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Vogrie House

A Category A Listed Building in Borthwick, Midlothian

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Latitude: 55.8583 / 55°51'29"N

Longitude: -2.9907 / 2°59'26"W

OS Eastings: 338086

OS Northings: 663236

OS Grid: NT380632

Mapcode National: GBR 70KP.BS

Mapcode Global: WH7VF.104R

Plus Code: 9C7VV255+8P

Entry Name: Vogrie House

Listing Name: Vogrie House

Listing Date: 1 June 1979

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 331219

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB799

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Borthwick

County: Midlothian

Electoral Ward: Midlothian East

Parish: Borthwick

Traditional County: Midlothian

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Andrew Heiton Junior. 1876. 3 storey, basement and attic; 10 bay; Baronial mansion stepped down to NE. Stugged, coursed sandstone with polished chamfered dressings. Base course; relieving arches to ground floor windows; pierced bargeboards to gables with decorative ironwork finials.

NW (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: asymmetrical; entrance near centre (7th bay from left) in polygonal tower. Segmental arched doorway, reached by flight of steps, with decorative roll moulding to ground; hoodmould enclosing the Dewar coat of arms above; simple label stops; 2 leaf grained timber panelled door with trefoil headed 4 pane fanlight; windows flanking doorway; windows to left and right returns; bipartite windows to right return of basement; bipartite window, flanked by 2 single windows to 1st floor; 2nd floor swept to circular drum; regular fenestration; single window with slate roof at base of stack to left return; conical slate roof with central attic dormer. Quadripartite window to 8th bay from left at ground; regular fenestration to basement; bipartite window flanked by 2 single windows to 1st floor; tripartite window set in gable to 2nd floor; armorial shield at ground in penultimate bay to right; single window to 1st floor; shouldered window breaking eaves with catslide roof above dividing band course to 2nd floor. Tripartite window to outer right; 1st floor corbelled out; regular fenestration to 1st and 2nd floors. Tripartite window to ground and basement of 6th bay from left; bipartite window, above dividing band course, to 1st floor, breaking eaves with catslide roof; regular fenestration to 5th bay from left; tripartite windows to ground and basement of 4th bay from left; bipartite window, above dividing band course, to 1st floor breaking eaves with catslide roof; regular fenestration to advanced 3rd bay from left. 2 symmetrically placed windows in gable of single storey penultimate bay to left; single window in bay to outer left.

SW ELEVATION: 2 storey and attic, 4 bay; polygonal tower to outer left; 3 bipartite windows symmetrically arranged at ground; central bipartite window, flanked by 2 single windows to 1st floor; attic floor swept to circular drum with central tripartite window set in gablet breaking eaves; conical roof with fishscale slates. Later 20th century conservatory (replacing timber early 20th century timber veranda) advanced to right; regular fenestration to 1st floor; tripartite window set in gable with single window to left breaking eaves in catslide roof to attic floor.

SE ELEVATION: 8 bay; asymmetrical; quadripartite window to ground of outer left; tripartite window corbelled out to 1st floor with tripartite window to 2nd floor in gable; bipartite window to ground of recessed penultimate bay to left; 9 pane bipartite window to basement; elongated tripartite window with relieving arch (at stair) above; tripartite window in gable above; regular fenestration to 3rd bay from left, with single window to basement; tripartite window to ground and 1st floors of 4th bay from left; boarded timber door with letterbox fanlight to left of basement; 2 pane window to right; regular fenestration to 5th bay from left; tower in re entrant angle with 6th bay from left; boarded timber door with letterbox fanlight to basement; window to ground floor; broached to circular drum at 1st floor; single window breaking eaves with banded fishscale graded conical slate roof; quadripartite window to ground of 6th bay from left; tripartite window to basement and 1st floor. 2 symmetrically placed windows in gable of single storey penultimate bay to right; single window in bay to outer right.

NE ELEVATION: irregular fenestration; gable off centre to right. Ground floor obscured by advanced outer bays forming courtyard; 2 symmetrically placed windows in gabled bay to outer left; shouldered doorway to outer right; boarded timber doors with decorative ironwork hinges; window centred in gablehead above; coped screen wall to centre, with central gateway and cast iron gate leading to courtyard. SE elevation: central boarded timber door flanked by 2 windows; NE elevation: glazed boarded timber door to right, window to left; NW elevation: 2 boarded timber doors to right; 2 windows to left.

Predominantly 2 pane timber sash and case window to ground; replacement 21 pane timber sash and case windows to 1st floor and 15 pane replacement timber sash and case windows to 2nd floor. Graded grey slate roofs with lead ridges; cast iron rainwater goods with some decorative hoppers. Shouldered wallhead and gablehead coped stacks with circular cans.

INTERIOR: plain gothic interior. Decorative cornices to ground floor, plain cornices to remainder. Timber panelled imperial stair with turned balusters and carved newels in hall; timber dog leg stairs (some removed during alterations, 1997) and cast iron straight stairs to remainder of house. Carved gothic timber door and window cases to ground floor; simple panelled door and window cases, some replacement, to remainder. Shutters to ground and 1st floors. Predominantly marble fireplaces to ground floor; carved timber fireplaces to remainder. The cafeteria, originally the dining room, has corbels supporting the beams in the form of carved figureheads representing the four ages of Man.

Statement of Interest

Vogrie, derived from the Gaelic "Bhog crioch" meaning marshy boundary land, was first referred to in 1337. In the 15th century the lands were part of the Barony of Crichton. The lands changed hands several times before being acquired by James Dewar in 1719, whose family is responsible for what survives of Vogrie today. J Thomson suggests the Dewars were those of Perth whisky fame, which would explain the choice of Andrew Heiton (himself from Perth) as the architect. However C Gordon insists that they were actually from the parish of Heriot (where there was a place called Dewar, survived by the Dewar Burn). In 1753 the adjacent Stobbs estate was bought by the Dewars, which proved to be rich in minerals among which was coal. The last of the Vogrie coal mines, which traded mainly with the Borders, ceased to work in 1938. James Dewar was responsible for the layout of the country park in the early 19th century, including the stables (see separate listing) but died before he had chance to build a new house. Alexander Cumming Dewar (the second son of James Dewar, the first having died, childless, without altering Vogrie) was responsible for the building of Vogrie House. Alexander?s son, James Cumming Dewar was the last Dewar landlord of Vogrie Estate, and died in 1908. In 1928 his wife disposed of the estate. The house and surrounding grounds were bought by the Royal Edinburgh Hospital for Nervous Disorders. Vogrie was a private nursing home until 1963 when it passed into the hands of Midlothian Civil Defence, and eventually to Midlothian County Council. It was opened as a country park in 1980. (Information taken from C Gordon?s article, see References). The first and second floor windows are highly unusual in form. The upper sashes are single pane, but give the impression of being six or nine pane because the astragals are fixed proud of the pane of glass. The reason for this, as Colin McWilliam suggests, would appear to be to keep the wall as consistent as possible, and prevent interruption by opened windows. This method has always been employed at Vogrie House, but originally the windows only had one fixed horizontal astragal, maintaining the appearance of 2 pane sash and case windows. It seems likely that the windows were altered to their present state in the early 20th century giving the house a more 17th century appearance.

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