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Basic Biographical Details

Name: Oliver Falvey Hill
Designation: Architect
Born: 15 June 1887
Died: 28 May 1968
Bio Notes: Oliver Falvey Hill was born at 89 Queen's Gate, London on 15 June 1887, the seventh son of William Neave Hill, a London businessman of Aberdonian descent. He was educated at Reigate and at Uppingham. The family were friends of Lutyens, and on his advice Hill spent eighteen months in a builders' yard to gain knowledge of materials before commencing his architectural studies. This he did with J Simpson & Son, Dorset Street. In 1907 at the end of his time there, he was articled to William Flockhart rather than to Lutyens, and began studying under Hugh Patrick Guarin Maule at the Architectural Association where he became a particular friend of Philip Dalton Hepworth. Hill commenced practice in 1910, his first clients being family friends. His practice was broken by the First World War during which he served with distinction in the London Scottish. He resumed practice at 23 Golden Square in 1919, his first major commission being Scottish, Cour in Argyll in an Arts and Crafts neo-Tudor style with Scottish nuances in the plan-form.

In the late 1920s Hill moved office to 9 Hanover Street, London and from 1930 onwards he became a modernist under the influence of Raymond McGrath who had introduced him to Mansfield Forbes and the Twentieth Century Group, a circle of which Ian Lindsay, Robert Hurd and L A C Simpson were also members: and he became part of the 'Country Life' circle through sharing his weekend house, Valewood Farm, Haslemere with Christopher Hussey, then a enthusiast for continental modernism. He was not, however, wholly committed to the modern movement and continued to provide Arts and Crafts and accomplished neo-Georgian and Lutyensesque houses according to the desires of the client. Hill attempted to rejoin the London Scottish at the beginning of the Second World War but was not accepted because of his age. After the War when too many of his commissions did not go ahead, he turned his attention to the castles of his family's native Aberdeenshire, articles on which were published in 'Country Life' from 1945. This interest soon extended to the rest of Scotland and culminated in the publication of 'Scottish Castles of the 16th and 17th Centuries' published in 1953, the year in which he eventually married. By that date he had partly retired from practice and was living at his country house, Daneway, Gloucestershire, from which he continued his practice, mainly on a consultancy basis but including one substantial house, the Priory at Long Newton, Gloucestershire (1966) until his death at Daneway on 28 May 1968. His last book, 'English Country Houses: Caroline' - the writing of which was assisted by John Cornforth on Hussey's advice - was published in their joint names in 1966.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 349, Dover Street, London, EnglandBusiness1911 *19288 
Item 2 of 323, Golden Square, London, EnglandBusinessBefore 1914After 1920 
Item 3 of 39, Hanover Street|Hanover Square, London, EnglandBusinessBefore 1929After 1968 

* 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 2J Simpson & Son19051907Apprentice 
Item 2 of 2William Flockhart19071910Apprentice 

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 1James Douglas5 October 1934After 1936Assistant 


RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 1James Douglas9 March 1936for Associateship

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 71920Springfield  BerwickshireScotlandAlterations - not carried out
Item 2 of 71921Cour House and estate buildings  ArgyllScotlandTook over from Clifford to complete house, power house and cottages
Item 3 of 71928Glenogil (or Glenogle?) HouseForfar AngusScotlandAdditions, redecoration and refurnishing
Item 4 of 71934CraigmuirKilmacolm/Kilmalcolm RenfrewshireScotlandProposed - not carried out
Item 5 of 71953Birkhall  AberdeenshireScotlandSketch designs - not executed
Item 6 of 71954Wemyss CastleEast Wemyss FifeScotlandProposed alterations and additions - not executed
Item 7 of 71965Inchdrewer Castle  BanffshireScotlandRebuilding scheme - not carried out but probably influenced the executed scheme by John Lamb of George Bennet Mitchell & Son


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 3British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   
Item 2 of 3Powers, Alan1989Oliver Hill, architect and lover of life 1887-1968  Gives full listing of his writings and articles on his work up to that date
Item 3 of 3Royal Academy exhibitors    1921, no 987

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Building3 May 1968   
Item 2 of 2Country Life14 November 1996   


© All rights reserved. RIBA Library Photographs Collection 

© All rights reserved. RIBA Library Photographs Collection