Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Wittet
Born: 5 February 1868
Died: 18 March 1952
Bio Notes: John Wittet was born on 5 February 1868 in Bridge of Earn, the son of William Wittet. He was educated at Bridge of Earn Public School and Dunbarney and was articled to David Smart of Perth from 1882 to 1888. In the latter year he moved to the office of Hippolyte Jean Blanc in Edinburgh which enabled him to study at Heriot-Watt College and Edinburgh School of Art. Whilst working for Blanc he was involved in the scheme of restoration of Edinburgh Castle and made the drawings for the oak carvings (presumably in the Great Hall). In 1892 he moved briefly to Glasgow to work for Clarke & Bell before joining the practice of A & W Reid in the same year as chief assistant. In 1893 William Reid died and Wittet was taken into partnership.

Alexander Reid died in Elgin on 4 March 1897. By this date William Charles Reid, son of Alexander, was a partner in the firm and he and Wittet continued to practise under the style A & W Reid & Wittet. In 1901 Wittet acted as burgh surveyor for Lossiemouth and was employed on drainage works for the town.

By mutual consent the practice split in porbably in 1901 (previously the date of the split was thought to be 1903 but in 1901 when he was acting as Lossiemouth Burgh Surveyor, Wittet's address was given as 81 High Street). William Charles Reid moved to 8 Culbard Street Elgin and later emigrated to Canada, and John Wittet moved to 81 High Street, Elgin. Five years earlier, in 1898, Wittet had married Elizabeth MacGregor Riddoch.

Wittet was admitted LRIBA on 24 June 1912, his proposers being Alexander Ross, Hippolyte Jean Blanc and Robert John Macbeth; he was elected FRIBA on 16 May 1927, his proposers being Alexander Marshall Mackenzie, John Keppie and John Watson. He served as president of the Inverness Architectural Association and was a JP and senior magistrate of Elgin, holding the position of Lord Provost from 1925 to 1931. Between 1930 and 1939 he was awarded the CBE.

John Wittet's son William (born 1900) followed him into the profession, being his apprentice from 1919, his assistant from 1923, a salaried partner from 1925 and a share partner from 1928 when the practice became J & W Wittet.

In the 1930s and 1940s the Wittets had an office in Skye, probably continuing the Highland and west coast practice established by William Reid.

John Wittet died on 18 March 1952, and his son continued the practice thereafter. It continued to flourish, becoming a limited company in 1986, having moved to 26 Hay Street, Elgin.

The NMRS holds a collection of his student work dating from the 1890s.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 4Post Office Buildings, Commerce Street, Elgin, Morayshire, ScotlandBusiness18921903 
Item 2 of 481, High Street, Elgin, Morayshire, ScotlandBusiness1901After 1950 
Item 3 of 4Torr House, Moss Street, Elgin, Morayshire, ScotlandPrivate1907After 1939Now the Torr House Hotel
Item 4 of 423, Cross Street, Keith, Banffshire, ScotlandBusiness1911  

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 6David Smart18821888Apprentice(?) 
Item 2 of 6Hippolyte Jean Blanc18881892Assistant 
Item 3 of 6Clarke & Bell1892September 1892Assistant 
Item 4 of 6A & W ReidSeptember 18921893Chief Assistant 
Item 5 of 6A & W Reid & Wittet18931903Partner 
Item 6 of 6J & W Wittet1 January 19281952Partner 

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 8John Macdonald Colvin19041909Apprentice 
Item 2 of 8John Macdonald Colvin19091911Chief Assistant 
Item 3 of 8James Scott19181920Assistant 
Item 4 of 8William Wittet3 February 191922 January 1923Apprentice 
Item 5 of 8William Wittet22 January 19231 January 1925Assistant 
Item 6 of 8James Simpson ConwayJuly 1923August 1925Apprentice 
Item 7 of 8George Sutherland MacdonaldOctober 1924August 1926Apprentice 
Item 8 of 8William Wittet1 January 19251 January 1928PartnerSalaried partner


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6Hippolyte Jean Blanc24 June 1912for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 6John Keppie16 May 1927for Fellowship
Item 3 of 6Robert John Macbeth24 June 1912for Licentiateship
Item 4 of 6Alexander Marshall Mackenzie16 May 1927for Fellowship
Item 5 of 6Alexander Ross24 June 1912for Licentiateship
Item 6 of 6John Watson16 May 1927for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 8John Grant Chisholm1931for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 8James Simpson ConwayLate 1928for Associateship
Item 3 of 8Walter Henderson Gillespie14 November 1944for Licentiateship
Item 4 of 8George Sutherland MacdonaldLate 1929 or early 1930for Associateship
Item 5 of 8Alexander Finlay Mackenzie14 November 1930for Licentiateship
Item 6 of 8Alexander Finlay MackenzieEarly 1931for Fellowship
Item 7 of 8Joseph Arthur SmithEarly 1930for Licentiateship
Item 8 of 8[James] Fenton ('Tony') Wyness12 February 1946for Fellowship

