Basic Biographical Details

Name: Robert Norman Houghton MacKellar
Born: 5 March 1890
Died: 1973
Bio Notes: Robert Norman Houghton MacKellar was born on 5 March 1890 in Govan and was articled to John Nisbet of Glasgow in 1904, moving at the end of his apprenticeship in 1911 to Miller & Black. During these years he attended the Glasgow School of Architecture from 1906 to 1911 under Professors Bourdon, Gourlay and McGibbon. In 1911 he was recruited by Thomas Martin Cappon to work on Dundee Training College and Demonstration School in Park Place, and probably largely designed it. When his commitment to producing the working drawings and details for that project was complete he was invited back to Glasgow to work for the theatre and cinema architect Charles James McNair under whom he had worked in Nisbet's office, and who had taken over Nisbet's practice on his retirement.

In 1920 he moved to Newcastle upon Tyne to join the firm of Cackett & Burns Dick, and he was taken into partnership three years later, although it is not clear whether the firm's name changed then to Cackette, Burns Dick & MacKellar or not until Cackett's death in 1928 or 1929.

He served as honorary secretary to the Northern Architectural Association c.1930.

He was elected FRIBA on 22 June 1936, his proposers being Robert Burns Dick, James Robertson Adamson and Charles Geddes Soutar.

MacKellar died in early 1973, his death registered between January and March.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 33, Cathkin Road, Langside, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1910 *After 1914 
Item 2 of 321, Ellison Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, EnglandBusiness1936 *  
Item 3 of 3Red Ridge, Edgehill Road, Ponteland, Newcastle upon Tyne, EnglandPrivate1936 *  

* 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 6John NisbetAugust 19041911Apprentice 
Item 2 of 6Thomas Martin Cappon19111912(?)Draughtsman 
Item 3 of 6Miller & Black1912(?)Before 1914Draughtsman 
Item 4 of 6Charles James McNair19131914(?)Draughtsman 
Item 5 of 6Cackett & Burns Dick19231928Partner 
Item 6 of 6Cackett, Burns Dick & MacKellar19281970Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6James Robertson Adamson22 June 1936for Fellowship
Item 2 of 6Andrew BlackEarly 1914for Associateship
Item 3 of 6Robert Burns Dick22 June 1936for Fellowship
Item 4 of 6Alexander Nisbet PatersonEarly 1914for Associateship
Item 5 of 6Charles Geddes Soutar22 June 1936for Fellowship
Item 6 of 6John WatsonEarly 1914for Associateship

RIBA Proposals

This proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6Frederick Edward Dotchin1931for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 6Lewis Edwin Hetherington31 October 1930for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 6John Holt20 July 1936For Associateship
Item 4 of 6James Scott Johnston13 April 1943for Associateship
Item 5 of 6Thomas McGarrigle14 November 1944for Licentiateship
Item 6 of 6Guy Barrie Oddie1946for 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 11911Dundee Training College for Teachers  DundeeScotlandAs assistant to Thomas Martin Cappon - probably largely responsible for design


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 1British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914  Listed as 'McKellar', but RIBA papers show that the correct spelling is 'MacKellar'.

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1RIBA JournalSeptember 1973 London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp453 Obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3Durham University Library - sketchbookChristine Purcell Sent July 2013

Information from a sketchbook which has recently been acquired by Durham University Library.
It is a small book of sketches of parts of Durham Cathedral (with photographs tipped in) by R. Norman MacKellar.
Written on the first page is:
R. Norman MacKellar
3 Cathkin Road

1st September 1910.

Item 2 of 3England and WalesBirths, marriages and deaths  
Item 3 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A v21 no2483 (microfilm reel 21); F no3345 (box 21)