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Aberdour, Hillside House Including Pedestrian Gate to South Boundary Wall

A Category B Listed Building in Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay, Fife

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.0571 / 56°3'25"N

Longitude: -3.3019 / 3°18'7"W

OS Eastings: 319018

OS Northings: 685680

OS Grid: NT190856

Mapcode National: GBR 24.Q85G

Mapcode Global: WH6S5.70WW

Entry Name: Aberdour, Hillside House Including Pedestrian Gate to South Boundary Wall

Listing Date: 2 May 1973

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 334716

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB3596

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aberdour (Fife)

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay

Traditional County: Fife

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Aberdour

Description

1800-1810. Basement and 2-storey, 5-bay rectangular-plan house (residential school, 2002) with irregular L-plan 1970s extension attached to W. Doric portico to principal elevation. Squared, snecked, stugged stone, droved ashlar to ground floor string course, eaves course. Raised, droved ashlar margins to arises with droved rybats, raised ashlar window surrounds. Eaves cornice with low parapet, coped pediment to advanced central section of S elevation. 1970s 2-storey L-plan school running to W and N of house; render, numerous openings (not included in listing).

N (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: symmetrical elevation. Single storey portico to slightly advanced central entrance bay, 2 steps to raised platform bridging basement area. 2 Doric columns with corresponding pilasters supporting entablature with low parapet. Centred door with flanking pair of windows evenly arranged to slightly recessed bays at ground and 1st floor, moulded architraves, console brackets with acanthus leaf detailing supporting corniced hoodmoulds to ground floor windows. 5 evenly arranged small windows to basement.

E ELEVATION: near symmetrical elevation. Centred window to advanced central bay at ground and 1st floor flanked by shorter slit windows. Centred windows to outerbays at ground and 1st floor. Basement door with flanking slit window to right, modern rendered extension to left at advanced central bay to basement. Service courtyard opposite basement; flag stones to ground, rubble retaining wall with render to SE section, droved ashlar opening to service tunnel running to NE, rubble construction tunnel.

S ELEVATION: symmetrical 2-storey 5-bay elevation with advanced pedimented central bay. 3 steps to centred door at advanced bay, large 1st floor stair window set close above; both with console brackets supporting corniced hoodmould. Flanking pair of windows evenly arranged to slightly recessed bays at ground and 1st floor.

W ELEVATION: original ground and 1st floor windows arranged evenly to left. Modern 1970s extension to centre and right, blocked long window to right.

Timber panelled door, 4-pane lying-pane letterbox fanlight, decorative cast-iron fleur de lys railings to N elevation. Predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows. Piended roof, grey slate, various rooflights. Low squat corniced stone stacks to central platform; pair to E, stack to centre, stack to W. Modern inserted fire-escape door to roof of W elevation, tile hung cheeks, cast-iron stairs to modern extension.

INTERIOR: entrance vestibule; decorative Minton tiles, full-height blind niche to right, pilastered central doorpiece with entablature. Hall; pilastered central doorpiece with entablature, large segmental arched openings blocked with modern doors leading to axial corridors running E-W. Decorative plasterwork to ceilings to principal rooms to NE and SE; SE with original grey marble fireplace flanked by blocked niches.

PEDESTRIAN GATE TO S BOUNDARY WALL: bold, squat doorpiece; central timber modern door, ashlar stone surround with inserted corniced capital, slightly advanced square pillars with coping and string course.

Statement of Interest

NOTES: B-Group with Hillside House Walled Garden. Hillside House is one of Aberdour's largest and grandest mansions. It is situated in a very prominent position on a raised embankment to the north of the village. The house was built on the site of a 17th century house: a lookout tower was created from the remains of the original house. To the SE of the tower stood a late 16th century dovecot, both structures were demolished in 1960. The houses? grounds were well landscaped, maps from the mid 19th century show tree lined avenues, well planted park land and a large walled garden to the north of the house. In 1856 Mary White describes a family outing and notes that the road they took was "over-arched with fine trees, barley fields and sheep on one side and the beautiful grounds of Hillside on the other". The house was served by a gatelodge to the south and one to the north. The north lodge (opposite Croftgary farm) no longer exists, however the remnants of a tree line avenue stretch towards Hillside. It is possible that the gateway to the new cemetery (which came into being in the earlier 20th century) along Mill Road and a set of pedestrian gates facing each other across Mill Road were re-sited from the north lodge. It is recorded that in 1822 the owner was a James Stuart, clerk to the signet. Stuart had a town residence in Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, Hillside was used as his country residence. He is remembered as fighting the second last duel in Fife in the village of Auchtertool. His opponent Alexander Boswell was fatally wounded, however Stuart at trial was acquitted of murder and was said to be 'a man of honour' (N MacDonald). In the early 1830s Stuart sold Hillside to William Fraser, the house was subsequently sold to the Witherspoon family in 1856 who remained there till 1934. During the Second World War the house was used by the armed forces, graffiti carved into the doors of a series of vaulted storerooms in the basement testify to where errant soldiers were held. In the 1960s the house was taken over by the Salesian Fathers of St John Bosco and used as a List D school, it was at this time that the modern extensions were added. In 1982 the school was purchased by the 'Hillside School Trust' and from this time onwards became a residential school. The house is used as one of the accommodation blocks for children attending the school, (2002).

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