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 1951889Masonic and Literary InstituteBuckie BanffshireScotland 
Item 2 of 1951892Altyre House  MorayshireScotlandAdditions - as assistant to A & W Reid and partner after 1893, perhaps executing Kinross's work
Item 3 of 1951892Linkwood DistilleryElgin MorayshireScotlandWarehouses
Item 4 of 1951892Parish OfficesElgin MorayshireScotlandAs assistant and subsequently partner to A & W Reid
Item 5 of 1951893New MarketForres MorayshireScotlandArcaded shopfronts
Item 6 of 1951893Whitemire CottagesWhitemire MorayshireScotland 
Item 7 of 1951895Auldearn Primary SchoolAuldearn NairnshireScotland 
Item 8 of 1951895Hopeman Free Church, church hallHopeman MorayshireScotland 
Item 9 of 1951897Ardgilzean HouseQuarrywood / Spynie MorayshireScotland 
Item 10 of 1951897Craigellachie HotelElgin MorayshireScotlandAdditions
Item 11 of 1951897Mains of Connage Farmstead  Inverness-shireScotlandReconstruction
Item 12 of 1951897Victoria Diamond Jubilee HomesElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 13 of 1951898Double Cottage, AberbornAberborn (Aberlour?)  Scotland 
Item 14 of 1951898Grand HotelElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 15 of 1951898Lhanbryde ChurchLhanbryde MorayshireScotlandInsertion of Y tracery
Item 16 of 1951898Pluscarden Free ChurchPluscarden, Elgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 17 of 1951898The LodgeElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 18 of 1951898TortoldNairn NairnshireScotland 
Item 19 of 195February 1898Clackmarran SchoolElgin (near) MorayshireScotlandPlans prepared
Item 20 of 195189911, 13, 15, 17 New Elgin RoadElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 21 of 1951899Aldroughty HouseSpynie MorayshireScotlandNorth east wing added
Item 22 of 1951899Altyre House, Kennels and house for kennelman  MorayshireScotlandKennels and additions to kennelman's house
Item 23 of 1951899Gordonstoun, house and lodge  MorayshireScotlandEast and West Lodge and gatepiers
Item 24 of 1951899Moray Golf Club, clubhouseLossiemouth MorayshireScotland 
Item 25 of 1951899Old School HouseRafford MorayshireScotlandL-plan extension
Item 26 of 1951899SchoolKellas MorayshireScotlandTeacher's house
Item 27 of 1951899Two Cottages, BranderburghBranderburgh/Lossiemouth MorayshireScotland 
Item 28 of 1951900Auchinroath House  MorayshireScotland 
Item 29 of 1951900Elgin Joint County Infectious Diseases HospitalElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 30 of 195After 1900Shop in Lossie WyndElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 31 of 195c. 190021 Sellar StreetBurghead MorayshireScotland 
Item 32 of 195c. 1900Alvah ChurchKirkton of Alvah BanffshireScotlandAdditions and alterations - probably by A & W Reid & Wittet (the firm's name by then)
Item 33 of 195c. 1900Commerce StreetElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 34 of 1951901Ardgye HouseAlves MorayshireScotlandAlterations
Item 35 of 1951901Buildings, James StreetLossiemouth MorayshireScotland 
Item 36 of 1951901Buinach, offices  MorayshireScotland 
Item 37 of 1951901Burghead Parish ChurchBurghead MorayshireScotland 
Item 38 of 1951901CottagesHopeman MorayshireScotland 
Item 39 of 1951901Double Cottage, Hillhead of Tarras  MorayshireScotland 
Item 40 of 1951901Double cottages, MonaughtyElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 41 of 1951901Easter Pittendreich, double cottage  MorayshireScotland 
Item 42 of 1951901House and steadingNew Alves MorayshireScotlandRepairs to house and steading
Item 43 of 1951901Lossiemouth Town Hall and LibraryLossiemouth MorayshireScotlandLibrary
Item 44 of 1951901SteadingElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 45 of 1951901Steading and cottages, InchstellieAlves MorayshireScotlandAlterations
Item 46 of 1951901Upper Manbeen Steading  MorayshireScotlandAlterations
Item 47 of 1951902Darnaway Castle, butler's cottage  MorayshireScotland 
Item 48 of 1951902Double House Lossiemouth MorayshireScotland 
Item 49 of 1951902Elgin AcademyElgin MorayshireScotlandAdditions
Item 50 of 1951902Marine HotelLossiemouth MorayshireScotlandOriginal building; appears also to have carried out further work later
