James Craig (1739-1795)
The architect James Craig was born and educated in Edinburgh. His mother was the sister of the poet James Thomson (1700-1748).
Craig is best-known as the architectural designer of the New Town of Edinburgh. His proposals won a competition to design the New Town in 1766, although his prize-winning entry was later developed by a team of advisors. Craig’s plan covered the layout of streets and public places, but not the design of the buildings themselves.
Craig also made proposals for the construction of Edinburgh’s North Bridge in 1763, and drew up a ‘Plan for improving the City of Edinburgh’ (1786) which laid out a scheme of improvements from Register House, past the Royal Mile to Nicolson Street. Neither of these designs was implemented.