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Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott

Epithet: Architect and Arts & Crafts designer (1865-1945)

Record type: Biographies

Biography: Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott (October 23, 1865–February 10, 1945) is famous for his architecture, interior designs and involvement with the Arts and Crafts movement.

He was born at Beards Hill, St Peters near Ramsgate, Kent, second eldest of 10 children. He originally studied at the Agricultural College in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, but decided not to continue his father's desire that he should take up a career in farming, and left to study architecture.

His early training, during 1886-89, was with Major C.E. Davis, City Architect of Bath, but his architectural development was especially marked by the 12 years he spent living in the Isle of Man, where he moved following his marriage to Florence Kate Nash in 1889. The first four years of this time he lived at Alexander Terrace, Douglas and in 1893 he and his family moved to Red House, Victoria Road, Douglas, built to his own design.

At the beginning of his career Baillie Scott worked with Frederick Saunderson, with whom he had studied at the Isle of Man School of Art, Douglas; qualifying in May 1891 as an art teacher. It was at the School of Art that Baillie Scott and Liberty designer, Archibald Knox became friends; and with whom he collaborated on several architecture and design commissions. Baillie Scott later left Saunderson and set up his own architectural practice in 23 Athol Street, Douglas.

Baillie Scott was a contemporary of Voysey and Charles Rennie Mackintosh and joined the Arts and Crafts Movement, alongside William Morris and John Ruskin. He developed his own unique style however, which progressed towards a simple form of architecture, relying on truth to material and function, and on precise craftsmanship. He was known for the considerable planning he put into his work, spending hours planning the houses and art, both inside and outside. He produced nearly 300 buildings over the course of his career.

A number of his properties survive on the Isle of Man in varying states of originality, including Red House, his family home; the Majestic Hotel, Onchan; and the police station in Castletown. Properties with which he was associated also survive in England: Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Bowness, Cumbria; Woodbury Hollow, Loughton, Essex; Winscombe House, Crowburgh, Sussex; Oakhams. There are others elsewhere in Europe.

After a return to England in 1901, he continued his practice until he retired in 1939. He died in 1945 at the Elm Grove hospital in Brighton. His grave stone in Edenbridge, reads: "Nature he loved and next to nature art".

Manx Museum Library & Archives bibliography


Gender: Male

Date of birth: 1865

Date of death: 1945


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