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Walkerburn, the Kirna

A Category A Listed Building in Innerleithen, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.626 / 55°37'33"N

Longitude: -3.0326 / 3°1'57"W

OS Eastings: 335076

OS Northings: 637417

OS Grid: NT350374

Mapcode National: GBR 738D.72

Mapcode Global: WH7WC.DV4F

Entry Name: Walkerburn, the Kirna

Listing Date: 22 July 1985

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 340426

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB8323

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Innerleithen

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Tweeddale East

Parish: Innerleithen

Traditional County: Peeblesshire

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F T Pilkington, 1867 for George Ballantyne. 2-storey with attic and partial basement, asymmetrical villa in highly individual Ruskinian-Gothic with entrance tower to SE corner. Coursed rock-faced whinstone rubble with contrasting patterned sandstone ashlar dressings (including roll and rope-mouldings; band courses and ornament; some columned shafts with foliate capitals). Square, round-headed and shouldered windows, all with drip cills. Feather-edge skew gabled with stylised fleur-de-lis finials and swept moulded putts.

SE (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: low canted ashlar wing walls terminating in buttress piers with chamfered square caps with roundel motifs, central flight of ashlar steps with similarly style walls leading to entrance terrace. Steps leading to polygonal entrance bay with arcaded loggia (3rd side blind), hybrid leafy capitals on plain shafts support rope-moulded arches with sculpted lily keystone; tongue and grooved entrance leading to timber-panelled entrance door with shaped pediment and side lights flanking door. Chequered detail between band courses; square-headed window to each face of 1st floor with similar details as entrance; turreted attic with pair of pedimented and finialled dormers rising from wallhead of outer bays. Canted angle to right of entrance (and leading into E ELEVATION, see below): canted quadripartite window with foliated angle mullions to ground floor; pedimented heavily decorated wallhead dormer above with similar dormer to left cant; blind wall to 1st floor of right cant rising into high blind gablehead with elaborate gablehead stack; further blind cant to right.

S ELEVATION: SE entrance tower in right re-entrant angle; to centre, 1? and 2-storey, 2-bay gabled end with canted bay window to ground floor left and single segmental-headed window to right. To 1st floor right, gable-headed wallhead dormer containing arch-headed windows and to left, segmental-headed bipartite window with pilastered mullion; blind roundel to gablehead with cross detail. To left return, slightly projecting gabled ashlar surround containing glazed panel door to ground floor (with set of later timber open tread steps) and partially concealed window to basement; right return blind. Recessed to left, 1?-storey, 2-bay later billiard room extension with plain windows to ground floor and pedimented wallhead dormers resting on moulded cill course.

W ELEVATION: original elevation obscured by extension to main house to left and advanced billiard room to right. Advanced gabled end of later billiard room with wide sloping buttressed support to ground floor containing high tripartite window, plain window to 1st floor left. To left return, single storey flat-roofed outhouse with squared vehicle opening to W and doorway to N; square 1st floor outshoot (in re-entrant angle) resting on corbelled foot to rear of outhouse with canted bays below leading to main house: door with high plate-glass fan-light and bipartite window to left; pedimented dormer above; to left return, blind gabled end with regularly fenestrated piended extension to ground floor.

N (REAR) ELEVATION: to left, slightly advanced 1?-storey harled wing with central entrance door, bipartite window to right and single window to left; to 1st floor, central piended window with narrow and regular size window; larger wallhead dormer to right. To right of elevation, returns of W ELEVATION.

E ELEVATION: adjoining SE entrance tower and canted angle to left; to right, single window to ground floor with bipartite pedimented dormer with feather-edged skews to upper storey.

Multi-paned timber sash and case windows (small panes to bottom sash with plate glass or 2-pane upper sashes); 8 and 12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows to rear of property. Pitched, grey slate roof to most with bracketed eaves; polygonal pitched roof to entrance with mixture of pitched and piended wallhead dormers. Painted cast-iron rainwater goods with carved floriate stone brackets to principal elevations, plain rainwater goods to rest. Some original ashlar stacks with grouped flues; later ashlar stacks with rounded angles and paired cans.

INTERIOR: scale and platt timber stair, twisted newels with elaborate finials (main finials in the shape of grotesque fanged animals holding Ballantyne crested shields), arcaded gallery above. Panelled doors in architraved surrounds. Plaster ceiling to drawing room incorporating George Ballantyne's initials and moulded cornice. Timber panelled and arcaded hall (forming wall to present dining room) with opaque leaded glass panels. Gable-ended pitched skylight lighting stairwell. High plain billiard room.

Statement of Interest

The village of Walkerburn grew up around the textile mills of Tweedvale and (later) Tweedholm of Henry Ballantyne, the founder of the village. He was also responsible for the earliest workers' housing and laying out the village we see today. By his death in 1865, Walkerburn was a flourishing manufacturing village with a population of just under 800 people. The company and the welfare of its staff were passed to his five sons (until 1870 when 3 of them (George, James and Henry Jr) left to run a mill in Innerleithen). 3 Ballantyne houses stood grouped together on this side of the road within one large subdivided plot (John's house Stoneyhill, David's house Sunnybrae and Henry's former home Tweedvale, all listed separately). Pilkington did a lot of work in the village at this time for the families and this is house was executed at the same time as Stoneyhill, the lodges and stables. The Kirna is unusual as it stands away from the other Ballantyne houses (sited to the west of the village - within terraced grounds) but still retains features found on the other buildings. Entrance is gained through an idiosyncratic tower, the staircase is heavy oak with grotesque finials to the newel posts and the interior plasterwork and fittings are plainer and classical in nature. The external ornamentation (as with Stoneyhill) is limited to the public elevations with the rear and west elevations being plain. A later and much plainer "billiard room extension" was added to the west gable. A glasshouse and boundary wall still survive, as does the "lodge" which is believed to have started life as a separate stable block as it is not in the usual position for an entrance lodge. The Kirna is stylistically similar to a similarly dated Pilkington house in Edinburgh called Craigend Park, designed for William Christie, a tailor who is believed to have obtained his material from the Ballantynes' mill (it is now called Kingston House and has been turned into apartments). Listed as a fine example of a Pilkington mansion retaining external original features as well as a fine interior; also highly prized as one of a group of Pilkington buildings within Walkerburn and for its importance as a Ballantyne property.

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