The founder of Classical architecture in Scotland. A Perthshire laird, he became Surveyor-General and Overseer of the King's Buildings in Scotland (1671–8), creating a symmetrical and very French façade at Holyroodhouse (1671–9). He was consulted by many members of the Scottish aristocracy who wanted to improve their houses. At Kinross House (1686–93) he adopted the highly accomplished manner of Pratt and Webb, and the architecture is enhanced by its formal setting. The main vista is terminated by the ruins of Lochleven Castle, so Bruce, like Vanbrugh, has a position in the history of the Picturesque. He designed Lauder Church, Berwickshire (1673), Hopetoun House, West Lothian (1699–1710), the Town House, Stirling (1703–5), and (probably) the Hope Aisle, Abercorn Church, West Lothian (1707–8).
Colvin (1995);Dunbar (1970, 1978);Fenwick (1970)