Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||Stewart Hunter Cruden |
|Designation: ||Architect |
|Born: ||22 January 1915 |
|Died: ||13 October 2002 |
|Bio Notes: ||Stewart Hunter Cruden was born on 22 January 1915, the son of Alexander Stewart Cruden, architect, and his wife Mabel Hunter. He was educated at the Royal High School, Edinburgh and studied at Edinburgh College of Art from October 1933. Between his third and fourth years of study he spent a year in H M Office of Works. He was awarded travelling scholarships to Germany in 1936 (three weeks) and to France in 1938 (seven weeks), and obtained his diploma in 1939. He was admitted ARIBA on 12 December 1939, his proposers being Alfred Hugh Mottram, George Patrick Houston Watson and James Alexander Arnott. Mottram's supporting statement indicates that he had 'taken part in various excavations at Ancient Monuments etc. under the office works [sic] in the Orkneys and has recently been in charge of similar work on Traprain Law East Lothian'. He had also attended lectures on archaeology and Scottish history at the University. |
War had already broken out by the time he qualified, however, and he joined the Royal Navy and was posted to the Destoryer Electra which was later sunk in the Battle of the Java Sea in 1942. He was one of only five sailors to survive for four days clinging to a life-raft. He was picked up by the Japanese and spent the raminder of the war in a prisoner of war camp. He gave classes on European architecture to his fellow inmates to try to keep up morale. He stayed on after the cease of hostilities to help the Dutch peace-keeping force and was later created a Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau.
Cruden returned to his post in the Office of Works in 1946. He was elected ARIAS in 1956. He succeeded Dr James Richardson as Inspector of Ancient Monuments and headed up an increasingly large team until his retirement in 1984.
His greatest interest was in the Middle Ages and published widely on this period. He also wrote papers and guidebopks on monuments in state care and made important contributions to the study of medieval pottery. He taught for many years in the extra-mural department of the University. He thought of himself as a generalist in an increasingly specialist world. This led to a certain isolation which was made more apparent by transfer from the Ministry (which became the Property Services Agency) of functions to the Scottish Office. The Inspectorate, he felt, was increasingly regarded as having an advisory rather than a decision-making role, the decisions being taken by those with no real knowledge of the monuments temselves.
He was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1952 and appointed OBA in 1972. His membership of the RIBA was terminated in 1973 presumably at the point at which he had decided his career was to continue with the Office of Works.
He died at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Edinburgh on 13 October 2002. His wife Elizabeth Downie Wright had predeceased him but he was survived by his three sons.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|93, Baronscourt Terrace, Edinburgh, Scotland||Private||1939 *|| || |
|Tighbeog, Avon Road, Barnton, Edinburgh, Scotland||Private||1950 *|| || |
|23, Chester Street, Edinburgh, Scotland||Private||1955 *|| || |
|87, Craigleith Road, Edinburgh, Scotland||Private||Before 1970||2002|| |
* earliest date known from documented sources.
Employment and Training
|The following periodicals contain references to this architect:|
| ||Periodical Name||Date||Edition||Publisher||Notes|
|The Times||26 November 2002|| || ||Obituary|
|The following archives hold material relating to this architect:|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|H M Register House||Death Register|| || |
|RIAS, Rutland Square||Records of membership|| || |
|RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert Museum||RIBA Nomination Papers|| ||A no7300 (combined box 183)|