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St Mary's, 164, Queen Street - Broughty Ferry

Scott built this church in 1858-9, constructed from rubble and slate. It is a cramped site which slopes down at the east end, so the building is therefore two storied.


St Mary's Church, south aisle - Broughty Ferry

Scott added the south aisle to the church in 1870.


Albert Institute - Dundee

Considering the number of memorials to Albert that were raised as an expression of the grief which overwhelmed the nation at the time of his death, it is surprising that Scott, then at the height of his powers and reputation, was not consulted over more of these. Local communities would often use resident talent rather than employ a seemingly grand London-based architect. However Scott was consulted over what has been described as ‘the grandest Albert Memorial outside London’.

This is at Dundee where, soon after the Prince’s death, a group of nine citizens decided to commemorate his life’s work by establishing an institute ‘dedicated to science, literature and the arts and crafts’. They proposed to float a company to raise the funds necessary to build, what they called, the Albert Institute. A public meeting was held on 25 November 1863 to explain the project with Sir David Baxter, the city’s leading philanthropist, in the chair. It was resolved to start the negotiations to acquire a portion of marshy ground in the city centre, which was adjacent to what was already called Albert Square. It was decided that the proposed Institute would be completed in time to accommodate the meetings of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, which were planned for 1867.

The Albert Institute Company was formed and bought the site in February 1864. It considered holding a competition for a design for the building but in mid-March it decided to appoint Scott to carry out the work. The choice of Scott was probably due to Alexander Forbes, the Bishop of Brechin, who had already employed Scott to build St Paul’s Church in Dundee, which had been completed nine years earlier. With the Albert Memorial underway, Scott went up to Dundee in August 1864 to meet the building committee. It may have been on this journey that he called at Ford Castle in Northumberland to meet Lady Waterford over the design of her late husband’s memorial. When he arrived in Dundee his drawings were immediately put on public display. At first he seems to have thought that the noble sentiments which inspired the proposal to erect the Institute required that its main façade should have one of his central tower compositions. However, it was soon discovered that the land was unable to bear the weight of heavy structures so Baxter donated £10,000 to provide timber pile foundations and the tower was abandoned.

The removal of the tower produced a building which is remarkably similar in design to the hall at the rear of Scott’s Hamburg Rathaus competition entry of 1854. Like the Hamburg design, it is entered by a grand pair of external steps curving up from the ground level, similar to those at Drumlanrig, to a great hall at first floor level. This had crow-stepped gables terminated with turrets. Scott claimed that:

in style I have followed that of the best period of pointed architecture, taking pains to give it such national characteristics as render it distinctly Scottish in its general feeling.

But as Scott had used crow-stepped gables on his Hamburg design, because of their prevalence in north-west Germany, the round turrets would appear to be the only ‘distinctly Scottish’ features of the exterior. Over the centre of the hall he placed one of his ubiquitous fleches and at the rear, a short wing containing a vaulted entrance lobby gave access to a library under the hall and a wide circular stair case leading up to the great hall above.

Work started in 1865 and was duly completed, apart from the external steps, in time for the British Association’s meeting in September 1867 at a cost of nearly £18,000. Further money had to be raised by the company to meet this sum and Sir David’ brother, Edward Baxter, donated £1,212 so that the external steps could be built. Scott had intended to provide a longer rear wing containing a museum and art gallery, but these were abandoned, presumably due to lack of funds and time. Work on the rear wing was resumed in 1871, only four years after it had stopped, but Scott was not allowed to continue the work that he had planned although he had been working in Dundee during the intervening years. Dr Thomas Ross, a Scottish architectural historian, declared that ‘We have enough of his [Scott's] work in Scotland already’. This comment may be seen as part of a campaign which was launched by Glasgow architects against the Englishman Scott when he was appointed to design the new university buildings in that city in September 1864. This led to the appointment in 1871 of a local architect, David Mackenzie, to continue the work that Scott had started on the Albert Institute making it three times its original size.

The Albert Institute at Dundee was the last of the five projects which Scott was engaged upon as memorials to Prince Albert and he considered it to have been one of his ‘best works’.

McKean, C., and Walker, D., Dundee, An Illustrated Architectural Guide (RIAS, Edinburgh, 1984), pp. 43, 48-53.
Sidley, T., ‘Simple, Bold and Effective’, An Architectural History of the Albert Institute, Dundee (Dundee Museum, Dundee, 1978), pp. 6-7, 9, 12-13.
McFadzean, R., The Life and Work of Alexander Thomson (Routledge Keegan Paul, London, 1979), p. 199.
Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds), The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), 32 [b].
Scott’s Recollections, III 263.



Albert Fountain, Albert Institute - Dundee

Scott designed this fountain in 1869 to stand in front of the Albert Institute. Its cost was said to be in the region of £5000 and it was made by Coalbrookdale Company. It was demolished in 1944 after damage by tree felling.

http://photopolis.dundeecity.gov.uk/wc0992.htm



Old Tower, St Mary's, restoration report - Dundee

In 1870, Scott surveyed and produced a report on the Old Steeple, the highest surviving medieval tower in Scotland, which, in 1853, he had used as a basis for his design of the tower of St Paul’s.

Fisher, G. Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds), The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), 82 [c].
Walker, B., and Ritchie, G., Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Fife and Tayside (HMSO, London, 1987), p. 110.



Old Tower, St Mary's - Dundee

Scott recased and restored much of the Steeple in 1872 and was intending to replace the crown, as he had already done at Newcastle and was proposing to do at Durham. But Dr Thomas Ross, a Scottish architectural historian, declared that Scott’s was a dreadful design and that ‘We have enough of his work in Scotland already’. This comment may be seen as part of a campaign which was launched by Glasgow architects against the Englishman Scott when he was appointed to design the new university buildings in that city in September 1864.

Walker, B., and Ritchie, G., Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Fife and Tayside (HMSO, London, 1987), p. 110.
McKean, C., and Walker, D., Dundee, An Illustrated Architectural Guide (RIAS, Edinburgh, 1984), p. 61.



St Paul's - Dundee

In 1853, Scott was commissioned to rebuild St. Paul's Chapel, which stood on the old castle hill of Dundee, for the Episcopal Church in Scotland. It was to be a grand new church to cater for the population of this rapidly expanding industrial city. His client was the Bishop of Brechin, Alexander Penrose Forbes (1817-75), who was close friend of Pusey. The foundation stone was laid on 21 July 1853 and it was opened on 15 December 1855, but it was not until 1905 that it was consecrated as the Cathedral of St. Paul. Scott again made full use of the dramatic hill-top site, which falls away sharply to the south to the River Tay, with a 200 feet spire. This is at the liturgical west end of the church, which is actually the north end of the site. It is a hall church with externally gabled aisle bays, short transepts and an octagonal apse. If the intended side chapels had been built on either side of the apse, it would have been a smaller version of St, Stephen's, Vienna. The details are from Scott's usual Middle Pointed vocabulary.

Rickman, T., Gothic Architecture: An Attempt to Discriminate the Styles of Architecture in England, From the Conquest to the Reformation, with a Sketch of the Grecian and Roman Orders (Parker and Co., London, 1881), p. 232.



Monument to Bishop Forbes - Dundee

Bishop Forbes died in October 1875 and one of Scott’s, last works in 1876, was to design a table tomb supporting an effigy of the bishop. This was placed on the liturgical north side of the chancel of St Paul’s, under a Decorated canopy, and a fine brass was set into the floor over his burial place.