John Allan Online Exhibition

Slide
JOHN ALLAN
A Man of Original Ideas
Intro text
John Allan (1847-1922)
A Man of Original Ideas

John Allan was born in Carnock in Fife in April 1847. He moved to Stirling around 1870 when the burgh was rapidly expanding out of the old town around the Castle and into the new suburb of Kings’s Park. Allan designed over 30 buildings in the Stirling area. His legacy includes some of the most remarkable architecture in Stirling.

Stirling City Heritage Trust is marking 100 years since John Allan died (21 February 2022) with this online exhibition and a series of short blogs about ‘My Favourite John Allan Building’. This online exhibition includes photography by Jo Cound, historic images from the Stirling Smith and plans from the Stirling Archives. Extensive research was undertaken by Stirling Local History Society members and their book on John Allan was published in 2018. It is available from SLHS, The Smith or to download from our website.

This is the only known image of John Allan. He has annotated it with ‘Cliff Bank’, the name of his house at 32 Albert Place. The symbols represent his name, John on the left and Allan on the right.

Reproduced courtesy of Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries

Caption
©Dumfermline Carnegie Library and Archive

Kings Park

Kings Park

circa 1900

View of new housing in victoria place with the Horse racing track in the foreground in the kings park. Stirling Castle in the background.
Image taken by Sargeant W McKenzie, c.1900. Courtesy of The Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum.

King's Park

circa 1900

This images shows villas under construction in King’s Park. John Allan designed a number of villas in this elegant suburb. This view looks across to Victoria Place with the horse-racing track in the foreground and Stirling Castle beyond the houses.

Kings Park

circa 1900

View of new housing in victoria place with the Horse racing track in the foreground in the kings park. Stirling Castle in the background.
Image taken by Sargeant W McKenzie, c.1900. Courtesy of The Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum.

Image taken by Sargeant W McKenzie, c.1900.
Courtesy of The Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum.

Royal Gardens
42 Albert Place and 1-9 Royal Gardens
Built: 1877

This was one of Allan’s most important commissions, proving his talent as an architect in a highly prominent position for wealthy clients. The corner plots have Italianate towers and the row is undoubtedly elegant, a fitting entrance to the new King’s Park suburb.

These buildings are Category C Listed and are in the King’s Park Conservation Area.

© Jo Cound

Explore further
32 - 34 Albert Place
32-34 Albert Place
Built: 1878

John Allan designed many villas in King’s Park, including his own house at 32 Albert Place, named Cliffbank. He lived there with his sister, Margaret, neither of whom married. The house contained some unusual features such as cured walls, a stained-glass cupola and lights incorporated into the stair treads.

These buildings are Category C Listed

Explore further

© The Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum

© The Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum

Baker Street

Baker Street

1938

© The Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum

55 Baker Street

© Jo Cound

55 Baker Street

1890

This 4-storey tenement of red brick with Tudor half timbering was the first of Allan’s brick buildings. Rising above the adjacent sandstone tenements, the building is remarkably different from its neighbours in style and materials. The ground floor was originally the Stirling Arms public house and the coat of arms survives.

This building is Category B Listed and is in the Stirling Town & Royal Park Conservation Area.

© Jo Cound

Baker Street detail

55 Baker Street detail © Jo Cound

The Stirling Arms shield © Jo Cound

Batterflats

© The Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum

Batterflats
Built: 1893-95

Built for seed merchant, William Drummond, the design here continues the theme of brick and Tudor, but incorporates beautiful terracotta detail and Arts & Crafts influences such as stained glass, decorative chimney pieces and artistic timber panelling. The building is now divided into several flats.

This building is Listed Category B and is in the Park Place/ Randolphfield Conservation Area.

Explore further

© The Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum

Wolf Craig

Port Street

Wolf Craig in the early 1900s when occupied by grocers Robertson & MacFarlane.

© The Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum

Wolf Craig info
red brick building
Wolf Craig
Built: 1897

The Wolf Craig is the work of a confident architect working at the height of his career. Curving around the corner, it incorporates some 9 unique panels, a date stone and a carved wolf with accompanying poetry. Executed in Welsh Ruabon brick, it is completely unique. It also demonstrated an early use of structural steel and was the first retail building in Stirling to be lit by electricity.

This building is Category C Listed and is in Stirling Town and Royal Park Conservation Area.

Explore further
Wolf Craig detail

Wolf Craig - detail

Wolf Craig illustration

Wolf Craig Elevation

This Dean of Guild Court plan for Wolf Craig shows the Dumbarton Road elevation. John Allan often chose different window pane patterns for each floor, and this can be seen on this drawing.

Reproduced courtesy of Stirling Council Archives

Mona Place

© Jo Cound

Mona Place, 25 Newhouse
Built: 1897

This 3 storey tenement is simple in its design with rock-faced rubble to the façade and a huge chimney with the date stone and John Allan’s signature.

Allan was keen to build houses for working people as well as for wealthy clients and in his later years he designed many simpler, more affordable buildings.

This building is unlisted but is in the Randolph Road Conservation Area.

Explore further

© Jo Cound

Mona place detail

Mona Place - detail

© Jo Cound

Friars Street
29-31 Friars Street
Built: 1902

This tall tenement for JB Richardson has a Continental feel with its Dutch gables and concave balconies. It also incorporates mottos and symbols including ‘Do yer duty’ and ‘honor principle’. Curious symbols and carvings are found across the building.

This building is Listed Category C and in Stirling Town and Royal Park Conservation Area.

Explore further

© Jo Cound

Friars Street Detail

John Allan often included intriguing mottos on his buildings. © Jo Cound

Allan was fascinated by symbolism and many of his later designs include panels with mysterious carved symbols. © Jo Cound

Friars Street illustration

Friars Street Elevation

This beautiful Dean of Guild Court plan demonstrates the incredible design for this building. The Shopfront has been altered since its construction, but the features in the original intention for the building largely survive.

Reproduced courtesy of Stirling Council Archives

Bridgehaugh
Bridgehaugh
Built: 1911

One of Allan’s last commissions was this tenement adjacent to the Old Stirling Bridge, designed as affordable housing. There were 4 flats on each floor and they all had a balcony as well as a shared wash-house, toilets, and bathing facilities to ensure that all residents had access to good sanitary provision.

This building is unlisted but is in the Bridgehaugh Conservation Area.

Explore further

© SCHT

Bridgehaugh illustratio

Bridgehaugh

Dean of Guild Court plan for Bridgehaugh, 1911

Reproduced courtesy of Stirling Council Archives

Slide
John Allan

A Man of Original ideas

Exhibition supported by

Exit full screenEnter Full screen
previous arrowprevious arrow
next arrownext arrow