Campbell Douglas

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The Cowan Institute, Penicuik

Archibald Campbell Douglas (usually simply referred to as Campbell Douglas) (14 June 1828 – 14 April 1910) was a Scottish architect based primarily in and around Glasgow and Edinburgh. He designed many churches in these two cities, especially those for the Free Church of Scotland.

He was three times President of the Glasgow Architectural Association and Vice President of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1891.

He was also active in politics, being a member of the Scottish Liberal Club, Glasgow Liberal Club and National Liberal Club (in London). He was also a Justice of the Peace in Argyllshire.[1]

Life[edit]

He was born in 1828 the son of the Rev. Robert Douglas, minister in the parish of Kilbarchan in Renfrewshire. His mother was Janet Monteath. He attended Glasgow University at the age of 13.

In 1842 he was articled to John Thomas Rochead, architect, who was based in Glasgow.

In 1843, together with his father, they left the established Church of Scotland and joined the Free Church, following the Disruption of that year. This led to many later commissions. After a time in England he set up his own practice in Glasgow in 1855 but also seems to have had an office in Fife, where his brother Robert Douglas was an iron founder and engineer.

He came to fame with the designs of Briggate Free Church in Glasgow and North Leith Free Church in Edinburgh. At this time he employed the talented draughtsman Bruce Jones Talbot.

In 1860 he took John James Stevenson (b.24 August 1831) into partnership and they set up office at 24 George Street in Edinburgh. This lasted until the death of Stevenson’s father in 1866 at which point he inherited a large sum of money and drifted out of the profession.

In 1872 he went into a very successful partnership with James Sellars and work started to vary to include large commercial premises. During this period they employed Charles Alfred Chastel de Boinville, a talented French draughtsman, who brought a European flavour to the designs. Douglas married the granddaughter of Alexander Cowan leading to his commission to build the Cowan Institute in Penicuik to his memory.[2]

The grave of Campbell Douglas, Morningside Cemetery, Edinburgh

He died of bladder disease in 1910 at his house 25 Braid Avenue, Edinburgh, leaving the then substantial sum of over £8000.[3]

He was cremated and his ashes were buried in Morningside Cemetery against the south wall, towards the south-west corner. His wife Elizabeth Menzies (1837–1923) lies with him.

Trained by Campbell Douglas[edit]

Principal works[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dictionary of Scottish Architects: Campbell Douglas
  2. ^ http://www.kosmoid.net/lives/cowan
  3. ^ Dictionary of Scottish Architects: Campbell Douglas
  4. ^ History of Penicuik: Cowan Institute
  • Dictionary of Scottish Architects: Campbell Douglas
  • Buildings of Scotland: Edinburgh by Gifford McWilliam and Walker