Basic Biographical Details

Name: Orphoot, Whiting & Lindsay
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1933
Ended: 1940
Bio Notes: Burnett Napier Henderson Orphoot ('Phootie') was born at 'The Priory' in Eastgate, Peebles in 1880. He was the son of Thomas Henderson Orphoot, Sheriff Substitute of Lothian and Peebles and his wife Edith Carmichael Smythe Burnett, and the grandson of James Burnett of Barns. Educated at Rugby and the University of Edinburgh, he was articled to Dick Peddie & Washington Browne from 1900 to 1903, during which period he attended the Edinburgh School of Applied Art. On completing his apprenticeship he spent six months as assistant to Robert Rowand Anderson before leaving for Paris, where he found a place in the atelier of Gustave Umbdenstock and studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. After six months he undertook a study tour of France and England before returning to Umbdenstock's office for a further twenty-one months. He then moved back to Britain and joined the office of Mewes & Davis in London, moving after a year and a half to that of Collcutt & Hamp.

Orphoot returned to Edinburgh and commenced independent practice at 25 Queensferry Street in 1910, and had an office in London at 16 Great James Street, Bedford Row by 1911. He was admitted LRIBA in the mass intake of 20 July that year, his proposers being Thomas Edward Collcutt, Stanley Hamp and Charles Henry Gage. He was commissioned in the Royal Engineers in the First World War, and while on active service he married in 1915 Marjorie Harriet White, daughter of the Reverend J B White, Instow House, North Devon, where he already had connections, having designed the Clovelly Hotel before the War.

The Queensferry Street office was re-opened after the War, but in 1922 the practice moved to 21 Alva Street and that summer he formed the partnership of Orphoot & Whiting; in the following year it became Orphoot Whiting & Bryce. Of his two partners Frank Edward Whiting was born in 1883 and articled to the London architect Alfred Conder c.1901, thereafter becoming assistant to Detmar Blow and Henry Walter Sarel. By 1914 he was in practice at 30 Bedford Row prior to war service. Whiting was rarely in the Edinburgh office and was based mainly at 21 High Street, Bideford where he held the office of Warden of the Long Bridge. His second partner, William Theodore Percival Bryce, was born on 30 January 1892 and trained with Burnet, Son & Dick and at the Glasgow School of Art and Royal Technical College, later joining Mewes & Davis for a brief spell, before taking charge of an office in Paris for Orphoot and Whiting in summer 1922, and joining them in partnership later that year.

Orphoot was elected FRIBA on 28 March 1927, his proposers being Oswald P Milne, Arthur Joseph Davis and Charles Henry Gage. He was a member of the Council of the Edinburgh Architectural Association from c.1930. His practice consisted mainly of large suburban houses and country house work. His clientele was not extensive but tended to be extremely well-off.

Bryce left the practice in 1932 and went into partnership with his wife, Helen Mary Bryce. He was replaced as third partner in 1933 by Ian Gordon Lindsay, and George Hay joined the practice as assistant three years later. Born in Edinburgh in 1906, the son of George Herbert Lindsay, distiller, Ian Gordon Lindsay first became interested in architecture and old buildings in particular while at prep school in Crieff. Thereafter he went to Marlborough and Trinity College, Cambridge, Ian Parsons, later of Chatto & Windus, and John Betjamin ('MacB') becoming lifelong friends. At Cambridge he attended the School of Architecture under David Theodore Fyfe (from whom he acquired an interest in classical antiquity and in the work of John James Burnet); but more importantly he became a member of the exclusive circle centred on Mansfield Duval Forbes ('Manny') who combined enthusiasm for modern architecture with a great love of the castles of northeast Scotland: thus he came to know the other leading lights in the circle, Forbes's own architect Raymond McGrath, Robert Hurd, Oliver Hill and Robert Alison Crighton Simpson. While still at Cambridge his first book 'The Cathedrals of Scotland' was published in 1926. On his return to Edinburgh in 1927 Lindsay was articled to Reginald Fairlie and struck up a friendship with James Smith Richardson, the principal inspector of Ancient Monuments, travelling with him whenever circumstances allowed and visiting Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland and England. He commenced practice on his own account at 5 Castle Street in 1931, quickly becoming prominent as editor of the RIAS Quarterly. In 1932 he married the Hon Maysie Elizabeth Loch, daughter of the 2nd Baron Loch of Drylaw. Shortly after their marriage the Lindsays took a house at 91 Inverleith Row. There they built up a wide circle of professional friends, particularly notable amongst them being the liturgical historian and secretary of the Council for the Care of Churches, Dr Francis Carolus Eeles. Lindsay's sister Ailsa married ____Findlay, son of the architect Lt Col James Leslie Findlay and grandson of James Ritchie Findlay of 'The Scotsman', bringing a still wider range of influential contacts.

