© All rights reserved. Edinburgh Architectural Association 1907 Exhibition Catalogue  

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Basic Biographical Details

Name: Thomas Mackenzie
Designation: Architect
Born: 1814
Died: 15 October 1854
Bio Notes: Thomas Mackenzie was born in 1814, son of Alexander Mackenzie, architect, St Martins, Perthshire, and his wife Janet Davidson. The precise date of his birth is not known, but he was christened on 9 October. He was articled to his eldest brother William Macdonald Mackenzie, and was in the office of his brother David in Dundee in 1835 when he submitted a design for the Watt Institution there, which was not accepted, George Angus's being preferred. In the same year Thomas moved to Aberdeen and would appear to have been briefly in the office of John Smith before moving to Archibald Simpson's, still in the same year. He remained there until 1839, publishing lithographs of Simpson's Marischal College, Market Street and New Market and of St Nicholas spire. In 1839 he moved to Elgin as principal assistant to William Robertson, who died in June 1841, his practice being inherited by his nephews Alexander and William Reid. Mackenzie then commenced practice in Elgin on his own account. He was successful at once, securing the commission for Elgin Museum, and went on to become an extremely accomplished classical and Italianate architect in a style developed from Simpson's late work. In 1844 he formed a partnership with James Matthews, who had been serving his apprenticeship to Simpson when he was assistant there. Initially, Mackenzie did most of the designing in Elgin, Matthews attending to the management of the Aberdeen office. In 1844 they won the competition for the Free Church College (New College) in Edinburgh, in a competition assessed by Sir Charles Barry. The perspective, formerly at Bourtie, is now in the possession of Professor Alistair Rowan. The competition was set aside, however, and the commission given to W H Playfair.

On 22 July 1845, Mackenzie married Helen Margaret McInnes of Dandaleith, Rothes, at Rothes. The house and office was at Ladyhill, Elgin, to which he made Romanesque and baronial additions. In the late 1840s the London architect Robert William Billings became a particular friend when working on the Baronial and Ecclesiastical Antiquities of Scotland, their common interest in the subject resulting in Mackenzie being a particularly literate exponent of the Scots Baronial idiom. In 1851 articles by Mackenzie on ancient architecture in Moray appeared in the Elgin Courant in consecutive issues (11,18 & 23 April 1851).

Mackenzie died of brain fever - apparently brought on by an accident - on 15 October 1854. He left four sons: the eldest was Hugh who settled in Edinburgh; the second Alexander Marshall Mackenzie, architect; the third Thomas, who died 29 July 1867 aged 13; the fourth Francis William, who died 24 August 1884. An only daughter, Jane, died 19 June 1860 aged 7. His widow Helen Margaret died on 5 October 1894 (Headstone, Cathedral graveyard, per Elizabeth Beaton). James Matthews continued the practice alone, under his own name.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1Ladyhill, Elgin, Morayshire, ScotlandPrivate/business   

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 6William Macdonald Mackenzie  Apprentice 
Item 2 of 6David Mackenzie I 1835Assistant 
Item 3 of 6Archibald Simpson1835 Assistant 
Item 4 of 6John Smith18351835Assistant 
Item 5 of 6William Robertson18391841Principal Assistant 
Item 6 of 6Mackenzie & Matthews1844October 1854PartnerIn Elgin office

