Basic Biographical Details

Name: Orphoot & Lindsay
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1945
Ended: 1952
Bio Notes: Burnett Napier Henderson Orphoot ('Phootie') was born at 'The Priory' in Eastgate, Peebles in 1880, the son of Thomas Henderson Orphoot, Sheriff Substitute of Lothian and Peebles and his wife Edith Carmichael Smythe Burnett and grandson of James Burnett of Barns. He was educated at Rugby and the University of Edinburgh and 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. Orphoot's 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 & 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 c.1930.

Bryce left the practice in 1932 and went into partnership with his wife, Helen Mary Bryce. Ian Gordon Lindsay replaced Bryce as third partner in the Spring of 1933. Born in Edinburgh on 29 July 1906, the son of George Herbert Lindsay, distiller, he first became interested in architecture and old buildings in particular while at prep school in Crieff. Thereafter he went to Marlborough and, from 1924 to 1927, to Trinity College, Cambridge, Ian Parsons, later of Chatto & Windus, and John Betjeman ('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 other leading lights in the circle, Forbes's own architect Raymond McGrath, Robert Hurd, Oliver Hill, Robert Alison Crighton Simpson and Thomas Steuart Fothringham. While still at Cambridge his first book 'The Cathedrals of Scotland' was published in 1926.

On his return to Edinburgh 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. He commenced practice on his own account at 5 Castle Street in 1931, quickly becoming prominent as editor of the RIAS Quarterly. He was early appointed to the Council of the Cockburn Association, and through Fairlie, became a member of the Friends of Falkland, an association formed by the Marquess of Bute and his nephew Major Michael Crichton-Stuart, later to become an influential figure in the National Trust for Scotland. In 1932 Lindsay married the Hon Maysie Elizabeth Loch, daughter of the 2nd Baron Loch of Drylaw. They took a house at 91 Inverleith Row, where 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 Marquis 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 constructing 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. 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.

Orphoot did not design much after the Second World War and the partnership of Orphoot & Lindsay was finally dissolved in 1952 when Orphoot retired completely. He died on 8 April 1964. The practice then became Ian G Lindsay & Partners. Hay and another assistant of Orphoot and Lindsay's, Walter Schomberg Scott, was taken into partnership. The practice was based in the ground floor and basement of 17 Great Stuart Street, which had been Playfair's office, and later Lorimer's, and had been bought by Maysie Lindsay in 1956. A friend of Lindsay's, D Alan Stevenson, last of the harbour and lighthouse engineering family, lived in the floors above. Anson still did Lindsay's presentation perspectives and for a time lived in the basement at Houstoun. The practice expanded rapidly mainly on church country house and hydro-electric work but was not without problems. Lindsay was over-committed as chief investigator of historic buildings and as a member of virtually every body concerned with Scottish heritage and although most of it was done at weekends he necessarily spent a lot of time visiting and socialising with clients and on his books; Hay had more work than he could do and sometimes became stressed; and most seriously Scott's clientele was something of a separate entity within the practice and Lindsay was not always happy with his work either aesthetically or technically. Like Lindsay, Scott came of a very influential background. Born 14 September 1910 at Monteviot House, Roxburgh, he was the son of James Corpatrick Hepburne Scott, 2nd son of the 7th Lord Polwarth and Lady Isobel Alice Adelaide Kerr, daughter of the 7th Marquess of Lothian. He had studied at Edinburgh College of Art in 1930-35 and had worked in the office of Reginald Fairlie in 1934-35. That these early years he travelled extensively in Italy, Holland, Germany Sweden and France. In 1936 he moved to London to work for T A Darcy Braddell of Deane & Braddell, returning to Edinburgh to work for Orphoot Whiting & Lindsay in 1937, living at Broomlands House, Kelso. He was admitted ARIBA in that year, his proposers being Fairlie, Braddell and Orphoot. Later he found employment in London with Edward Maufe by whom his work was for a time strongly influenced. In person he was a small and slim man with a military moustache. His marriage on 15 February 1945 to Deborah Castle, a grand daughter of ___ Howard of Castle Howard, extended an already very wide range of social connections.