Although Lindsay had joined Orphoot's practice, his relationship with Fairlie remained close. After Fairlie received the commisson for the National Library in 1934, Lindsay accompanied him on a study tour of Scandinavian libraries. In the course of this trip Lindsay made many influential contacts in architecture, conservation and museums, and was particularly impressed by the work of the St Erik Society in Stockholm. On their return Fairlie recommended Lindsay to the Marquess of Bute as the best person to complete the National Trust's lists of houses and cottages worthy of preservation, lists which had hitherto been compiled by the Marquess himself with the aid of George Scott Moncrieff. It is not clear exactly when he took over, but by September 1936 Lindsay produced a list of 103 towns and villages to be surveyed including the 15 already listed by Bute. By 1938 1,168 buildings had been listed, categorised A, B and C on the model of Amsterdam's non-statutory city list of 1930. Despite the best efforts of John Wilson and his assistant Robert Hogg Matthew, no central funding for the improvement of these buildings was on offer from the Department of Health for Scotland under the 1930 Housing Act but the lists put the activities of the National Trust for Scotland on a truly national footing and led to the foundation of preservation trusts in Inveresk and St Andrews. The latter was founded in 1938 when he first met Ronald Gordon Cant with whom he began a series of small books on the old architecture of the Scottish burghs, published by Oliver & Boyd.

Although Lindsay was a High Church Episcopalian, these activities brought commissions for the restoration of Iona Abbey from the Iona Trustees (on the insistence of J S Richardson as principal inspector of Ancient Monuments) and that of Canongate Kirk and Manse, both in 1938. These were followed by the first of his tower house restorations, Aldie Castle, Kinross-shire in 1939. From that time onwards the Scottish end of the Orphoot practice began to become predominantly conservation based: Lindsay's clientele formed almost a separate entity within the Alva Street office which was otherwise principally concerned with very smart modern Houses. The former Caldey monk, artist, historian and writer Peter F Anson became an important member of Lindsay's circle collaborating with him on the design of St Finnan's RC Church, Invergarry (1938) and thereafter making the presentation watercolours of his new-build projects in a style close to that of the Roman Catholic priest-architect John Cyril Hawes. These were very linear with pale washes, but they did reflect the unflashy breadth of treatment and simplicity Lindsay aimed at in his new-build commissions.

From 1936 when Maysie Lindsay found her husband overworked and put an advertisement for an assistant in the Evening News without telling him, Lindsay was most ably supported by George Hay. Born in Edinburgh on 5 July 1911, the son of a skilled metal worker, Hay was educated at the James Clark School and became an apprentice draughtsman with Scott Morton & Company at the age of fourteen in 1925. There he came to the notice of Lorimer & Matthew to whom he transferred in 1928 as an architectural apprentice taking evening classes at Edinburgh College of Art. At Lorimer & Matthew's he spent much of his time on Kings Buildings and at the end of his apprenticeship in 1933 he transferred to the Scottish headquarters of the Office of Works working mainly on the ancient monuments estate under J Wilson Paterson and J S Richardson. His time there had not been altogether a happy one because of Paterson and Richardson's 'silly quarrels' but with Lindsay he quickly developed a close working relationship, his superb draughtsmanship becoming vital to the work of the office. Although their physical appearance and background were so very different - Lindsay was well over six feet tall, his friends mainly landed gentry, Hay was in Ronald Cant's words 'small, neat and purposeful' with strongly held opinions - they had other shared interests; the self-taught Hay had learned Gaelic and several Continental languages the better to understand Scotland's relationship with northern Europe in medieval and Renaissance times, and both had an intense interest in all things traditionally Scottish. It was in Orphoot Whiting & Lindsay's office that Hay completed his studies and was admitted ARIBA in 1937, with a distinction for his thesis on Scottish Architectural Woodwork of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He was very much a Scottish Renaissance man.

The outbreak of the Second World War brought about the dissolution of the partnership with Whiting and the closure of the Alva Street office in 1940, Orphoot continuing the practice from his house in Easter Belmont Road until the end of the war, exhibiting earlier projects thereafter to maintain his associateship of the Royal Scottish Academy to which he had been elected in 1934. Lindsay and Hay were called up for military service, Lindsay serving in the Royal Engineers for a time based in Wales. He ended the war as Major Lindsay, based with the British Army of the Rhine repairing war-damaged buildings and creating temporary hutments to accommodate homeless Germans. Although recommended by Fairlie to the Amenity Committee of the Hydro Electric Board in 1943 as 'the best of the younger architects' and informally appointed chief investigator of historic buildings under the Town & Country Planning (Scotland) Act in March-April 1945, he had difficulty in obtaining his release which was initially scheduled for February 1946. The intervention of Sir Iain Colquhoun and the Department secured his early release on 12 November 1945.

