Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Jerdan
Born: 1875
Died: 11 March 1947
Bio Notes: John Jerdan was born in 1875, the son of architect James Jerdan and Helen Watson, Edinburgh. Of the two architect sons in the family, John was the more gifted and continued the practice, whilst his younger brother James Watson-Jerdan practised mainly in London.

John was educated at the Edinburgh Institution from 1888-1889 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 he made a study tour of France.

After his apprenticeship he became an assistant in the office of Sir Aston Webb but broke off to make a study tour of the buildings in Oxford, Cambridge, Ely etc. In 1899 he resumed his place in Webb's office, 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 family business, which does not seem to have had enough work to support three partners.

John Jerdan was admitted LRIBA in the mass intake of 20 July 1911 and became a member of the Edinburgh Architectural Association that year, later serving on its Council. He married Ralph Knott's sister Mabel in 1916, setting up house in the attic of the Kinnear building at 125 Princes Street, where their only child Thelma was born in 1917. He was admitted FRIBA in late 1920, his proposers being James Bow Dunn, Aston Webb and John Wilson.

In the early 1920s the Jerdans bought Merchiston Cottage, 16 Colinton Road, from the Scott Mortons, who executed much of their woodcarving. Thelma went to Edinburgh College of Art in 1936 and helped out in the office, but her main work was as an illustrator for an educational publisher. The office closed in 1941, when John joined the Ministry of Works. It re-opened in 1946, but John died of bronchitis on 11 March 1947. His wife had predeceased him on Christmas day 1945.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 412, Castle Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 19041941 
Item 2 of 45, Craiglockhart Terrace, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1911 *  
Item 3 of 4125A, Princes Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1916Early 1920s 
Item 4 of 4Merchiston Cottage/16, Colinton Road, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivateEarly 1920s  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

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 3James Jerdan18931898Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3Aston Webb18981903Assistant 
Item 3 of 3James Jerdan & Son1903 or 1904c. 1947Partner 

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 1William Lamb15 December 192431 July 1926Assistant 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 4James Bow Dunn20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Edinburgh Architectural Association
Item 2 of 4James Bow DunnLate 1920for Fellowship
Item 3 of 4Aston WebbLate 1920for Fellowship
Item 4 of 4John WilsonLate 1920for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 24William Robert Ashcroft5 March 1934for Associateship
Item 2 of 24David Gordon BannermanEarly 1933for Associateship
Item 3 of 24John Bannerman12 December 1939for Associateship
Item 4 of 24John Raymond Bell6 February 1939for Associateship
Item 5 of 24Noel Edmund Ironside Burchell22 June 1936for Licentiateship
Item 6 of 24John Ferguson Donaldson30 November 1936for Associateship
Item 7 of 24George Duns19 January 1943for Licentiateship
Item 8 of 24James GalletlyEarly 1933for Associateship
Item 9 of 24James John Gordon14 October 1947For Licentiateship
Item 10 of 24James GrayLate 1922for Associateship
Item 11 of 24William Brindle HalleyLate 1931for Licentiateship
Item 12 of 24Robert Charles Hutchison (sometimes misspelt Robert Charles Hutchinson)Mid 1932for Associateship
Item 13 of 24David Gray Kirk20 July 1943for Licentiateship
Item 14 of 24James William Laing4 December 1933for Associateship
Item 15 of 24William LambLate 1929 or early 1930for Associateship
Item 16 of 24Thomas Waller MarwickLate 1931for Associateship
Item 17 of 24Alexander McWilliamDecember 1922For Associateship
Item 18 of 24Alexander James Wilson MorrisonEarly 1933for Associateship
Item 19 of 24Harold John Muir6 March 1939for Associateship
Item 20 of 24Angus Moncur Neilson3 December 1934for Associateship
Item 21 of 24Edwin TurnbullLate 1931 or early 1932for Associateship
Item 22 of 24George Patrick Houston WatsonEarly 1931for Licentiateship
Item 23 of 24George Patrick Houston WatsonJanuary 1933for Fellowship
Item 24 of 24William Malcolm Wilson5 March 1934For Associateship