Item 51 of 1951902Public Schools, (Infants) Lossiemouth  ScotlandAdditions
Item 52 of 1951902Rosefield HouseElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 53 of 1951903Cawdor Parish ChurchCawdor NairnshireScotlandChurch recast, incorporating old tower, porch and aisle
Item 54 of 1951903Dallas Parish ChurchDallas MorayshireScotlandAlterations
Item 55 of 1951903East End SchoolElgin MorayshireScotlandReconstruction
Item 56 of 1951903Elgin Free ChurchElgin MorayshireScotlandHall added
Item 57 of 1951903High UF Church HallElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 58 of 1951903Lossiemouth Town Hall and LibraryLossiemouth MorayshireScotlandClock tower and movement
Item 59 of 1951903West End SchoolElgin MorayshireScotlandReconstruction
Item 60 of 195After 1903Commerce StreetElgin MorayshireScotlandFurther work by Wittet on his own
Item 61 of 1951904Ardgye HouseAlves MorayshireScotlandNew house? Continuation of previous work?
Item 62 of 1951904Edinkillie ChurchEdinkillie MorayshireScotlandRestoration and alterations
Item 63 of 1951904Kirkhill HouseLhanbryde MorayshireScotlandGabled bay and porch added
Item 64 of 1951904Lossiemouth Town Hall and LibraryLossiemouth MorayshireScotlandCouncil furniture
Item 65 of 1951905Church of Scotland ManseDallas MorayshireScotland 
Item 66 of 1951905Drill HallElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 67 of 1951905Elgin CemeteryElgin MorayshireScotlandExtensions and lodges and pavilion
Item 68 of 1951905Spynie Parish ChurchQuarrywood MorayshireScotlandNorth aisle window
Item 69 of 1951907Free ChurchUrquhart MorayshireScotlandShallow east projection
Item 70 of 1951907Gray's HospitalElgin MorayshireScotlandReconstruction
Item 71 of 1951907Property at AlvesAlves MorayshireScotland 
Item 72 of 1951907Property for Mr J S GrantGrantown-on-Spey MorayshireScotland 
Item 73 of 1951907Torr HouseElgin MorayshireScotlandFor himself
Item 74 of 1951908Burghead Free ChurchBurghead MorayshireScotlandAlterations, including reseating
Item 75 of 1951909CottageNew Elgin    
Item 76 of 1951909Cottage, AlvesAlves MorayshireScotland 
Item 77 of 1951909Cottage, Granary StreetBurghead MorayshireScotland 
Item 78 of 1951909Cottage, HopemanHopeman MorayshireScotland 
Item 79 of 1951909Cottages, Easter ColtfieldAlves MorayshireScotland 
Item 80 of 1951909Elgin Pauper Lunatic Asylum, BilbohallElgin MorayshireScotlandAdditions: open verandah and bathroom extension
Item 81 of 1951909Farm Buildings, RosebraeElgin MorayshireScotlandadditions etc.
Item 82 of 1951909Farm Buildings, SmithfieldDrainie AberdeenshireScotlandRestoration
Item 83 of 1951909Farm Steading Overtown Pluscarden   ScotlandAdditions and alterations
Item 84 of 1951909Fife Estates, Elgin DistrictElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 85 of 1951909House near ElginElgin MorayshireScotlandProposed house
Item 86 of 1951909House, Lady LaneElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 87 of 1951909Houses, Maisondieu PlaceElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 88 of 1951909Laundry Buildings, Elgin AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 89 of 1951909MarketElgin MorayshireScotlandRepairs
Item 90 of 1951909Post office buildingsElgin MorayshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 91 of 1951909Public SchoolTomintoul BanffshireScotlandAdditions
Item 92 of 1951909St Michaelís SchoolTomintoul BanffshireScotlandAdditions
Item 93 of 1951909The NeukHopeman MorayshireScotland 
Item 94 of 195c. 1909The HillocksLossiemouth MorayshireScotland 
Item 95 of 1951910Cottage, MaryhillClackmarras, Elgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 96 of 1951910Double Cottage, Upper BogsideElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 97 of 1951910Fife Estates Steading Clash ConnachieKellas MorayshireScotlandAddition
Item 98 of 1951910Fife Estates, Wester Coxton FarmhouseElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 99 of 1951910Fife Estates, Cairneyhillock SteadingElgin MorayshireScotlandAdditions
Item 100 of 1951910Fife Estates, Cottage and Bothay Mains of KellasKellas MorayshireScotland 
Item 101 of 1951910Fife Estates, House and Steading ColdhomeElgin MorayshireScotlandAlterations
