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Corra Linn, Bonnington Pavilion

A Category A Listed Building in Lanark, South Lanarkshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.654 / 55°39'14"N

Longitude: -3.7738 / 3°46'25"W

OS Eastings: 288486

OS Northings: 641473

OS Grid: NS884414

Mapcode National: GBR 2322.S1

Mapcode Global: WH5SR.047Y

Entry Name: Corra Linn, Bonnington Pavilion

Listing Date: 21 April 1980

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 346053

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB13065

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Lanark

County: South Lanarkshire

Electoral Ward: Clydesdale North

Parish: Lanark

Traditional County: Lanarkshire

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Description

Dated 1708; alterations circa 1790-1820 and 1926. 2-storey, 3-bay, square-plan, classical viewing pavilion situated on high cliff overlooking Corra Linn with entrance to E above rusticated basement and doorway to W with 20th century iron balcony. Polished ashlar to principal (E) elevation and dressings; local sandstone rubble, originally harled, to side and rear elevations. Base plinth; string course; moulded eaves cornice. Rusticated quoins. Bolection-moulded, corniced, shouldered door and window architraves to principal elevation; tabbed margins elsewhere.

E (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: central doorway to principal floor flanked by windows. Carved frieze to doorway inscribed MDCCVIII. 2 blocked window openings with false-arched lintels at basement, one to left partially obscured by steps now rising from the S, positioned against front elevation (originally rose to centre from E).

INTERIOR: Bolection-moulded fireplace at SW corner.

Statement of Interest

Bonnington Pavilion, also known as Corra Linn Pavilion and the Hall of Mirrors, is of outstanding national value as the earliest surviving Scottish garden building situated so as to enjoy a Picturesque view of the surrounding scenery, inspiring awe and wonder in the viewer. There is a long history of visitors to this spot in the 18th and 19th centuries and Bonnington and its neighbour Corehouse across the river were open to paying visitors in the 19th century. The pavilion is also important as an early example of Scottish classicism. It is also one of the few remaining components of designed landscape at the Bonnington estate. Bonnington is one of a small group of designed landscapes around the Falls of Clyde which are recognised as of outstanding importance in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes.

The pavilion was built for Sir James Carmichael in 1708, possibly to designs prepared by Alexander Edward, and it formed a visual focus in the designed landscape within the Bonnington estate. It had fallen into disrepair by the time of Thomas Pennant's visit in 1769. The development of the estate including the building of the new house and the repair of the pavilion may have been instigated by Admiral Sir John Lockhart-Ross from the 1770s. The pavilion was in good repair by 1837 when it was sketched by Alexander Archer. Sir John may have been responsible for installing mirrors inside the pavilion, positioned to see the waterfall to its best effect and provide surprising views, the mirrors being in place before the 1790s. When the estate passed into the hands of General Sir Charles Lockhart Ross in 1817, he and his wife, Lady Mary Ross, were involved in further improvements on the estate and may have made alterations to the pavilion such as enlarging the window overlooking the Falls. Lady Mary is also remembered for the steps which she had built giving access to the foot of the Corra Linn Falls and for a fountain beside the path between Corra Linn and Bonnington Linn. By about 1830 the pavilion had been incorporated into an extensive system of riverside walks cut into the woodland, which conducted visitors to several of the best viewpoints of the river.

The pavilion was originally approached from Bonnington House (now demolished) at E by a terraced walk flanked by trees or from the S along what was later known as the curved terrace. This accounts for the more sophisticated details on the E and S side. When the pipes for the Bonnington Power station were built to the E in 1926, the E approach was cut off. The stairs leading to the upper floor, that had previously been in line with the approach from the E, had to be reoriented to rise along the E wall of the pavilion, thus partially obscuring one of the windows on the lower floor.

Photographs taken in 1920s show the pavilion still relatively intact with a steep, bell-cast pavilion roof and sash and case windows; however, the roof seems to have already been in poor condition by then. It is not clear when the roof structure collapsed or was removed but by 1990s only the masonry shell survived.

List description updated 2010.

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