Robert Adam

In the south transept of Westminster Abbey is the grave of the celebrated Scottish architect Robert Adam. The stone was re-cut in 1974 and reads:

ROBERT ADAM Esquire, ARCHITECT born at Kirkaldie 3rd July 1728 died in London 3rd March 1792

James Macpherson, the Scottish poet, and Sir William Chambers, architect, are buried either side of him. The sculptor Joseph Nollekens designed a monument for Adam but this was never erected (design is at the Victoria & Albert Museum).

Robert was the second son of William Adam (d.1748), architect, and his wife Mary (Robertson). He was educated in Edinburgh and joined his father’s firm, as did his younger brother James (d.1794). After spending some time in Italy he went to London to set up his practice. He became architect to King George III and is well known for designing country and town houses and also furniture.

Six monuments in the Abbey were designed by him - to Elizabeth, Duchess of Northumberland, Roger Townshend, John Andre, James Thomson, Mary Hope and William Dalrymple.

He died unmarried in London and left his effects to his sisters Elizabeth and Margaret. His brothers John (d.1792) and William (d.1822) were also architects.

Further reading for Robert, John and William the elder

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

"The Complete Works of Robert and James Adam..." by David King, 2001


3rd June 1728


3rd March 1792




South Transept; Poets' Corner

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Robert Adam
Robert Adam attributed to George Willison

© National Portrait Gallery, London [Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 3.0]

Robert Adam
Robert Adam memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2023 Dean and Chapter of Westminster