Frederick Thomas Pilkington

1832 - 1898

Architect. Born in Stamford (Lincolnshire, England), the son of an architect who took his family to Edinburgh in 1854, setting up an office in the New Town. The young Pilkington studied mathematics and logic at the University of Edinburgh but, despite being an excellent student, seems never to have got round to graduating. His wife died in childbirth in 1861 and he married again just five months later.

Pilkington is probably best known for his High Gothic churches, built for the Free Church of Scotland, principally the Barclay Viewforth Church in Edinburgh, Kelso North Parish Church, Trinity Parish Church in Irvine, McCheyne Memorial Church in Dundee and the South Church in Penicuik. This fashion was developed by critic John Ruskin (1819 - 1900) but Pilkington fashioned this as his own unique Romantic Gothic style. He also designed other public buildings (such as schools) and private houses (from the grand to modest tenement blocks). Notable houses include Kingston House in Edinburgh and The Kirn in Walkerburn (Scottish Borders).

He moved to London c.1880 having received a commission for the Army and Navy Hotel there. He died at his home in Pinner (Middlesex).

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