Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Miller
Designation: Architect, Engineer
Born: 26 July 1805
Died: 7 May 1883
Bio Notes: John Miller was born in Ayr on 26 July 1805, the eighth child of James Miller, who started out as a joiner but who moved from West Kilbride to Ayr where he became a successful builder, and his wife Margaret Caldwell. He was educated at Ayr Academy and at the University of Edinburgh and commenced his professional training in the office of Mr C D Gairdner, solicitor, at the age of twelve, but after a five-year apprenticeship he decided to train as a land surveyor, entering the office of Thomas Grainger in Edinburgh in 1823. Two years later Grainger took him into partnership as Grainger & Miller.

The practice was concerned almost exclusively with railway engineering in Scotland and England, Grainger and Miller working separately although remaining in partnership until c. 1847. Miller was elected an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers in June 1830, and transferred to Member in May 1832. On 30 November 1834 he married Isabella Ogilvie, daughter of a Perth merchant and the couple had four daughters and a son.

By 1835 Miller was chief engineer for the Dundee and Arbroath Railway, the Glasgow, Ayr and Kilmarnock Railway (later the Glasgow and South Western Railway) and the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway, among others. He was esteemed in railway circles, not only as an organiser, but as a successful designer of steam locomotives.

Miller was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh from 1840.

Miller retired in 1849 and purchased the estates of Leithenhopes in Peeblesshire and Drumlithie in Kincardineshire, devoting much of his time thereafter to the management and improvement of these estates. He contested Stirling on 13 July 1852 and Edinburgh in 1865 and became a Member of Parliament for the City of Edinburgh in 1868 but lost his seat at the general election in 1874. He is described in the 1881 Census as 'Estate Owner'. He died in Edinburgh on 7 May 1883, leaving estate of 37,475 19s 8d.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect, engineer:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 650, Northumberland Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivateBefore September 1835After May 1838 
Item 2 of 623, Rutland Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivateBefore December 1840After July 1842 
Item 3 of 6Millfield House, Polmont, Stirlingshire, ScotlandPrivateBefore March 1844 *After 1861 
Item 4 of 6Leithen Lodge, Innerleithen, Peeblesshire, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1867After 1880 
Item 5 of 646, Hyde Park Square, London, EnglandPrivate1871 *  
Item 6 of 62, Melville Crescent, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1879After 1880 

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect, engineer (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 1Grainger & MillerBefore 18371845Partner 

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architect, engineer (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 4James Fairlie (or Fairie or Farrie) Blair  Apprentice 
Item 2 of 4David Bell  Engineer 
Item 3 of 4Charles Joppc. 1841c. 1847Apprentice 
Item 4 of 4Charles Joppc. 18471850Chief Assistant 

Buildings and Designs

This architect, engineer 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 251837Newhaven HarbourNewhaven EdinburghScotlandSea wall
Item 2 of 251838Broughty Ferry Railway StationBroughty Ferry AngusScotland 
Item 3 of 251838Queen's Bridge over the River IrvineIrvine AyrshireScotland 
Item 4 of 251840Slateford railway viaduct  EdinburghScotland 
Item 5 of 25c. 1840Bridge over Railway  EdinburghScotland 
Item 6 of 25c. 1840Bridge over Railway  EdinburghScotland 
Item 7 of 25c. 1840Haymarket Station  EdinburghScotlandWith David Bell as designer
Item 8 of 25c. 1840Railway tunnel  EdinburghScotland 
Item 9 of 251841Railway Bridge over Warriston Road and the Water of Leith  EdinburghScotland 
Item 10 of 251842Linlithgow Railway StationLinlithgow West LothianScotland 
Item 11 of 251843Bridge, Russell Place  EdinburghScotland 
Item 12 of 25c. 1844Waverley Station  EdinburghScotlandStation begun - with David Bell as architect
Item 13 of 251845North Leith StationLeith EdinburghScotlandCompleted in 1846 after dissolution of Grainger & Miller partnership; unclear whether primarily by Grainger or Miller
Item 14 of 25c. 1845Railway BridgeWarriston EdinburghScotland 
Item 15 of 251846Ballochmyle Railway ViaductMauchline AyrshireScotland 
Item 16 of 251846Cupar Station, station house, offices and railway BridgeCupar FifeScotland 
Item 17 of 251847Melrose Railway StationMelrose RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 18 of 251847Railway Station and ancillary buildingsBurntisland FifeScotlandAs engineer
Item 19 of 251847ViaductKilmarnock AyrshireScotland 
Item 20 of 251848Bank ViaductCumnock AyrshireScotland 
Item 21 of 251850Crawick Railway ViaductSanquhar DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 22 of 251850Railway ViaductMennock DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 23 of 251852Polmont SchoolPolmont StirlingshireScotlandOriginal school. It has been concluded that since the architect/engineer John Miller lived in Polmont at precisely this date, that he was responsible.
Item 24 of 251860Railway ViaductAirdrie    
Item 25 of 25c. 1875Kirkwall HarbourKirkwallMainlandOrkneyScotlandWest pier rebuilt in stone


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect, engineer:
Item 1 of 3  Accessed February 2011
Item 2 of 3  Accessed February 2011
Item 3 of Ayrshire Electronic Community website: page on Ballochmyle Viaduct 

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect, engineer:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 5Census records onlineCensuses  
Item 2 of 5Courtesy of Cathleen DuffInformation setn via 'Contact Us' on website Sent February 2011
Item 3 of 5H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 4 of 5HM New Register HouseOPR (Register of births)  
Item 5 of 5National Archives (via Scotlands People)Statutory births