Thomas Hamilton, architect

        Thomas Hamilton was the leading Greek Revival architect in Scotland in the 19th century. More imaginative than his peers and more refined in his detailing, he did not achieve his full potential. He did however create some memorable and important buildings; the Burns Monument at Alloway, the Royal High School and the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh. But he was also a brilliant designer of commercial premises, adapting the tenements of the New Town to the developing carriage trade, with elegant and well detailed classical facades.

        It is somewhat difficult to believe today that Hamilton was sought as an arbiter of taste in the design of churches in the Gothic style. He often turned a consultation into a commission and designed many Free churches following the Disruption in 1843.

        Hamilton was also a town planner, making a significant contribution to the layout of the Scottish capital, although once again, political infighting prevented the full realisation of his ideas.

        Outside architecture, his greatest contribution to Scottish culture was as a founding member of the Royal Scottish Academy.

        This site has been created by Dr. Joe Rock and the following pages will (slowly!) explore the architect's life and work.