© Madras College, St. Andrews, Fife.

© Madras College, St. Andrews, Fife.

William Burn (1789 - 1870)

Born in Edinburgh in 1789, William Burn was to become one of the most prolific and sought after country house architects of the nineteenth century.

Burn’s output, predominantly domestic, was aesthetically diverse, choosing to lead taste and pioneering the revival of several architectural styles. His country house commissions number in excess of 300 and are located throughout Scotland, England and Ireland.

Through an understanding of how his clients lived and ordered their lives, Burn was able to arrange their living spaces with unparalleled precision, and when combined with a compositional mastery the result was some of the most instructive country houses of the nineteenth century.

William Burn’s extensive architectural output was the subject of Paul Bradley’s PhD, and his thesis represents the first comprehensive academic study of Burn’s life, work and influences.  The thesis also looked at the work of Burn’s business partner David Bryce (1803-1876) and that of his nephew John MacVicar Anderson (1835-1915).

In 2002, working with James Hunter Blair the owner of Blairquhan Castle, Ayrshire, we established a permanent exhibition room within the castle, dedicated to the life and work of Burn.

As an office, we are pleased to have been engaged by owners of buildings designed by both Burn and David Bryce, and have provided advice regarding repair, refurbishment and alteration of houses and estate buildings.