Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Bruce & Son
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: After 1883
Ended: 1919
Bio Notes: John Bruce began life as a textile manufacturer but lost all his money in the collapse of the Western Bank in 1857. As a way of getting himself out of debt he turned to architecture in the later 1860s, specialising in working-class housing in Dundee, particularly in Hilltown, west of Main Street, and in terrace housing in Broughty Ferry built by John Cowan for rental. By the 1880s, the firm had become John Bruce & Son. The elder Bruce had three sons who survived to adulthood: John junior who emigrated to Australia, George who moved to Cheshire and worked as a druggist and James Prain (born 29 April 1860) who was articled to his father in 1877 and left for an unidentified office in London in 1881 to gain experience, remaining there for several years before rejoining his father as a partner. The practice thereafter went more upmarket, specialising in high-quality tenement work for the Speed family who were wine and spirit merchants, and villas in Carnoustie where the Bruces had settled. James Prain Bruce took an active interest in the Dundee Institute of Architects, being President 1900-02 and acting as Honorary Secretary during the war years.

In 1919 George Christie Morton (born 1886) became a partner, the name of the firm becoming Bruce Son & Morton. Douglas Prain Bruce of St Clair, Carnoustie, was James Prain's son and became an additional partner in the 1930s. James Prain Bruce became ill in 1933 and died at Carnoustie on 20 January 1935. At the outbreak of the Second World War Douglas Prain Bruce went into the army and subsequently gave up his partnership; Morton, a very able domestic architect thereafter gave most of his time to the family whisky firm of which he was latterly chairman. He died in August 1953.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 631, Bank Street, Dundee, ScotlandBusiness1878  
Item 2 of 68, Bank Street, Dundee, ScotlandBusinessc. 1880 From the 1880s
Item 3 of 6Commercial Buildings, Dundee, ScotlandBusiness1889  
Item 4 of 6Commercial Buildings, High Street, Carnoustie, Angus, ScotlandBusinessc. 1890 From the 1890s
Item 5 of 610, Whitehall Street, Dundee, ScotlandBusiness19071919 
Item 6 of 6Highfield, Carnoustie, Angus, ScotlandPrivate1914 James Prain Bruce's house

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 11John BruceAfter 1883 Partner 
Item 2 of 11James Prain BruceAfter 18831919Partner 
Item 3 of 11William Clark18911907Assistant 
Item 4 of 11James Peter NicollAfter 18941898Apprentice 
Item 5 of 11James Peter Nicoll18981898 or 1899Junior Assistant 
Item 6 of 11Alexander Ness1899 *   
Item 7 of 11George Christie Morton19031907Apprentice 
Item 8 of 11Alexander Allan FooteSeptember 1904April 1906Apprentice 
Item 9 of 11Alexander Allan FooteApril 1906March 1907Assistant 
Item 10 of 11George Christie Morton19071908Assistant 
Item 11 of 11James Smith Leslie19121913Assistant 

* earliest date known from documented sources.


