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Cardrona House

A Category B Listed Building in Traquair, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.6297 / 55°37'46"N

Longitude: -3.1063 / 3°6'22"W

OS Eastings: 330441

OS Northings: 637903

OS Grid: NT304379

Mapcode National: GBR 63RB.9Q

Mapcode Global: WH6V6.8R1K

Plus Code: 9C7RJVHV+VF

Entry Name: Cardrona House

Listing Name: Cardrona House

Listing Date: 1 March 1978

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 354158

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB19747

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Traquair

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Tweeddale East

Parish: Traquair

Traditional County: Peeblesshire

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William Burn, 1840; built 1841. 2-storey, multi-bayed, near square-plan manorial style house with Scottish Jacobean details, similarly styled single storey service wing asymmetrically set to rear. Pale broached sandstone ashlar. Base, band and eaves course. Canted and squared bay windows with ball-finialled parapets. Crow-stepped gabled and pedimented wallhead dormers.

N (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: projecting entrance tower to left with rounded ground floor containing central hood-moulded entrance with roll-moulded arrises and 2-leaf timber door, corbelling out into a squared 1st floor with single window (date stone 1841 above) before rising into a crow-stepped gable; to left return, window to ground floor with wallhead dormer with moulded pediment to 1st floor (similar window to 1st floor of right return). To ground floor right, tripartite window and projecting canted bay window (tripartite window to front with narrow lights to canted sides) with ball-finialled parapets; to upper storey, 3 regularly placed wallhead dormers with moulded pediments. Service wing adjoins and projects to right (see below).

E (RIVER) ELEVATION: to left, projecting canted bay window (tripartite window to front with narrow lights to canted sides) with ball-finialled parapets; to upper storey, 2 regularly placed wallhead dormers with moulded pediments; to right, gabled end with projecting 2-storey canted bay window (single windows to all lights) with ball-finialled parapet. To far right, recessed return of entrance tower (see above).

S (GARDEN) ELEVATION: main house to right with (to left and centre) 2-storey, 3-bay elevation with tripartite window to ground floor centre flanked by single windows; to 1st floor, 3 regularly placed wallhead dormers with moulded pediments. To right, gabled end with projecting 2-storey squared bay window (tripartite window to each floor) with architraved ball-finialled parapet. To left, adjoining recessed service wing (see below).

W ELEVATION (AND SERVICE WING): regularly fenestrated service wing adjoining W elevation of main house, 2-storey with gabled ends (linked by recessed single bay to main house) lowering into single storey elevation to W (all windows and doors similarly treated to those on main house). Formerly contained kitchen, larders, pantry, washroom, etc.

ARMORIAL PANEL: inset into W gable, panel from earlier house inscribed WW (Walter Williamson) and AH (Alison Hay) dated 1719; inset stone below initialled IW (James Williamson) 1686.

8 and 12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows; 4-pane lights of similar style and materials to sidelights of tripartite windows. Pitched slate roof with stone ridging; crowstepped gables with kneeler putts. Painted cast-iron rainwater goods; gutters inset into moulded eaves course. Tall coursed ashlar roofline stacks on plinthed bases, projecting ashlar neck copes and paired plain cans; gablehead stacks (of similar design) to office/service wing.

INTERIOR: original circular entrance vestibule with decorative cornicing (foliate). Rest of house modernised in later 20th century (lowered ceilings, new partition walls) but cornice in drawing room similar to that in entrance hall. Cast-iron balusters to squared staircase; cupola survives to servant's stair. Most chimneypieces now replaced but original liver-coloured Louis style marble surround remains.

Statement of Interest

This house is sited on the B7062. This is part of one of the oldest estates in the parish, being known until circa 1465 as Easter Hopkailzie. The boundary of Easter and Wester Hopkailzie occurred near Kirkburn, with the lands to the east being known as Cardrona (and those to the west becoming known as Kailzie). The Govan family held the property until 1685 when they sold it to James Williamson of Hutcheonfield, the family with whom it stayed (via the Ker family) into the 20th century. Originally the owners of the estate resided in Cardrona Tower (listed separately) sited to the west of the Castle Strip. A dwelling house was built in 1685 to replace the castle. This was sited at the bottom of the hill in the area that houses the main buildings of the Cardrona estate now. Eventually, this house was built in 1841 to replace the earlier house, which was retained for 'offices'. The new house was commissioned by Captain James Ker who assumed his mother Katherine's maiden name, Williamson to become Ker Williamson. The property had been in the possession of her sister Alison who died without issue. James served in the 33rd Madras Regiment, E.I.Co. The design of the house is accredited to William Burn but there is a possibility they may have been by David Bryce, who was working in the office at the time. In 1840, Burn was suffering from ill health and Bryce may have done the designs. The layout fits with a usual Bryce arrangement, which had the public rooms in an L-plan with the drawing room sited at the corner to enjoy two aspects of the surrounding landscape. It is also known that Bryce derived this layout from the designs of Burn. The design of Cardrona is also similar to a house in East Lothian by Bryce. Bourhouse or Bowerhouse (1835) shares many stylistic similarities with Cardrona, including the gabled dormer heads, the canted parapeted bays and a separate attached service block. Interiorally, both have the same liver-coloured Louis style marble chimneypieces, and similar staircases. Many other (slightly later) estate buildings survive including the Gardener's, Houndsman's and Coachman's Cottages as well as the U-plan stable block. They are all now in use as private residential accommodation. Listed as a good example of a country house from the office of William Burn; particularly noted for the survival of original exterior features and plan.

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