John Millar


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?Irish architect trained by Hopper. Having worked on Hopper's prodigious Romanesque Revival Gosford Castle, Co. Armagh (1819–21), he settled in Belfast. He designed some remarkable Presbyterian churches (1830s) in an advanced, austerely noble Greek Revival style, including the First Presbyterian Church, Antrim (1834—with Doric columns possibly derived from those of the Temple of Apollo at Delos published by Stuart and Revett (1794) and the splendid Portaferry Church, Co. Down (1841—an amphi-prostyle hexastyle Temple of the same severe Order on a high podium, a building in the first rank of Neo-Classical designs in the British Isles, with an interior Order derived from that of the Temple of Apollo Epicurius, Bassae). At Crumlin, Co. Antrim, he designed the pretty Gothic Revival Presbyterian Church (inscribed Ecclesia Scotia and signed by Millar—1839), and another Neo-Classical church at Castlereagh (the last of 1834–5, with a handsome in antis distyle Ionic Order of engaged columns (again derived from the Temple at Bassae, possibly the earliest use of this Order in the British Isles), with a severe circular belfry rising from a square base above the front: the building was spoiled (2001) by an inappropriate addition). Millar also designed some fine houses, among them Marino Villas (c.1830—Tudor Gothic) and Windrush House (formerly Ardville), of c.1845— with a central bow embellished with a Giant Order of engaged Ionic columns), both at Cultra, Holywood, Co. Down. In 1849 Millar was called on to report on progress at Garron Tower, near Carnlough, Co. Antrim, apparently designed and built by Charles Campbell of Newtownards (who also worked at Mount Stewart, Co. Down). Millar emigrated to the Antipodes in 1856.

Brett (1996, 2002);Colvin (1995);Perspective: Journal of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects, iii/1 (Sept./Oct. 1994), 55–7;Ulster Architect, xi/9 (Sept./Oct. 1994), 4–6

Subjects: Architecture.

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