James Gillespie Graham (11 June 1776–11 March 1855) was a Scottish architect, prominent in the early 19th century.


Graham was born in Dunblane on 11 June 1776, the son of Malcolm Gillespie, a solicitor. He was christened as James Gillespie.[1]

He is most notable for his work in the Scottish baronial style, as at Ayton Castle, and he also worked in the Gothic Revival style, in which he was heavily influenced by the work of Augustus Pugin. However, he also worked successfully in the neoclassical style as exemplified in his design of Blythswood House near Glasgow.

Graham designed principally country houses and churches. He is also well known for his interior design, his most noted work in this respect being that at Taymouth Castle and Hopetoun House.

Some of his principal churches include St Andrew's Cathedral in Glasgow, and St Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral and the Highland Tolbooth Church (now The Hub) in Edinburgh. His houses include Cambusnethan House in Lanarkshire.

He was responsible for laying out the Drumsheugh area of Edinburgh's New Town, and for the design of Hamilton Square and adjoining streets in the then new town of Birkenhead, England. According to the writer Frank Arneil Walker he may have been responsible for the remodelling of Johnstone Castle, Renfrewshire.[2]

In the 1830s he is recorded as living at 34 Albany Street in the eastern New Town in Edinburgh.[3]

He died in Edinburgh on 11 March 1855 after a four-year illness.

He is buried in the sealed south-west section of Greyfriars Kirkyard generally called the Covenanter's Prison together with his wife and other family members.


In 1815 he married Margaret Ann Graham, daughter of a wealthy landowner, William Graham of Orchill (d.1825) in Perthshire.[1] Together they had two daughters. On 1825, on the death of his wife's father, the couple inherited his large country estate, and James thereafter became known as James Gillespie Graham.[1]

His wife died in 1826, and he married again, to Elizabeth Campbell, daughter of Major John Campbell of the 76th Regiment of Foot.

Principal Works


Tolbooth Kirk Edinburgh (now The Hub)
The west front of Crawford Priory as it is today.
Torrisdale Castle
19–34 Hamilton Square, Birkenhead

See also

Media related to James Gillespie Graham at Wikimedia Commons


  1. ^ a b c d Goold, David. "James Gillespie Graham". www.scottisharchitects.org.uk. Retrieved 2018-01-19. 
  2. ^ Walker, Frank Arneil (1986) The South Clyde Estuary, RIAS
  3. ^ "Edinburgh Post Office annual directory, 1832-1833". National Library of Scotland. Retrieved 2018-01-19. 

External sources