Glasgow - City of Sculpture
By Gary Nisbet
Scott & Rae
(fl. 1881- )
Firm of monumental sculptors established in 1881, by George Scott (1845-1903) and Robert Rae (1845-1910), after acquiring the building firm of Robert Cruickshank & Son, whose year of founding, 1838, was eventually quoted in Scott & Rae's advertising as the year of their own founding.

They operated from a yard at 390 Eglinton Street and a showroom at 67 Bothwell Street, producing a huge number of monuments for the Necropolis and cemeteries throughout Scotland and the US, all carved in grey granite from their Killemabreck quarries and pink granite from Aberdeenshire.

Designed predominently in the Classical styles of Greece, Rome and Egypt, with obelisks a popular product, these often incorporated marble or bronze portrait medallions (probably by independent sculptors) although most of these have since been removed.

Local examples with portrait panels intact are the monuments to Franc Gibb Dougal, Riddrie Park Cemetery (1906); Robert Ford, Sandymount Cemetery (1907), and Rev. Donald McCorquodale, Cathcart Cemetery (1908).

Their Necropolis work includes the monument to Rev James Morrison, the founder of the Evangelical Union (1895), whilst for Eastwood New Cemetery they produced the monument to Richard Waldon, the proprietor and manager of the Princess' Theatre, which is carved with a relief of the theatre's cast iron entrance canopy (1923). They also produced the monument to Rev William McArra Halley, the minister of the town's High St. UP Church, for Dumbarton Cemetery (1893).

One of their commemorative commissions involving a 'named' sculptor was the Rev James Bonnar Memorial Plaque, East Kilbride UF Church, which features a bronze portrait by Alexander Petrie (1901).

In 1903, the firm was commissioned to produce the Battle of Bothwell Bridge Memorial near Bothwell in Lanarkshire, a colossal obelisk commemorating the Battle of Bothwell Bidge, of 1679. An illustration of the memorial was used in the firm's advertisements for many years afterwards.

Scott & Rae also executed several public drinking fountains in Glasgow including, the Cowlairs Co-Op Fountain, Springburn (1902), the James Pollock McPhun Fountain, Glasgow Green (1906) and the two William Annan Fountains in Townhead (1908) and Cowcaddens (1915).

After World War I, the firm supplied the grey Killemabreck granite for Glasgow's World War I Cenotaph in George Square (1921-4), and executed a number of other war memorials throughout Scotland, e.g., Girvan (1919); Thornliebank (c.1920); Gatehouse of Fleet (1921) and Renfrew, which features reliefs carved in sandstone by James Young (c. 1922). See list of war memorials, below.

As pavement, cement and granite merchants they provided materials for major building works in Glasgow, such as Kirklee Bridge (1900); Queen Margaret Bridge (1926-9); the Union Bank, 110-20 St Vincent Street (1924-7), as well as supplying the granite sets and kerbstones for the city's streets (many of which are inscribed with their masons' initials or symbols).

The firm became Scott Rae Stevenson Ltd, in 1971, and in 1979, the name Scott & Rae was purchased by Matthew Bruce, a former mason with the firm, who continues to trade under its name.

A particularly detailed account of the firm and their Cowlairs fountain is Dr Gilbert T Bell's Of Fountains and Letterheads (1998, Springburn Museum Trust Information Sheet, 2), which includes archive photographs of the fountain and a contemporary advert for the firm, together with engravings of some of their standard gravestones (a drawing of the Cowlairs fountain was also used as the museum's letterhead).

