J. J. Stevenson

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John James Stevenson FRSE FSA FRIBA (1831–1908), often referred to as J. J. Stevenson, was a British architect of the late-Victorian era. He is particularly associated with the British Queen Anne revival style.


Anglican Church, Campbelltown
Parish Church, Fairlie, North Ayrshire
Dunoon Pier
The grave of J J Stevenson, Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh

Stevenson was born in Glasgow on 24 August 1831, the sixth of ten children to James Stevenson, a merchant of Glasgow and his wife Jane Stewart Shannan, daughter of Alexander Shannan, merchant of Greenock. His early education was at Glasgow High School.[1]

He trained as an architect with David Bryce in Edinburgh and Sir George Gilbert Scott in London. He then worked with Campbell Douglas in Glasgow, becoming a partner in 1860, they then jointly moved to a property at 24 George Street in Edinburgh, sharing the space with the stained glass artist Daniel Cottier. From 1870 he worked in London. Here he built the "Red House" in Bayswater Hill as his own home.

Author of the architecture text, House Architecture (1880), Stevenson also wrote on town planning and the preservation of historic buildings, criticising the "dull and uninteresting" architecture of his age and the "infatuation for making streets straight".[2]

He also designed the interiors of several ocean liners.[2]

In 1868 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh his proposer being Alexander Keith Johnston.[3]

He died at his home, 4 Porchester Gardens in London on 5 May 1908[3] but his body was returned to Edinburgh for burial in Dean Cemetery. The grave lies against the southern boundary.


His siblings included Flora Stevenson, James Cochran Stevenson and Louisa Stevenson.

He married Jane Omond (1839–1932), daughter of Robert Omond and Mary Eliza Traill, in 1861 and is buried with her and their children.


Stevenson's work in Scotland was mainly ecclesiastical, including the design of churches in Gilmerton, Crieff, Perth, Stirling, and Glasgow.[4] His work in England was mainly domestic and educational buildings in London, Oxford and Cambridge.

His buildings include:

Lugar Lodge, 14 Melbury Road Kensington London (the home and artist's studio of Colin Hunter) (1876)


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