Basic Biographical Details

Name: William Robertson
Designation: Architect
Born: 1786
Died: 12 June 1841
Bio Notes: William Robertson was born in 1786 in the parish of Lonmay in Aberdeenshire. He seems to have been working in Cullen, Banffshire in the early 1820s, perhaps before moving to Elgin shortly thereafter. An advertisement appeared in the Aberdeen Journal of 18 February 1824 which called for contractors and outlined a number of buildings in Cullen which Colonel F W Grant of Grant intended to erect. Grant was an MP and brother of the Earl (who was mentally incapacitated) and set about a programme of improvement from about 1819. Besides those buildings listed below he employed Robertson to design a variety of cottages and ‘inferior buildings’. The plans for these were to be shown by ‘Mr Robertson, architect at Cullen’. In about 1823 he seems to have established an office in Elgin. His high quality draughtsmanship suggests he had spent time in an architectural office in Aberdeen or Edinburgh. Colvin states that the office may have been that of John Paterson who had been in Elgin before returning to Edinburgh in 1789.

Robertson had a busy practice and designed buildings in Morayshire and Banffshire, including buildings for the Established, Episcopal and Roman Catholic Churches as well as undertaking new country house commissions and alterations.

Robertson died at Elgin on 12 June 1841. A tombstone in Elgin Cathedral churchyard commemorates him. His nephews and pupils Alexander and William Reid took over the business.

‘A Series of Views of the Ruins of Elgin Cathedral … with ground plan and table of measurements by Mr Robertson, architect’ (1826)

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1Elgin, Morayshire, ScotlandBusiness   

Employment and Training

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 3Thomas Mackenzie18391841Principal Assistant 
Item 2 of 3William Reidc. 1840 * Apprentice 
Item 3 of 3Alexander ReidBefore 1841 Apprentice 

