Basic Biographical Details

Name: Andrew Kerr (senior)
Designation: Architect
Born: 1814
Died: 20 December 1886
Bio Notes: Andrew Kerr was born in 1814 and served his apprenticeship as a carpenter. By dint of personal study he became a very competent draughtsman and secured employment in H M Office of Works, Edinburgh under William Nixon and Robert Matheson. He worked on the Edinburgh Post Office and was credited with the design of the Holyrood fountain, but he chiefly specialised in Ancient Monuments Work. He was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland as early as 1848, and among his closest friends were David Laing, Professor Daniel Wilson and Dr John Hill Burton.

Through his work Kerr came to the attention of the Earls of Rosslyn and Moray and was allowed to undertake similar work for them in a private capacity, the catalyst being perhaps his papers on Roslin Chapel and Roslin Castle contributed to the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries in 1877. The major works at Doune Castle for the Earl of Moray were carried out after his retirement from the Office of Works in 1883-86. As an author his major work was the editing of Drummond's 'Sketches of Old Edinburgh', for which he provided historical notes. He held office as a High Constable for many years and was a prominent Freemason, attaining the 33rd degree.

In later years, from c.1861, Kerr lived at 3 Findhorn Place which he may have designed himself. He died on 20 December 1886, leaving a widow, Grace Watt, and a grown-up family. A memorial window to him was installed in the clerestory of Roslin Chapel.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 13, Findhorn Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 18611886 

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 1H M Office of Works (later Ministry of Works, Department of the Environment and Property Services Agency)After 1829Before 1883AssistantIn Edinburgh office

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 91854Congregational ChurchSt Andrews FifeScotlandIn collaboration with Jesse Hall
Item 2 of 91858Palace of Holyroodhouse, fountain in forecourt  EdinburghScotlandWorking under Robert Matheson in H M Office of Works, Edinburgh
Item 3 of 91859General Post Office  EdinburghScotlandWorking under Robert Matheson in H M Office of Works, Edinburgh
Item 4 of 91864Dunans House  ArgyllScotlandReconstruction
Item 5 of 91870Lodge Journeyman Masons  EdinburghScotland 
Item 6 of 91880Roslin ChapelRoslin/Rosslyn MidlothianScotlandNew vestry and organ chamber
Item 7 of 91883Castle GrantGrantown-on-Spey MorayshireScotlandProposed alterations
Item 8 of 91883Doune CastleDoune PerthshireScotland 
Item 9 of 9Before 1886Darnaway Castle  MorayshireScotlandRepairs to Earl Randolph's Hall


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 3Edinburgh Architectural Association1907Edinburgh Architectural Association Exhibition Catalogue EdinburghMemoir
Item 2 of 3Johnston, Sir Ronald1986The Earl and the architect   
Item 3 of 3Scotlands People Website Wills & Testaments  Edinburgh Sheriff Court Inventories SC70/1/255 and Wills SC70/4/223

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Scotsman27 December 1886  p6 - obituary