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Kirkton of Premnay, Former Manse, Including Steading/Stables, Walled Garden, Gatepiers and Boundary Walls

A Category C Listed Building in West Garioch, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.3154 / 57°18'55"N

Longitude: -2.5949 / 2°35'41"W

OS Eastings: 364263

OS Northings: 825136

OS Grid: NJ642251

Mapcode National: GBR M9YD.3Y2

Mapcode Global: WH8NL.3DL9

Plus Code: 9C9V8C84+52

Entry Name: Kirkton of Premnay, Former Manse, Including Steading/Stables, Walled Garden, Gatepiers and Boundary Walls

Listing Date: 19 January 1996

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 354337

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB19912

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Premnay

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: West Garioch

Parish: Premnay

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

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A late 19th century former manse and associated late 18th century steading and walled garden, with boundary walls and gatepiers.

The manse is a 2-storey, 3-bay, rectangular-plan house made L-plan by a lower single storey and attic service wing to the rear. It is constructed of coursed rubble granite with margined ashlar dressings. It has a piended slate roof with deep eaves, gablets to the side elevations, with corniced ridge stacks and clay cans, and some piended dormers. There are mostly 4-pane timber sash and case windows throughout. The principal elevation faces south and overlooks the walled garden. There is a 4-panelled door to centre with pilastered jambs and an astragalled fanlight. There are cast iron rainwater goods and ashlar-coped skews to the service wing. A modern porch links the service wing to the former steading.

The interior of the manse was seen in 2016. There is a well stair with cast iron balusters rising to the attic level. The plan form, joinery and chimneypieces mostly date to the late 19th century.

The former steading dates mostly to the 18th century and comprises a single storey and attic building, formerly L-plan and rectangular-plan, and linked to form U-plan in the later 19th century, with the central section rebuilt in the late 20th century. It is constructed of coursed rubble granite with a grey slate roof laid out in diminishing courses. There are 6-pane timber windows, ashlar-coped skews to the gable ends, and random rubble courtyard paving with drainage channels in the forecourt. There is a stone forestair to the southwest.

The walled garden is contemporary in date with the former steading and is situated to the southeast of the property. It is rectangular in plan form and is constructed of coursed rubble masonry on a sloping site, with the walls of the northwest elevation slightly taller and diminishing in height towards the southeast.

The boundary walls are constructed of coursed rubble and has round coping stones. There are two pyramidal-capped stone gatepiers to the road.

Statement of Interest

The buildings at Kirkton are a good example of a manse, steading and walled garden, which are largely unaltered and importantly maintain a strong visual connection to each other and to the neighbouring listed church and churchyard. The buildings retain much of their historic rural setting and form a good group with the church and churchyard, built in similar materials and of the same 18th and 19th century date.

Age and Rarity

The former manse at Kirkton previously served as the residence of the minister at the adjacent parish church (also listed at category C, LB16233). The church dates to 1792 (reconstructed from an earlier church), and the former manse replaced an earlier manse situated near the graveyard to the east of the present site, as shown on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey (OS) map (surveyed 1867). This earlier manse is dated to before the construction of the church.

The parish of Premnay was established in 1718. The Old Statistical Account notes that the manse was repaired and enlarged when the church was rebuilt in 1792. The New Statistical account of 1834–5 mentions the glebe at Kirkton extending to '6 scotch acres' (equivalent to approximately 3 hectares).

At the time of the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map (surveyed 1867), the earlier manse, the steading buildings and walled garden are evident. The steading was formed of two buildings: an L-shaped range to the northwest and a rectangular building aligned southwest-northeast. By the publication of the 2nd Edition OS map (surveyed 1899), these steading buildings have been joined to form a U-shaped range, with the court open to the northeast. Also at this time the new manse is evident, and situated to the northwest of the walled garden. 1888 is thought to be the likely date of construction of the present manse based on evidence of dated fabric found within the house.

Mid to late 19th century residences for clergy are not a rare building type (especially after the Disruption of 1843) however they are an integral part of Scotland's ecclesiastical built heritage. The majority of these buildings were often modestly detailed and constructed. The former manse at Kirkton, while typically simple in its design, has been little altered from the time it was first built. Its relationship with the adjacent earlier manse steading and walled garden forms a good surviving group of historic buildings and the context of its wider setting, next to the church, churchyard and former school house, helps to demonstrate its former function as a manse.

Architectural or Historic Interest


The interior decorative scheme retains a number of late 19th century architectural details, such as decorative cornices and fire surrounds to principal rooms, and a well staircase with decorative metal balusters and timber handrail. These surviving architectural features add to the building's special interest in listing terms.

Plan form

The plan form of the main living space is typical for its building type and has been little altered. The rear of the building has a small self-contained two room flat (accessed via the rear staircase), which is likely to have been for a maid and housekeeper. The plan form of the manse clearly shows the division between the service quarters and the minister's living area.

Technological excellence or innovation, material or design quality

The former manse building has a relatively simple and unadorned design, but the architectural detailing is good for its late 19th century date and building type, and the external elevations are largely unaltered since the late 19th century. The building was designed and placed to fit amongst existing structures, and it retains a clear association with the immediately adjacent steading and walled garden.


The historic setting of the former manse is largely unchanged since the late 19th century, with the earlier steading and walled garden remaining in situ. The buildings stand within their own grounds, set back from the road, and surrounded by a shared boundary wall. The proximity of the parish church and graveyard also contributes to a historic, picturesque setting. The manse is intervisible with the church and graveyard and this functional association is also significant in listing terms.

Regional variations

The use of granite in building is characteristic of this region of Aberdeenshire.

Close Historical Associations

There are no known associations with a person or event of national importance at present (2017).

Other information

There are three remaining granite boundary stones, two of which were noted in the previous list description. One is to the centre rear of the steading, another is at the return angle of the boundary wall at the street elevation, and the third is located near the south corner of the southwest boundary, near the Gadie Burn.

The former manse, including steading, walled garden, boundary walls and gatepiers, Kirkton was previously listed as 'Kirkton of Premnay, former manse, including steading/stables, walled garden, gatepiers and boundary wall'.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

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