Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott

Place of Birth
Isle of Man, Bedford, London

Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott was born 23 October 1865 at Beards Hill, St Peters, [Broadstairs], Kent, the son of a minor, but wealthy, Scottish aristocrat. He originally trained as an agriculturalist with eye to running the family’s Australian sheep stations but decided instead to become an architect. In 1886 he was articled to Charles Davis, Bath city architect. Following his marriage to Florence Kate Nash in 1889, he left Bath and honeymooned/settled on Isle of Man, apparently on a whim according to John Betjeman who was told "I went to the Isle of Man for a holiday. I was so seasick I couldn't face the journey back so I set up in practice there". He initially worked for Fred Sanderson, Surveyor, in Atholl Street Douglas. He also attended evening classes at the College of Art, Douglas where he met and became friends with Archibald Knox. His first buildings were heavily inspired by Shaw and Earnest George; their heavy half‑timbered Old English style owed little to the location; however, their interiors were more unconventional. His own house, the Red House in Douglas (1892‑3) showed considerable innovation in planning.  He finally left the Isle of Man in 1901, the year in which he won the Haus eines Kunstfreundes ('House for an Art Lover') competition, which had given him a still wider European reputation for highly sophisticated arts and crafts houses, moving his practice to Fenlake Manor, Bedford, in 1901,

 In 1905 the volume of business caused Baillie Scott to take on as assistant Arthur Edgar Beresford, born in 1881 near Alderley Edge, Cheshire, who had been articled to Massey Thompson in that town in 1895 and had remained with them as an assistant: according to Beresford's own account he was selected from a number of applicants because of his experience in restoring old houses. Beresford was made a partner after the First World War.

From 1919, Baillie Scott lived in Edenbridge, Kent and had a practice in Holborn, London, Baillie Scott & Beresford, until 1939. His work in the inter-war period continued the Arts & Crafts house as defined in his book in such works as Church Rate Corner, Cambridge built in 1924. However, he was also producing designs for houses in a style he described as in “the eighteenth-century manner” - a simple and restrained form of neo Georgian classicism. He was elected a Fellow of the RIBA in 1927 and served on the Arts Committee for four years from 1928.

Early in his career he designed two houses in the north-west of England for Manchester clients; Blackwell Windermere (1898-1899) for Sir Edward Holt and Bexton Croft Knutsford (1895-1896) for Donald MacPherson. In addition, the MacAndrew House (later the Majestic Hotel) at Onchan Head,” and Baillie Scott’s largest commission on the Isle of Man was purchased by Rebecca Prestwich of Park Lane, Higher Broughton, Salford, in 1906.

Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott died on 10 February 1945 (aged 79) at Elm Grove Hospital, Brighton and was buried at Edenbridge Kent. His gave together with that of his wife Florence Kate (1862-1939) lies in the old cemetery, beside the Church Street boundary wall of the Parish Church. His memorial takes the form of an obelisk, topped with a small metal cross.


John Betjeman Mackay Hugh Ballie Scott Journal Manx Museum VII #84 p77 80 (+unnumbered plates) 1958
Peter Davy Arts and Crafts Architecture Phaidon 1980 (ISBN 0 7148 3711 3)
Diane Haigh Baillie Scot. The Artistic House Academy Editions 1995 (ISBN 1 85490 432 9)
James D. Kornwolf M. H. Baillie Scott and the Arts and Crafts Movement John Hopkins Press 1972
Gregory John Slater Mackay Hugh Ballie Scott An Architectural History Laxey:Amulree Publications (ISBN 0 92521126 5 5) (gives best account of Manx period)
Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott Manx National Heritage Library Bibliography No 4 (a free 4pp sheet available from Manx Museum Library)   gives an excellent bibliography including Manx sources
See also many article in IoM Victorian Soc Newsletter.