Basic Biographical Details

Name: Mills & Shepherd
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: October 1900
Ended: 1966
Bio Notes: John Donald Mills was born at 16 Paton's Lane, Dundee on 12 January 1872, the son of James Smith Mills and his wife Rebecca Donald. He was educated at Morgan Academy and Dundee High School, and was articled to Charles & Leslie Ower from 1888 to 1891. Thereafter he became an assistant in the office of John Murray Robertson, with whom he remained for five years and by whom he was profoundly influenced. During that period he attended classes at the Dundee Technical Institute and University College. In 1896 he sought wider experience with Larner Sugden of Leek, the connection probably being made through the Rev E S Sugden, an Episcopal architect-priest in Dundee who was of that family. He greatly enjoyed drawing and during these early years made numerous sketching tours in Britain and abroad, spending a month in Italy (Milan, Como, Florence, Vicenza, Verona, Venice, Siena and Ravenna) and visiting France (including Brittany) several times, once with London architect George Alexander Thomas Middleton, as well as travelling to Germany (including Dresden and Nuremberg), Austria and Prague.

In 1899 Mills returned from Leek to commence independent practice in Tayport, concentrating on domestic work, but in October 1900 he moved to Dundee and formed a partnership with Godfrey Daniel Bower Shepherd with an office at 10 Tay Square. Shepherd was born in Dundee in 1874, and had worked under Mills during his apprenticeship in John Murray Robertson's office between 1893 to 1896. He had remained there as draughtsman until 1897 when he moved to London as an assistant in the office of Alfred Walter Saxon Snell. While there he passed the qualifying exam, but did not immediately seek admittance as ARIBA, moving instead to the office of the London Dundonian James Glen Sivewright Gibson in 1899 before returning to his native Dundee the following year.

In their earlier years, Mills and Shepherd seem to have remained closely associated with Murray Robertson's practice as their RIBA nomination papers show that they designed interior work at Ballumbie House and built the stables at Blebo House when Robertson's successor, James Findlay, was overcommitted on University College and Dundee Royal Infirmary projects.

Mills was admitted FRIBA in 1906, his proposers being Gibson, David Barclay Niven of London and Patrick Hill Thoms, a friend from C & L Ower's office. Shepherd was admitted FRIBA in September of the following year, his proposers being Snell, Thoms and Gibson. At that date Mills had travelled in Italy, France, Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia, and Shepherd, whose family was well-off, 'in Europe'. The practice quickly made a name for very stylish Arts and Crafts houses and from around 1910 replaced Gillespie & Scott as architects to the University of St Andrews, Mills having settled in St Andrews - initially at Dauphin Hill, and later at 99 North Street.

In April 1919 Herbert Morgan Smail, in later years better known as Colonel Smail, joined the practice as chief draughtsman. He had been born on 4 June 1890 and had studied at the Dundee School of Architecture and Technical College from October 1908 to October 1912 whilst serving an apprenticeship with an unidentified firm in the same town, possibly Mills & Shepherd. On completion of his apprenticeship he had moved to Glasgow for further office experience, first with James Miller and then with Peter Macgregor Chalmers, enabling him to study at the Glasgow School of Architecture from 1912 to 1914. He had spent the summers of those years travelling in England, France, Belgium and Italy. At the beginning of 1919 he had joined an office in St Andrews before returning to Dundee to join Mills & Shepherd in April. Two months later he was made a partner, although the practice title remained unchanged; and in the same year the practice moved to a larger house at 9 South Tay Street.

As a result of having carried out some garden work at Blair Castle for the Duke of Atholl, the ADC to King George V, Mills & Shepherd came to the notice of Queen Mary and they were commissioned to carry out a considerable amount of garden and estate work at Balmoral in 1922-24. In the 1920s they superseded Lorimer on at least two occasions, Auchterhouse and Fingask.

From about 1933 the practice's domestic manner changed somewhat, Crittall metal-framed windows of distinctive proportions becoming a feature. Godfrey Daniel Bower Shepherd died on 21 December 1937, and William M Guild was taken into partnership after several years of practice on his own account. John Donald Mills kept the practice going through the Second World War, operating mainly from St Andrews, while Smail and Guild were on war service.

