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Gleneagles Hotel

A Category B Listed Building in Blackford, Perth and Kinross

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.2831 / 56°16'59"N

Longitude: -3.7514 / 3°45'4"W

OS Eastings: 291672

OS Northings: 711446

OS Grid: NN916114

Mapcode National: GBR 1L.8364

Mapcode Global: WH5PN.BBWN

Entry Name: Gleneagles Hotel

Listing Date: 8 April 1980

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 335845

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB4570

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Blackford

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Strathallan

Parish: Blackford

Traditional County: Perthshire

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Description

1924-5. Matthew Adam, Glasgow, architect. Charles W
Swanson, Edinburgh, interior decorator. Very large
hotel in Georgian Style. Mostly 3 storeys and garret but
partly 2-storeyed with two garret floors. Walls mainly
brick, harled. Blaxter stone at main entrance doorway,
bow-windows, bay-windows and other architectural
features. Tower over entrance is dated 1924.
Interior: Entrance Hall is panelled in oak and has
richly decorated plaster ceiling. Public Rooms - Lounge,
Sun Lounge (semi-circular) Dining Room, Ball Room (top-
lit by cupolas) - are sumptuously decorated in
eighteenth century manner with coffered ceilings.
Ionic pilasters, swags, etc. Floors are of reinforced
concrete but Ball Room is fitted with Morton's patent
Valtor dancing floor. In first floor, which is reached
by a grand staircase beside the ball room, and upper
floors are over 200 bedrooms. The whole building is
warmed by central heating on low-pressure steam
heating system. There is a swimming pool in a rear wing;
also a large Garage and other out-buildings.

Statement of Interest

Gleneagles Hotel is an extensive, prestigious, purpose-built golf resort hotel with excellent interior decoration. A number of extensions and additions have been added to the property over the course of the 20th century, including a leisure complex, but the original building is little altered to the exterior and to its public rooms. The extent and design of the hotel with its French Pavilion roofs echoes some of the railway resort hotels already in existence by this time in mountain resorts in Canada.

In 1910, the General Manager of the Caledonian Railway Company, Donald Matheson had the idea of opening a golf resort hotel in Strathearn. A golf resort hotel was already in existence at Turnberry, on the West coast (see separate listing). Matheson's railway already ran through the valley and he was impressed by the local scenery. From the outset, the idea was to build a luxury hotel where members of the public could travel to the resort by train and relax by playing golf. Increased leisure time and an extensive railway network made the idea of a resort hotel workable. The construction of hotel began in 1914 to a design by James Miller, but this work was interrupted by the First World War. Construction resumed after the war with Matthew Adam, of the Caledonian Railway Divisional Engineer's office as architect.

The King's and Queen's courses at Gleneagles were designed by one of the leading course designers at the time, James Braid.

Scotland is intrinsically linked with the sport of golf and it was the birthplace of the modern game played over 18 holes. So popular was golf in medieval Scotland that it was a dangerous distraction from maintaining military skills in archery and James II prohibited the playing of 'gowf' and football in 1457.

The 'Articles and Laws in Playing Golf', a set of rules whose principles still underpin the game's current regulations, were penned in 1744 by the Company of Gentlemen Golfers (now The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers). Improved transport links and increased leisure time as well as a rise in the middle classes from the mid 19th century onwards increased the popularity of the sport with another peak taking place in the early 1900s.

The sociable aspect of the game encouraged the building of distinctive clubhouses with bar and restaurant facilities. Purpose-built clubhouses date from the mid-nineteenth century onwards, previously clubs had used villas or rooms in an inn near to the course.

At the time of writing (2013), the governing body for amateur golf in Scotland, the Scottish Golf Union (SGU), reported around 550 golf courses in Scotland, representing a total membership of approximately 236,000 golf club members. Scotland has produced a number of famous golf sporting personalities - historically, Old Tom Morris (1821-1908) and James Braid (1870-1950) were the pioneers of their time.

Matthew Adam (1876-1945) worked in Glasgow before joining the Caledonian Railway Company in 1899. He was responsible for the construction of a number of new stations and the extension of others, including Glasgow Central Station.

Notes updated as part of the sporting buildings thematic study (2012-13).

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