Item 102 of 1951910Fife Estates, House CraigheadKellas MorayshireScotland 
Item 103 of 1951910Fife Estates, Steading LochinverElgin MorayshireScotlandRepairs
Item 104 of 1951910Fife Estates, Steading Mains of KellasKellas MorayshireScotland 
Item 105 of 1951910Grantown Grammar SchoolGrantown-on-Spey MorayshireScotlandReconstruction
Item 106 of 1951910House and Steading Mid DalzielPetty, Elgin MorayshireScotlandAdditions
Item 107 of 1951910Loose BoxesEaster Pittendriech MorrayshireScotland 
Item 108 of 1951910Mackintosh Warehouse Francis PlaceElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 109 of 195c. 1910Glenerney LodgeEdinkillie MorayshireScotlandExtension to north
Item 110 of 1951911Edinkillie ManseEdinkillie MorayshireScotlandAdditions? Restoration?
Item 111 of 195After 1911Elgin AcademyElgin MorayshireScotlandAdditions
Item 112 of 195After 1911Royal Inverness AcademyInverness Inverness-shireScotlandAdditions
Item 113 of 195191281 Grant StreetBurghead MorayshireScotland 
Item 114 of 1951912United Free HallGrantown-on-Spey MorayshireScotland 
Item 115 of 195After 1912Aberlour Parish Church HallAberlour BanffshireScotland 
Item 116 of 195After 1912Carnoch HouseDelnies, Nairn NairnshireScotland 
Item 117 of 195After 1912Elgin Parish Church HallElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 118 of 195Before 1912VillaLossiemouth MorayshireScotland 
Item 119 of 1951913Cottage King StreetBurghead MorayshireScotland 
Item 120 of 1951914Elgin Free ChurchElgin MorayshireScotlandNorth organ chamber
Item 121 of 1951915Portree LodgePortreeSkyeInverness-shireScotlandAdditions and alterations(?)
Item 122 of 1951915Rothes Primary SchoolRothes MorayshireScotland 
Item 123 of 1951915Union BuildingsElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 124 of 1951917Strath ManseBroadfordSkyeInverness-shireScotland 
Item 125 of 1951917Strath Parish ChurchBroadfordSkyeInverness-shireScotlandAlterations and/or repairs
Item 126 of 1951918War memorialPluscarden MorayshireScotland 
Item 127 of 195After 1918Dallas War MemorialDallas MorayshireScotland 
Item 128 of 1951919Housing Scheme Dunn RoadPortsoy BanffshireScotlandAppointment
Item 129 of 1951919Masonic HallCullen  Scotland 
Item 130 of 1951919St Michaelís SchoolTomintoul BanffshireScotlandSouth wing and north porch added - also chapel
Item 131 of 1951919StoresIsleornsaySkyeInverness-shireScotland 
Item 132 of 1951919War MemorialCullen BanffshireScotland 
Item 133 of 1951919War memorialBallindalloch MorayshireScotland 
Item 134 of 1951919War Memorial Gardens and War Veterans's houses, linked by arcade, LadyhillElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 135 of 195c. 1919Aberlour War MemorialAberlour BanffshireScotland 
Item 136 of 195c. 1919Alves War MemorialAlves MorayshireScotland 
Item 137 of 195c. 1919Portree War MemorialPortreeSkyeInverness-shireScotland 
Item 138 of 195c. 1919Tomintoul War MemorialTomintoul BanffshireScotland 
Item 139 of 195c. 1919War MemorialDeskford BanffshireScotland 
Item 140 of 1951920Armadale CastleArdvasarSkyeInverness-shireScotlandAlterations? Repairs?
Item 141 of 1951920Lhanbryde Burial Ground with war memorialLhanbryde MorayshireScotlandWar memorial on entrance stairs
Item 142 of 1951920Rathen War MemorialRathen AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 143 of 1951920War MemorialBurghead MorayshireScotland 
Item 144 of 1951920War memorialPortgordon MorayshireScotland 
Item 145 of 195c. 1920Aberlour Housing SchemeAberlour BanffshireScotland 
Item 146 of 195c. 1920Glenlivet War MemorialGlenlivet BanffshireScotland 
Item 147 of 195c. 1920Rothes War MemorialRothes MorayshireScotland 
Item 148 of 195c. 1920War MemorialCraigellachie BanffshireScotland 
Item 149 of 195c. 1920War MemorialGarmouth MorayshireScotland 
Item 150 of 195c. 1920War MemorialLlanbryde MorayshireScotland 
Item 151 of 195c. 1920War MemorialKellas MorayshireScotland 
Item 152 of 195c. 1920War MemorialRafford MorayshireScotland 
Item 153 of 195c. 1920War MemorialKyle of Lochalsh Ross and CromartyScotland 
Item 154 of 195c. 1920War MemorialLadyhill MorayshireScotland 
