John Alexander Carfrae

1868 - 1947

Architect. Born in Edinburgh, the son of a civil engineer, Carfrae was educated at James Gillespie's High School. He trained under Robert Wilson (1834 - 1901), Sydney Mitchell (1856 - 1930) and in London before succeeding the former as architect to the Edinburgh School Board on Wilson's death.

His numerous schools include Bruntsfield Primary (1893), both Preston Street Primary (1895) and the former St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Primary (now Drummond House; 1905), which are rather similar polychromic creations, Tollcross Primary (1911) and Boroughmuir High School (1911). Although most of his work was in Edinburgh, he built a few country houses and schools elsewhere, such as Knox Academy in Haddington (1909), Oban High School (1908) and Hawick High School (1915). The Edinburgh School Board was abolished in 1918 and the design of schools passed to the City Architect. However Carfrae was asked to design Balgreen Primary and Stenhouse Primary in 1929. Thereafter he retired. Carfrae died at his home in the Grange (Edinburgh).

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