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 1191842Elgin MuseumElgin MorayshireScotlandPlans adopted
Item 2 of 1191842Newmore HouseInvergordon Ross and CromartyScotland 
Item 3 of 1191843Aberlour Burial GroundAberlour BanffshireScotlandReconstruction
Item 4 of 1191843Aberlour Manse with stables etcAberlour BanffshireScotlandRepairs
Item 5 of 1191843Bolleaster FarmAberlour BanffshireScotland 
Item 6 of 1191843Elgin Free ChurchElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 7 of 1191843Glass ManseGlass AberdeenshireScotlandReconstruction
Item 8 of 1191843House at CullenCullen BanffshireScotland 
Item 9 of 1191843House at RuthrieAberlour BanffshireScotland 
Item 10 of 1191843National Bank of Scotland, Forres BranchForres MorayshireScotlandCompletition of Robertson design
Item 11 of 1191843St Sylvester's RC Chapel, presbytery and schoolElgin MorayshireScotlandChurch and presbytery
Item 12 of 1191843Upper Mains FarmAberlour BanffshireScotland 
Item 13 of 1191844Forres Market CrossForres MorayshireScotlandMay or may not have been executed in partnership
Item 14 of 1191844Free High Church and Free Church College  EdinburghScotlandWon competition (although Playfair's design actually used)
Item 15 of 1191844Glass SchoolGlass AberdeenshireScotlandReconstruction
Item 16 of 1191844Grange HallForres MorayshireScotlandLong rear wing added
Item 17 of 1191844Houses on property of Bishop KyleElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 18 of 1191844Mary Park FarmhouseBallindalloch BanffshireScotland 
Item 19 of 1191844Mortlach ManseDufftown BanffshireScotlandRepairs and additions
Item 20 of 1191844Orton, Mausoleum for the Wharton Duff familyRothes MorayshireScotland 
Item 21 of 1191845Boharm Suspension Bridge, near GarbityBoat of Brig BanffshireScotlandRepairs and improvements
Item 22 of 1191845Drummuir House and gatelodgeDalmuir BanffshireScotlandLodge, stables & Mansion house built. Also later Factor's House
Item 23 of 1191845Elgin FountainElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 24 of 1191845Milne's Free SchoolFochabers MorayshireScotland 
Item 25 of 1191845Villa and gardens, BishopmillElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 26 of 119c. 1845Leuchars House  MorayshireScotland 
Item 27 of 1191846Ardross CastleAlness Ross and CromartyScotlandDesigns - executed by George Rhind
Item 28 of 1191846Double cottageElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 29 of 1191846Millbank HouseNairn NairnshireScotlandAdditions
Item 30 of 1191846Newmill ManufactoryElgin MorayshireScotlandAdditions and new roof
Item 31 of 1191847Aberdeen Poorhouse  AberdeenScotland 
Item 32 of 1191847Alvie ManseAlvie Inverness-shireScotlandBaronial additions
Item 33 of 1191847Ballindalloch HouseInveravon BanffshireScotlandHouse, stables & lodge at Levit Bridge
Item 34 of 1191847Caledonian BankInverness Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 35 of 1191847Dr Cooper's HouseOld Deer AberdeenshireScotlandAdditions
Item 36 of 1191847MarketForres MorayshireScotland 
Item 37 of 1191847Nigg School and schoolmaster's houseNigg KincardineshireScotland 
Item 38 of 1191847North of Scotland BankDufftown BanffshireScotland 
Item 39 of 1191847Orton House  MorayshireScotlandAdditions
Item 40 of 1191848Caledonian BankNairn NairnshireScotland 
Item 41 of 1191848Christ Church Episcopal ChurchHuntly AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 42 of 1191848Free Church SchoolNairn NairnshireScotland 
Item 43 of 1191848Lagmore FarmhouseBallindalloch BanffshireScotland 
Item 44 of 1191848New MarketElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 45 of 1191848Nigg Manse  KincardineshireScotland 
Item 46 of 119c. 1848Cawdor Castle  NairnshireScotlandExtension of W wing, addition of short bay and tower to S wing begun
Item 47 of 11918491-6 Rubislaw Place and 21, 23 Waverley Terrace  AberdeenScotlandTook over and built Simpson's design
Item 48 of 1191849Brucklay HouseNew Deer AberdeenshireScotlandRemodelling
Item 49 of 1191849Chapel of St Andrew  AberdeenScotlandConversion to public baths
Item 50 of 1191849CottageEllon AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 51 of 1191849Culloden MonumentCulloden Inverness-shireScotlandOnly partly executed
Item 52 of 1191849Ellon Castle (new)Ellon AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 53 of 1191849Ellon Girls' SchoolEllon AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 54 of 1191849Ellon PoorhouseEllon AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 55 of 1191849Knockespock House  AberdeenshireScotlandProposals to radically alter house with Baronial tower - not executed
Item 56 of 1191849Rubislaw Estate feuingRubislaw AberdeenScotlandTook over feuing and revised conditions (completed post-1861)
Item 57 of 1191849St John's Episcopal Church  AberdeenScotland 
Item 58 of 1191849St Mary's Parish ChurchBanff BanffshireScotlandTower completed to Robertson's plans under supervision of Thomas Mackenzie
Item 59 of 1191849The GablesBanff BanffshireScotland 
Item 60 of 1191850Aberlour SchoolAberlour BanffshireScotland 
Item 61 of 1191850All Saints Episcopal Church, WhiterashesWhiterashes AberdeenScotlandOriginal building
Item 62 of 1191850Arndilly House  BanffshireScotlandRemodelling
Item 63 of 1191850Ballindalloch HouseInveravon BanffshireScotlandFurther additions to house and lodge built
Item 64 of 1191850Buckie LodgeBuckie BanffshireScotlandAlterations and additions - the small out building attached to the back of the house and the high coombed ceiling on the first floor
Item 65 of 1191850Drumtochty Castle stables and coachhouse  KincardineshireScotland 
Item 66 of 1191850Free Church College  AberdeenScotland 
Item 67 of 1191850Gollanfield Mansion HouseGollanfield Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 68 of 1191850House of FetternearFetternear AberdeenshireScotlandScheme for returning house to 17th century appearance.
Item 69 of 1191850House, Hadden Street  AberdeenScotland 
Item 70 of 1191850Inveravon School  BanffshireScotland 
Item 71 of 1191850Kildrummy Manse and officesKildrummy AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 72 of 1191850ManseGlenmuick AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 73 of 119c. 1850Ballindalloch SchoolBallindalloch BanffshireScotland 
Item 74 of 119c. 1850Elgin Commercial BankElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 75 of 119c. 1850Knockespock House, Tower Lodge  KincardineshireScotland 
Item 76 of 119c. 1850North of Scotland BankOld Deer AberdeenshireScotland'Probably' (Buildings of Scotland)
Item 77 of 119c. 1850Orton Home Farm  MorayshireScotlandHS - 'possibly'
Item 78 of 1191851Aldourie Castle  Inverness-shireScotlandFirst remodelling, eastern tower addition, circular stair in the eastern re-entrant angle of the drawing room heightened to a Midmar-like form with a crenallted parapet.
Item 79 of 1191851Culloden House, LodgeCulloden Inverness-shireScotlandNew lodge
Item 80 of 1191851Dess House  AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 81 of 1191851Free High ChurchInverness Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 82 of 1191851House, Brae of Coynach, ClolaOld Deer AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 83 of 1191851St Andrew's Masonic HallBanff BanffshireScotland 
Item 84 of 1191851St Drostan's Episcopal ChurchOld Deer AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 85 of 1191851Villa in InvernessInverness Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 86 of 1191851Wartle HouseRayne AberdeenshireScotlandAdditions - may be mainly responsible
Item 87 of 1191852Caledonian BankForres MorayshireScotland 
Item 88 of 1191852Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and parsonageElgin MorayshireScotlandRecasting
Item 89 of 1191852Lerwick ManseLerwickMainlandShetlandScotland 
Item 90 of 1191852Nairn UP ChurchNairn NairnshireScotland 
Item 91 of 1191852Newton HouseAlves MorayshireScotlandAdditions and laterations with some internal remodelling
Item 92 of 1191852Rathen Manse and OfficesRathen AberdeenshireScotlandProvided alternative cheaper plan but Smith plan selected
Item 93 of 1191852Stonehaven Free Church ManseStonehaven KincardineshireScotland 
Item 94 of 1191852Strathdon Parish ChurchStrathdon AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 95 of 119c. 1852Free Church ManseHuntly AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 96 of 1191853Birsay and Harray Manse MainlandOrkneyScotland 
Item 97 of 1191853Elgin Station HotelElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 98 of 1191853Firth and Stenness Manse MainlandOrkneyScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 99 of 1191853Fraserburgh Town Hall and police officeFraserburgh AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 100 of 1191853Holy Trinity Episcopal SchoolElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 101 of 1191853Ladyhill HouseElgin MorayshireScotlandAlterations
Item 102 of 1191853Seafield HouseBanff BanffshireScotland 
Item 103 of 1191853Strichen ManseStrichen AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 104 of 1191853Union Club House  AberdeenScotland 
Item 105 of 11918545th Duke of Gordon Monument, LadyhillElgin MorayshireScotlandStatue added
Item 106 of 1191854Auldbar Estate, cottages  AngusScotland 
Item 107 of 1191854Balnagask FarmNigg Ross and CromartyScotland 
Item 108 of 1191854Birse Parish ChurchBirse AberdeenshireScotlandRepairs
Item 109 of 1191854Cawdor Castle  NairnshireScotlandAlterations - 'Gentle baronialisation'
Item 110 of 1191854Dall House  PerthshireScotlandHouse
Item 111 of 1191854Episcopal ChurchInverness Inverness-shireScotlandCompletion of tower
Item 112 of 1191854Fife Arms HotelLhanbryde MorayshireScotland 
Item 113 of 1191854Milton of Leys steading  Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 114 of 1191854Royal Northern InfirmaryInverness Inverness-shireScotlandPorter's Lodge (and other work?)
Item 115 of 1191854St Mary'sRothes MorayshireScotlandAdditions and remodelling of earlier house
Item 116 of 1191854St Mary's CottageOrton MorayshireScotland'Probably' (HS)
Item 117 of 119Before 1854House for Dr GeddesElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 118 of 119Before 1854Pluscarden PrioryPluscarden, Elgin MorayshireScotlandRepairs?
Item 119 of 119Before 1854St John's Episcopal ChurchForres MorayshireScotlandAlterations and additions


