Skip to main content

Watson, Walter Crum, 1870-1934 (architect)



  • Existence: 1870 - 1934


Walter Crum Watson was born in 1870, the son of Rev Charles Watson and his second wife Mary Crum. His father was minister of St John's Free Church at Largs. Walter was educated at Harrow from 1884 to 1889 and at New College Oxford where he graduated BA in 1893. Following graduation he commenced a three-year apprenticeship with the architectural practice of Alfred Waterhouse and Son and remained for a further year as assistant, working mainly on Prudential branches. In 1897 he moved to the office of Sir Aston Webb where he remained until 1899 working on the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth. Much of 1899 and 1900 was spent in travel, two periods of six months and three months in Italy and shorter periods in France, Spain and Portugal. In 1900 Watson commenced practice in Edinburgh. He continued to travel, writing articles for the RIBA Journal on Portuguese architecture and on particular churches in Galicia, Castil and Leon, and publishing a book, 'Portuguese Architecture', in 1908. His practice was never large but his clients tended to be well-off and probably came to him through family or school connections. Watson was admitted LRIBA in the mass intake of 20 July 1911. In 1911 Watson built a house, 'Northfield' in the Edinburgh suburb of Balerno where he resided for the rest of his life. He served with the British Committee of the French Red Cross during the First World War, and although he did not need to do so financially he resumed practice in 1919, specialising in country house alterations and formal gardens. He closed his practice in 1928 at the age of 58 and died unmarried at Northfield on 6 February 1934.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:


Letters to Ruth Darwin from colleagues, 1917-1920

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.9790/5/5
Scope and Contents

Nine letters and cards sent to Ruth Darwin from colleagues working for the British Committee of the French Red Cross or the Red Cross. Identified correspondents include Miss May [M. MacDrugall], Miss U. E. Macduff, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Mr Walter Crum Watson, Miss E. G. Kemp, and Margaret and Betty MacKay.

Dates: 1917-1920
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (