Basic Biographical Details

Name: Patrick Allan-Fraser
Designation: Architect
Born: 1813
Died: 17 September 1890
Bio Notes: Patrick Allan-Fraser was born in Arbroath in 1813 as Patrick Allan, third and youngest son of Robert Allan, stocking-maker, and Isabella MacDonald. Initially he was articled to his maternal uncle John MacDonald of Lowson & MacDonald WS, Town Clerks and solicitors, Arbroath but did not take to a legal career. He was then indentured in his grandfather's house-painting business, Alexander MacDonald & Son, the son of the firm being an enthusiastic amateur painter who encouraged Patrick to study at the Trustees' Academy at the end of his apprenticeship. There he became acquainted with Robert Scott Lauder, following him to Rome in the mid-1830s. The Lauders returned to Scotland in 1838 but Fraser settled for a time in Paris, making a living by painting views of the city. He was back in Arbroath by 1839, but in 1840 or 1841 he settled in London, living at 11 Upper Seymour Street, Euston Square.

A commission from the Edinburgh publisher Cadell to illustrate a new edition of Scott's 'The Antiquary' brought Allan back to Arbroath in 1842. The book never materialised but when visiting Hospitalfield, the 'Monkbarns' in Scott's book, he became acquainted with the recently widowed Elizabeth Fraser. They married in September 1843. At that date the Hospitalfield estate was in a neglected condition and the first years of their marriage were spent in retrieving tenancies, repairing farm buildings and roads and in suing his uncle when he dismissed him as agent and factor as a result of a conflict of interest arising from his being secretary of the Dundee and Arbroath Railway Company. By 1849 Patrick Allan and his wife were sufficiently well-off to begin the remodelling of Hospitalfield House to his own designs. In the meantime Elizabeth's mother Elizabeth Parrott Fraser had inherited the Parrott estates in Birmingham from her brother. When she died in 1851 their income was considerably augmented, and Patrick took the additional surname of Fraser. The transformation of their Blackcraig estate in Strathardle began in 1856. At both sites Patrick Allan-Fraser was also his own contractor; his thoughts on architecture were expressed in a Pugin-derived lecture 'Architecture with special reference to local buildngs', published in 'The Building Chronicle' in May 1854 as 'Amateur Criticism of Architectural Works' with a commentary by the editor James Maclaren. His ideas on building the economy and morality generally were set out in a large treatise 'An Unpopular View of Our Times' published in 1861.

In 1873 Elizabeth Allan-Fraser died, an event which was the catalyst for the building of the Fraser Mortuary Chapel in Arbroath Cemetery from 1875 onwards. In all three of his building projects sculpture and woodcarving had an important role. It was in the hands of David Mavor, his coachman's nephew, and John Hutchison, who commenced his career as a woodcarver's apprentice at Hosptialfield.

Patrick Allan-Fraser was elected HRSA in 1871 and President of the British Academy of Art in Rome in 1873, latterly spending much of his time there and becoming acquainted with the American sculptor William Rinehart. He died on 17 September 1890, Hospitalfield being endowed with the residue of his estate as an art college 'for the assistance and encouragement of young men not having means of their own who shall be desirous of following up one or more of the professions of painting, sculpture, carving in wood, architecture and engraving'.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 4Paris, FrancePrivate1838 *  
Item 2 of 4Arbroath, Angus, ScotlandPrivate1839 *  
Item 3 of 411, Upper Seymour Street, Euston Square, London, EnglandPrivate1840 or 1841  
Item 4 of 4Arbroath, Angus, ScotlandBusiness18421890 

* earliest date known from documented sources.


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 9After 1849Hospitalfield  AngusScotlandRebuilding of granary as saloon or picture gallery, linking tower, remodelling of remainder, building of fernery and addition of Cedar Chamber over archway to service court.
Item 2 of 91850sHospitalfield , steading  AngusScotlandRemodelling of 18th century steading with semi-ruined neo-Medieval gatehouse
Item 3 of 91850sHospitalfield, south lodge  AngusScotlandDesigned as semi-ruined structure
Item 4 of 9After 1852BlackcraigStrathardle PerthshireScotlandRemodelling of existing house as Scottish Baronial castle
Item 5 of 9After 1856Blackcraig lodge and gatesStrathardle PerthshireScotland 
Item 6 of 91860sHospitalfield, north lodge  AngusScotland 
Item 7 of 9c. 1860Blackcraig, fortified walled gardenStrathardle PerthshireScotland 
Item 8 of 91870Blackcraig fortified bridge with lodge cap house over River ErichtStrathardle PerthshireScotland 
Item 9 of 91875Fraser Mortuary Chapel, Arbroath Cemetery (Western Cemetery)Arbroath AngusScotland 

References

Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
 Author(s)DateTitlePartPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Hospitalfield1990Hospitalfield: Patrick Allan-Fraser and his art collection National Galleries of Scotland 
Item 2 of 2Millar, A H1890The Historical Castles and Mansions of Scotland: Perthshire and Forfarshire  pp206-213

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Building Chronicle10 May 1854I 'Lecture on Architecture' by Patrick Allan-Fraser, p4