John Kinross

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John Kinross by William Birnie Rhind 1922
Kinross House, Abercromby Place, Edinburgh

John Kinross (3 July 1855 – 7 January 1931) was a Scottish architect. He was particularly skilled in traditional styles and was highly involved in the restoration of historic buildings, researching his subjects well before any project.


The grave of John Kinross, Grange Cemetery, Edinburgh

Born in Stirling, Kinross was articled to Glasgow architect John Hutchison around 1870, and moved to the Edinburgh firm of Wardrop and Reid in 1875. He travelled to Italy in 1880 to study Renaissance buildings. In 1882 Kinross he established a partnership with Henry Seymour, which lasted until 1889. Kinross was president of the Edinburgh Architectural Association (EAA) between 1890 and 1892, and was elected to the Royal Scottish Academy in 1905. Ebenezer James MacRae trained under him in 1908.

He completed many commissions for the Scottish Episcopal Church in his early years. During the 1890s he developed a style strongly influenced by Scottish architecture of the 17th century. He carried out extensive research to complete a number of important restorations, including Falkland Palace and the 15th-century Priory Church in South Queensferry. Several commissions came from the 3rd Marquis of Bute, an enthusiastic restorer. He also carried out numerous domestic commissions, among the most important was his rebuilding of Manderston in Berwickshire (1901–1905). After 1905 he experienced a decline in commissions for new houses, and began submitting competition proposals. After the First World War he completed several war memorials, and also contributed time to Edinburgh College of Art. He suffered a breakdown in 1920, but continued in practice, and continued his involvement with the RSA.

Kinross had his office at 2 Abercromby Place (now called Kinross House) and lived at 67 Braid Road.[1]

He is buried in Grange Cemetery near the western edge of its Southwest Extension. His wife Mary Hall, and son John Blythe Kinross CBE HRSA (a financier) lie with him.

Principal Projects[edit]


  1. ^ Edinburgh and Leith Post Office Directory 1911-12
  • "John Kinross". Dictionary of Scottish Architects. Retrieved 2011-04-18.