John James Stevenson FRSE FSA FRIBA (24 August 1831 – 5 May 1908), usually referred to as J. J. Stevenson, was a British architect of the late-Victorian era. Born in Glasgow, he worked in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London. He is particularly associated with the British Queen Anne revival style.

Early life and educationEdit

Anglican Church, Campbelltown
Parish Church, Fairlie, North Ayrshire
Dunoon Pier
The grave of J. J. Stevenson, Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh

Stevenson was born in Glasgow on 24 August 1831, the sixth of ten children to James Stevenson, a merchant of Glasgow and his wife Jane Stewart Shannan, daughter of Alexander Shannan, merchant of Greenock.[1] His siblings included Flora Stevenson, James Cochran Stevenson and Louisa Stevenson. He was cousin to James Croesus Stevenson.

His early education was at Glasgow High School.[1]


Stevenson trained as an architect with David Bryce in Edinburgh and Sir George Gilbert Scott in London. He then worked with Campbell Douglas in Glasgow, becoming a partner in 1860, they then jointly moved to a property at 24 George Street[2] in Edinburgh, sharing the space with the stained glass artist Daniel Cottier. From 1870 he worked in London. Here he built the "Red House" in Bayswater Hill as his own home.

Author of the architecture text, House Architecture (1880), Stevenson also wrote on town planning and the preservation of historic buildings, criticising the "dull and uninteresting" architecture of his age and the "infatuation for making streets straight".[3]

He also designed the interiors of several ocean liners.[3]

In 1868 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, his proposer being Alexander Keith Johnston.[4]


Stevenson's work in Scotland was mainly ecclesiastical, including the design of churches in Gilmerton, Crieff, Perth, Stirling, and Glasgow.[5] His work in England was mainly domestic and educational buildings in London, Oxford and Cambridge.

His buildings include:

Personal lifeEdit

He married Jane Omond (1839–1932), daughter of Robert Omond and Mary Eliza Traill, in 1861 and is buried with her and their children. His brother-in-law was Robert Traill Omond.[11] He died at his home, 4 Porchester Gardens in London on 5 May 1908[4] but his body was returned to Edinburgh for burial in Dean Cemetery. The grave lies against the southern boundary.


  1. ^ a b "". Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  2. ^ Edinburgh Post Office Directory 1861
  3. ^ a b "JJ Stevenson (1889) On laying-out streets for convenience of traffic and architectural effect. Royal Institute of British Architects, Transactions 5, new series: 89-104. Headnotes by John W Reps". Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  4. ^ a b Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783 – 2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0 902 198 84 X.
  5. ^ a b c "John James Stevenson (1831-1908), architect, a biography | Glasgow City of Sculpture". Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Books, Research and Information - Arts & Crafts Home". Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  7. ^ "Search the Collections | Victoria and Albert Museum". Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  8. ^ "Settlement and building: From 1865 to 1900". British History Online. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  9. ^ Cambridge 2000: Lucy Cavendish College: Madingley Road: Marshall House (Balliol Croft).
  10. ^ a b "Cambridge 2000 Project: J.J. Stevenson". Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  11. ^

External linksEdit