James Barbour

1834 - 1912

Architect. Born the son of a farmer in the parish of Dunscore (Dumfries and Galloway), Barbour was educated at Glenesslin School. He trained with architect in Dumfries and then Glasgow, where he also attended classes at the Glasgow School of Art. Returning to Dumfries, Barbour set up his own practice in 1860 and developed his own interpretation of the Gothic style. He is noted for a remarkable number of domestic, commercial, ecclesiastical and government buildings across SW Scotland. Of particular note are churches in Beeswing, Dalbeattie, Dumfries, Ecclefechan, Middlebie, New Abbey and Tundergarth, together with Castle Douglas Town Hall and Kirkcudbright Academy.

An enthusiastic archaeologist, noted for leading the excavation of the Roman fort at Birrens in 1895, he became a member of the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society and was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Barbour died while holidaying in Harrogate. His twin brother was responsible for setting up Barbour's Department Store in Dumfries in 1856, which still operates today.

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