Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Burn
Designation: Architect, Builder
Born: 1748
Died: 27 January 1816
Bio Notes: James Burn was born at Yester, East Lothian in 1748, the elder brother of George Burn, architect. He was a wright by trade and was known as ‘Old Timmer’. His business as both architect and builder was conducted in Haddington where he became a burgess in July 1777. He bought Kinloch House in Market Street in 1784 where he established his yard. He built a number of houses in Haddington and the rest of East Lothian which were described in 1883 as ‘excellent family houses…among which may be mentioned Mr Roughead’s and the late Mr Banks’ house in High Street; Mr Todrick’s in Hardgate; as also the Hopes' House and Newbyth House’.

In the first decade of the 19th century Burn obtained various commissions in Aberdeen, including the Aberdeen Bank in Castle Street. The Bank was one of the first buildings of dressed granite in the city with Doric pilasters. The Bridewell was designed in a simple castellated style.

Burn was joint contractor with his brother for the Spey Bridge at Fochabers and other bridges including two at Dunglass, East Lothian, and Inverbervie, Kincardineshire with single arches of wide span over steep-sided valleys and three with timber arches which Telford rated highly: Image Bridge in the grounds of Brechin Castle, The Bridge of Din at Dyce, and Grandholm Bridge, Aberdeenshire.

Burn died on 27 January 1816. His business was reputedly carried on by a relative, ‘ Mr Hay Walker’.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect, builder:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1Kinloch House, Haddington, East Lothian, ScotlandBusiness1794  

Buildings and Designs

This architect, builder 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 161770s(?)House for Mr BanksHaddington East LothianScotland 
Item 2 of 161770s(?)House for Mr TodrickHaddington East LothianScotland 
Item 3 of 161770s(?)Mr Roughead's HouseHaddington East LothianScotland 
Item 4 of 161797Bridge at InverbervieInverbervie KincardineshireScotlandWith his brother
Item 5 of 161797CaponflatHaddington (near) East LothianScotland 
Item 6 of 161797Dunglass Bridge  East LothianScotland 
Item 7 of 161801Spey BridgeFochabers MorayshireScotlandJoint contractor with his brother
Item 8 of 161801Union Bank  AberdeenScotland 
Item 9 of 161803Bridge of DonDyce AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 10 of 161804The FleshmarketHaddington East LothianScotland 
Item 11 of 161805Union Street and King Street and Union Bridge  AberdeenScotlandPlan for symmetrical terraces ,stretching from North Street to Castle Street. Responsible for balustraded parapet ('gave the bridge its distinctive appearance') of bridge. Scheme known from outline drawing by the engineer Thomas Fletcher.
Item 12 of 161807Brechin Castle and gate lodgeBrechin AngusScotlandImage Bridge over the South Esk River
Item 13 of 161809Bridewell  AberdeenScotland 
Item 14 of 161810St Mary's ChurchHaddington East LothianScotlandPlans drawn up for alterating and refitting interior of the church. Carried out to a modified design.
Item 15 of 161817Newbyth HouseEast Linton East LothianScotlandRebuilding of house to designs by Archibald Elliot.
Item 16 of 16c. 1825House at HopesGifford, near East LothianScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect, builder:
Item 1 of 2Colvin, H M1995A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-18403rd editionNew Haven and London: Yale University Press 
Item 2 of 2Martine, John1883Reminiscenses of the Royal Burgh of Haddington   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect, builder:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1NASSC Archives (Sc)SC 70/1/15