Basic Biographical Details

Name: (Mrs) Mary Tindall
Designation: Architect
Born: 2 April 1924
Died: 2 November 2014
Bio Notes: Mary Tindall (neé Miller) was born on 2 April 1924, the only child of Hemsley and Constance Miller. She was educated at Streatham High School which was evacuated to Chichester during the Second World War. She was taught there by the artist Peggy Angus and spent many hours in the Bishop’s Palace in Chichester honing her drawing skills. She studied architecture at the Architectural Association (AA) which again, because of the war, was located out of London at Mount House in Hadley Wood, Barnet. After completing the first part of her course, she was employed at the Department of Health for Scotland in 1945 under Robert Matthew. Working for a Government department was a requirement for women in her position, as opposed to national service for men. Her work for the Department involved recording abandoned coal bings and shale works in the central belt of Scotland for the Central Scotland Plan.

After the end of hostilities she completed her course and spent the summer of 1946, accompanied by a friend, Joyce Taylor, from the AA in Switzerland working in an architect’s office in Zurich. In the spring of the following year they worked in Canada in various offices in Toronto and visited Marcel Breuer in New York.

She returned to London to study for a degree at the School of Planning and Regional Development. She met her future husband Frank Tindall there and the three friends Mary, Joyce and Frank spent their holidays carrying out surveys of bomb damaged cities.

In 1948 all three were recruited as top students at the School by Berthold Lubetkin to assist him in the design of the new town of Peterlee but Joyce decided to remain in London. Problems in the management of this project led to the resignation of Lubetkin and his whole team. Frank was appointed East Lothian’s first County Planning Officer while Mary took a senior post in Kent. However they married in 1951 and set up home in Haddington which was also Mary’s office for her practice.

Mary‘s practice concentrated on the reconstruction and conservation of historic buildings. Success came in the form of numerous awards. The family moved to Ford House which was restored under Mary’s guidance.

She served on a variety of conservation and architecture-related committees including that of Edinburgh’s Old Town, the Hanover Housing Association, for which she led a study trip to Denmark, the Scottish Georgian Society (now the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland) for which she helped prepare the guidelines for best practice in architectural conservation. As secretary of the Crichton Collegiate Church Trust, she assisted in raising money for its repairs and restoration. In 1963 she collaborated with Douglas Baillie on a study of East Lothian’s dovecots which was subsequently published.

Outwith her profession Mary enjoyed family life and was hospitable and generous with advice. She had from an early age a keen love and knowledge of nature. She enjoyed folk music and country dancing.

She died at her home in Ford on 2 November 2104 and is survived by her three children, four grandchildren and one great grandchild. Frank Tindall had died in 1998.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 3Haddington, East Lothian, ScotlandPrivate/business(?)   
Item 2 of 312, Bridge Street, Haddington, East Lothian, ScotlandPrivate1957 *  
Item 3 of 3Ford House, Pathhead, Midlothian, ScotlandPrivate/businessEarly 1950sAfter 1964 

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 1Department of Health for Scotland (Scottish Board of Health; later Scottish Development Department)1945 * Architect 

* earliest date known from documented sources.

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 10 Old Smithy, DirletonDirleton East LothianScotland 
Item 2 of 101952Stevenson HouseHaddington (near) East LothianScotlandLaundry wing repaired and converted into separate house
Item 3 of 1019531 NungateHaddington East LothianScotlandRestoration
Item 4 of 101956Stevenson HouseHaddington (near) East LothianScotlandCoach house repaired and converted into separate house
Item 5 of 10Before 1959Little Stevenson and the StablesHaddington East Lothian  
Item 6 of 101961Ford HouseFord MidlothianScotlandRestoration
Item 7 of 10Before 1965House for Lord GuestDirleton East LothianScotland 
Item 8 of 101970sThe DouneRothiemurchus Inverness-shireScotlandReconstruction
Item 9 of 101970Harbour warehousesNorth Berwick East LothianScotlandRestoration and conversion to flats
Item 10 of 101971West Letham  East LothianScotlandConverted from stables of Letham House - Tower added as part of improvements


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 3Glendinning, M, MacInnes, R and MacKechnie, A1996A History of Scottish Architecture  p600
Item 2 of 3Glendinning, Miles2008Modern architect: the life and times of Robert Matthew RIBA Publishingp77
Item 3 of 3Municipal Annual1964Scottish Municipal Annual1964-1965  

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2RIAS Quarterly2014 Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS)Winter
Item 2 of 2Scotsman10 November 2014   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIAS, Rutland SquareRecords of membership