Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Brash
Designation: Architect
Born: c. 1775
Died: 12 February 1848
Bio Notes: John Brash was born c.1775, the son of a farmer at New Kilpatrick. Research by Iain Paterson has found a statement that he was the son of a Secession minister, but the Rev William Brash, minister of Campbell Street Burgher Church from 1815, appears to have been a brother or a nephew rather than a parent as he was considerably younger, born c.1793.

Brash appears to have commenced practice in Glasgow c.1800, his first known work being the parish church at Strathblane, rebuilt in 1803.

His office was at 79 Stockwell Street by 1815, but it is not yet clear when he first established himself there. His most important work was Blythswood Square, built 1823-29, where the general arrangement was determined by a plan made by Gillespie Graham in 1820, while the elevations may have been derived from a scheme by William Burn. Modifying designs by others seems to have been a recurring pattern in Brash's later career.

On February 27 1808 he purchased 355 square yards on the south side of Garscube Highway and on 31 May 1833 he took 2136 square yards on the east side of Smith Street (later Otago Street), Hillhead.

Brash retired in 1838 or 1839 when he sold his house at Madeira Buildings, 269 Argyll Street. He married twice, but his second wife had also predeceased him and he had no family by either marriage. He retired to Falkirk to live with his sister, Mrs Cochran, in Chapel Lane. Whether he continued to practise in Falkirk is not known. He died on 12 February 1848 leaving moveable estate of 2,500, most of which derived from the sale of Madeira Buildings. His executrix was Mrs Cochran who appears to have been unable to write as she signed the executory papers with a cross.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 479, Stockwell Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1815 *  
Item 2 of 4Madeira Buildings/269, Argyll Street, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivateBefore 18271838 or 1839 
Item 3 of 4269, Argyll Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessc. 1834  
Item 4 of 4Falkirk, Stirlingshire, ScotlandPrivate1848 * Place of retirement and death

* earliest date known from documented sources.

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 1James Salmon (senior)c. 1820c. 1825Apprentice 

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 121803Strathblane Parish ChurchStrathblane StirlingshireScotland 
Item 2 of 121805Tollcross Relief Church  GlasgowScotland 
Item 3 of 121808Galston Parish ChurchGalston AyrshireScotland 
Item 4 of 121810Dumbarton Parish ChurchDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 5 of 121811The Hamilton Building, The Old College of Glasgow  GlasgowScotlandRevision of design by Peter Nicholson
Item 6 of 121812Largs Parish ChurchLargs AyrshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 7 of 121816Great Hamilton Street Methodist Church  GlasgowScotland 
Item 8 of 121819Calton First Reformed Presbyterian Church  GlasgowScotland 
Item 9 of 12After 1820Shotts Parish ChurchShotts LanarkshireScotlandModification of Gillespie Graham's design to eliminate 'unnecessary ornament'
Item 10 of 121823Blythswood Square  GlasgowScotlandEast, west and south sides
Item 11 of 121827Tenement on site of Old Ship Bank  GlasgowScotland 
Item 12 of 121829Blythswood Square  GlasgowScotlandNorth side


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 2Colvin, H M1995A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-18403rd editionNew Haven and London: Yale University Press 
Item 2 of 2Post Office Directories     

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3 Callendar Park, Falkirk Executory papers
Item 2 of 3National Archives of Scotland (formerly SRO)Sheriff Court Records SC 67/36/28, p.154
Item 3 of 3Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Information from Iain Paterson and William F T Anderson (solicitor, who deposited executory papers etc. at Callendar Park, Falkirk: letter 2 September 2006)