George Steuart was born in about 1703 in Atholl, Perthshire though his family background was in the Highlands and he and his brother Charles were Gaelic speakers. Charles Steuart was a landscape painter and he exhibited between 1764 and 1790 at the Royal Academy. (Some of his pictures can be seen at Blair Atholl.) The patronage of the Duke of Atholl was significant in the career of George and presumably also that of his brother.
George seems to have started his career as a house painter but was practising as an architect in London from about 1770. His first recorded work is a town house for the 3rd Duke of Atholl in London. He also worked in Shropshire where he obtained commissions from the local gentry. He subsequently moved to Douglas in the Isle of Man where the Dukes of Atholl were governors and principal landowners.
Steuart’s buildings are generally in a severe neoclassical style. Wall surfaces are only broken occasionally by slightly recessed arches containing a window. His New St Chad’s Church in Shrewsbury of 1790-92 is thought to be his best work. Here he combined a circular nave with a massive steeple of three stages, one square, one octagonal and one circular. Colvin considers this to be ‘one of the spatially most enterprising of English Georgian churches’. He only worked on two buildings in Scotland.
Steuart died at the Lough House, Douglas on 20 December 1806 in Kirk Braddan churchyard where his death is commemorated by a simple tombstone.
Buildings and Designs
This architect was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):