Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Jerdan
Born: 21 May 1839
Died: 16 November 1913
Bio Notes: James Jerdan was born at Greenlees Farm near Yetholm on 21 May 1839, the son of a tenant farmer, Robert Jerdan, and Helen Brunton. He was apprenticed as a joiner and was described as a journeyman joiner when he married nineteen-year-old Helen Watson, a Melrose-born power-loom weaver, in Galashiels in 1868.

Around 1875 he joined Wardrop & Reid in Edinburgh, probably as a clerk-of-works. Around 1885 he set up practice on his own account at 74 George Street with the gift of office equipment surplus to requirements following the merger of the Wardrop & Reid practice with Rowand Anderson's. Soon afterward Jerdan moved office to 12 Castle Street, where the practice remained for the rest of its existence.

The Jerdans first lived in Tynecastle, later moving to Dundee Street which was listed as their address in the census of 1901, and finally to 5 Craiglockhart Terrace shortly thereafter. They had nine children. The eldest son, Robert, became a chartered surveyor in North Castle Street and did the survey work for the practice. Thomas, born 1873, died at the age of twenty. John, born 1875, and James Watson, born 1882, became architects. The fifth and youngest son, George L, born c.1884, was listed as a joiner in the 1901 census, and seems to have been briefly in the family office, but emigrated to Australia before the First World War to join his brothers-in-law in their building contractors' business. The daughters were Janet (born c.1870), Elizabeth S (born c.1880 and working as a photographer's assistant in 1901) and Jane (born 15 and listed in 1901 as a typist).

Of the two architect sons, John was the more gifted and continued the practice. He was educated at the Edinburgh Institution and articled to his father. During that period he attended the classes at Heriot-Watt - where his father taught architecture and building construction - and won the free-hand drawing medal during the 1892-3 session: he also attended the Trustees classes at the Royal Scottish Academy.

In 1897 John made a study tour of France, and in 1899 another of Britain. In that year he obtained a place in the office of Aston Webb, where he met Ralph Knott. They became close friends, attending the drawing classes at the Slade together. A partnership was planned but abandoned in 1903 or 1904, as James Jerdan was by then suffering from diabetes and John had to return home to take over the business, which does not seem to have had enough work to support three partners. James Junior (who hyphenated his name as James Watson-Jerdan) obtained a post with Fife County Council in Kirkcaldy and set up a separate practice just before the First World War at Ivy College, Barnes, London, moving later to Croydon, where he died in 1932. The elder Jerdans retired to Warden House, Coldingham, where Helen died in 1909. James died in Edinburgh on 16 November 1913.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 7Tynecastle, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1885  
Item 2 of 774, George Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1885c. 1892 
Item 3 of 719, Dundee Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1887c. 1901In 1887 business and home and thereafter home.
Item 4 of 729, Frederick Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1888  
Item 5 of 712, Castle Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessLate 1880sc. 1940 
Item 6 of 7Warden House, Coldingham, Berwickshire, ScotlandPrivatec. 19021913 
Item 7 of 75, Craiglockhart Terrace, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivateEarly 1900s1913 

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 2Wardrop & Reid1875c. 1885Clerk of Works 
Item 2 of 2James Jerdan & Son1903 or 1904Before 1909Partner 

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 2John Jerdan18931898Apprentice 
Item 2 of 2George Angus Sutherland19 February 19001904Apprentice 


RIBA Proposals

This proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 1George Angus Sutherland20 March 1911for Licentiateship

