Prof. Aonghus Mackechnie - Building a New Past, Bequeathing a Future: Walter Scott and the Baronial

On Thursday 18th November we had a talk by Prof. Aonghus Mackechnie. He was introduced by our chairman Prof. Iain Torrance.

Professor Aonghus MacKechnie is a historian who comes originally from the Gaelic speaking Hebridean island of Islay. His background is in Scottish history, archaeology, and Celtic studies; and his career has been varied: starting out as assistant minister at Govan Old Parish Church, followed by museum work in Glasgow and Argyll, and then, mainly, as a government adviser on the historic built environment.  

He teaches the course on the Architectural Design for the Conservation of Built Heritage at the University of Strathclyde, where he is based; and teaches too at both the Scottish Centre for Conservation Studies at the University of Edinburgh, and the joint University of Stirling-Historic Environment Scotland conservation course.  

His research and publications have focussed on Renaissance-early modern architecture, Romanticism in Scotland and Germany, and on the history and culture of the Highlands. He has co-authored the two standard texts on Scottish architectural history – that published by Edinburgh University Press in 1996, and the Thames & Hudson volume of 2004.  

Most recently he has co-authored Scotch Baronial: Architecture and National Identity, re-issued this year in paperback by Bloomsbury; and co-edited The Architecture of Scotland, 1660-1750, published by Edinburgh University Press, 2020. He is also a contributor to the forthcoming The Buildings of Scotland: Lothian, for Yale University Press. 

This evening’s talk connects to his current project, in which he examines Edinburgh’s contribution to the Romantic era. 

Watch the video here: