Scottish Castles Association

Preserving the Past for the Future

Paul Mowbray - Artist, Designer and Wood Craftsman

Paul Mowbray
Paul Mowbray

Like many members, Paul's first knowledge of the SCA was through a totally unrelated attendance, with his wife, Rachel, at a lecture on "Fife"s castles" given by Richard Fawcett for the Kirkcaldy Civic Society. After the presentation Raymond Morris of Balgonie Castle stepped up and familiarised the audience with the SCA's aims and objectives. At once Paul acquired a membership form and joined. His association with several architects and his portfolio of work had enabled him to access many historic buildings. SCA membership has provided access to buildings otherwise of limited or indeed no access to the public.

Since joining he has been a fairly regular attendee on our weekend visits. His attention to detail was noticeable, not only in the photographs he was taking, but also his copious notes and sketches. It wasn't until the September trip to Elgin that his areas of activity were revealed when he produced his portfolio of work. This clearly showed a young man of immense talent.

Born in Perth, he lived with his parents, in the gardener's cottage, on Lord Forteviot's estate around Dupplin Castle. The pastoral surroundings changed however, in 1970 when the family moved to Glenrothes where he still lives.



Professionally, the range of services he offers is quite broad. Paul is an artist/designer and wood craftsman. Within this range, he has accomplished a broad variety of projects from small intricate jewellery boxes for Argyll's Lodging to large-scale projects like a panelled room complete with doors and architectural mouldings at Wolmerstoune house and a large glazed oculus for the National Gallery of Scotland collection at Paxton House. Between these extremes of scale, he has constructed numerous pieces of important furniture and fittings from early oak styles to his own contemporary designs, as he believes history should be created as well as respected. In addition Paul offers his artistic abilities with paintings in various media, traditional painted ceilings, period finishes and effects like trompe l'oeil techniques, design/illustration service based on his skills as an artist, using traditional materials (watercolour, ink, graphite etc) through to computer-generated images of proposed environments/builds.

Much of Paul's enjoyment comes from the uniting with professionals on projects. Over the years he has worked alongside notable architects including Raymond Muszynski (director Morris and Steedman Associates ), Matthew Pease (conservation and historic projects specialist ) and Hurd Rolland (based in Rossend Castle), and craftsmen, the late Joseph Charteris furniture designer/maker with whom he served an apprenticeship, and Peter Nicholson proprietor of Castle Restoration.



Orchil House, Couston Castle, Dairsie Castle, House of the Binns, Pitcullo Castle, Edinample Castle, for Stirling Castle at Argyll's lodging, Wolmerstoune House, Balcarres Castle have all benefited from his skills. In our capital, Edinburgh, he has worked in the Georgian manner at Dolphin House, Charlotte Square, St Andrews Parish Church on George Street, and the refurbishment of the Bank of Scotland on the mound 1984/85 etc.

Hobbies do not stray far from his vocation in general, although they do afford the opportunity to indulge further. For instance, currently he is painting in oils, a series of panels that evoke classical themes from Greek and Roman mythology. He is also building a Klismos, an ancient Greek chair of which no surviving examples exist; the only illustrations that are around are from painted classical Greek vases.

He has a passion for expressive Scottish modernist churches, and has presented the congregation of the unlisted Brucefield Church in Whitburn with a series of illustrated papers that highlight and discuss the architectural merits of their building.

Added: 14 Jun 2010 Updated: 16 Oct 2023
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