Although Lindsay was then still serving in Germany, his National Trust (or 'Bute lists') had been adopted by the Department of Health in 1945 as the Town & Country Planning Acts had made it a statutory requirement to compile lists of buildings of special architectural or historic interest. It was quickly realised that the Bute lists were too narrow in scope and in 1947 Sir Robert Russell, who returned from India as an assistant secretary at the Department, decided to have the necessary resurvey carried out by retired or under-employed architects, following the criteria which had been set out by the Maclagan committee in London. For them Lindsay produced 'the child's guide' 'Notes for the Guidance of Investigators' issued in June 1948 which was considerably in advance of the English instructions in respect of Victorian and Edwardian architecture. The recruitment of part-timers, not all of whom proved to be elderly, greatly widened the Lindsay network, by far the most important of the early investigators being the Aberdeen architect Alexander George Robertson Mackenzie whom he had known before the war. Although Mackenzie was much older, he had a similar outlook on contemporary design and Lindsay was considerably influenced by his thinking. Other early investigators were Alan Reiach in Edinburgh; Simpson in Duns, a friend from his Cambridge days; Roy Carruthers-Ballantyne in Inverness; John Needham in Dundee; Joseph Weekes in Glasgow and Dumbarton; Antony Curtis Wolffe in the south west; and William Murray Jack in Fife; and after Weekes's death Alfred Lochhead was entrusted with Glasgow and Renfrewshire in 1955, while Catherine Holway Cruft took over Edinburgh from Reiach in 1956. Only Lochhead and Cruft carried out any serious research beyond what was strictly necessary for statutory purposes. Nevertheless the survey was the background to Lindsay' s 'Georgian Edinburgh' (1945) and 'The Scottish Parish Kirk' (1960) while the parallel researches of George Hay resulted in Hay's much more comprehensive 'The Architecture of Scottish Post Reformation Churches', published in 1957. Lindsay and Hay both had a particular interest in the Roman Catholic churches of this vintage, restoring St Mahew's Kilmahew in 1953-55 for the traditionalist historian priest Father David McRoberts who was very architecturally minded. He became an important member of Lindsay's circle and was behind the commission for a large church in Greenock which was sadly never built.

Problems with Schomberg Scott's restoration work for the National Trust for Scotland at The Sandhaven, Culross, and a church with roof problems led to the dissolution of the partnership with Schomberg Scott. His place was taken by John Herdman Reid, principally to deal with the new-build side of the business and bring it more in tune with the times. Symptomatic of the change was the laying up of Lindsay's Rolls Royce coupe (its top speed was only 55mph) and its replacement by a Jaguar coupe. But John Reid and George Hay were very different people: and in 1960 Hay regretfully withdrew to return to the Office of Public Works to be sure of retaining Lindsay's friendship which had begun to seem increasingly at risk. Hay's decision was deeply regretted by Lindsay who more than once observed 'Can't say I miss Scott but I miss Wee Doddie (Hay) dreadfully'. Fortunately by that date the main work on the drawings for Iona and Pluscarden had been done.

In 1962-63 Lindsay undertook a study tour of Australia to advise the Government of Australia on listing and conservation. He was invalided off the return voyage with glandular fever, and shortly afterwards broke a leg struggling with a ram while trying to get it into a boat in Mull. He never recovered properly from either of these mishaps; Hodgkin's disease set in and was not at first recognised for what it was. His last years were also clouded by the loss of the National Trust for Scotland as a client, the work being taken over by the Trust's surveyor under Robert Crozier with Schomberg Scott as consultant, an appointment which particularly upset him. Eventually he became bed-ridden at Houstoun. Although in great discomfort he sat up in bed, received clients and visitors, many of them from the conservation world, and generally did as much as he could. Eventually he had to be moved to Bangour Hospital where he died on 28 August 1966. His funeral was at St John's Church, Princes Street where he had remained a member, and in accordance with his wishes his ashes were scattered to a piper's lament from a boat in Iona Sound. His great book on Inveraray, for which Mary Cosh was initially the researcher, was unfinished at his death. It had grown out of his restoration work of the town of Inveraray for the Ministry of Public Building and Works and on Inveraray Castle for the 11th Duke of Argyll. It eventually appeared in their joint names in 1973.

