James Graham Fairley

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Deanbrae House, Edinburgh

James Graham Fairley FRIBA MSGS (1846–1934) was a 19th/20th century Scottish architect working mainly in the West Lothian area, specialising in churches and schools.


Juniper Green Parish Church
St David's Church. George Street, Bathgate
Lorne Street Church, Leith

He was born in West Calder in West Lothian the son of William Fairley, a mill-wright and engineer, and his wife, Elizabeth Graham. He was educated at Edinburgh Academy. He was then apprenticed as an architect to Robert Thornton Shiells at 7 Gilmore Place in Edinburgh.[1] He did further training in the City Engineer's Department under Robert Matheson,[2] whilst also taking engineering classes at the University of Edinburgh alongside Robert Louis Stevenson (who briefly trained as an engineer in his family's tradition). He then went to London for six months in 1873, working under Sir Edmund Frederick du Cane, before returning to Edinburgh to set up his own practice at 21 Rintoul Place in the Stockbridge Colonies.[3]

In 1875 he moved to larger and grander offices at 1 India Buildings at the head of Victoria Street.

He was a member of the Scottish Geographical Society, the Old Edinburgh Club and the Rymour Club.[4]

He died at home, 47 Abercorn Terrace (built to his own design) in Portobello, Edinburgh on 6 April 1934.[5]

Known Works[edit]