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Occupants of Rock House Studio

Information reproduced from website: ‘The History of Photography in Edinburgh by Peter Stubbs’.

  1.  See * below. A check of Edinburgh business directories suggests that the Annan brothers were resident from around 1870-1872. The suggestion that they collaborated with Archibald Burns is given credence by the directories which show that, when the Annan Brothers occupied Rock House, Archibald lived a few doors away at 22 Calton Hill until 1872, when he is recorded as residing at Rock House.



David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson

Hill was the artist and painter and Adamson was the technical partner in this calotype partnership. Their calotypes included many of Scottish Ministers; to be used as a basis for Hill’s painting of the Disruption when the Free Church broke away from the established Church of Scotland.

Adamson returned to St Andrews in ill health in 1847, and died a few months later, aged twenty-six.


David Octavius Hill

David Octavius Hill remained at Rock House until 1869, the year before his death. His only active involvement with photography in this period was a brief partnership with the engraver Alexander McGlashon in 1861-62. Together they produced an album of collodion portraits.


John Annan & Thomas Annan (The Annan Brothers)

John Annan exhibited in EPS Exhibitions and was a Member of EPS and EPC (Edinburgh Photographic Club).

Thomas Annan exhibited in PSS Exhibitions. He made a series of documentary photographs of the closes of Glasgow before the area was redeveloped. He worked in calotype, collodion and gravure. He was the father of the photographer, James Craig Annan.

Bill Buchanan, biographer of James Craig Annan, reports that the Annan family lived in Rock House for just six months – a shorter period than is suggested by the Edinburgh Trade Directories. James Craig Annan recalls briefly meeting David Octavius Hill. James Craig Annan, in the early 1890s, went on to make photogravure prints from some of Hill & Adamson’s calotype negatives, and to promote Hill & Adamson’s work internationally by sending these prints to exhibitions.

1871- 80

Archibald Burns

Archibald Burns was a landscape photographer. He produced ‘cartes-de-visite’ of Edinburgh scenes.

He made a unique photographic record of the old Edinburgh streets and buildings between Chamber Street and Cowgate shortly before their demolition in 1867.

Was it a coincidence that Burns’ documentary work in Edinburgh was similar to the Thomas Annan’s documentary work in Glasgow? Both may have worked together at Rock House, during 1871. *See note above.

1881- 1903

Alexander Adam Inglis

Alexander Adam Inglis was another landscape and architectural photographer. He, also, was a Member of EPS, and was a Silver Medal winner in 1886, and exhibited silver and bromide prints at the EPS Exhibition in 1890.

Alexander Adam Inglis died in 1903.

1903 – 1949

Francis Caird Inglis

Francis Caird Inglis was the son of Alexander Adam Inglis. Francis Caird Inglis photographed Edinburgh over many years, including a series of photographs looking East from the Scott Monument to the North British Hotel, and looking west from the Hotel to the Monument.

In 1907 Francis Caird Inglis was appointed photographer to King Edward VII and in 1910 photographer to King George V. In 1929 Francis Caird Inglis’ son, Alexander Adam Inglis, joined the firm. The Inglis family continued to work at Rock House until 1949.

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