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 55 Roderick Tweedie's premises   ScotlandInstructed Scott Morton & Co on interior work - date unknown
Item 2 of 551895Temple HallColdingham BerwickshireScotlandIncluding stable offices - as apprentice to James Jerdan
Item 3 of 55After 1898South Kensington MuseumSouth Kensington LondonEnglandAs assistant to Sir Aston Webb
Item 4 of 551900Royal College of ScienceSouth Kensington LondonEnglandAs assistant to Aston Webb
Item 5 of 551902Winchburgh SchoolWinchburgh West LothianScotlandSubstantial extension
Item 6 of 55c. 1903Queen Victoria Memorial and triumphal arch at east end of The Mall  LondonEnglandWorked on competition entry as assistant to Aston Webb
Item 7 of 551904Braidwood House  EdinburghScotland 
Item 8 of 551904Donaldson & Co Motor Car WorksGorgie EdinburghScotland 
Item 9 of 551904House for Professor F G BaileyColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 10 of 551905ArdlagganNew Galloway KirkcudbrightshireScotland 
Item 11 of 551905BalnowartBallantrae AyrshireScotland 
Item 12 of 551906MonkwoodColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 13 of 551906NewburyColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 14 of 551907DavaarEarlsferry FifeScotland 
Item 15 of 551907Villa, 7 Spylaw ParkColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 16 of 551907Winchburgh SchoolWinchburgh West LothianScotlandSenior school addition to NW
Item 17 of 55190830 Gillespie RoadColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 18 of 551908AthelstanefordColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 19 of 551908House for J MacLeodColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 20 of 551908House for James MilneColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 21 of 551909Chisholme House  RoxburghshireScotlandAdditions and reconstruction
Item 22 of 551909Dean Cemetery and lodgesDean EdinburghScotlandExtension, wall and entrance gate and lodge at N
Item 23 of 551910Abbeylands, The PrioryDunbar East LothianScotland 
Item 24 of 551911Abbeylands, The BieldDunbar East LothianScotland 
Item 25 of 551913Abbeylands, The PrioryDunbar East LothianScotlandGarden wall and summer house
Item 26 of 551913Cranstoun School  MidlothianScotlandAdditions
Item 27 of 551913Five villas, Lockharton Gardens  EdinburghScotland 
Item 28 of 551913Free Church and hallMerchiston EdinburghScotlandChurch hall
Item 29 of 55191410 Castle Street  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 30 of 5519144 Thistle Street Lane  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 31 of 5519147 Castle Street  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 32 of 551914Benarty HouseColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 33 of 551914Cousland School  MidlothianScotlandAdditions
Item 34 of 551914Double villa, 4-6 Pentland AvenueColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 35 of 551914Villa for John McLeod, Spylaw ParkColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 36 of 55c. 1914St David's New Parish Church  EdinburghScotland 
Item 37 of 551915Bangour Village AsylumUphall West LothianScotlandOperating theatres
Item 38 of 551915Free Church and hallMerchiston EdinburghScotlandCompletion of tower
Item 39 of 551915Langlee House, WatersideJedburgh RoxburghshireScotlandRestoration after fire
Item 40 of 551915Villa, 4 Spylaw ParkColinton EdinburghScotlandVilla built
Item 41 of 55c. 1915Villa, Craiglockhart Terrace  EdinburghScotlandDining room
Item 42 of 551916Frosts, 67-81 Shandwick Place  EdinburghScotlandAlterations to no 67
Item 43 of 551916Greenend DairyGreenend  ScotlandAlterations
Item 44 of 551916St Cuthbert's Poorhouse, Recreation HallCraigleith EdinburghScotlandAlterations?
Item 45 of 551917Princes Cinema  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 46 of 551918Pinkieburn HouseMusselburgh MidlothianScotlandExtensions for hospital use
Item 47 of 551921Astley Ainslie Hospital  EdinburghScotlandMainly conversion and extension of Canaan Park and conversion of Canaan House as administrative offices
Item 48 of 551925Two detached houses for the Spylaw Building AssociationColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 49 of 551927Scottish Legal Life Assurance Society Office  GlasgowScotlandCompetition design - not successful
Item 50 of 551930New Victoria Cinema  EdinburghScotlandExecutant architect for W E Trent
Item 51 of 551933Paladium Theatre  EdinburghScotland 
Item 52 of 551933The White HouseGullane East LothianScotland 
Item 53 of 55193418-22 Howe Street  EdinburghScotlandTwo-level dormers and doorpiece inserted
Item 54 of 551934St George's Episcopal Church and Manse  EdinburghScotlandInsertion of two large display windows
Item 55 of 551937Flats, Colinton Road  EdinburghScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 4Adam, Shona1991James Jerdan & Son, Architects, Memoir by Shona Adam, Granddaughter of John Jerdan Exhibition Catalogue, RIAS Gallery, January-February 1991 
Item 2 of 4Bailey, Rebecca M1996Scottish architects' papers: a source book Edinburgh: The Rutland Press 
Item 3 of 4British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   
Item 4 of 4Who's Who in Architecture1914    

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Builder21 March 1947v172 p261 - obituary
Item 2 of 2Scotsman25 March 1947  Obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v19 no 1370; F no 1798 (microfilm reel 14)
Item 2 of 2Shona Adam, Granddaughter of John JerdanJames Jerdan & Son Office Ledger