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 6APSD The Dictionary of Architectureed Wyatt PapworthThe Architectural Publication Society (8v 1852-1892) 
Item 2 of 6Bailey, Rebecca M1996Scottish architects' papers: a source book Edinburgh: The Rutland Pressp97
Item 3 of 6Gifford, John1980Architects of the Highlands in the Nineteenth Century, A SketchNo 7, September 1980, pp29-48The Scottish Georgian Society Bulletin, Edinburgh, 1980pp37-39
Item 4 of 6Gray, A Stuart1985Edwardian Architecture: A Biographical Dictionary  pp248-249
Item 5 of 6Lippe, William1979The Scottish baronial house in Aberdeenshire of the Mackenzies and James Matthews The Robert Gordon University post graduate dissertation 
Item 6 of 6Scotlands People Website Wills & Testaments  Elgin Asheriff Court Inventories Sc26/39/7

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 4Aberdeen Journal18 October 1854   
Item 2 of 4Builder18 November 1854  p593 obituary
Item 3 of 4Elgin Courant20 October 1854  Obituary
Item 4 of 4Forres Gazette17 October 1854  Obituary


© All rights reserved. Edinburgh Architectural Association 1907 Exhibition Catalogue  

© All rights reserved. Edinburgh Architectural Association 1907 Exhibition Catalogue