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Reginald Francis Joseph Fairlie


1883 - 1952

Architect. Born at Kincaple (Fife) into a devout Roman Catholic family, Fairlie was raised at Myres Castle and educated at the Oratory School in Birmingham (England). He trained as an architect with Robert Stodart Lorimer (1864 - 1929) and travelled in Europe before setting up his own practice in Edinburgh in 1908.

Fairlie is best known as a church architect, designing a remarkable number of Roman Catholic churches across Scotland, with John Crichton-Stuart, 4th Marquess of Bute (1881 - 1947), as an early patron. He built churches in Troon (1911), Kelty (1922), High Valleyfield (1922), Cowdenbeath (1923), Methilhill (1923), Addiewell (1924), Rothesay (1925), Dundee (1928), Lochgilphead (1929), Roybridge (1929), Birnam (1932), Bowhill (1932), Fort William (1934), Parkhead in Glasgow (1934), Larbert (1935), Cowie (1937), Bonnybridge (1937), Tayport (1939), Fernieside in Edinburgh (1952) and Corpach (1952). He also worked on projects for the Church of Scotland and Scottish Episcopal Church, and additions to several country houses. He designed war memorials for Kinclaven (1920), Moffat (1919), Auchtermuchty (1920), Monzievaird and Strowan (1920), North Berwick (1920), Peebles (1921), Blairgowrie (1921), Bendochy (1922), together with St Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral War Memorial (1921), the Royal and Ancient Golf Club War Memorial in St Andrews (1923) and the American Scottish War Memorial in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh (1928). He was also responsible for housing schemes in Edinburgh (Northfield) and Moffat. More unusual projects were the Princess Margaret Rose Orthopaedic Hospital in Edinburgh (1929-36, now demolished), the National Library of Scotland (1936-55), the Scottish Room in the Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh (1937), the Sloy-Awe Hydro-Electric Power Scheme (1950) and the Cowal Hydro-Electric Power Scheme (1951). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1946.

His elder brother was killed in 1915 fighting in France and his father died the following year, shortly after becoming Chamberlain to Pope Benedict XV (Fairlie designed the family memorial in St. Andrews Eastern Cemetery). These deaths brought Myres Castle to Fairlie, although he was never to live there, preferring Edinburgh and passing Myres on to his younger brother when his mother died in 1931.

Fairlie died in Edinburgh but lies buried in the Eastern Cemetery at St. Andrews alongside his parents, where his memorial stone was carved by his friend Hew Lorimer (1907-93).


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