Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect and writer, of Timpany, Ballynahinch, Co. Down. Colin Johnston Robb, younger son of Hugh Arnold Robb of Meadowbank, Belfast, was born on 3 October 1901. He is said to have received part of his architectural training in Bologna.(1) In 1923 he was working from Bridge Street, Banbridge,(2) later from Timpany, a house built by his great-great-grandfather Captain James Robb in 1780,(3) which he inherited in 1928. Very little work by him is recorded. During the war he acted as technical adviser on war damage to the Northern Ireland government under REGINALD SHARMAN WILSHERE  REGINALD SHARMAN WILSHERE but resigned at the end of 1943.(4)

Between 1944 and 1958 Robb contributed a number of articles on architectural and engineering history to the Irish Builder. One of these was on 'James Robb, architect to Charles II in Ireland'.(5) The information in the article was purportedly based on a memoir of James Robb among the family papers; Loeber, however, was unable to find any supporting documentation.(6) Colin Robb was still living in 1976.

See WORKS.



References

All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from Burke's Irish Family Records(1976), 986.

(1) IB 86, 1 Jan 1944, 10.
(2) IB 65, 30 Jun 1923, 490.
(3) Mark Bence-Jones,  Burke‚Äôs Guide to Country Houses. Volume I, Ireland. (London, 1978),  273.
(4) See note 1, above.
(5) IB 87, 17 Nov 1945, 599-600.
(6) Rolf Loeber, A Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Ireland 1600-1720 (1981), 88. Loeber does not deal with the reference to James Robb as the architect of Waringstown church in A Preliminary Survey of the Ancient Monuments of Northern Ireland, cited by Colin Robb; possibly Colin Robb supplied the information to the authors of the survey himself. Hugh Dixon shared Loeber's scepticism.


4 work entries listed in chronological order for ROBB, COLIN JOHNSTON


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Building: CO. DOWN, SCARVA, PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Date: 1923
Nature: Rebuilding of church of 1753. 
Refs: IB 65, 30 Jun 1923, 490;  illus. in Laurence Kirkpatrick, Presbyterians in Ireland: an illustrated history (Booklink, 2006), 272.


Building: CO. TYRONE, KINGSISLAND, CHURCH (RC)
Date: 1929
Nature: Structural renovations.(cf. Moy)
Refs: IB 71, 22 Jun 1929, 466

Building: CO. TYRONE, MOY, CHURCH (RC)
Date: 1929
Nature: Structural and decorative renovations.
Refs: IB 71, 25 May 1929, 466

Building: CO. TYRONE, CLONOE, KING'S ISLAND CHURCH (RC)
Date: 1929
Nature: Structural renovations.
Refs: IB 71, 22 Jun 1929, 576