Sir Robert McAlpine, 1st Baronet

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Sir Robert McAlpine, 1st Baronet (13 February 1847 – 3 November 1934),[1] nicknamed "Concrete Bob", founded the British construction firm now known as Sir Robert McAlpine.

McAlpine was born in Newarthill, North Lanarkshire, Scotland, and left school at the age of 10 to work in a coal mine, but became an apprentice bricklayer. He was involved in the building of roads, public buildings and other works, some of the tunnelling for the Glasgow Subway and the Singer Sewing Machine factory in Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire.[2] Overseas, in 1918 McAlpine was contracted to expand the harbour in Heraklion, Crete. The power station built for the purpose was later used to provide the town's electricity.[3]

McAlpine built up the large building and civil engineering firm that bears his name; it continues to exist today. He was also a pioneer in the use of concrete and labour-saving machinery. See also Glenfinnan Viaduct.[4]

He was made a baronet in 1918.[5][6] He was first of the McAlpine baronets.


Robert McAlpine was married twice. On 12 June 1868 he married Agnes Hepburn (d. 1888). They had five sons: Robert (1868-1934), William Hepburn (1871-1950), Thomas Malcolm (1877-1967), Alfred David (1881-1944) and Granville (1882-1928) and three daughters. On 21 August 1889, he married Florence Margaret Palmer and had one son: Archibald Douglas (1890-1981) and two daughters.[7]


  1. ^ "Person Page 7365". Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "Electricity | Major Public Works | Union - World War I - The Interwar Years | Historical Periods | Municipality of Heraklion - a city through the ages". Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  4. ^ "Scottish Surname History". Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 30723. p. 6524. 3 June 1918.
  6. ^ [2][dead link]
  7. ^ "McAlpine". Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
New Creation
(of Knott Park)
Succeeded by
Robert McAlpine