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 James Gowans

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James Gowans

  • Birth 1 Aug 1821 West Lothian, Scotland
  • Death 25 Jun 1890 City of Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Burial Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Memorial ID 20120

Architect. Born in Blackness, West Lothian, Scotland, the son of a mason. Educated in Edinburgh he was apprenticed to David Bryce until 1846. Before starting his architectural career he turned to railway engineering and became master of several quarries. He is recognized particularly for his imaginative approach to masonry construction, employing an original modular grid system and cyclopean stone-work. His romantic outlook was founded on rationalist theories and motivated by financial and social concerns. He collaborated briefly with like-minded romanticist, Frederick T Pilkington. He was at his peak in the 1850s and 1860s when he designed the colorful Edinburgh villas of Rockville (1858, demolished), Lammerburn (1860) and Gowanbank (1859). Concern for the condition of workersÕ housing and pollution stand out among his far-sighted philosophies. A popular figure throughout his career, he was made EdinburghÕs Dean of Guild in 1885 and was a prime mover in 1886 of the Edinburgh International Exhibition. Rosebank Cottages (1855) and tenements Castle Terrace, Edinburgh may be compared with his designs for railway stations at Creetown (1859) and Lochee, Dundee (1861), as examples of his inventive capacity.

Bio by: JK Gillon

Family Members



In memory of ELIZABETH MITCHELL, beloved wife of James Gowans, died 26 Sept 1858 aged 28; also their infant son, JOHN, died at Crieff 25 apr 1858 and is interred in the cemetery there; SIR JAMES GOWANS kt born 1821, died 1890; MARY BRODIE, his wife died 21 July 1911 and is interred in the Dean Cemetery; ISABELLA de GROTTE GOWANS, wife of Robert Clapperton, died 12 April 1931.
Left panel:
CHARLES GURNEY-THOMPSON MD CM (Edin), died 3 May 1953 Burley, Hampshire.
HELEN CHISHOLM GOWANS, wife of Dr Charles Gurney-Thompson, died 7 Jan 1948 at Burley, Hampshire.





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 3 Feb 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 20120
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for James Gowans (1 Aug 1821–25 Jun 1890), Find A Grave Memorial no. 20120, citing Grange Cemetery, Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, Scotland ; Maintained by Find A Grave .