Banff Preservation and Heritage Society and Museum of Banff

BPHS Founders Lecture October 9th 2014 at 7 for 7.30pm

Thursday, 9th October 2014 at 7pm - 9pm

Location: Banff Castle Drawing Room, Banff Castle

This event is in the past.

May we invite you and your friends

 to attend the

Founders’ Commemorative Lecture

on Thursday 9th October

 at 7.00pm for 7.30pm.

This will be in Banff Castle.

The lecture will be given by

 Dr David Walker

on the theme

“The Development of the Country House in Banff, Buchan and Formartine from c. 1660 to the Present Day”.

There will be the customary glass of wine


David Walker studied the History of Art at the University of St Andrews. His doctoral thesis took as its subject the architectural practice of John Dick Peddie and Charles George Hood Kinnear who designed the City & County Chambers in Aberdeen. He worked for the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland before moving to the University of Warwick in 2005 to study the life and work of Sir Basil Spence. Since 2008 he has been based at the University of Aberdeen as co-author of two forthcoming volumes of the Buildings of Scotland Series. The first, due in April next year, will cover North Aberdeenshire, Banffshire and Morayshire; the second, due in 2016 or 2017, will cover the City of Aberdeen, South Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire. Several of us in the BPHS had happy dealings with David as he collected the materials for the volume that will include Banffshire. 


The topic of the lecture

Beginning with the very simplest houses we trace how local masons responded to the masterworks of William Adam at Haddo and Duff by developing their own Vernacular Classical style with increasing sophistication throughout the 18C. Noting the effects of French architectural theory during the Revolutionary period at the remarkable Cairness, we witness the emergence of the architectural profession in the North-East during the early 19C in the form of John Smith and Archibald Simpson based in Aberdeen and William Robertson based in Elgin, and the proliferation of architectural styles after the Napoleonic Wars including Classical, Greek Revival and Italianate. We also look at the reasons for the emergence of more consciously ‘British’ styles beginning with Castellated in the manner of Robert Adam’s Culzean, then the more scholarly Tudor and Scots-Elizabethan styles which were based on English historical precedents before an increasing knowledge of Scottish architecture resulted in the rich confections of the Baronial. The years leading up to the First World War are characterised by great diversity of approach; between the Wars we look at the scholarly restorations of centuries-old tower-houses, and we conclude with the recent revival of the country house tradition in our own time.


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