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Spitalhaugh House Including Stable and Bridge

A Category A Listed Building in Halmyre Mains, West Linton, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.7331 / 55°43'59"N

Longitude: -3.3349 / 3°20'5"W

OS Eastings: 316270

OS Northings: 649662

OS Grid: NT162496

Mapcode National: GBR 5244.SP

Mapcode Global: WH6TP.R548

Plus Code: 9C7RPMM8+62

Entry Name: Spitalhaugh House Including Stable and Bridge

Listing Date: 23 February 1971

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 340468

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB8361

Building Class: Cultural

Location: West Linton

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Tweeddale West

Parish: West Linton

Traditional County: Peeblesshire

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West Linton


Predominantly mid 19th century encorporating earlier house of 1678 for Richard Murray; enlarged and reconfigured mid 19th century for Sir William Fergusson (see Notes). Large, multi-bay, irregular-plan, country house with wealth of Scottish Baronial detailing including turrets, wings, castellations, crowstepped gables and mouldings, forming picturesque composition dominated by 4-stage, square-plan, turreted and crowstep-gabled tower to centre. Polished sandstone ashlar with moulded ashlar dressings. Stugged ashlar quoins. Base course; string courses.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: To Centre: advanced, 2-storey canted bay with castellated parapet. Single-storey, 3-bay gable-ended wings flanking with pitched roofs and ogee-capped turrets to corner angles; various molded dormers, panels and niches; stepped pyramidal finial to left gable end.

2-storey wings with castellated parapets and canted ends extend 5-bays to right, 4-bays to left.

Tower rises behind with statue to S on corbelled base flanked by recessed segmental-arched windows.

W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: basket-arched entrance porch to canted end bay; armorial panel and hood-moulding above flanked by ball-finials. To left: 3-arched arcade with castellated parapet returns at NW angle, adjoining gabled outbuilding with tall octagonal stack to apex.

Predominantly 12-pane glazing to timber sash and case windows. Grey slate. Wealth of tall, octagonal-shaft stacks, one with hexagonal moulded pattern to shaft and castellated coping. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: entrance vestibule contains 9 carved stone reliefs set into walls, two with Fergusson family crest; painted cartouches set in cornice. To main hall, carved stone fireplace dated 1658 depicting figures and armourials (see Notes). Carved timber panelling (probably 17th century) with fluted pilasters and arcaded motif. Intricately carved timber staircase balustrade. Compartmented ceilings to principal ground-floor public rooms with decorated ribs and floral mouldings; finely carved Jacobean oak fireplace to E room.

STABLE: single-storey, 4-bay, rectangular-plan stable, incorporating 17th or 18th century fabric. Ornamental castellated outshot with steps to S elevation. Harled rubble with coped and shouldered ends, pinapple finial to N. Interior: 4 cast-iron stalls with acorn finialled posts. Some timber panelling and corner feeders survive. Evidence of earlier usage as dwelling with remains of fireplace at first floor height at S end. Map Ref: 16228 49680.

BRIDGE: dated 1851. Single-span, segmental-arch bridge with parapet serving S driveway over water. Panel with initials to S side, WF & HHR (William Fergusson and wife, Helen Rankin of Spitalhaugh). Initials of Charles Lawson, the local quarrymaster and builder to N side. Map Ref: NT 16402 49254.

Statement of Interest

Part of a B-Group with: Spitalhaugh, Doocot House (see separate listing).

Spitalhaugh is a remarkable example of a large 17th century country house, remodelled during the mid 19th century with an impressive wealth of ornamental detail in the Scottish Baronial style. The various elements that comprise the house are held together by the 4-storey turreted tower dominating the centre of the composition and by the horizontality provided by the unbroken run of castellated parapets which, when viewed from across the open parkland to the south, ground the building firmly in its setting.

The tower incorporates a statue of St Andrew and a date stone of 1677 commemorating the earlier 17th house at the core of the building. The estate of Spitalhaugh was owned by the Earls of Morton from 1313 to 1671 after which a house was commenced by Richard Murray, brother of Sir Archibald Murray, third baronet of Blackbarony. William Fergusson, surgeon to the Prince Consort and Queen Victoria, expended considerable sums enlarging the property in the Baronial style. He added the single-span bridge serving the south entrance drive to the house.

The interior includes many fine elements including a stone fireplace (dated 1658) comprising 3 carved stones depicting figures, animals, armorials, finials and scrolls by the renowned local stonemason James Gifford, brought from the house he occupied at West Linton. Linked numerals dated 1864 were added at this time to ends of the lintel stone by Fergusson (see RCAHMS Inventory for detailed description of the stone).

Change of Category from B to A and list description revised at resurvey (2010).

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