On his return Lindsay re-opened the practice from the basement of Houstoun House, Uphall, which he had bought from the Shairp family in that year, Orphoot retaining most of his own office records at Easter Belmont Road. The practice title then became Orphoot & Lindsay. Hay returned to the office having served with the Gordon Highlanders before being commissioned in the Royal Engineers. His travels had included North Africa, Sicily, Italy and finally Austria, greatly widening his knowledge of European architecture.

Lindsay was admitted FRIBA on 29 November 1949. The partnership of Orphoot & Lindsay was finally dissolved in 1952 when Orphoot retired. Orphoot died on 8 April 1964.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 121, Alva, Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1922 or 1923  

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 7John Michael Fox23 September 1930September 1933Apprentice 
Item 2 of 7Katharine Pamela Slater (Mrs Miller)After 1932Before 1939AssistantTwo months only
Item 3 of 7Ian Gordon Lindsay19331940Partner 
Item 4 of 7Burnett Napier Henderson Orphoot19331940Partner 
Item 5 of 7Frank Edward Whiting19331940Partner 
Item 6 of 7Walter Schomberg Hepburne Scott1937 Assistant 
Item 7 of 7George Hay19371940Assistant 

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 301933St John's Episcopal Church, Memorial Chapel for Mrs G H l Lindsay  EdinburghScotland 
Item 2 of 301933Tigh na GoathOnich Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 3 of 30c. 1933Cathedral Church of St Nicholas  Newcastle upon TyneEnglandAlterations - begun by Lindsay prior to partnership and continued under subsequent one
Item 4 of 30c. 1933Inveraray CastleInveraray ArgyllScotlandAlterations to form private apartments - continued by Lindsay under subsequent partnership
Item 5 of 30c. 1933New business premises for Blackwood Morton & SonsKilmarnock AyrshireScotlandLindsay responsible - continued under subsequent partnership
Item 6 of 301934Baltilly HouseCeres FifeScotlandAddition of new wing containing smoking room, bedrooms and bathroom - continued by Lindsay under subsequent partnership
Item 7 of 301934EventyrLongniddry East LothianScotland 
Item 8 of 301935St John's Episcopal Church  EdinburghScotlandLindsay responsible for screen for chapel to W H Fraser and altar, communion rails and details etc
Item 9 of 30c. 1935Colinton Mains Church and hall  EdinburghScotlandContinued by Lindsay under subsequent partnership
Item 10 of 30c. 1935St Monans Parish ChurchSt Monans/St Monance FifeScotlandAlterations and repairs - Lindsay responsible - continued under subsequent partnership
Item 11 of 301936Arisaig HouseArisaig Inverness-shireScotlandRebuilding after fire - designs by Ian B M Hamilton, executed by Orphoot, Whiting & Lindsay
Item 12 of 301936St Finnan's RC ChurchInvergarry Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 13 of 30c. 1936Houses in Brunton StreetFalkland FifeScotlandReconstruction
Item 14 of 30c. 1936Houses in Cross WyndFalkland FifeScotlandReconstruction
Item 15 of 301937AlltabruaisSpean Bridge Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 16 of 301938Glasgow Empire Exhibition, period roomsBellahouston GlasgowScotland 
Item 17 of 301938House near OxfordOxford (near) OxfordshireEngland 
Item 18 of 301938Iona Abbey IonaArgyllScotlandRestoration of monastic buildings - continued by Lindsay under subsequent partnership
Item 19 of 301938St Andrew and St Aidan's Episcopal Church  EdinburghScotlandHall - Lindsay responsible
Item 20 of 301938Stenhouse  EdinburghScotlandRestoration - continued by Lindsay under subsequent partnership
Item 21 of 301938Urray Church and ManseUrray, Muir of Ord Ross and CromartyScotlandAlterations - Lindsay responsible
Item 22 of 30c. 1938Old and St Michael of Tarvit's ChurchCupar FifeScotlandAlterations and refurnishing
Item 23 of 30c. 1938St Andrew's ChurchGreenock RenfrewshireScotlandRedevelopment of grounds - continued by Lindsay under subsequent partnerships
Item 24 of 301939Canongate Parish Church  EdinburghScotlandAlterations and restoration - continued by Lindsay under subsequent partnership
Item 25 of 301939Lamlash HotelLamlashArranButeScotlandReconstruction
Item 26 of 301939Recreation hallCorrour Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 27 of 30c. 1939Harrow InnPeebles PeeblesshireScotlandRemodelling - Orphoot responsible
Item 28 of 30c. 1939St Andrew HouseFalkland FifeScotlandReconstruction - continued by Lindsay under subsequent partnership
Item 29 of 30c. 1939Town's Churches, St Mary's Church and church hall  DundeeScotlandReseating, oak screen etc - continued by Lindsay under subsequent partnership
Item 30 of 301940Commercial Bank of ScotlandKilmarnock AyrshireScotlandDesign exhibited


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
Item 1 of 1Glendinning, Miles1997Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75  Tuckwell Press Ltdp8
p9 Image of Iona Abbey