Smail was admitted FRIBA in 1952. Mills died in retirement at his home, 99 North Street, on 26 January 1958. He left estate of 17, 951 5s 4d. Smail died soon thereafter, and Guild closed the Dundee office in 1966, continuing to practise for some years thereafter from his home in Cupar.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 310, Tay Square, Dundee, ScotlandBusinessc. 1900  
Item 2 of 39, South Tay Street, Dundee, ScotlandBusiness19191966 
Item 3 of 3Gysels, Brighton Road, Cupar, Fife, ScotlandBusiness1966 William M Guild working from his own house

Employment and Training

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architectural practice (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 30Godfrey Daniel Bower Shepherd19001937Partner 
Item 2 of 30John Donald MillsOctober 1900Before 1958Partner 
Item 3 of 30Mitchell Crichton Kay1901(?)c. 1906Apprentice 
Item 4 of 30Alexander Porteous Gracie1903c. 1908Apprentice 
Item 5 of 30(Colonel) Herbert Morgan SmailOctober 1908(?)October 1912(?)Apprentice(?)Thought to have been apprenticed to this firm, but this is uncertain
Item 6 of 30Stephen WelshAfter 1912Before 1915Assistant 
Item 7 of 30Arthur Shields Fitzgerald1 October 1913c. 1915Apprentice 
Item 8 of 30Charles Robert Thomson1914c. 1921ApprenticeBroken by two years' war service
Item 9 of 30Arthur Shields Fitzgeraldc. 191816 February 1920Apprentice(?) 
Item 10 of 30Douglas James Fyffe19191922Apprentice 
Item 11 of 30(Colonel) Herbert Morgan SmailApril 1919June 1919Chief Draughtsman 
Item 12 of 30Henry Pearce RobbieApril 1919c. 1925(?)Apprentice 
Item 13 of 30(Colonel) Herbert Morgan SmailJune 1919After 1952Partner 
Item 14 of 30Arthur Shields Fitzgerald16 February 19205 March 1921Assistant 
Item 15 of 30Charles Robert Thomsonc. 19211927Draughtsman 
Item 16 of 30Thomas MitchellJuly 1922August 1926Apprentice 
Item 17 of 30David William Baxter (junior)19241929Apprentice 
Item 18 of 30Arthur Shields Fitzgerald26 April 192529 November 1929Assistant 
Item 19 of 30William Fyfe HendryOctober 1926October 1928Assistant 
Item 20 of 30William KinlochNovember 19261930Apprentice 
Item 21 of 30Alastair Macrae19271928Assistant 
Item 22 of 30George FairweatherAugust 19271928 or 1929Apprentice 
Item 23 of 30Thomas Whytock Reid19281933Apprentice 
Item 24 of 30David William Baxter (junior)19291930Junior Assistant 
Item 25 of 30William Kinloch19301935Assistant 
Item 26 of 30William Lamond Galloway19311936Apprentice 
Item 27 of 30Sydney ZimmermannAfter 1934Before 1937Assistant 
Item 28 of 30William Lamond Galloway19371939Junior Assistant 
Item 29 of 30William Malcolm Guild1937 or 1939After 1966Partner 
Item 30 of 30William Lamond Galloway19461953Chief Assistant 

