George Rae

Redcourt was built between 1876 and 1879 by George Rae. It was designed by Edmund Kirby and was the first of his distinctive residential buildings.

George Rae was born in Aberdeen in 1817. He started his professional life in law, but soon changed to banking.

In 1837 he joined the North of Scotland Bank to train as an accountant. Just two years later in 1839, he joined the North and South Wales Bank in Liverpool as branch accountant. Within six years he had become general manager of what was then a good-sized bank. The bank successfully negotiated the financial crises of 1847 and 1857. George became managing director in 1865 and was elected chairman of the board in 1873. He founded the Institution of Bankers in 1879.

George retired in 1898 at the age of 81, due to ill-health, and he died four years later in 1902. The west window in St Saviour's church, Oxton was put up as a memorial to him.

Redcourt originally had seven bedrooms, dressing room, bathroom and two maids' bedrooms on the upper floors, a billiard room on the first floor half landing, a drawing room, dining room, morning room, library, hall and conservatory on the ground floor and a kitchen, servants hall, scullery, pantry and larder in the basement.

George Rae filled his house with treasures of all kinds - satinwood and inlaid furniture, old silver, valuable china and glass. He was also a collector of Pre-Raphealite paintings.

The last member of the Rae family to live at Redcourt was George's daughter, Alice. She died in 1938. At the time of her death there were four servants at Redcourt: a cook, a palourmaid, a chauffeur and a gardener.

Many of the original features of the house remain today. The architect produced many sketches and watercolours of the features to be incorporated in the new house.

The picture on the right shows the architects original sketch of the screen and door inside the front doors of the house.

A similar, but less ornate, screen and door originally separated the kitchens from the rest of the house.

The ceilings in the ground floor rooms are also still as they appear in the architects drawings.


The picture below shows the architects watercolour of the proposed main entrance to the house.