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:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|Paris, France||Private||1838 *|| || |
|Arbroath, Angus, Scotland||Private||1839 *|| || |
|11, Upper Seymour Street, Euston Square, London, England||Private||1840 or 1841|| || |
|Arbroath, Angus, Scotland||Business||1842||1890|| |
* earliest date known from documented sources.
Buildings and Designs
|The following books contain references to this architect:|
|Hospitalfield||1990||Hospitalfield: Patrick Allan-Fraser and his art collection|| ||National Galleries of Scotland|| |
|Millar, A H||1890||The Historical Castles and Mansions of Scotland: Perthshire and Forfarshire|| || ||pp206-213|
|The following periodicals contain references to this architect:|
| ||Periodical Name||Date||Edition||Publisher||Notes|
|Building Chronicle||10 May 1854||I|| ||'Lecture on Architecture' by Patrick Allan-Fraser, p4|