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Birkhall

A Category B Listed Building in Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside, Aberdeenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.0289 / 57°1'44"N

Longitude: -3.0741 / 3°4'26"W

OS Eastings: 334901

OS Northings: 793600

OS Grid: NO349936

Mapcode National: GBR WD.C9LQ

Mapcode Global: WH6MF.RLCF

Plus Code: 9C9R2WHG+H9

Entry Name: Birkhall

Listing Name: Birkhall with Summer House, Wendy House, Garden Gate and Terraces

Listing Date: 16 April 1971

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 341566

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB9304

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Glenmuick, Tullich and Glengairn

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside

Parish: Glenmuick, Tullich And Glengairn

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

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Description

1715, 2-storey, attic and basement, 5-bay laird's house with later single storey, attic and basement addition, by James Henderson of Kildrummy, 1850, 3-bay, 2-storey and attic wing at right angles to rear, re-orienting entrance; early 20th century, single storey addition to SW, and substantial additions, A Graham Henderson, circa 1950, of 2-storey, attic and basement wing at right angles adjoined to and adapting earlier single storey wing at SW.

Harled. Some exposed granite dressings. Chamfered arrises to later additions.

1715 house:

SE elevation: 5-bay. Roll-moulded surround to door at centre, approached by flight of granite steps with decorative iron railings; lintel carved with date and initials 'CG' and 'RG'; 2-leaf, part-glazed door; square armorial panel above in heavy, moulded surround. Windows to outer bays of basement, to bays flanking door at ground and to each bay at 1st floor. 3 piend-roofed, slate-hung dormers, later 19th century.

NW elevation: later wing to left with contemporary round stair tower in re-entrant angle; small windows and conical roof. Window at ground and 1st floor to left and later lean-to porch across raised basement. NE elevation: 2-bay gable end with chimneybreast advanced (circa 1850) at centre, flanked at ground and 1st floor by windows.

1850 wing:

NE elevation: 3-bay. Door in bay to left (centre of elevation) with timber porte cochère; stop-chamfered door surround, part-glazed door with etched glass fanlight; 4 tree trunk columns to gabled porte cochère, with segmental arched stays and boarded soffit; infilled by house with fixed windows as wind breaks and with cantilevered corner benches cradling corner seats. Window above and to each floor in bays to right. 3 gabled, slate-hung dormers, later 19th century.

NW elevation: blank gable end, masked to right at ground by single storey and basement late 19th century (?) service addition.

Circa 1950 additions:

Single storey early 20th century addition abacked by 2-storey and raised basement addition to NW with irregular openings, with roof swept down to SE to single storey eaves and with 2-stage round stair tower breaking eaves, and single bay adjoined to S; narrow door and small window, conical roof to tower. 2-storey, asymmetrical wing running NW-SE adjoined at right angles; bowed 3-bay SE elevation with window to ground and 1st floor and conical roof, 3-bay regularly fenestrated return to NE with panel over larger centre window and small piend-roofed dormer. SW elevation with taller ridge to left, and 3-bay bowed projection to outer left; regular fenestration in 3 bays flanking to right and stair windows in penultimate bay to right; outer right bay gabled and blank.

12-pane glazing pattern in sash and case windows. Graded grey slates. Stone ridges and coped skews. Coped gablehead stacks.

Summer house: octagonal, lathed timber summer house, sited to SW of house, circa 1935 (?), with gabled entrance and thatched roof; interior lined with boarded timber and benches.

Wendy house: circa 1935. Thatched, rectangular-plan, gabled timber wendy house to E of house; bark-covered board cladding, in chevron patterns below 2-leaf, diamond lead-paned casement windows and to door at centre, breaking eaves in gablehead. Turf ridge and timber stack. Further door to rear.

Garden gate: decorative wrought- and cast-iron pedestrian gate to E of house, circa 1935 (?), with vine and thistle motifs and flanked by iron cage piers with decorative thistle finials.

Terraces: formal garden to SE with topiary, below terraced ground by house, circa 1935. Granite steps leading down to coped granite terrace wall, buttressed and with door into bank to toolhouse/ice house; timber steps leading down from terrace wallhead to lower ground.

Statement of Interest

A Group with Birkhall Drive Bridge, Larders, Rope Bridge and Stables.

The original house was built by Captain Charles Gordon. It was purchased by Prince Albert in 1849 from Michael Francis Gordon, 15th of Abergeldie, for the Prince of Wales, transferring to the Queen on the former's death. Florence Nightingale visited between September and October 1856, as the guest of Her Majesty to recuperate after her efforts in the Crimean War. A new fireplace and panelling were installed in the dining room in 1926-7. The Duke and Duchess of York redecorated and planted the gardens in the 1930s. Cast-iron fruit poles survive. Birkhall Stables, larders, rope bridge and drive bridge are listed separately, and grouped with the house forming a significant estate. The house has rich associations and evidences sympathetic evolution.

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