1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Lorimer, Sir Robert Stodart
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Lorimer, Sir Robert Stodart
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LORIMER, SIR ROBERT STODART (1864- ), Scottish architect, son of Prof. Lorimer of Edinburgh University, was born at Edinburgh Nov. 4 1864. After an education at the Edinburgh academy, and then at the university, Lorimer entered the office of Sir Rowand Anderson as a pupil, at the age of 21. Here he passed some four or five years, and after travelling in England for study he spent upwards of two years in the London office of G. F. Bodley, R.A. Under his guidance Lorimer's predilection for Gothic work fostered by subsequent travel abroad received the encouragement that fitted him for the church work which, later, played so large a part in his career. In 1893 he returned to Edinburgh to undertake the restoration of Earlshall, Lewchars and other commissions. This was the beginning of a large series of additions and restorations he was called on to carry out — amongst them Dunderaw and Monzie castles and Pilkerro in Scotland; Lympne Castle, Kent; and Barton Hartshorne, Bucks. His domestic work, apart from restorations and alterations, included new houses at Ardinglar, Argyllshire, Cupar, Fife; Hallyburton; Brackenbrough in Cumberland, and St. Marnock's, co. Dublin. Throughout his restoration design there is evident a full acquaintance with, and feeling for, the methods and principles of the earlier builder, without too close and academic an adherence to them. A great opportunity was afforded him in 1909 in his design for the new chapel of the Knights of the Order of the Thistle, on the south side of St. Giles's cathedral, Edinburgh, the chief example of his skill and architectural ability. The large sum of money left by Lord Leven and Melville for the restoration of the chapel at Holyrood Palace it was found impossible to utilize for that purpose, and on its reversion to the estate his heir, with great generosity, devoted the amount to the building of a new chapel for the use of the Order, and for this Lorimer was appointed architect. This building, small but highly ornate and enriched with carefully conceived detail, gave him the opportunity of giving to Scotland a worthy modern example of ecclesiastical woodwork to add to its only existing specimens of any importance — the few stalls at Dunblane cathedral, and the woodwork in King's College, Aberdeen. It was in connexion with this fine work that, in 1911, he was knighted. He also designed a large number of churches, and fitted many others with screens, organ-cases, and choir-stalls. In 1920 he was elected Associate of the Royal Academy and in 1921 a member of the Scottish Academy.