* 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 158 Forres Tolbooth and court houseForres MorayshireScotland 
Item 2 of 1581814Aberdour ManseAberdour AberdeenshireScotlandDrew up plan- modified by Alexander Laing after long running dispute.
Item 3 of 1581817Parish Manse and officesFraserburgh AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 4 of 1581818Aberdour Parish ChurchNew Aberdour Aberdeenshire?ScotlandMay be the designer of this church - first use of Tudor Gothic in Aberdeenshire
Item 5 of 1581818St Drostan's ChurchNew Aberdour AberdeenshireScotlandMay have been responsible on grounds of similarity to Gamrie.
Item 6 of 1581820Burgh CrossCullen BanffshireScotlandProbably remodelled
Item 7 of 1581820Premises, Reidhaven StreetCullen BanffshireScotland'Probably' (HS)
Item 8 of 158c. 1820128, 130, 132, 132A High StreetForres MorayshireScotland'Probably' (HS)
Item 9 of 158c. 18202, 4, 6 Seafield StreetCullen BanffshireScotland'Probably' (HS)
Item 10 of 158c. 182022-24 Seafield StreetPortsoy BanffshireScotlandIn the style of William Robertson
Item 11 of 158c. 18207, 9 11 Seafield PlaceCullen BanffshireScotland'Probably' (HS)
Item 12 of 158c. 1820TempleCullen BanffshireScotland 
Item 13 of 1581821Cullen House, Old LaundryCullen BanffshireScotland 
Item 14 of 1581822Cullen House, Temple of PomonaRathven BanffshireScotlandTemple of Fame- probably after a design by James Playfair
Item 15 of 1581822ManseFochabers MorayshireScotlandHS attribution
Item 16 of 1581822Seafield Arms Hotel and Stables and Town HallCullen BanffshireScotland 
Item 17 of 158182336, 38, 40 Seafield Street and 7, 9 The SquareCullen BanffshireScotland 
Item 18 of 15818236, 8, 10, 12, 16 The SquareCullen BanffshireScotland16 is probably by William Robertson as well as others.
Item 19 of 1581823Anderson's InstitutionForres MorayshireScotland 
Item 20 of 1581823Anderson's SchoolForres MorayshireScotland 
Item 21 of 1581823Houses, 23, 25 Seafield Street and 16 The SquareCillen BanffshireScotland 
Item 22 of 1581823Rathven ChurchRathven BanffshireScotlandRepairs
Item 23 of 158c. 18231, 3, 7, 9 The SquareCullen BanffshireScotland'Probably' (HS)
Item 24 of 158182418, 20, 22, 24, 26 South Deskford StreetCullen BanffshireScotland 
Item 25 of 1581824Building of 2 storeys and 90 feet in lengthCullen BanffshireScotland 
Item 26 of 1581824Burnside HouseFochabers MorayshireScotlandRemodelling for the 4th Duke of Gordon
Item 27 of 1581824Cottage of eight apartmentsCullen BanffshireScotland 
Item 28 of 1581824Lawrie's Mortification   Scotland 
Item 29 of 1581824St Mary's RC ChurchDufftown BanffshireScotlandIn consultation with Rev. James Kyle
Item 30 of 1581825Achenachy House   ScotlandDesign
Item 31 of 1581825Auchlunkart House and lodge  MorayshireScotlandAdditions and remodelling
Item 32 of 1581825Bellie Burial Ground, Gordon MausoleumFochabers MorayshireScotland 
Item 33 of 1581825Cairnfield HouseBuckie BanffshireScotlandAdditions
Item 34 of 1581825Church of Scotland Manse with steading and walled gardenSt Andrews-Llanbryd MorayshireScotland 
Item 35 of 1581825Free Church ManseCullen BanffshireScotland'Probably' (HS)
Item 36 of 1581825Gordon Castle, gatelodge  MorayshireScotlandGate lodge
Item 37 of 1581825House, High StreetElgin MorayshireScotland'Style of' (Buildings of Scotland)
Item 38 of 1581825ManseLhanbryde MorayshireScotlandNew manse
Item 39 of 1581825NetherdaleNetherdale Estate AberdeenshireScotland'Possibly' (HS)
Item 40 of 1581825Old Cullen HouseCullen BanffshireScotland'in the style of' (HS)
Item 41 of 1581825Old Episcopal ParsonageElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 42 of 1581825Town planCullen BanffshireScotlandAddition to town plan
Item 43 of 158c. 1825Clunie House  AberdeenshireScotlandPerhaps by William Robertson
Item 44 of 158c. 1825County HotelBanff BanffshireScotlandInterior - may be by Simpson or Robertson
Item 45 of 158c. 1825Cullen House estate, Bruntown House and steadingRathven BanffshireScotland'Probably' (HS)
Item 46 of 158c. 1825Darliston house with stables, gighouse etcElgin MorayshireScotland'Probably' (HS)
Item 47 of 1581826Arndilly House  BanffshireScotlandAdditions
Item 48 of 1581826Duthil Parish ChurchDuthil Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 49 of 1581826Elgin CathedralElgin MorayshireScotlandMeasured plan published by W Clarke
Item 50 of 1581826Findrassie House and gatepiersSpynie MorayshireScotlandAddition
Item 51 of 1581826Keith ManseKeith BanffshireScotland 
Item 52 of 1581826Orton House  MorayshireScotlandAddition of wings
Item 53 of 158c. 1826Deveron Bridge, Old Toll HouseInverkeithny AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 54 of 1581827Newton, Forteath Mausoleum and York TowerAlves MorayshireScotland'Possibly' (HS). 'Buildings of Scotland' accepts that this is by Robertson