Sources:

  • The Builder [Annan Fountain, Townhead], 21 March, 1908, p. 346;
  • ML: Glasgow Scrapbook no. 15, The Ford Memorial, p. 177;
  • Scott & Rae Day Book, October 1919 - March 1922;
  • The Scottish War Memorials Project;
  • Morgan ;
  • Stothers;
  • GAPC , 23 September, 1919;
  • GCA : T-TH / 1 / 14;
  • GCA: C1.3.29, Cowlairs Fountain, 6 January 1902, p. 211;
  • ET : New Drinking Fountain in Springburn, 10 March 1902, p. 4;
  • ET : Springburn Fountain, 10 July 1903;
  • Maxwell (1910)(Cowlairs Fountain), p. 334;
  • Bell: Of Fountains And Letterheads, Springburn Museum Trust Newsletter, No. 2, 1998 (ills);
  • Williamson, et al;
  • Glasgow And Lanarkshire Illustrated (Bothwell Bridge Memorial and Bonnar Plaque), 1904, pp. 99, 145 (ills.);
  • Information from Matthew Bruce;
  • E-mail from Roddy Bruce (re: Matthew Bruce), 30 November 2006;

    Scott & Rae War Memorials:

    All memorials in Scotland, unless otherwise stated.

    1919:

  • Aberuthven, Perthshire: Red granite carved cross, erected October 1919. Sources: Scott & Rae Day Book (S&RDB): Order No. 5021, p. 49;
  • Dalserf, Lanarkshire: Creetown granite obelisk, erected November 1919. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 4880, p. 57;
  • Harrold, Bedfordshire, England: Village Green, Combined War Memorial, Grey granite obelisk erected November 1919, Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 4835, p. 54; Harrold War Memorial: http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM33PA (ill.);

    1920:

  • Acklington, Northumberland, England: Grey granite cross, erected August 1920. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5080, p. 172;
  • Avonbridge, Stirlingshire: Grey granite cross, erected September 1920. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5555, p. 192;
  • Barrhead, East Renfrewshire: Red granite carved obelisk, erected September 1920. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5438, p. 198;
  • Borgue, Perthshire: Creetown granite cross, September 1920. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5074, p. 189;
  • Bowling, Dunbartonshire: Red rustic granite cross, erected July 1920. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5537, p. 164;
  • Cairndow, Argyll & Bute: Red rustic granite cross, erected February 1920. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5131, p. 104;
  • Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England: Grey granite cross, erected August 1920. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5322, p. 176;
  • Carradale, Argyll & Bute: Grey granite fountain, erected September 1920. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5395, p. 192;
  • Craigiebank, Aberdeenshire: Grey granite cross, erected September 1920. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5473, p. 186;
  • Dundonald, North Ayrshire: Creetown granite cross, erected December 1920. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5530, p. 104;
  • Gorebridge, Midlothian: Red granite obelisk, erected September 1920. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5231, p. 199;
  • Kilmartin, Argyll & Bute: Grey granite archway, Kilmartin Church, erected February 1920. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5131, p. 104;
  • Kirkconnel, Dumfrieshire: Figure and pedestal, erected July 1920. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5114, p. 167;
  • Kirkmaiden, Wigtonshire: Red rustic cross, erected July 1920. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 4848, p. 133;
  • Kirkmichael, Perthshire: Grey granite cross, erected May 1920. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5284, p. 146;
  • Lochgoilhead, Argyll & Bute: Creetown granite cross, erected June 1920. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5209, p. 160;
  • Netherburn, South Lanarkshire: Grey granite obelisk, erected June 1920. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5246, p. 151;
  • Overtown, North Lanarkshire: Freestone monument, erected December 1920. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5579, p. 235;
  • Tongland, Dumfries and Galloway: Creetown granite cross, erected October 1920. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5460, p. 204;
  • Twechar, East Dunbartonshire: Grey granite cross, erected November 1920. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5606, p. 227;

    1921:

  • Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire: Grey granite cross, erected April 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5640, p. 295;
  • Bellshill, North Lanarkshire: Figure and pedestal, erected September 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5536, p. 358;
  • Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire: Polished grey granite obelisk, erected May 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5684, p. 308;
  • Bruichladdich, Argyll and Bute: Grey granite monument, erected September 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5970, p. 369;
  • Dailly, South Ayrshire: Grey granite cross, erected November 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 6038, p. 384;
  • Dennyloanhead, Stirlingshire: Polished grey granite obelisk, erected June 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5592, p. 326;
  • Duntocher, West Dunbartonshire: Polished grey granite obelisk, erected May 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5684, p. 308;
  • Durisdeer, Dumfries and Galloway: Grey granite memorial, erected October 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 6294, p. 373;
  • Edzell, Renfrewshire: Grey granite obelisk, erected May 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5804, p. 313;
  • Gatehouse of Fleet, Dumfries and Galloway: Creetown granite cross, erected June 1921. Sources:S&RDB: Order No. 5316, p. 322;
  • Holytown, Lanarkshire: Figure and pedestal, erected September 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5735, p. 368;
  • Invershin, Lairg: 1921. Creetown granite cross, erected February 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5239, p. 273;
  • Kirkcowan, Dumfries and Galloway: Grey granite cross, erected April 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5823, p. 302;
  • Larkhall, South Lanarkshire: Grey granite octagonal cross, erected October 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5105, p. 374;
  • Lochgilphead, Argyle and Bute: Grey granite cross, erected May 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5805, p. 305;
  • Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire: Creetown granite cross, erected September 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5737, p. 363;
  • Logierait, Perthshire. Grey rustic cross, erected July 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5712, p. 343;
  • Morningside, Lothian: Grey granite obelisk, erected June 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5696, p. 326;
  • Newarthill, Lanarkshire: Creetown memorial, erected January 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5788, p. 253;
  • Portmahomack, Highland Region: Grey granite obelisk, erected October 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5908, p. 379;
  • Stepps, North Lanarkshire: Grey granite cross, erected March 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5821, p. 289;
  • Stewarton, North Ayrshire, 1921: Grey granite obelisk, erected June 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5510, p. 335;
  • Stonykirk: Dumfries and Galloway: Grey granite cross, erected December 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5941, p. 396;
  • Symington, South Ayrshire: Grey granite obelisk, erected August 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 6008, p. 348;
  • Tarbert, Argyll & Bute: Grey granite obelisk, erected June 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5500, p. 329;
  • Torrance, East Dunbartonshire: Polished grey granite obelisk, erected August 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5825, p. 355;
  • Tullibody, Cackmannanshire: Red granite carved memorial, erected August 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 6070, p. 355;
  • Wilsontown, Lanarkshire. Grey granite cross, erected November 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 6385, p. 383;
  • Yoker, West Dunbartonshire: Grey granite memorial, erected November 1921. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 6198, p. 384;

    1922:

  • Crawford, South Lanarkshire: Grey granite cross, erected May 1922. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 6602, p. 442;
  • Girvan, Ayrshire: Grey granite cross, erected May 1922. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 6286, p. 489;
  • Glasgow Corporation Tramways Memorial, Glasgow: Grey granite memorial, erected November 1922. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 6611, p. 513;
  • Loth: Sutherland: Grey granite cross, erected August 1922. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 6535, p. 475;
  • Renfrew, Renfrewshire: Freestone mercat cross, narrative panels by James Young, erected August 1922. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 6533, p. 478;
  • Southend, Arran, Ayrshire: Grey granite memorial, erected July 1922. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 6602, p. 468;
  • Strathaven, South Lanarkshire: Grey granite obelisk, erected March 1922. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 5021, p. 419;
  • Thornliebank, East Renfrewshire: Creetown granite memorial, erected May 1922. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 6602, p. 443;
  • Newmilns, East Ayrshire: Figure and pedestal, erected September 1922. Sources: S&RDB: Order No. 6514, p. 499;
 
Works in our Database:
#4 1: Atlas Road (Springburn),
Outside the Springburn Centre
Cowlairs Co-operative Society
Drinking Fountain (1902, relocated 1981)

Sculptors: Scott & Rae
2: Renfield Street (City Centre),
Renfield Street (north end), in front of Scottish Media Group Building
Annan Fountain (1915; resited 1999 from Cowcaddens Road)
Sculptor: Scott & Rae; Commissioned by: William Annan
 
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