Lindsay was a big man in every sense of the word and his friends tended to be big men too: a gathering in the office tended to be like a meeting of Sir Walter Scott's six foot club, Lord Macleod of Fuinary being a particularly commanding presence. Lindsay was rarely seen in a suit; he wore blue denim shirts, an immensely heavy vegetable-dyed kilt and a plaid as his everyday business clothes. He always carried a walking stick and he took snuff: this was a great hazard to drawings on linen when he sneezed. For these sneezes he always had enormous red spotted handkerchiefs which, like the shirts, came from a fisherman's shop in Leith. The customs of the old Scots gentry like supping brose standing up, were everyday habits of life; and like Mackenzie's Bourtie, Houstoun was carefully maintained in a state of genteel old-world charm in which the preservation of the original paint surfaces and fittings were paramount considerations. Such concern for original surfaces extended to the waterbound red gravel drive, of which he observed, 'I know my drive looks like a gutted rabbit but it is 'correct'.'

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 2Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness   
Item 2 of 2Houston House, Uphall, West Lothian 1949  

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 3Ian Gordon Lindsay19451952Partner 
Item 2 of 3Burnett Napier Henderson Orphoot19451952Partner 
Item 3 of 3George Hay19451952Assistant 

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 171945Baltilly HouseCeres FifeScotlandAddition of new wing containing smoking room, bedrooms and bathroom - begun by Lindsay under previous partnership and continued by him under subsequent one
Item 2 of 171945Canongate Parish Church  EdinburghScotlandAlterations and restoration - begun by Lindsay under previous partnership
Item 3 of 171945Cathedral Church of St Nicholas  Newcastle upon TyneEnglandAlterations - begun by Lindsay under previous partnership and continued under subsequent one
Item 4 of 171945Colinton Mains Church and hall  EdinburghScotlandBegun by Lindsay under previous partnership
Item 5 of 171945Houses in Brunton StreetFalkland FifeScotlandReconstruction
Item 6 of 171945Inveraray CastleInveraray ArgyllScotlandAlterations to form private apartments - begun by Lindsay under previous partnership
Item 7 of 171945Iona Abbey IonaArgyllScotlandRestoration of monastic buildings - begun by Lindsay prior to partnership and continued by him after its dissolution
Item 8 of 171945New business premises for Blackwood Morton & SonsKilmarnock AyrshireScotlandLindsay responsible - begun under previous partnership
Item 9 of 171945St Andrew and St Aidan's Episcopal Church  EdinburghScotlandHall - Lindsay responsible
Item 10 of 171945St Andrew HouseFalkland FifeScotlandReconstruction - begun by Lindsay under previous partnership
Item 11 of 171945St Andrew's ChurchGreenock RenfrewshireScotlandRedevelopment of grounds - begun by Lindsay under previous partnership and continued under subsequent ones
Item 12 of 171945St Monans Parish ChurchSt Monans/St Monance FifeScotlandAlterations and repairs - Lindsay responsible - continued under subsequent partnership
Item 13 of 171945Stenhouse  EdinburghScotlandRestoration - begun by Lindsay under previous partnership
Item 14 of 171945Town's Churches, St Mary's Church and church hall  DundeeScotlandReseating, oak screen etc - begun by Lindsay prior to partnership and continued by him after its dissolution
Item 15 of 171949Church of ScotlandLivingston Station West LothianScotland 
Item 16 of 171949Regent Confectionery Works  Edinburgh Alterations.
Item 17 of 171949St Ninian's RC ChurchTynet MorayshireScotlandRestoration


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
Item 1 of 2Glendinning, Miles1997Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75  Tuckwell Press Ltdp8 Iona Abbey; 'Little Houses' programme
p9 Image of Iona Abbey
Item 2 of 2  RCAHMS

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architectural practice:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Builder1 July 1949  p26
Item 2 of 2RIAS Quarterly1933SpringRoyal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS)Note on the formation of the partnership