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Latitude: 55.8397 / 55°50'23"N
Longitude: -3.207 / 3°12'25"W
OS Eastings: 324509
OS Northings: 661382
OS Grid: NT245613
Mapcode National: GBR 601X.HG
Mapcode Global: WH6T5.QH21
Plus Code: 9C7RRQQV+V6
Entry Name: Beeslack House, Penicuik
Listing Name: Aaron House Nursing and Residential Care Home (Former Beeslack House)
Listing Date: 22 January 1971
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 339334
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB7459
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Penicuik
Traditional County: Midlothian
Jonathan Anderson Bell, 1855-57. 2-and 3-storey castellated Gothic mansion; 4-storey bell tower; L-plan staff extension to rear, James Tait circa 1900; linking glass corridor to modern single storey ward block. Sandstone ashlar. Base course, stringcourses; parapets, hoodmoulds.
W (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: projecting 3-storey entrance tower with crenellated parapet; 2 steps to gothic doorway, modern coach light to flanks, parapeted wall to either flank; oriel window above, replacement carved corbel, cusped traceried window surrounds, 4 lights, crenellated parapet; single light traceried window to 2nd floor; to right double height chapel, stained glass window, stone mullions and cusped surrounds, four tall lights, multifoil light to centre; 2-storey 2-bay to right, adjacent projecting castellated bay to ground floor, double light traceried window above; castellated chimneystacks to each section.
S ELEVATION: symmetrical 2-storey 3-bay, string courses; hood moulded windows, except projecting castellated bay to ground floor right; parapeted; chimney stack to right; single storey modern in-fill hiding earlier 2-storey elevation behind; bipartite window to ground floor right; oriental carved stone inset to right.
E ELEVATION: 2-storey 6-bay later wing with enclosed courtyard; modern glass corridor adjoining to ground floor; 2-storey single bay to right, bipartite windows, hoodmoulds.
N ELEVATION: early 1990's single storey ward extension; to right linking glass corridor to original house; 2-storey 3-bay section, projecting central bay, 4 lights, bipartite windows flanking; tower in re-entrant angle (see below); to right 3-storey 2-bay, parapeted.
TOWER: 3-storey single bay with setback 4th stage; castellated; hood moulded arched doorway, single light traceried window to each return and back; inscribed bell to left (see NOTES).
12-pane narrow timber sash and case windows (painted green to majority, bronze sashes in principal rooms), Piended slate roof with parapet, lead flashings, replacement metal ridge tiles; cast-iron guttering.
INTERIOR: some original doors; bracketed ceilings, vine cornicing; heavy carved newel posts, carved traceried timber balusters to main stairwell; arcaded timber carved gallery in chapel; bracketed ceiling on corbelled shafts, ornate bosses, Puginesque Minton floor tiles; dogleg servants' staircase with plain wooden hand rail, shaped iron balusters; murals by Julius Muller portray "The Life of Joseph and his Brethren" in former nursery; former chapel window, stained glass by Bell (see NOTES).
Beeslack was built for Sir John Cowan of Valleyfield Mill. Jonathan Anderson Bell was chosen as architect after he designed a school at Valleyfield Mill for Cowan's father. Bell trained under Thomas Rickman (d.1841), the famed gothic revivalist. Gladstone stayed at the house during his 1890 election campaign. Interesting features remain to exterior. Outside the tower, a bell sits on a large metal bracket and is inscribed "FECIT JOHN COWAN. ESQ BEESLACK HOUSE ALEX McGILL PENICUIK 1863."
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