Item 155 of 1951921James Milne InstituteFindhorn MorayshireScotlandConversion from chandlery
Item 156 of 1951921Portgordon War MemorialBuckie BanffshireScotland 
Item 157 of 1951922Baptist churchHopeman MorayshireScotlandAlterations to form T plan
Item 158 of 1951922Shop in Lossie WyndElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 159 of 1951923St Margaret's RC ChapelForres MorayshireScotland 
Item 160 of 195Before 1923Dunbarney Parish ChurchBridge of Earn Perthshire  
Item 161 of 195192420 Commerce StreetElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 162 of 1951924Anderson's InstitutionForres MorayshireScotlandSubstantial additions to house Forres Academy
Item 163 of 1951924Hopeman Free Church, Memorial Clock TowerHopeman MorayshireScotland 
Item 164 of 1951924Logie HouseForres MorayshireScotlandMay have been responsible for alterations - rather than Marwicks
Item 165 of 1951924Tigh-an-AultFochabers MorayshireScotlandPerhaps by John Wittet
Item 166 of 1951925Glenerney LodgeEdinkillie MorayshireScotlandFurther extension
Item 167 of 1951926Darnaway Castle, gardener's cottage  MorayshireScotland 
Item 168 of 1951927Manse steadingKing Edward AberdeenshireScotlandConversion of two bays into garage etc
Item 169 of 1951927Masonic HallCharlestown of Aberlour MorayshireScotland 
Item 170 of 1951927The LidoElgin MorayshireScotlandMainly responsible although it may have been completed as J & W Wittet
Item 171 of 1951928Dunphail House  MorayshireScotlandRenovations
Item 172 of 195After 1928Cairnfield HouseBuckie BanffshireScotlandUnspecified work
Item 173 of 1951929BungalowHopeman MorayshireScotland 
Item 174 of 1951929Garage, Bruceland RoadElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 175 of 1951930Aldroughty HouseSpynie MorayshireScotlandNorth west wing added
Item 176 of 1951930Elgin Building Company housesElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 177 of 1951930Lossiemouth Town Hall and LibraryLossiemouth MorayshireScotlandExtension
Item 178 of 1951931Infectious Diseases HospitalElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 179 of 1951932Bishopmill Public HallBishopmill, Elgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 180 of 1951932Gordon BarracksOld Machar AberdeenScotland 
Item 181 of 1951933Aberlour Parish ChurchAberlour BanffshireScotlandApse and vestry added and interior remodelled
Item 182 of 1951933Skirinish SkyeInverness-shireScotland 
Item 183 of 195c. 1933Connet HillElgin MorayshireScotlandAlteration to left bay - giving it a bowed termination. Also flat-roofed porch to south east.
Item 184 of 1951935Darnaway Castle, chauffeur's cottage  MorayshireScotland 
Item 185 of 195193627 Clifton RoadLossiemouth MorayshireScotland 
Item 186 of 195193712 and 12A Princes StreetHuntly AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 187 of 1951937Baptist churchHopeman MorayshireScotlandFurther alterations
Item 188 of 1951937Kinsteary House, entrance gates  NairnshireScotland 
Item 189 of 1951937United Free ChurchLossiemouth MorayshireScotland 
Item 190 of 195193817-17A Simpson StreetNairn NairnshireScotland 
Item 191 of 1951938British Linen BankForres MorayshireScotlandRemodelling of frontage
Item 192 of 1951939Wooden houses   Scotland 
Item 193 of 195c. 1940Lynedale Home Farm SkyeInverness-shireScotland 
Item 194 of 195194731 Wittet DriveElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 195 of 1951948Leuchars House  MorayshireScotlandRebuilt after a fire


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 3British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   
Item 2 of 3RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 3 of 3Who's Who in Architecture1926    

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 3Builder30 March 1901  p330 for contracts for draingage work and Wittet's address given as 81 High Street, Elgin.
Item 2 of 3Builder21 March 1952  Obituary
Item 3 of 3RIBA JournalJune 1852 London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp306 Obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2National Monuments Record of Scotland/NMRS, RCAHMSRIAS Collection Student drawings
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v26 no 2160; F no 2490 (box 7)