Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Paterson
Designation: Architect
Died: 19 November 1832
Bio Notes: John Paterson was probably the son of George Paterson, architect, who died in 1789 and therefore presumably younger brother of the George Paterson who inherited his fatherís estate of Cunnochie. George senior and John shared an address in St John Street, Edinburgh in the 1770s and 1780s. A contract of 1780 between George Paterson and Francis Charteris, Earl of Wemyss shows that Paterson built houses on the west side of St John Street, sharing the cost with Charteris. However in 1784 the houses had not sold (although the lower level was occupied by Sir William Maxwell of Springkell). Charteris was to occupy the upper floor and Paterson the lower floor.

John Paterson appears in directories at the address in St John Street from 1777-1784. Soon after this he moved to Elgin where he must have undertaken work for Sir James Grant (he added wings to Grant Lodge in 1784 but it is not yet clear what he undertook in Elgin before this) and probably other clients.

However he returned to Edinburgh about July 1789 when he was appointed clerk of works for the University buildings in Edinburgh. He owed this appointment to Robert Adam whose practice in Scotland he helped to manage until 1791 when he was dismissed from both appointments. Colvin notes that details of his terms of employment can be found in the Abercairny and Breadalbane papers in the National Archives of Scotland.

Thereafter he set up in independent practice in Edinburgh and had a large practice which extended over Scotland and the north of England. He became the leading exponent of the 'Castle Style' after the death of Robert and James Adam. He also designed good classical style interiors and frequently used oval of circular rooms (a good example being the circular stairwell and first floor room on the corner of Seafield Baths).

He remained in Edinburgh for thirty years until his death on 19 November 1832.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 4Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness   
Item 2 of 4St John's Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate17771784 
Item 3 of 42, North Bridge Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1791 In Williamson's Edinburgh Directory of 1784-5 (covering June 1784-June 1785) Paterson's address is listed as being 'head of the North Bridge'.
Item 4 of 424, Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessAfter 1800(?)  

