Basic Biographical Details

Name: T Pilkington & Son
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: Late 1853 or early 1854
Ended: 1863(?)
Bio Notes: Thomas Pilkington was born c.1799. His father Jonathan Pilkington, a Stamford parson (d.1844), came of building and carpenter stock. In 1830 he married Jane Butterworth, who belonged to an ardent Methodist family. Thomas set up architectural practice in Stamford and took up his freedom in 1832 but was burnt out of his office in 1838 and moved to Barn Hill by 1842; by 1849 he was in Bourne with his own brickworks. His son Frederick Thomas was born in 1832 and first trained with his father before being articled in London for one year, subsequently returning to his father's firm.

The family moved to Edinburgh in 1854, apparently because of a lawsuit. Thomas set up house and office at 9 South-East Circus Place. It was at this time or early the previous year that Frederick Thomas was taken into partnership, the firm exhibiting designs at the RSA in 1854 under the name of T Pilkington & Son.

Frederick studied mathematics under Professor Kelland, passed his exams in 1858 and was Hamilton prizewinner in Logic, but did not bother to graduate. He signed the University Matriculation Register 1856/7 as of Stamford. In 1858 he married with a house at Mary Cottage, Trinity and in 1859 he built Inchglas, Broich Terrace, Crieff (as a weekend house?); he never lived there but his father was living there in 1860, at which time there may have been a branch office there. About 1859-60 the practice was based at 6 North Charlotte Street which was his father's house and office, but in the latter year house and office were moved to 24 George Street. In or about the same year, Frederick became friendly with John Cowan, the paper-maker of Penicuik, whose diary records a continental tour undertaken with Pilkington in the early 1860s.

On 10 March 1861 Frederick Thomas's first wife died in childbirth, and he married Elizabeth Cropley from Ely five months later, first with a house at 27 St Bernard Crescent and then at 14 Cumin Place later in the same year.

By that date Pilkington had progressed from exhibiting at the RSA to actually building a series of ambitious geometrically planned churches, mostly with tall lucarned spires, boldly scaled naturalistic sculpture, and sometimes polychrome masonry, all of Ruskinian inspiration; in Venetian Romanesque form the style extended into his domestic practice in a series of large houses in Edinburgh, Port Glasgow, Penicuik and Walkerburn.

The father-and-son partnership ended in 1863 when Thomas went into semi-retirement in Kelso, perhaps as a result of undertaking the building of his son's Free Church there in the capacity of clerk-of-works. Frederick then transferred his office to 2 Hill Street.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 69, South East Circus Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1854 *  
Item 2 of 610, Dundas Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1855  
Item 3 of 66, North Charlotte Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1859 *  
Item 4 of 6Inchglas, Broich Terrace, Crieff, Perthshire, ScotlandBusiness1860 * Possibly used as a branch office
Item 5 of 624, George Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness18601863 
Item 6 of 62, Hill Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 18641883 

* earliest date known from documented sources.

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 2Frederick Thomas Pilkington18541863(?)Partner 
Item 2 of 2Thomas Pilkington18541863(?)Senior Partner 

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 171854Cemetery ChapelsSpalding LincolnshireEnglandWon competition to secure job
Item 2 of 171854Church design     
Item 3 of 171854Houses for the working classes     
Item 4 of 171854Mansion for Charles HannahSpalding LincolnshireEngland 
Item 5 of 171856Crieff SchoolCrieff PerthshireScotlandWest end of front block
Item 6 of 171858Four houses, Broomhill RoadBurntisland FifeScotland 
Item 7 of 171859InchglasCrieff PerthshireScotland 
Item 8 of 171859Kirkhill SchoolPenicuik MidlothianScotland 
Item 9 of 171860ParkendPenicuik MidlothianScotland 
Item 10 of 17c. 1860Valleyfield Mill School and schoolhousePenicuik MidlothianScotlandAlterations including fireplace
Item 11 of 171861Monumental shrine for BeithBeith AyrshireScotland 
Item 12 of 171861Scottish National Institution for the Training of Imbecile ChildrenLarbert StirlingshireScotlandOriginal building (Skye Building and principal block) - completed by F T Pilkington alone
Item 13 of 171861Trinity ChurchIrvine AyrshireScotland 
Item 14 of 171862Barclay ChurchBruntsfield EdinburghScotlandWon commission and secured job.
Item 15 of 171862Free ChurchPenicuik MidlothianScotland 
Item 16 of 171862Free Church, Canongate  EdinburghScotland 
Item 17 of 171862WoodsleePenicuik MidlothianScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
Item 1 of 1Post Office Directories