltown DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 86 of 1021912Kirkmichael House  DumfriesshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 87 of 1021912Rosefield MillsDumfries DumfriesshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 88 of 1021912St Andrews RC Pro-CathedralDumfries DumfriesshireScotlandAlterations, including baptistery
Item 89 of 102After 1912Brocklehirst House  DumfriesshireScotlandRemodelling and extension
Item 90 of 102After 1912Farm buildings for H Keswick Esq, including piggeries and cottages  DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 91 of 102After 1912Housing SchemeMaxwelltown, Dumfries DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 92 of 102After 1912Shooting LodgeKirkcudbright KirkcudbrightshireScotland 
Item 93 of 1021914Barjarg Tower  DumfriesshireScotlandMajor remodelling
Item 94 of 1021915Memorial InstituteMoniaive DumfriesshireScotland Conversion from United Associate Meeting House
Item 95 of 1021915RockhallMouswald DumfriesshireScotlandNew armorial doorpiece
Item 96 of 1021919Dalswinton HouseDalswinton DumfriesshireScotlandMajor remodelling and additions
Item 97 of 1021922Cowhill Estate creamery  DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 98 of 1021922Kinmount HouseAnnan DumfriesshireScotlandAddition of garden gateways
Item 99 of 1021929Middlebie Parish ChurchMiddlebie DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 100 of 1021929Mouswald Parish ChurchMouswald DumfriesshireScotlandHeightening and addition of chancel to church
Item 101 of 1021930Star InnAyr AyrshireScotlandConversion
Item 102 of 1021937Conheath House  DumfriesshireScotlandProposed internal alterations

References

Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
 Author(s)DateTitlePartPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Bailey, Rebecca M1996Scottish architects' papers: a source book Edinburgh: The Rutland Press 
Item 2 of 2Wolffe, Antony C1996James Barbour architect, civil engineer and archaeologist Transactions of the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society, Vol LXX1 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architectural practice:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Dumfries Standard and Advertiser8 May 1912  Obituary of James Barbour