Buildings and Designs

This 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 77188189 Marchmont Crescent  EdinburghScotland 
Item 2 of 771881Tenements, 37-39 Marchmont CrescentMarchmont EdinburghScotland 
Item 3 of 771885Double VillaCorstorphine EdinburghScotland 
Item 4 of 771885St James' Episcopal ChurchGoldenacre EdinburghScotlandActed as Clerk of Works
Item 5 of 771889Tenement and shop, GrassmarketOld Town EdinburghScotlandConversion to lodging house
Item 6 of 771889Whitehorse Close (Bishop Paterson's House)  EdinburghScotlandRestoration as working class housing
Item 7 of 771890Bathgate ManseBathgate West LothianScotlandAdditions
Item 8 of 771890Benreoch HouseArrochar? Dunbartonshire?ScotlandAlterations and new stair
Item 9 of 771890Blackshiels farm buildingsPathhead MidlothianScotland 
Item 10 of 771890Kirkwood VillaPeebles PeeblesshireScotland 
Item 11 of 771890Loanhead Farm buildingsLoanhead MidlothianScotland 
Item 12 of 771890Newtonloan Fever HospitalCockpen MidlothianScotland 
Item 13 of 7718913-7 James Court  EdinburghScotlandOriginal drawings by J Jordan, 13 Castle Street, of reconstruction of Nos 3-7, for the Edinburgh Social Union (Patrick Geddes, etc) in the Dean of Guild records, City Chambers, 1891
Item 14 of 771891Bathgate Academy, Chemistry LaboratoryBathgate West LothianScotland 
Item 15 of 771891Currie & Co's officesLeith EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 16 of 771891East Linton Parish ChurchEast Linton East LothianScotlandRecasting of Georgian church
Item 17 of 771891Linburn House and other buildings on siteWilkieston MidlothianScotlandAdditions
Item 18 of 771891Lochgelly feuingLochgelly FifeScotland 
Item 19 of 771891Monument at McFie's graveGogarburn West LothianScotland 
Item 20 of 771891Newtonloan Fever HospitalCockpen MidlothianScotlandAlterations and new smallpox ward
Item 21 of 771891Sauchenside CottagesSauchenside MidlothianScotland 
Item 22 of 771891Surgeons' Hall  EdinburghScotlandAlterations to principal stair and new stair
Item 23 of 771891Tillicoultry HouseTillicoultry ClackmannanshireScotlandAlterations
Item 24 of 771892Caledonia MillsLeith EdinburghScotland 
Item 25 of 771892Gogarburn House  MidlothianScotlandBoudoir added
Item 26 of 771892Sheriff CourtDuns BerwickshireScotlandAlterations
Item 27 of 771892Stenton Parish ChurchStenton East LothianScotlandAlterations and re-seating
Item 28 of 771892TenementsGalashiels SelkirkshireScotland 
Item 29 of 77189372 George Street  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 30 of 771893Abbey Park CottageColdingham BerwickshireScotland 
Item 31 of 771893Children's Shelter  EdinburghScotland 
Item 32 of 771893Clarence Lodging House  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 33 of 771893Edinburgh and District Water Trust Offices  EdinburghScotland 
Item 34 of 771893Guthrie Street Lodging House  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 35 of 771894Cockenzie HallCockenzie East LothianScotlandAlterations
Item 36 of 771894Police StationDuns BerwickshireScotland 
Item 37 of 77189550 Frederick Street  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 38 of 771895Hall at Drem  East LothianScotland 
Item 39 of 771895House for Henry SteelColdingham BerwickshireScotlandDesigns only - not built
Item 40 of 771895Mission HallTranent East LothianScotland 
Item 41 of 771895Murano Place Woollen Mills  EdinburghScotlandAdditions and alterations
Item 42 of 771895Temple HallColdingham BerwickshireScotlandIncluding stable offices
Item 43 of 771896Gogarburn House  MidlothianScotlandOther additions
Item 44 of 771896Prestonkirk Parish ChurchEast Linton East LothianScotlandReredos and interior refurbishment
Item 45 of 771897Buglass CottageColdingham BerwickshireScotland 
Item 46 of 771897Houses, Blackfriars Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 47 of 771897Houses, Dean Street  EdinburghScotlandProbably alterations
Item 48 of 771897Houses, Drumdryan Street  EdinburghScotlandProbably alterations
Item 49 of 771897Villa, 66 Polwarth Terrace  EdinburghScotland 
Item 50 of 771897Villas, 76-78 Polwarth Terrace  EdinburghScotland 
Item 51 of 77189830 and 31 Queen Street  EdinburghScotlandNew premises at rear
Item 52 of 771899Children's HomeCorstorphine EdinburghScotland 
Item 53 of 771899Kirkliston Parish ChurchKirkliston West LothianScotlandAlterations to church and hall
Item 54 of 771899Office and tenement, Grove Street  EdinburghScotlandAlterations to no 72
Item 55 of 771899Waverley Court  EdinburghScotland 
Item 56 of 7719007 Ainslie Place  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 57 of 771900Border Mansion   Scotland 
Item 58 of 771900St Giles Hall  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 59 of 771901David Chalmers Memorial HallSlateford EdinburghScotland 
Item 60 of 771902Warden HouseColdingham BerwickshireScotland 
Item 61 of 771902Winchburgh SchoolWinchburgh West LothianScotlandSubstantial extension
Item 62 of 771903KirnaWalkerburn PeeblesshireScotlandAlterations
Item 63 of 771904Braidwood House  EdinburghScotland 
Item 64 of 771904Donaldson & Co Motor Car WorksGorgie EdinburghScotland 
Item 65 of 771904House for Professor F G BaileyColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 66 of 771905ArdlagganNew Galloway KirkcudbrightshireScotland 
Item 67 of 771905BalnowartBallantrae AyrshireScotland 
Item 68 of 771906MonkwoodColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 69 of 771906NewburyColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 70 of 771907DavaarEarlsferry FifeScotland 
Item 71 of 771907Villa, 7 Spylaw ParkColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 72 of 771907Winchburgh SchoolWinchburgh West LothianScotlandSenior school addition to NW
Item 73 of 77190830 Gillespie RoadColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 74 of 771908AthelstanefordColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 75 of 771908House for J MacLeodColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 76 of 771908House for James MilneColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 77 of 771909Chisholme House  RoxburghshireScotlandAdditions and reconstruction


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 2Adam, Shona1991James Jerdan & Son, Architects, Memoir by Shona Adam, Granddaughter of John Jerdan Exhibition Catalogue, RIAS Gallery, January-February 1991 
Item 2 of 2Post Office Directories     

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Builder21 November 1913  Obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1Shona Adam, Granddaughter of John JerdanJames Jerdan & Son Office Ledger