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 1Anthony Salvinc. 1820   

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 56 University of Edinburgh, Old College  EdinburghScotland 
Item 2 of 561786St Brycedale HouseKirkcaldy FifeScotlandAttribution to Paterson on stylistic grounds - oval rooms (Colvin)
Item 3 of 561788Keith HallInverurie AberdeenshireScotlandRepairs and alterations
Item 4 of 561789Grant LodgeElgin MorayshireScotlandAddition of wings proposed.
Item 5 of 561790sDuff House  BanffshireScotlandDecorative ceiling in Great Drawing Room
Item 6 of 561792Castle HuntlyLongforgan PerthshireScotlandNew entrance block and alterations
Item 7 of 561792Glendoune  Ayrshire?Scotland 
Item 8 of 561792Sundrum CastleSundrum AyrshireScotlandRemodelling of existing castle as castellated house. Colvin only notes the remodelling of the dining room.
Item 9 of 561793Old Infirmary  DundeeScotland 
Item 10 of 561794Dalguise House  PerthshireScotlandPlans for house at Dalguise - presumably this one?- not executed.
Item 11 of 561794Dundee Royal Infirmary  DundeeScotland 
Item 12 of 561794Seggieden  PerthshireScotlandScots Magazine states this is by Paterson but documents in Sandeman Library suggest it was built in 1772-5. The oval saloon and drawing room do suggest Paterson however.
Item 13 of 56c. 1794Castle Fraser  AberdeenshireScotlandHexagonal stable block
Item 14 of 561795Monzie Castle and stablesCrieff PerthshireScotlandHouse and Bridge on east drive
Item 15 of 561795The Bridewell  GlasgowScotland 
Item 16 of 56c. 1795Longforgan Parish Church and churchyardLongforgan PerthshireScotlandRebuilding incorporating tower of 1690.
Item 17 of 561797Abercairney  PerthshireScotlandDrew up plans for oval drawing room - not executed.
Item 18 of 561797Eglinton Castle, house and stables  AyrshireScotlandRebuilding - castellated
Item 19 of 561798CoilsfieldTarbolton (near) AyrshireScotland 
Item 20 of 561798Eglinton Castle and Tournament Bridge  AyrshireScotlandOriginal building
Item 21 of 561800St Paul's ChurchPerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 22 of 56c. 1800Pinkie HouseMusselburgh MidlothianScotlandStables - attribution by Colvin on stylistic grounds
Item 23 of 561801Barmoor Castle  NorthumberlandEngland 
Item 24 of 561801Taymouth CastleTaymouth PerthshireScotlandBegan to rebuild castle but was dismissed before the building was complete.
Item 25 of 561802Feu plan of PiershillPiershill EdinburghScotlandFeuing plan - the house built must conform to this.
Item 26 of 561802Piershill Place  EdinburghScotlandPlans for terrace drawn up
Item 27 of 561802Tontine InnGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 28 of 561802Tontine Inn and assembly roomsAyr AyrshireScotlandPlans drawn up but not executed.
Item 29 of 56c. 1802Canaan Lodge  EdinburghScotlandFor himself.
Item 30 of 561803Chillingham Castle  NorthumberlandEnglandEast side rebuilt after fire
Item 31 of 561804Harviestoun Castle  ClackmannanshireScotlandRemodelling - attributed to Paterson by Colvin on stylistic grounds
Item 32 of 561804Montgomerie HouseTarbolton (near) AyrshireScotlandContracts signed; subsequently constructed
Item 33 of 561805Magdalen Asylum  EdinburghScotland 
Item 34 of 561805The Leith BankLeith EdinburghScotlandAttribution on the grounds that the facade is almost identical to Coilsfield, Ayrshire which is known to be from Paterson's hand.
Item 35 of 561805Winton HousePencaitland East LothianScotlandCastellated addition
Item 36 of 561806Auchincruive  AyrshireScotlandLodges
Item 37 of 561807Castle ForbesAlford AberdeenshireScotlandPlans drawn up - not executed
Item 38 of 561807Fasque Castle  KincardineshireScotlandAttribution to Paterson on stylistic grounds
Item 39 of 561807Milbourne Hall  NorthumberlandEngland 
Item 40 of 561808Auchincruive  AyrshireScotlandIce House
Item 41 of 561808Fetteresso HouseStonehaven KincardineshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 42 of 561808Old Auchenfail Hall  AyrshireScotlandAlterations to front door arrangement
Item 43 of 561810Fetteresso ChurchFetteresso KincardineshireScotland 
Item 44 of 561810Seafield BathsSeafield EdinburghScotland 
Item 45 of 561810Stonehaven Sheriff CourtStonehaven KincardineshireScotland 
Item 46 of 561811Castle ForbesAlford AberdeenshireScotlandPlans drawn up - not executed
Item 47 of 561811Errol House  PerthshireScotlandCourt of stables
Item 48 of 561811Pitfirrane Castle  FifeScotlandPlans for alterations to house - not executed
Item 49 of 561813Feu plan and elevations of houses, Seafield Estate  EdinburghScotland 
Item 50 of 56c. 1814Hatton CastleTurriff AberdeenshireScotlandRemodelling
Item 51 of 561816Kinghorn ManseKinghorn FifeScotland 
Item 52 of 561817Dunphail House  MorayshireScotlandPlans for house drawn up
Item 53 of 561818Brancepath Castle  Co. DurhamEnglandEnlargement and remodelling
Item 54 of 56c. 1820Building, High StreetForres MorayshireScotlandPerhaps by Paterson (Buildings of Scotland)
Item 55 of 56c. 1820Lennel HouseColdstream BerwickshireScotland 
Item 56 of 561823Edinkillie ManseEdinkillie MorayshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 3Colvin, H M1995A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-18403rd editionNew Haven and London: Yale University Press 
Item 2 of 3Mackie, C1836Historical description of Dundee  p156
Item 3 of 3Williamson1784Williamson's Directory for the City of Edinburgh   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3Edinburgh City ArchivesCollege Trust Minute Book, Edinburgh City Records 18 November 1789 and 15 December 1791.
Item 2 of 3National Archives of Scotland (formerly SRO)Gifts and depositsGD 112/16/7 and GD 24/1/624Abercairny and Breadalbane Papers
Item 3 of 3Wemyss Estate, GosfordPlans Collection There is a contract in the Wemyss family archives, Gosford House, between George Paterson, architect and Francis Charteris of Amisfield, dated 18 March 1784 in which it is noted that the two houses built by Paterson on the west side of St John Street were complete by Whitsunday 1780, but did not sell. The original agreement was that they would share the building and finishing costs and split any profit after sale. The lower house [towards the Cowgate] was occupied at that date by Sir William Maxwell of Sprinkell. It was agreed between them that Charteris would have the upper house and Paterson the lower. (Edinburgh City Archive, Dean of Guild plans).