Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Rutherford Johnstone
Designation: Architect
Born: 15 August 1880
Died: 5 September 1960
Bio Notes: John Rutherford Johnstone was born on 15 August 1880, the son of James Johnstone, estate agent and his wife Margaret Gilfillan Scroggie. He was educated at Ayr Academy, and was articled to Clarke & Bell and R A Bryden in 1897. He studied architecture and building construction at Glasgow School of Art (1900-01), Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College and Glasgow Athenaeum, also taking classes in clay modelling and drawing from the antique. He passed the South Kensington exams and in 1902 returned to Ayr to work for J & H V Eaglesham, where within four years he had been entrusted with the position of principal draughtsman for several large contracts, including the Burgh of Ayr Infectious Diseases Hospital. He spent holidays travelling in France and Germany.

He left the Eagleshams in 1907 to seek practical experience with the Kilmarnock contracting firm of Messrs M Muir & Co. During his two years there he had charge of several country houses in various parts of Scotland. He commenced practice on his own account at The Cross, Troon in 1909. In conjunction with John Speir, he wrote and illustrated a book on the 'Housing of Cows' for the Board of Agriculture. He was admitted LRIBA on 20 March 1911, his proposers being John Eaglesham, James Kennedy Hunter of Ayr and Andrew Robertson of Bryden & Robertson, Glasgow. He was a member of the Glasgow Institute of Architects.

Johnstone continued to practise in the same town after the First World War, designing Voyseyish Arts and Crafts villas. He married Doris Ward Tattersall. He is still listed in the RIBA Kalendar of 1950 with an address in Troon.

He died of lung cancer at 30 Darley Crescent, Troon on 5 September 1960.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 4The Cross, Troon, Ayrshire, ScotlandBusiness1909 *After 1914 
Item 2 of 4Alloway, Ayrshire, ScotlandPrivate1911 *  
Item 3 of 4Branford, off Bentinck Drive, Troon, Ayrshire, ScotlandPrivate/business(?)Before 19231939 or after 1940 
Item 4 of 430, Darley Crescent, Troon, Ayrshire, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1925After 1950 

* 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 3Clarke & Bell and R A Bryden18971902Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3J & H V Eaglesham19021907Assistant 
Item 3 of 3Messrs M Muir & Co19071909Assistant 

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 2John Turnbull19111912Assistant 
Item 2 of 2Ronald McPherson Watson YoungMay 1925Before May 1929Apprentice 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3John Eaglesham20 March 1911for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 3James Kennedy Hunter20 March 1911for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 3Andrew Robertson20 March 1911for Licentiateship

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 401906Burgh of Ayr Infectious Diseases HospitalAyr AyrshireScotlandAs principal draughtsman for J & H V Eaglesham
Item 2 of 401907Damhead HouseKilmarnock AyrshireScotland 
Item 3 of 401909Block of the corner of Cathcart Street and Boswell ParkAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 4 of 401909Piersland Lodge, gatelodge and stable blockTroon AyrshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 5 of 401910121 Bentinck DriveTroon AyrshireScotlandAlterations or original design? Sources vary
Item 6 of 40c. 1910ShandwickTroon AyrshireScotland'Possibly' (HS attribution)
Item 7 of 40c. 1910South LodgeTroon AyrshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 8 of 401911Bungalow for J Munn Ross EsqTroon AyrshireScotland 
Item 9 of 401911Bungalow for Thomas RobertsonAlloway AyrshireScotland 
Item 10 of 401911Liberal ClubAyr AyrshireScotlandIn collaboration with John St Clair Williamson
Item 11 of 401911Tenements, SandgateAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 12 of 40c. 1911ArderyTroon AyrshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 13 of 40c. 1911Balmain Estate  KincardineshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 14 of 40c. 1911Bungalow for Alex Muir EsqTroon AyrshireScotland 
Item 15 of 40c. 1911Bungalow for Gavin AndersonTroon AyrshireScotland 
Item 16 of 40c. 1911Caprington Estate, Factor's House  AyrshireScotland 
Item 17 of 40c. 1911Dailly Public SchoolDailly AyrshireScotland 
Item 18 of 40c. 1911DoonholmAyr AyrshireScotlandAlterations and additions on estate
Item 19 of 40c. 1911House for James LoveLochwinnoch RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 20 of 40c. 1911Lochside  RenfrewshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 21 of 40c. 1911Muirkirk EstateMuirkirk AyrshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 22 of 40c. 1911Muirkirk Public SchoolMuirkirk AyrshireScotland 
Item 23 of 401912Clochranhill  AyrshireScotland 
Item 24 of 401912Westercroft  AyrshireScotland 
Item 25 of 40c. 1912Block of model housesTroon Ayrshire  
Item 26 of 401914Pavilion Picture HouseGirvan AyrshireScotlandOriginal building
Item 27 of 401914Piersland Lodge, gatelodge and stable blockTroon AyrshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 28 of 401916Highgrove HouseLoans AyrshireScotland'almost certainly' by Johnstone according to 'Buildings of Scotland'
Item 29 of 401919133-135 Bentinck DriveTroon AyrshireScotlandAddition
Item 30 of 401919Piersland Lodge, gatelodge and stable blockTroon AyrshireScotlandAlterations and additions including verandah
Item 31 of 401920Housing SchemeTroon AyrshireScotland 
Item 32 of 40Before 1923Cambusdoon Estate  AyrshireScotlandUnspecified work for Baird Trustees
Item 33 of 40Before 1923GadgirthAnnbank AyrshireScotlandUnspecified estate work
Item 34 of 40Before 1923Urie HouseFetteresso KincardineshireScotlandUnspecified estate work
Item 35 of 401925Lochside  RenfrewshireScotlandFurther alterations with Thomas Harold Hughes
Item 36 of 401925Troon Golf ClubhouseTroon AyrshireScotlandCurved porch added
Item 37 of 40c. 1925EborTroon AyrshireScotland 
Item 38 of 40c. 1925VillaTroon AyrshireScotlandGiven in 'Buildings of Scotland'
Item 39 of 401927St Ninian's Episcopal Church HallTroon AyrshireScotland 
Item 40 of 401937Thistle InnPrestwick AyrshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 5British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   
Item 2 of 5Close, Robert1992Ayrshire and Arran, an Illustrated Architectural Guide Edinburgh: RIASp47
Item 3 of 5RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 4 of 5Walker, Frank Arneil1986South Clyde Estuary: An Illustrated Architectural Guide to Inverclyde and Renfrew  p68
Item 5 of 5Who's Who in Architecture1914    

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Additional research by Iain Paterson
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v14 no987