Basic Biographical Details

Name: Arthur Fyfe
Designation: Architect
Born: 10 October 1863
Bio Notes: Arthur Fyfe was born in Anderston, Glasgow on 10 October 1863, the son of John Fyfe and Eliza Adam. He was articled to Baird & Thomson in 1879, remaining as junior assistant until 1885. In that year he emigrated to South Africa for health reasons, spending some time in the north of the country before joining Street Wilson & Barr of Durban as an assistant. He is credited with the design of the Town Hall at Pietermaritzburg, a large towered edifice in brick and terracotta begun on the site of old Raadshall in 1891, although at that time he was only a senior assistant with the firm. In 1893, following the death of Percy Marsden Barr, he was made a partner, although the name of Street Wilson & Barr was retained.

Fyfe was the first Vice-President and second President of the Natal Society of Architects.

In 1898 the Street Wilson & Barr office was burnt and for some reason the partnership was dissolved, Street Wilson rebuilding it in an enlarged form in 1899-1901. Fyfe then set up in practice on his own account, but business was interrupted by the South African War and closed in 1905. Fyfe then returned to Britain and officially went into retirement, although he built a house for himself and continued to execute occasional commissions from his home, 'One Oak', Foxley Lane, Purley, Surrey. He was admitted LRIBA on 20 March 1911, his proposers being William Dunn, Neil Campbell Duff, and Frederick George Brudenell-Bruce Hawkins, who had been Fyfe's apprentice in Durban from 1900 to 1905 and had also returned to England. In a letter accompanying his nomination papers, Fyfe mentions that Charles Henry Bourne Quennell and Sydney Joseph Tatchell were also friends of his.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 3Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate18631885Place of birth
Item 2 of 3Field Street Buildings, Durban, South AfricaBusiness18981905 
Item 3 of 3One Oak, Foxley Lane, Purley, Surrey, EnglandPrivate1911 *  

* 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):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 4Baird & Thomson18791885Apprentice 
Item 2 of 4Baird & Thomson18851885Assistant 
Item 3 of 4Street Wilson & BarrAfter 18851893Assistant 
Item 4 of 4Street Wilson & Barr18931898Partner 

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 1Frederick George Brudenell-Bruce Hawkins19001905Apprentice 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Neil Campbell Duff20 March 1911for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 3William Dunn20 March 1911for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 3Frederick George Brudenell-Bruce Hawkins20 March 1911for Licentiateship


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 2Seymour, D Picton Victorian buildings in South Africa  p259
Item 2 of Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints: Website 

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v12 no780 (microfilm reel 33)