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Balnacraig House, Including Gatepiers and Boundary Walls

A Category B Listed Building in Banchory and Mid Deeside, Aberdeenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.0736 / 57°4'24"N

Longitude: -2.694 / 2°41'38"W

OS Eastings: 358024

OS Northings: 798278

OS Grid: NO580982

Mapcode National: GBR WV.8GWF

Mapcode Global: WH7NK.LGCN

Entry Name: Balnacraig House, Including Gatepiers and Boundary Walls

Listing Date: 24 November 1972

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 334120

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB3124

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aboyne and Glen Tanar

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Banchory and Mid Deeside

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

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Kincardine O ľNeil

Description

1673; later additions and alterations. 2-storey and attic, 5-bay farmhouse with 2 18th century wings forming U-plan open courtyard. Harled with stone margins. Rubble base course; chamfered reveals.

S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: symmetrical; gableted boarded timber porch to ground floor of gabled centre bay, panelled timber door flanked by 2 single pane windows; regular fenestration to remaining bays of ground floor; regular fenestration to 5 bays of 1st floor; single segmental-arched window frame with 6-pane window set in attic gablehead of centre bay. Single storey and attic W and E wings advanced to left and right respectively (see below):

E ELEVATION: symmetrical; gabled; blank with 2 small infilled openings to attic floor.

N ELEVATION: symmetrical; single window to centre; 3 skylights to attic floor.

W ELEVATION: asymmetrical; gabled; window off-centre to left of ground floor; lean-to addition to right of ground floor with window to left and 2 2-pane skylights.

W WING:

S Elevation: gabled with window off-centre to left of ground floor; 2 infilled windows to attic floor.

E Elevation: 3 regularly placed windows; skylight to attic floor.

N Elevation: gabled; lean-to obscuring left of ground floor (see below); stone cheesepress to right of ground floor.

W Elevation: asymmetrical; 3-bay; glazed boarded timber door flanked to right by 2 windows to centre bay of ground floor; lean-to addition to ground floor of flanking bay to right, with roof swept down, boarded timber door with letterbox fanlight to left return; bipartite window to bay to left of ground floor. Flat-roofed tripartite window to centre bay of attic floor; 2 piend-roofed canted dormers to flanking bays to left and right.

E WING:

S Elevation: gabled, blank.

E Elevation: asymmetrical; 3-bay; glazed boarded timber door, flanked to left by 2-pane window to centre bay of ground floor; bipartite window to flanking bay to left and right; 3 windows breaking eaves with catslide roofs to attic floor. Single storey structure adjoining to outer right, 3 boarded timber doors to bays to right, flanked by 4-pane window to left, 2 boarded timber doors to left return, 2 windows to rear.

N Elevation: harled brick flue advanced to centre, flanked to left and right by 2 pointed-arched windows; boarded timber gate to right angle of ground floor leading to courtyard.

W Elevation: asymmetrical; 3 irregularly placed windows to ground floor, boarded timber gate to outer left; window flanked to right by tripartite window to attic floor.

Replacement mansard roof.

Predominantly 4-pane timber sash and case windows. Graded grey slate roof with stone and terracotta ridges. Stone skews with moulded skewputts. Corniced, harled gablehead stacks with circular and octagonal cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: not seen 1998.

GATEPIERS AND BOUNDARY WALLS: random rubble boundary walls with flat coping to W and E of house, lean-to structure built into wall to E. Low rubble walls advanced to S of house with 2 V-jointed, square-plan gatepiers to each wall surmounted by spherical finials; spherical finial capped uprights along top of walls.

Statement of Interest

Balnacraig, which Dinnie describes as being in "one of the most beautiful situations on Deeside", was originally a laird's house, but is now more of a farmhouse. The appearance of Balnacraig on Blaeu's map suggests that the present structure is built on or near an even older structure. The oldest part of the present house, i.e. the central block, was built either by the Chalmers family or the Davidson family in the 17th century. This block was intended to be burnt down, and soldiers were sent to carry out the task; however, hearing of their imminent arrival the owners prepared a huge feast for them, and whilst eating it one of the soldiers got his head stuck in a jar of honey. As his colleagues were trying to get his head out of the jar, a counter order to save the house arrived. In 1720-30 the Innes family bought the estate and built on the wings which form an open courtyard. Behind the two gothic windows in the E block was the chapel of William and Henry Innes, who were clergymen of the Roman Catholic church. According to Wyness was originally a "dool-chamber" (death room, where family members were taken when nearing death) in the W wing of the building, near the chapel and the "priest's hole", these have since been remodelled. The lands of Balnacraig were united with the lands of Ballogie in 1852 and remain as such today.

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