Buildings and Designs

This architectural practice 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 1381900Glenmarkie House  AngusScotlandMain house, stables, kennels and other estate buildings
Item 2 of 1381900St Paul's Church  DundeeScotlandExtensive stone repairs
Item 3 of 138After 1900House for J P Curran EsqSt Andrews FifeScotlandAdditions
Item 4 of 1381901Nevay ParkNewtyle/Meigle (near) AngusScotland 
Item 5 of 1381902Castle Cynicus, LucklawBalmullo FifeScotland 
Item 6 of 1381903CraigowerSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 7 of 1381903HouseBroughty Ferry DundeeScotlandAddition
Item 8 of 1381903 or 1904The White HouseSt Andrews FifeScotlandAlso 1911 addition
Item 9 of 13819049 Abbotsford CrescentSt Andrews FifeScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 10 of 138c. 1904BalgilloBroughty Ferry DundeeScotlandBilliard room
Item 11 of 138c. 1904Ballumbie Castle  AngusScotlandInternal furnishings - commission taken over from James Findlay, probably because of over-commitment
Item 12 of 138c. 1904Blebo House  FifeScotlandStable block and offices - work taken over from James Findlay, probably because of over-commitment
Item 13 of 1381904 or 1905University College Dundee Fleming Gymnasium and Fives Courts  DundeeScotland 
Item 14 of 1381905Belsize, StannergateWest Ferry DundeeScotland 
Item 15 of 1381905Harecraig HouseWest Ferry DundeeScotlandInternal decorations and finishings
Item 16 of 1381905 or 1906Greymount  DundeeScotland 
Item 17 of 1381906The Weisha, Hazel Hall  DundeeScotland 
Item 18 of 1381907Ardvreck  DundeeScotland 
Item 19 of 1381907Plans for a large block of offices for an insurance company  DundeeScotlandUnexecuted plans
Item 20 of 1381907Priory AcresSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 21 of 1381907St Leonard's School, convalescent houseSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 22 of 1381907West HouseSt Andrews FifeScotlandFurther work 1911 and 1926
Item 23 of 1381908Electric Laboratory, University College Dundee  DundeeScotland 
Item 24 of 1381908Strips of CraigieCraigie DundeeScotlandFor Shepherd
Item 25 of 1381909House on Craigie Avenue  DundeeScotland 
Item 26 of 1381909Monifieth Episcopal ChurchMonifieth AngusScotland 
Item 27 of 138c. 1909HillsideBroughty Ferry DundeeScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 28 of 1381910University HallSt Andrews FifeScotlandMajor addition
Item 29 of 138After 1910(?)Cricket pavilionCupar FifeScotland 
Item 30 of 1381911Trinity College GlenalmondGlenalmond PerthshireScotlandCricket pavilion
Item 31 of 1381913Glenisla ReservoirGlenisla AngusScotland 
Item 32 of 138After 1913MontpellierCupar FifeScotlandAlterations
Item 33 of 1381914Ardconnel Chapel and schoolroom  ArgyllScotland 
Item 34 of 1381914Ardconnel Lodge  ArgyllScotland 
Item 35 of 1381914Dalbeathie HouseDunkeld PerthshireScotland 
Item 36 of 1381914The SwilkenSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 37 of 1381916GlentulchanSt Andrews FifeScotlandDrawing room (alterations?)
Item 38 of 1381916HowburySt Andrews FifeScotlandHouse and Chauffeurs House at 87 Hepburn Gardens
Item 39 of 1381916University of St Andrews, Students' Dining RoomSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 40 of 1381919Memorial in Portland Stone   Scotland 
Item 41 of 1381920Abernethy War MemorialAbernethy PerthshireScotland 
Item 42 of 1381920Auchterhouse  AngusScotlandAlterations and restoration
Item 43 of 1381920Blair CastleBlair Atholl PerthshireScotlandGarden work
Item 44 of 1381920Leuchars War MemorialLeuchars FifeScotland 
Item 45 of 1381920Lochton House  PerthshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 46 of 1381920Longforgan war memorialLongforgan PerthshireScotland 
