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Manderston House

A Category A Listed Building in Duns, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.7823 / 55°46'56"N

Longitude: -2.3033 / 2°18'11"W

OS Eastings: 381075

OS Northings: 654377

OS Grid: NT810543

Mapcode National: GBR D1CL.41

Mapcode Global: WH8X2.LXDK

Plus Code: 9C7VQMJW+WM

Entry Name: Manderston House

Listing Name: Manderston Including Service Court and Motor House

Listing Date: 9 June 1971

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 335213

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB4033

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Duns

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Mid Berwickshire

Parish: Duns

Traditional County: Berwickshire

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Substantial reconstruction and extension, John Kinross, 1901-5, of circa 1790 classical house. 2-storey, attic and basement, 11-bay principal block (incorporating earlier fabric) with slightly lower 7-bay, 2-storey and basement bachelor?s wing and lower 2- storey and part basement, U-plan service court with motor house on falling ground, running E-W in succession. Warm sandstone, razor-sharp ashlar (Whitsome Newton Quarry), squared rubble and ashlar dressings to exterior elevations of service court. Band course above basement, Vitruvian scroll band dividing upper floors and entablature encircling with balustraded parapet and urn finials to angle dies. Ionic angle pilasters with fluted necks. 1st floor windows shorter.


NORTH ELEVATION: slightly advanced 3-bay centre with Ionic tetrastyle portico, bronze, lion?s-head bell-pulls to corniced bases of columns; paterae and husk-garlanded frieze; low-relief carving to tablet above centre bay; flight of steps; architraved and console corniced doorway with swagged armorial carved above; 2-leaf panelled doors; doorway flanked by fine pendant, iron lanterns with scrolled brackets. 2 bays flanking each side slightly recessed, 2 advanced outer bays, all regularly fenestrated. Windows to sunk basement just visible to each bay flanking portico.

SOUTH ELEVATION: 7-bay centre, circa 1790, slightly recessed with 3-bay bowed centrepiece, ground floor window at centre round-arched; outer bays slightly advanced. Corniced, ashlar wall shielding basement recess. Decorative cast-iron balcony on cast-iron posts encircling bow and with steps at centre.

E ELEVATION: 7-bay with 3 centre bays slightly advanced. Pilastered and pedimented aedicule at centre with semicircular pedimented French window in recess screened with ashlar balustrade as balcony.

W ELEVATION: single bay visible to N (left), in advanced return of principal block otherwise masked by bachelor wing.


N ELEVATION: basement recess screened with ashlar balustrade and dies. Steps to door at centre in 2 stages, flanked by corniced ashlar walls. Architraved door with console cornice and 2-leaf panelled doors (as above); swagged low-relief oval to 1st floor above door, regular fenestration in remaining bays, save additional window at ground in bay to outer left.

S ELEVATION: diminutive echo of principal block; 3 advanced bays at centre with full-height bow. Steps to centre window flanked by scroll-stopped ashlar walls. Corniced walls shielding basement recess.

W ELEVATION: onto service court. Luggage door to right approached by ashlar mounting block with steps (over semicircular basement window), flanked to left by tripartite window to lift and tripartite window to landing at 1st floor. Further door to basement to centre; irregular fenestration.

Small-pane timber sash and case windows. Segmental-arched, leaded single window dormers to N, S and E elevations of principal block. Grey slate piend and platform roof. Corniced ashlar stacks. Lead downpipes, fixtures and decorative hoppers.