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 551871Tenement, 11-19 North Ellen Street  DundeeScotland 
Item 2 of 55After 1883Building, Bank Street  DundeeScotland 
Item 3 of 55After 1883Tenement and shops, Union Place and Perth Road corner  DundeeScotland 
Item 4 of 551886Dwellinghouses, Blackness Road  DundeeScotland 
Item 5 of 551886Tenement, Perth Road and Step Row corner  DundeeScotland 
Item 6 of 551887Corner Building, Commercial Street and Seagate  DundeeScotland 
Item 7 of 551887Dwellinghouses, Blackness Road and Balgay Avenue  DundeeScotland 
Item 8 of 551887Panbride Free ChurchCarnoustie AngusScotlandReapirs by James P Bruce after fire
Item 9 of 551888Commercial buildings  DundeeScotland 
Item 10 of 551888Panbride Church  DundeeScotland 
Item 11 of 55188933 Hermon Hill  DundeeScotland 
Item 12 of 551889Tenement, 23-25 Perth Road  DundeeScotland 
Item 13 of 551891AnnfieldCarnoustie AngusScotland 
Item 14 of 55After 1891BrookfieldCarnoustie AngusScotland 
Item 15 of 55After 1891Residence for H Hayes WatsonCarnoustie AngusScotland 
Item 16 of 55After 1891TullavinCarnoustie AngusScotland 
Item 17 of 55After 1891WinterdyneCarnoustie AngusScotland 
Item 18 of 551892Cottage at Lynnewood Place  DundeeScotland 
Item 19 of 551892FenellaBroughty Ferry DundeeScotland 
Item 20 of 551893Carnoustie Public SchoolCarnoustie AngusScotland 
Item 21 of 551893Panbride Free ChurchCarnoustie AngusScotlandDesign for new church - or perhaps enlargement. Emlargement not carried out until 1901
Item 22 of 551893Tenement, Albert Street and Eliza Street corner  DundeeScotland 
Item 23 of 551895Cottage at CarnoustieCarnoustie AngusScotland 
Item 24 of 551895Feus, Newton of Panbride  DundeeScotland 
Item 25 of 551895Villa at Carlogie Road and Guthrie StreetCarnoustie AngusScotland 
Item 26 of 551896AnnfieldCarnoustie AngusScotland 
Item 27 of 551896Cottages at West ParkCarnoustie AngusScotland 
Item 28 of 551897Lochee Road UP Church  DundeeScotland 
Item 29 of 551897MaulesbankCarnoustie AngusScotland 
Item 30 of 551898BuildingHawkhill DundeeScotlandAlterations
Item 31 of 551898Carnoustie Municipal BuildingsCarnoustie AngusScotland 
Item 32 of 551898Shops and tenements, Hilltown  DundeeScotland 
Item 33 of 551898Town HallPitlochry PerthshireScotlandWon competition and secured job with Ness working in the John Bruce & Son office
Item 34 of 551899Workshop and office, Camperdown Dock  DundeeScotland 
Item 35 of 551900Barry Parish Church HallCarnoustie AngusScotland 
Item 36 of 551900UP Church, CarnoustieCarnoustie AngusScotlandAdditions?
Item 37 of 55After 1900Holy Rood Episcopal ChurchCarnoustie AngusScotlandAlterations
Item 38 of 55190130-32 High StreetCarnoustie AngusScotland 
Item 39 of 551902Cottage, LochendCarnoustie AngusScotland? Drawing not signed
Item 40 of 551903Licensed premises, Perth Road  DundeeScotland 
Item 41 of 551903Speedwell Bar  DundeeScotland 
Item 42 of 551905Commercial buildings (and perhaps tenements?), Perth Road and Union Place  DundeeScotland 
Item 43 of 5519061-13 Castle TerraceBroughty Ferry DundeeScotlandAlterations and conversions of nos 3-10 to flats
Item 44 of 551909Houses, Fairfield RoadBroughty Ferry DundeeScotland 
Item 45 of 551910Bon Accord  DundeeScotland 
Item 46 of 551910Bungalow, Green LaneCarnoustie AngusScotland 
Item 47 of 551910House at Dalhousie StreetCarnoustie AngusScotland 
Item 48 of 551911Cottage, Maule StreetCarnoustie AngusScotland 
Item 49 of 551912BunnymeadCarnoustie AngusScotland 
Item 50 of 551912House at SnabsLongforgan PerthshireScotland 
Item 51 of 551912Tenement block, Queen Street  DundeeScotland 
Item 52 of 551913House at Rose TerraceCarnoustie AngusScotland 
Item 53 of 551916Jute warehouse, Carolina Port  DundeeScotland 
Item 54 of 55Early 1900sHouse at Seafield RoadBroughty Ferry DundeeScotland 
Item 55 of 55Early 1900sJames UF Church  DundeeScotlandDrew up presentation drawings, perhaps for competition for replacement church

References

Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
 Author(s)DateTitlePartPublisherNotes
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 2Dundee Planning Department/NMRSDundee Approved Duplicate Plans (Originals in NMRS for dates 1867-1883; otherwise on microfilm)  
Item 2 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Personal information from Mrs Fairweather, owner of the Castle, Alpha and Panmure Terrace properties, obtained mid-1950s. Personal Info from W Sinclair Gauldie, originally obtained from Douglas Bruce's daughter, a student at Dundee Art College, c1943-7. Alos ionformation from descendant Adrian Bruce, via the web.