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Preston Dene House and Former Office Block

A Category B Listed Building in Midlothian East, Midlothian

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.8785 / 55°52'42"N

Longitude: -2.9537 / 2°57'13"W

OS Eastings: 340431

OS Northings: 665451

OS Grid: NT404654

Mapcode National: GBR 70TG.BK

Mapcode Global: WH7V7.LHPT

Entry Name: Preston Dene House and Former Office Block

Listing Date: 14 September 1979

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 331156

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB748

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Cranston

County: Midlothian

Electoral Ward: Midlothian East

Parish: Cranston

Traditional County: Midlothian

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Pencaitland

Description

John Kinross, 1891. Single, 1? and 2-storey irregular L-plan, Arts and Crafts house with Queen Anne and 17th century Scottish detailing comprising 2 blocks and a single storey extension. Coursed sandstone rubble. Ashlar long and short quoins, cills and lintels. Angled base course to ground floor and shaped eaves course. Skew gabled with scrolled putts.

SE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: 3 ashlar steps with side walls to central door, architraved surround supporting projecting rectangular pediment with semi-circular detail above, wide window to each flank; slightly projecting central cat-slide dormer to ?-storey with exposed rafters; heavy eaves course; ornamental brick stack with stone base and three cans to ridge centre left; heavy stone skews with scrolled putts to each gable, window to each floor to left return, adjoining smaller gable to right return, inset rectangular stone with shield detail to left.

NE ELEVATION: slightly projecting gable end to left: blind to lower floor, architraved window with curved triangular pediment above leading to gablehead stack with architraved detailing and scrolled putts, small window to ground floor on left return; main block: centrally placed paired windows to both storeys, upper pair within catslide dormer roof with exposed rafters, small square window to far left with narrow window below; paired windows to 1st floor on right return, door to ground floor left, adjoining single storey block to right. Single storey: architraved arched doorway with projecting keystone, eaves course with coped top course (leading to ground floor of NW elevation)

NW ELEVATION: gable end of main house adjoining aforementioned single storey platform-roofed extension to ground floor: pair of regularly placed windows (right window modern), blind wall to left return, modern stone and timber octagonal conservatory to right return,

SW ELEVATION: principally L-shaped with further gable in re-entrant angle. Main house: paired windows to ground floor, small square window to upper right and mid left; advanced re-entrant gable (stair tower) with tall round-arched stair window with projecting margins, prominent keystone and architraved details, oculus to ground floor left on left return; adjoining rear of SE elevation to right return.

Unusual 25-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows to main elevation of ground floor; 15-pane to NE gable; 20-pane with heavy central timber mullion to side elevation; 12-pane, 4-pane and oculus window to rear. Pitched slate roof to main house with bell-cast eaves detailing and lead ridging; piended slate roof to single storey rear block. Painted cast-iron rainwater goods. High ashlar and brick moulded stacks (diamond set after Old College, Glasgow) bridge linked on pedestal to centre of roofs.

INTERIOR: decorative plasterwork, timber staircase, well proportioned with modern re-organisation of rooms. Original set of service bells.

FORMER OFFICE BLOCK: irregular 1?-storey office/garage (former stable block) adjoining rubble boundary wall. Coursed and random rubble with ashlar long and short quoins, sills and lintels. Later iron lintel to spans of garages, with some red brick in-fill.

NE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: garage/store room with 2-leaf timber doors (glazed at top) to left, adjacent former cart opening with inset brick wall containing timber and glazed door with paired windows to right (further timber door on right wall), timber gabled dormer aligned to ?-storey; pair of rectangular windows to right, with large timber hayloft entrance above left window (supported by rectangular plinth rising from eaves), 2-leaf door in-fill. Prominent timber barge boards; modern lean-to store to right return, blind wall to left return and rear.

12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows. Slate roof with bell-cast eaves. Painted cast-iron rainwater goods. High ashlar and brick moulded stack, bridge linked on pedestal to centre of roof.

Statement of Interest

Built as the house of the Factor of the Preston Hall estate by John Kinross (1855-1931) well known for his book "The Details of Italian Buildings, Chiefly Renaissance (1882)" and who had previously worked for Sir Henry Callander at Rosemains House. The house is situated on the route of the old Haddington road and was described (when it was built) as a "fine specimen of the more modern style of Elizabethan architecture." It is a fusion of Arts and Crafts, Queen Anne and 17th century Scottish details, following earlier experiments by the architect such as The Red House. It was exhibited at the RSA in 1896 as simply a "farmhouse". The interior retains the decorative plasterwork for which Kinross was renowned. Servant accommodation was to be found to the upper level at the rear, and they had their own staircase rather than use the formal one reserved for the factor and his guests. The adjacent office/garage (former office and stable) was planned at the time of the house's construction for use by the factor who was also able to conduct business here. It may be considered as a large and functional reincarnation of a Queen Anne lodge. Some of its earliest residents were Mr William McLennan and Mr Peter McIntyre, factors at Prestonhall in 1895 and 1901 respectively. The siting of the house is central to most of the "old" estate, nearby being Preston Cottage, Red Row, Rose Mains, Remote and the east entrance to Prestonhall House.

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