Item 47 of 1381920University College, War memorial  DundeeScotland 
Item 48 of 138c. 1920Almondbank War MemorialAlmondbank PerthshireScotland 
Item 49 of 138c. 1920Kidds Rooms  DundeeScotlandAlterations: conversion from church
Item 50 of 138c. 1920Tayport War MemorialTayport FifeScotland 
Item 51 of 13819217 St Leonard's RoadSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 52 of 13819219 The ScoresSt Andrews FifeScotlandAlterations
Item 53 of 1381921SunnymedeSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 54 of 1381922Balmoral CastleBalmoral AberdeenshireScotlandGates, also garden work (no date)
Item 55 of 1381922DrumskaithSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 56 of 1381922St David of Scotland Episcopal ChurchInverbervie AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 57 of 1381922The SwilkenSt Andrews FifeScotlandSecond phase of work
Item 58 of 1381923Ashcliff and gatelodge  DundeeScotlandAlterations
Item 59 of 1381923Baile-na-CoilleBalmoral AberdeenshireScotlandAdditions
Item 60 of 1381923Little HayesSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 61 of 1381923RebreckBalmoral AberdeenshireScotlandAdditions
Item 62 of 1381923The GleanSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 63 of 1381923The White HouseSt Andrews FifeScotlandCottage and garage
Item 64 of 1381923Union ClubSt Andrews FifeScotlandRebuilding of north east corner to uniform height of 3 storeys, panelling of first floor dining room
Item 65 of 1381923University College Dundee, Men's Hostel  DundeeScotland 
Item 66 of 1381923University of St Andrews, Chemical and Physical LaboratoriesSt Andrews FifeScotlandAdditions
Item 67 of 138March 1923House for General B C FellowsSt Andrews FifeScotlandPlans - possibly unexecuted
Item 68 of 138c. 1923Abergeldie MainsAbergeldie AberdeenshireScotlandAdditions
Item 69 of 138c. 1923Auchterhouse mansion house, lodge  Angus Extension
Item 70 of 138c. 1923Auchterhouse, coach house, stable and squash court  AngusScotlandExtended and converted old brewhouse into squash court
Item 71 of 13819241 Donaldson GardensSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 72 of 1381924Binrock and Lodge  DundeeScotlandAlterations
Item 73 of 1381924CryanreuchSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 74 of 1381924Gerrards CrossSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 75 of 1381924GlenmuickBalmoral AberdeenshireScotlandLodge and gates
Item 76 of 1381924House at Duntrune for Claude BiltonDuntrune AngusScotland 
Item 77 of 1381924RhebreckEaster Balmoral AberdeenshireScotlandAdditions
Item 78 of 1381924RuffletsSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 79 of 1381924Trinity College GlenalmondGlenalmond PerthshireScotlandEastern extension of N range (the Matheson building)
Item 80 of 138c. 192471-73 Hepburn GardensSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 81 of 1381925AshsteadSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 82 of 1381925Fingask CastleKilspindie PerthshireScotlandRestoration
Item 83 of 1381925Rea House, Glamis Drive   DundeeScotland 
Item 84 of 1381926Trinity College GlenalmondGlenalmond PerthshireScotlandGladstone Cloister
Item 85 of 1381926University of St Andrews, St Mary's CollegeSt Andrews FifeScotlandAdditions
Item 86 of 138192710 Middleshade RoadSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 87 of 1381927LanglandsSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 88 of 1381927MiddletonFriockheim AngusScotlandAlterations
Item 89 of 1381927Pitalpin House  DundeeScotlandAlterations at NW corner and creation of outbuildings to include laundry room and wash house.
 
