Basic Biographical Details

Name: Thomas Bonnar
Designation: Architect
Born: 1770s(?)
Died: 1847
Bio Notes: Thomas Bonnar was born in Edinburgh probably about the 1770s. He was probably not the son of John Bonnar, painter, who, with his descendants, ran the decorating business in Edinburgh. He was admitted a burgess of the city in June 1795. He married Margaret Gairdner, daughter of Ebenezer Gairdner, merchant in June or July 1800.

In 1801 he was an agent in the sale of houses in St James's Square, St James's Street and Gayfield Place which 'are now finishing' and also in 1809. It is possible he had some input into the design or construction of these houses. In 1807 he was appointed a Sworn Measurer and in 1809 the Superintendent of Public Works. However he lost this job in December 1818 when he was made a scapegoat for the bungled hanging of Robert Johnston for highway robbery which ended in a public riot.

From 1810 he was surveyor to Heriot's Hospital. He was also involved with laying out streets in the New Town of Edinburgh. He should not be confused with Thomas Bonnar who was born about 1821 and who practised in Edinburgh as architect and builder from the mid-1850s.

Thomas Bonnar retired about 1832 and died in the winter of 1847-8.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 4Heriot's Bridge, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1805  
Item 2 of 4Magdelene Chapel, Cowgate, EdinburghBusiness1809 Workshop
Item 3 of 42, Drummond Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1809  
Item 4 of 41, Rankeillour Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1821After 1830 

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 131810Edinburgh City Chambers  EdinburghScotlandRepairs and alterations - advertisement for tenders
Item 2 of 131812University of Edinburgh, Old College  EdinburghScotlandConsiderable alterations to Chemical Theatre
Item 3 of 131814Nelson Monument  EdinburghScotlandCustodian's house built under his direction.
Item 4 of 131817Drummond Place  EdinburghScotlandPartly revised elevations designed by Robert Reid
Item 5 of 131817Granary and stockmarket  EdinburghScotland 
Item 6 of 131817Hermitage PlaceLeith EdinburghScotland 
Item 7 of 131819Queen Street Gardens, gardener's house  EdinburghScotland 
Item 8 of 13c. 1819Bellevue Crescent, Northern Half  EdinburghScotlandOriginal design, subsequently revised by Thomas Brown after Bonnar's dismissal
Item 9 of 131822Houses, 4-15 Gloucester Place  EdinburghScotland 
Item 10 of 131823London Street  EdinburghScotlandNos 42-54
Item 11 of 1318241-85 East Claremont Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 12 of 131824Atholl Crescent, Atholl Place and Torphichen Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 13 of 13c. 1830Bellevue Terrace  EdinburghScotlandDrew up plans


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 2Colvin, Howard2008A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 London: YUP. 4th edition 
Item 2 of 2Scottish Record Society1933Roll of Edinburgh Burgesses   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 4Caledonian Mercury5 February 1801   
Item 2 of 4Caledonian Mercury14 January 1809   
Item 3 of 4Scots Magazine1 July 1800   
Item 4 of 4Scots Magazine1819NS iv pp49-54

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Edinburgh City ArchivesEdinburgh Town Council Minutes177-812 December 1809
Item 2 of 2New Register HouseWills and Testaments