Architectural Historians
Appraisers of Architectural
Gallery of Architectural Drawings and Watercolours

Back to list of paintings in this category

William Richard Lethaby (1857-1931)

Perspective of Haltoun House, Midlothian, c.1880

Click on the image for a larger picture

W R Lethaby (1857-1931) Haltoun House, Midlothian, c.1880 Gallery Lingard

Pen & ink drawing
27 x 43 cms

Provenance:  Collection of Robert Weir Shultz (1861-1950) and then by descent to Alwyn Bruno Walters (1906-1987), Schultz's last assistant

Literature:  Godfrey Rubens, William Richard Lethaby, The Architectural Press, London, 1986, see pp.37-77

Price:  please apply to

W R Lethaby was born in Devon.  In 1879 he was invited to join the office of Richard Norman Shaw and he remained there until 1889.  He was a founder member of the Art Workers' Guild in 1884 and its Master in 1911.  Lethaby was active in the foundation of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in 1887.

Lethaby made designs for Morris & Co. and was a friend of Philip Webb. Buildings designed by him include Avon Tyrrell  Hampshire, Eagle Insurance Co. offices in Birmingham and the Church of All Saints, Brockhampton.  Lethaby was much taken up with art education; in applying for the post of Art Inspector at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in 1892 he submitted references from Norman Shaw, William Morris, Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Walter Crane and Philip Webb.

Lethaby was much taken up with art education and in 1896 he was appointed the joint Director of the LCC's New Central School of Arts & Crafts.

Haltoun House was a Scottish baronial mansion set in a park with extensive estates to the west of Edinburgh, formerly in Midlothian.  It was extensively photographed by Country Life Magazine in the 1920s.  The earliest proprietor was John de Haltoun and the property passed to other owners by descent and marriage.  The estates remained in the Lauder family until 1652 when Elizabeth Lauder carried Haltoun to her husband Charles Maitland, 3rd Earl of Lauderdale.  It was their principal residence until 1792 when the 8th Earl of Lauderdale sold the estate for £84,000.  The property changed hands on a number of occasions - in 1915 it was sold to William Whitelaw, chairman of the London and North Eastern Railway company.

Haltoun House was approached by an original, half-mile long, avenue, abutted by tall elms and beeches, lime trees, hollies, yews and rhododendrons.  In 1955 the house was demolished after a fire three years earlier.  Buildings designed by Lethaby include Avon Tyrrell in Hampshire, the Eagle Insurance Co. offices in Birmingham and the Church of All Saints in Brockhampton.