Item 55 of 1581827RC Church, ChapeltownGlenlivet BanffshireScotland 
Item 56 of 1581828Boharm Old Parish ChurchBoharm BanffshireScotlandPorches and Minister's room
Item 57 of 1581828Boharm SchoolBoharm BanffshireScotland 
Item 58 of 1581828Eden CottageTurriff (near) AberdeenshireScotlandLarge additions
Item 59 of 1581828Eden House, with coachhouse and stablesKing Edward AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 60 of 1581828Glengunnery CottageKnockando MorayshireScotland 
Item 61 of 1581828ManseDuffus MorayshireScotland'Probably' (HS)
Item 62 of 1581828Wester Elchies House  MorayshireScotlandAdditions
Item 63 of 1581829Aldroughty HouseSpynie MorayshireScotland 
Item 64 of 1581829Fleurs HouseElgin MorayshireScotland'Probably' (HS)
Item 65 of 1581829(?)Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and parsonageElgin MorayshireScotlandOriginal church and parsonage
Item 66 of 1581829Inveravon Parish Church, Macpherson-Grant Mausoleum  BanffshireScotland 
Item 67 of 1581829St Mary's Parish ChurchBanff BanffshireScotlandNew plans for completion of tower - not executed until 1849
Item 68 of 1581830Bishopmill Bridge over the River LossieElgin MorayshireScotlandReplaced by bridge of 1870-1.
Item 69 of 1581830Boat of Brig TollhouseBoharm BanffshireScotland 
Item 70 of 1581830Chapel House, PreshomeRathven BanffshireScotlandWith Rt Rev James Kyle
Item 71 of 1581830Church of Scotland ManseCullen BanffshireScotland 
Item 72 of 1581830Free Church ManseFochabers MorayshireScotlandHS says he may have been responsible
Item 73 of 1581830Gamrie ManseGamrie BanffshireScotlandOriginal building - possibly responsible?
Item 74 of 1581830Gamrie Parish ChurchGamrie BanffshireScotlandDrew up designs for church. Not executed as such.
Item 75 of 1581830Hopeman LodgeDuffus MorayshireScotlandRear extension
Item 76 of 1581830Kinloss Parish ChurchKinloss MorayshireScotlandRepairs and re-fenestration of south elevation
Item 77 of 1581830Newton Toll Cottage, MulbenAlves MorayshireScotland'probably' (HS)
Item 78 of 158c. 1830Coulard Inn Lossiemouth MorayshireScotlandProbably by Robertson
Item 79 of 158c. 1830Coulmony HouseArdclach NairnshireScotlandAdditions
Item 80 of 158c. 1830Gala CottageElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 81 of 158c. 1830HazelwoodCraigellachie BanffshireScotland'Probably'
Item 82 of 158c. 1830Innes HouseElgin MorayshireScotlandSome alteration work - including coachhouse and stables
Item 83 of 158c. 1830Invereshie House  Inverness-shireScotland'Possibly' (HS) Additions. Attribution.
Item 84 of 158c. 1830MansePluscarden MorayshireScotlandProbably by Robertson
Item 85 of 158c. 1830Mr Dewar's SchoolFochabers MorayshireScotland 
Item 86 of 158c. 1830Tochieneal HouseRathven BanffshireScotlandEnlarged and re-fronted - 'probably' (HS) by Robertson. Elizabeth Beaton seems to be certain this is by Robertson.
Item 87 of 1581831St Thomas's RC ChurchKeith BanffshireScotlandOriginal church - in collaboration with Father Walter Lovi
Item 88 of 1581831Winchester HouseElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 89 of 1581832Knockando Parish ChurchKnockando MorayshireScotlandRepairs
Item 90 of 1581832ManseAlves MorayshireScotland 
Item 91 of 1581832PierCullen BanffshireScotland 
Item 92 of 1581832Udoll MansionhouseCromarty (near) Ross and CromartyScotland 
Item 93 of 1581833Parish ManseKing Edward AberdeenshireScotlandBuilding heightened - perhaps by Robertson
Item 94 of 1581833Rectory, ArradoulArradoul BanffshireScotland 
Item 95 of 1581833St Joachim' s RC ChurchWick CaithnessScotlandWith Father Lovi
Item 96 of 1581834Cullen HarbourSeatown BanffshireScotland 
Item 97 of 1581834HarbourCullen BanffshireScotlandAdditions to lower quay
Item 98 of 1581834Inveravon Manse and steadingInveravon BanffshireScotlandReconstruction
Item 99 of 1581834St Margaret's RC ChurchHuntly AberdeenshireScotlandIn conjunction with Rev. James Kyle
Item 100 of 1581835Buckie Parish ChurchBuckie BanffshireScotlandOriginal church - old site re-used
Item 101 of 1581835Chapel of EaseRathven BanffshireScotland 
Item 102 of 1581835Duffus House  MorayshireScotlandLarge addition
Item 103 of 1581835Edintore HouseKeith BanffshireScotland 
Item 104 of 1581835Inchstelly FarmhouseAlves MorayshireScotland'Probably (HS) on stylistic grounds
Item 105 of 1581835Milton Brodie House  MorayshireScotlandFacade
Item 106 of 158c. 1835ClunyForres MorayshireScotlandProbably by Robertson
Item 107 of 158c. 1835Tullich HouseMortlach MorayshireScotland'Style of' (HS)
Item 108 of 1581836Banff AcademyBanff BanffshireScotland 
Item 109 of 1581836Collie LodgeBanff BanffshireScotlandAttribution by McKean
