Correspondence and ephemera of Sir George Gilbert Scott, 1811-1878, architect

Scope and Content

  • Correspondence concerning buildings 1865; Royal Academy of Arts lecture admission ticket signed by Gilbert Scott 1877-1878
  • Subscription forms for the Scott Memorial, Edinburgh 1878
  • Letter regarding Scott's signature 1931

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir George Gilbert Scott was born in Buckinghamshire, England, in 1811  and showed an early interest in architecture, particularly that of churches. He was brought up in a religious family with evangelical views and apprenticed to James Edmeston, a local architect, in 1827. He later attached himself to two London firms before setting up as an independent architect, with an urgency forced upon him by his father's death, in 1834. He and his clerk of works, W B Moffat, were industrious in finding customers, chiefly of the institutional kind, and for some years specialised in constructing workhouses. However, Scott did manage to design some churches in this period: they lack the flair and originality of his later work. He was introduced to Gothic art properly in the 1840s, and in 1844 won a competition to design St. Nicholas' Church in Hamburg, Germany. From then until the early 1860s he was busy with many commissions, chiefly connected with the building and restoration of churches and cathedrals, most notably at Westminster Abbey, London. He became a member of the Royal Academy in 1861, where he was later professor of architecture, and began work on new government buildings in London. He won a competition in 1864 to design the Albert Memorial but not to design the Albert Hall, and in 1865 began his famous work at St Pancras railway station, London. He was awarded a knighthood in 1872. He died in 1878: his two sons both followed him into the business, and completed projects begun by him, including the University of Glasgow buildings at Gilmorehill, Glasgow, Scotland.

Biographical history prepared by the SCAN project.


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Purchase : E Hall, boookseller : 1968 : ACCN 4185

Other Finding Aids

Item level descriptions are available via the department's online manuscripts catalogue available at  searching by the call number MS Gen 515

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Archivist's Note

Compiled by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, March 2003

No alterations made to date

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Keeper of Special Collections

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 247 procedures

Custodial History



None expected

Related Material

GB 248 GUA Records of the University of Glasgow. Includes original correspondence and plans by Gilbert Scott for the University of Glasgow on Gilmorehill.

Other collections of material can be found by undertaking a personal name search for'Gilbert Scott' on the National register of Archives available at

For contact details of all repositories with a GB code, see the Archon repository search page

Material in other repositories: no material associated by provenance