Born in Kilmarnock, Strathclyde, Ayrshire, the son of a Dunfermline contractor, John Johnstone (1814-1884) went south for his training and is credited with some of the "first industrial dwellings in London" ("John Johnstone"). He became Clerk of Works for the partnership of (George Gilbert) Scott & (William Bonython) Moffatt in the early 1840s. Moffatt's dates were 1812-1887. At that time the partners were largely specialising in workhouses — Scott was just branching out into churches, and, with his wife taking the lead in the process, dissolved the partnership at the end of 1845 (see Scott 131-32). Whatever happened next, by the mid-fifties Johnstone he was settled in Newcastle, where from 1855 he was in partnership with W. A. Knowles. He must have been successful, because he was elected President of the Northern Architectural Association in 1875. He designed Elswick Cemetery, town halls in Gateshead, Newcastle (now demolished), Bishop Auckland, Hexham and Dumfries, and at least two grand buildings near the station in Newcastle — the County (Thistle) Hotel and the offices for the Newcastle and Gateshead Gas Company. He died in harness, on an inspection of a school site in Newcastle. — Jacqueline Banerjee.

A glimpse of the County (Thistle) Hotel, Newcastle



Brodie, Antonia, et al., eds. Directory of British Architects: 1834-1914, Vol. I: 1: A - K. London: Continuum/RIBA, 2001. Print.

"John Johnstone." DSA: Dictionary of Scottish Architects. Web. 10 November 2012.

"Knowles and Johnstone." DSA: Dictionary of Scottish Architects. Web. 10 November 2012.

Scott, Sir George Gilbert, R.A. Personal and Professional Recollections, edited by his son, G. Gilbert Scott, F.S.A. London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, 1879. Internet Archive. Web. 10 November 2012.

Last modified 10 November 2012