Item 110 of 1581836Kilmore Parish ChurchDrumnadrochit Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 111 of 1581836St Mary's RC ChurchInverness Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 112 of 1581836Stornoway Sheriff Courthouse and prisonStornowayLewisRoss and CromartyScotlandNew prison? Design only?
Item 113 of 1581837Aberlour Manse with stables etcAberlour BanffshireScotland 
Item 114 of 1581837Blackhills HouseLlanbryde MorayshireScotland 
Item 115 of 1581837Braemoriston HouseElgin MorayshireScotlandRemodelled and enlarged
Item 116 of 1581837Braemorriston HouseElgin MorayshireScotlandEnlargement
Item 117 of 1581837Clydesdale BankBanff BanffshireScotlandAttribution also to Archibald Simpson
Item 118 of 1581837Courthouse and county officesElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 119 of 1581837Moniack House  Inverness-shireScotlandSouth front added
Item 120 of 1581837SchoolMacduff BanffshireScotlandIn the style of William Robertson ('Buildings of Scotland')
Item 121 of 1581837St John's Episcopal ChurchInverness Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 122 of 1581838Aberlour HouseAberlour BanffshireScotlandOriginal house, square of offices and east lodge and probably walled garden
Item 123 of 1581838Aberlour House, columnAberlour BanffshireScotland 
Item 124 of 1581838Aberlour House, stablesAberlour BanffshireScotland 
Item 125 of 1581838Aberlour Parish ChurchAberlour BanffshireScotlandTower
Item 126 of 1581838Block of buildings, High StreetInverness Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 127 of 1581838Elgin MuseumElgin MorayshireScotlandPlans submitted for new museum - not chosen
Item 128 of 1581838Parish ManseUrray Inverness-shireScotlandRepairs, additions and garden wall
Item 129 of 1581838Seafield Church of ScotlandPortknockie MorayshireScotland 
Item 130 of 1581838(?)St Margaret's (probably the Rectory)Fochabers MorayshireScotlandHouse and stables
Item 131 of 1581838Union HotelInverness Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 132 of 158c. 1838National Bank of Scotland, Dingwall BranchDingwall Ross and CromartyScotland 
Item 133 of 1581839British Linen BankForres MorayshireScotland'Probably' (HS)
Item 134 of 1581839British Linen BankElgin MorayshireScotlandRefronted bank and other alterations.
Item 135 of 1581839Dochfour HouseDochfour Inverness-shireScotlandAdditions and alterations (and new factor's house, see under Dochgarroch house)
Item 136 of 1581839Dochgarroch House  Inverness-shireScotland'Probably' (HS)
Item 137 of 1581839Dr Bell's SchoolInverness Inverness-shireScotlandCompleted posthumously in 1842
Item 138 of 1581839FishertonAberlour BanffshireScotland 
Item 139 of 1581839Killearnan Parish ChurchMilton Ross and CromartyScotlandRepairs and improvements
Item 140 of 1581839Petty Parish ChurchPetty Inverness-shireScotland'Style of William Robertson' (HS)
Item 141 of 1581839Rothes Established Church ManseRothes MorayshireScotlandAfter design by John Smith of Aberdeen
Item 142 of 1581839South VillaElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 143 of 1581840Charlestown of Aberlour, tollhouseAberlour BanffshireScotland 
Item 144 of 1581840Church of Scotland ManseSpynie MorayshireScotland 
Item 145 of 1581840Craigdarroch HouseContin Ross and CromartyScotlandAlterations
Item 146 of 1581840Kininvie HouseMortlach MorayshireScotlandExtensive alterations and additions and square of offices (latter demolished)
Item 147 of 1581840Lochluichart Lodge  Ross and CromartyScotlandAlterations to make 'cottage orne'
Item 148 of 1581841Auldearn School and schoolteacher's houseAuldearn MorayshireScotland 
Item 149 of 1581841BlairshannochAberlour BanffshireScotland 
Item 150 of 1581841Boyndie Church of Scotland ManseBoyndie AberdeenshireScotlandCompleted posthumously in 1842
Item 151 of 1581841Brin CottageCroachy Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 152 of 158Before 1841National Bank of Scotland, Forres BranchForres MorayshireScotlandOriginal design by Robertson
Item 153 of 1581842Whitehills ManseWhitehills AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 154 of 158Before 1846Greenskares, Cottage FarmGamrie AberdeenshireScotlandPerhaps provided design
Item 155 of 158c. 184Eden Home Farm, farmhouse and farmbuildingsKing Edward AberdeenshireScotlandPerhaps responsible for steading
Item 156 of 158Early 1800sAltyre House, West Lodge  MorayshireScotlandPossibly by Robertson
Item 157 of 158Early 1800sHolme Rose  Inverness-shireScotlandSingle pile range fronting earlier house. Attribution by HS
Item 158 of 158Early 1800sMausoleumBoharm BanffshireScotland'Probably' by Robertson


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 2Colvin, H M1995A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-18403rd editionNew Haven and London: Yale University Press 
Item 2 of 2Scotlands People Website Wills & Testaments  Elgin Sheriff Court Wills SC26/38/5 and Inventories SC26/39/4