Item 90 of 1381927University of St Andrews, St Salvator's HallSt Andrews FifeScotlandMills responsible
Item 91 of 1381928Ardvreck  DundeeScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 92 of 1381928Clepington EstateClepington DundeeScotlandAdditions
Item 93 of 1381928Ellenbank  DundeeScotlandLinking block to Union Mount
Item 94 of 1381928Kincaple House  FifeScotlandReconstruction with wings
Item 95 of 1381928Megginch Castle  PerthshireScotlandAlterations partly reversed following a fire, inlcuding removal of porch, new entrance and other alterations
Item 96 of 1381928University of St Andrews Old Parliament HallSt Andrews FifeScotlandPanelling
Item 97 of 1381929Riechip  PerthshireScotlandAlterations
Item 98 of 1381929Smith and Valentine Premises  DundeeScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 99 of 1381930s112 South Street, second house in close and last house in closeSt Andrews FifeScotlandRestoration
Item 100 of 1381931Dean's CourtSt Andrews FifeScotlandConversion to hall of residence - Mills responsible
Item 101 of 1381931Lochton House  PerthshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 102 of 1381931University of St Andrews, Botany Department buildingSt Andrews FifeScotlandMills responsible
Item 103 of 1381931University of St Andrews, Geology Department buildingSt Andrews FifeScotlandMills responsible
Item 104 of 1381931University of St Andrews, St Mary's CollegeSt Andrews FifeScotlandRepairs and alterations; panelling of College Hall
Item 105 of 1381933DinmontSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 106 of 1381933GreenacresMurrayfield EdinburghScotland 
Item 107 of 1381934Trinity College GlenalmondGlenalmond PerthshireScotlandVarious schemes for additions, partially executed
Item 108 of 1381935Balgavies  AngusScotlandAdditions (Plans in NMRS)
Item 109 of 1381935Beech HillForfar AngusScotlandAlterations
Item 110 of 1381935CromaltSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 111 of 1381935Greyfriars CottageSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 112 of 1381935Trinity College GlenalmondGlenalmond PerthshireScotlandWarden's house addition
Item 113 of 1381935University of St Andrews, St Salvator's HallSt Andrews FifeScotlandExtension
Item 114 of 1381937University Court of St AndrewsSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 115 of 138Before 1937Banff House  BanffshireScotlandMinor alterations
Item 116 of 1381938East Haugh  PerthshireScotlandAlterations
Item 117 of 1381938St Leonard's Parish Church HallSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 118 of 1381939Lude HouseBlair Atholl (near) PerthshireScotlandAlterations
Item 119 of 1381939Observatory  DundeeScotland 
Item 120 of 1381939University of St Andrews ObservatorySt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 121 of 1381940sBank of Scotland  DundeeScotland 
Item 122 of 1381940sClydesdale Bank  DundeeScotland 
Item 123 of 1381940sHouseCrieff PerthshireScotland 
Item 124 of 1381940sHouses  DundeeScotland 
Item 125 of 1381940sHousing scheme  DundeeScotland 
Item 126 of 1381940sHousing schemeCrieff PerthshireScotland 
Item 127 of 1381940sPrinting works with offices, canteen, 24 dark rooms and photo processing  DundeeScotland 
Item 128 of 138194141 North Castle StreetSt Andrews FifeScotlandRenovation and alterations
Item 129 of 1381942BalmyleWest Ferry DundeeScotlandGates - survey for alterations?
Item 130 of 1381947Seaside House  PerthshireScotlandAlterations
Item 131 of 1381948Blairgowrie CreameryBlairgowrie PerthshireScotland 
Item 132 of 1381950sCentres for Territorial Army (TA) Association  DundeeScotland 
Item 133 of 1381950sHead office and warehouse for Singer Sewing Machines Ltd  GlasgowScotland 
Item 134 of 138c. 1950Bonar Long Factory  DundeeScotland 
Item 135 of 138c. 1950New Ferry Station  DundeeScotland 
Item 136 of 1381952St Mary Magdalene's Episcopal Church  DundeeScotlandUnexecuted scheme for conversion to a Territorial Army centre
Item 137 of 1381955Ardblair Castle  PerthshireScotlandAlterations
Item 138 of 1381958Bungalow, MillbankCupar FifeScotland 

References

Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
 Author(s)DateTitlePartPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 3Bailey, Rebecca M1996Scottish architects' papers: a source book Edinburgh: The Rutland Pressp217
Item 2 of 3Lidstone, Anna1989J Donald Mills: architect: His St Andrews career University of St Andrews: Unpublished MA dissertation 
Item 3 of 3Pride, Glen L1999The Kingdom of Fife2nd EditionThe Rutland Pressp133

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architectural practice:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 5Builder7 February 1958v194 p271 - Mills's obituary
Item 2 of 5Dundee Courier and Advertiser28 January 1958  Mills's obituary
Item 3 of 5RIBA Journal7 February 1938 London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp362 - Shepherd's obituary
Item 4 of 5RIBA JournalDecember 1958 London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp69 - Mills's obituary
Item 5 of 5Scotsman28 January 1958  Mills's obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architectural practice:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Personal information from Frank Thomson and William Guild