Basic Biographical Details

Name: Joseph Mitchell & Company
Designation: Engineering practice
Started: 1860s
Bio Notes: Joseph Mitchell was born in Forres on 3 November 1803 (christened 11 November), the son of John Mitchell, a stonemason who was appointed Thomas Telford's Chief Inspector and Superintendent of Highland Roads and Bridges, and Margaret Philip. He gained practical experience as a mason working on the Fort Augustus Locks of Telford's Caledonian Canal, and was then invited by Telford to become his clerk and study engineering. When his father died in 1824, he succeeded to the post of Chief Inspector at the age of only 21. In 1828 he was appointed engineer to the Scottish Board of Fisheries, under the auspices of which he was responsible for the construction of 16 harbours under their harbour building and improvement scheme across Scotland. He had a particular interest in railway construction, and from the late 1830s was involved in surveying the route of new lines and promoting their execution. He engineered the routes of a number of the lines that later formed the Highland Railway, and his line over the Grampians from Dunkeld to Forres is widely considered to be his greatest achievement.

He worked from Inverness and it was there that he married Christian Dunsmure on 27 January 1841. He was a member of the Institution of Structural Engineers and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

In 1862 Joseph Mitchell suffered a stroke and in the same year took his assistants, William and Murdoch Paterson, into partnership, the firm being re-named Joseph Mitchell and Company. Mitchell eventually recovered but retired in 1867. The subsequent history of the firm is still unclear but it continued until at least November 1874 when Murdoch Paterson was appointed chief engineer of the Highland Railway.

Joseph Mitchell died on 26 November 1883 in London, leaving estate of 99,524 2s 6d.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this engineering practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1Inverness, Inverness-shire, Scotland(?)Business   

Employment and Training

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this engineering practice (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 3Murdoch Paterson1862 Partner 
Item 2 of 3William Paterson1862 Partner 
Item 3 of 3Joseph Mitchell18621867PartnerMitchell retired 1867

Buildings and Designs

This engineering 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 81862Railway StationForres MorayshireScotland 
Item 2 of 81863Railway Bridge on Castle Grant EstateGrantown-on-Spey MorayshireScotland 
Item 3 of 81863Railway StationTain Ross and CromartyScotland 
Item 4 of 81864Balnagown Railway ViaductBalnagown Ross and CromartyScotland 
Item 5 of 81864Fearn Railway Station and ancillary buildingsFearn Ross and CromartyScotland 
Item 6 of 8c. 1865Railway StationArdgay Ross and CromartyScotland 
Item 7 of 81867Shin Railway ViaductInvershin SutherlandScotland 
Item 8 of 81868Railway StationLairg SutherlandScotland 


Currently, there are no references for this engineering practice. The information has been derived from: the British Architectural Library / RIBA Directory of British Architects 1834-1914; Post Office Directories; and/or any sources listed under this individual's works.