INTERIOR: spcaious lay-out and lavish, Adamesque decorative scheme, owing to 1901-5 work by Kinross, with parts derivative of Kedleston (see Notes), largely executed by Scott Morton & Co; fine plasterwork ceilings throughout (not itemised here). French and Italian stuccoists brought in to exectute stucco work. Fine Adamesque grates. Mahogany panelled doors. Marble tope to grilled radiator cases. Hopton Wood ashlar, oval vestibule with consoled and corniced entrance door and niched recesses over Vitruvian scroll dado band; classical chimneypiece; coomb ceiling. Vaulted cloakroom to right, screened from ante-room to dining room by 2-bay arcade with translucent Derbyshire alabaster parapet and ornate silver-plated grilles. Hall and passages flanking with ornate marble inlaid floors; passages articulated with Venetian archways on marble columns. Domed hall with chimneypiece tailored from Kedleston precedent; distyle in antis fluted screens to passages; classical oval reliefs to pendentives. Organ case, John Kinross (after Robert Adam?s for Sir Watkin Williams Wynn), 1910, in former ante-room to Drawing Room. Circular Morning Room with Ionic pilastered marble chimneypiece dating to 1790, gilded swagging, gilt borders, niches and curved, concealed door to Tea Room. Dining Room with exceptional, Edwardian Adamesque plasterwork ceiling (Mars in centre relief), with pilaster-flanked buffet recess adorned with fine stucco panel; large consoled chimneypiece. Library with bookcases (derived from Kedleston precedent) and concealing door to Hall; Corinthian columned marble chimneypiece. Opulent Louis XVI decoration in part by Charles Mellier & Co to interconnecting Ballroom and Drawing Room, damask and velvet walls with gilded, filigreed margins; parquet floors. Ballrom with classical ceiling centrepiece (Apollo with Cupids) painted by Robert Hope RSA, 1905; Ionic columned chimneypiece. Drawing Room through fine double set of doors; again part Mellier & Co decoration; concealed door to loggia on E terrace. Chinoiserie decoration to Tea Room. Business Room with gilt border to damask walls, ornate, coffered ceiling. Hall and Gun Room of Bachelors? wing with traceried cabinets; lavish lavatory leading off; arched corridor withgilded swags and mirrorsStairwell, top-lit, after that by Gabriele at Petit Trianon, with cantilevred marble stairs and lavish, silver-plated balustrade and brass handrail. Wide 1st floor passage articulated with screens of fluted columns and arched doorways. Bedrooms with fine Adamesque chimneypieces, brass bell-pulls and sconces. Lady Miller's bowed Boudoir, exceptionally decorated in neo-Jacobean vein with canopied chimneypiece and niched cupboard and timber ribbed ceiling. All bathrooms marble lined with ornate period fittings. Principal Bathroom vaulted as Imperial Roman bath, Doric columned with silver-plated bath. Basement corridor and rooms lined with enamel glazed bricks, Craig & Co. Housekeeper?s Room bowed, with fine traceried china cupboards, Scott Morton & Co. Servants? Hall, in Sir James Miller?s racing colours, primrose yellow and white. Kitchen and Scullery floored in black and with white tiles and enamel-glazed tiled walls; central range by G Drouet, Ateliers Briffalut, Paris; painted beams to ceiling above. Succession of tailored larders, lined with appropriate shelving, leading to service court. Female Servants? bedrooms to attic, simple decor. Mains electricity, 1934. Lift introduced 1960.

SERVICE COURT: materially en suite with main house. Panelled doors with 2-pane fanlights. Grilles to ground floor and basement windows. 4 round, banded pal stones marking angles of entrance pend. Granite setts to courtyard.

W (MOTOR HOUSE) RANGE: tall, pedimented, round-arched pend entrance with keystoned oculus above, to centre of outer and courtyard elevations. 4 flat-arched garage door openings to right of outer elevation (2-leaf, boarded), fronted by court enclosed with ashlar-coped rubble walls and cast-iron railings; regular fenestration elsewhere. Courtyard elevation with 3 doors to right of pend and 3 windows to left at ground, 2 above each side at 1st floor. S return elevation with Venetian window at ground and 3 basement windows, single window above.

S (LAUNDRY) RANGE: door to left of centre and outer right of courtyard elevation with window to each remaining of 8 bays at ground, 1st floor windows to outer and pen-penultimate bays. Outer elevation to S with regular fenestration to both floors. End elevation to E terrace, in ashlar with cornice, blocking course and tablet, round-arched recess shielding bronze statue and low relief carving rectangular panel above. Screen wall abutting principal block and enclosing courtyard.

N RANGE: 5 doors at ground to courtyard storerooms, interspersed with

3 windows, 6 regularly spaced windows at 1st floor.

INTERIOR: motor house lined with glazed enamel tiles with blue dado band; marble alcoves for water supply; round-arched recesses with part-glazed timber cupboards. 2 pits with hydraulic machinery. Laundry similarly lined with machinery still in place.

Statement of Interest

The authorship of the original house for Dalhousie Weatherstone is uncertain, but it was probably either Alexander Gilkie or John White, both of whom produced designs. Sir James Percy Miller inherited the estate in 1887 and first commissioned work from John Kinross in 1890, having seen the latter?s work for his borther-in-law, Richard Hunter, in reconstructing Thurston (now demolished). Kinross swept away work by James Simpson for William Miller, 1871, which had included mansard roofs and porte cochere. His work benefitted from a scholarly and artistic approach, an appreciation of craftsmanship and materials: the circumstances of Miller?s commission, not least an open budget, enabled him to create at Manderston the ideal marriage of design excellence, material quality, and the best craftsmanship on a lavish scale, unprecedented in Scotland at this date. The design of the principal elevation echoes the restrained elegance of Benham Hall, near Newbury by Henry Holland. The architectural work and fittings came to ?221,000, three times the orginal estimate. There were 400 workmen engaged at the height of the operation. Sir James Miller married Eveline Mary Curzon, daughter of Lord Scarsdale, and in order to offer give her a standard of accommodation equivalent to that at her family home, the interior decoration intended to echo the sumptuous grandeur of Kedleston. The servants? accommodation and service areas are extremely well-appointed, above the standard for the period, catering for 22 live-in servants. The mansion house is in an A Group with the formal garden, south and east terraces, and sunken terraces. See also the listings for Buxley which provide a refreshing picturesque foil to the classical house, and the fine stables (also listed separately).

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