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School Wynd, Mornington Cottage and Museum of Abernethy

A Category C Listed Building in Abernethy, Perth and Kinross

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Latitude: 56.3339 / 56°20'1"N

Longitude: -3.3123 / 3°18'44"W

OS Eastings: 318961

OS Northings: 716495

OS Grid: NO189164

Mapcode National: GBR 23.4ZT9

Mapcode Global: WH6QT.22Z6

Plus Code: 9C8R8MMQ+G3

Entry Name: School Wynd, Mornington Cottage and Museum of Abernethy

Listing Date: 5 October 1971

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 356085

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB20882

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Abernethy

County: Perth and Kinross

Town: Abernethy

Electoral Ward: Almond and Earn

Traditional County: Perthshire

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Mornington Cottage is a late 18th/early 19th century, 2-storey, 3-bay, rectangular plan house. It is constructed in rubble with harl pointing and has droved red long and short dressings. The roof is pitched and has grey slates and coped chimney stacks with cans on each gable. There are straight skews and the skewputts have an unusual floral circular pattern. Adjoining the south gable is a pedestrian gateway with a lintel inscribed with initials and '1757'. To the rear of the cottage is a single storey, monopitched outshot with rubble walls and it is open on the north side.

Adjoining the north gable of the cottage is a single storey with attic former stables and byre which was converted to a museum in 2000. It is constructed in rubble and has irregular openings. Some of the openings have been added as part of the conversion of the building to a museum, and the windows, doors and droved red dressings are replacements. To the right is a shallow arched cart opening with a 2-leaf timber boarded door. The roof is piended and has grey slates. The east roof pitch has later rooflights. At the rear is a stairtower which was added as part of the museum conversion.

Statement of Interest

Mornington Cottage and former stable and byre are a good survival of pre-1840 traditionally constructed buildings. Located at the centre of Abernethy, they group well with other traditional buildings. The cottage and stables were service buildings for Mornington House and they help us understand the social history of this small rural burgh in the early 19th century. Mornington Cottage has some interesting decorative features, such as the carved skewputts and the lintel with an inscription over the pedestrian gateway. The former stable has had a greater degree alteration following its conversion to a museum but its former use still remains visible.

Age and Rarity

Mornington cottage and stable is likely to date to the late 18th or early 19th century. They were built to serve Mornington House, which lies to the northeast of the cottage and stable. The properties are described in the Ordnance Survey name book of 1859-1862 as 'a large self-contained house with extensive stables out offices and gardens attached, adjoining the north side of the graveyard… and is occupied by the proprietor Dr. [Doctor] Guthrie'. Doctor Robert Guthrie was a surgeon in the Royal Navy.

The cottage is built in whinstone and the stables is built in random rubble. This would suggest that the cottage and stables may have been built at different times. On stylistic evidence, the architecture of Mornington cottage, with evenly spaced openings and first floor windows set close to the eaves, indicates the building likely dates to around the early 19th century and likely before 1840. There is, however, a date of 1757 in the lintel of the pedestrian gateway adjoining the cottage. This suggests that the cottage may have fabric from the mid 18th century. Charing can be seen on some of the walls of the cottage which may have been damaged by fire and was possibly rebuilt.

Mornington cottage and stable are shown on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map (surveyed 1860). The 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey Map (surveyed 1898) shows that the single storey outshot at the rear of Mornington Cottage has been added by this date, and with the exception of the stairtower, which was added as part of the museum works, the footprint of the cottage and former stable is largely unchanged from that shown on this map.

Abernethy is a historic settlement. Known to have been occupied since Pictish times, it was made a burgh of barony in 1459. By the early 19th century it was a weaving and salmon-fishing centre. On late 18th century and early 19th century maps (such as those by Stobie, Thomson and Knox) the village of Abernethy is shown as a main street with a church to the north. The early 19th century maps also show the triangular cross from which School Wynd (previously Steeple Wynd) extends. Many of the buildings at the centre of this village date to the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

In the late 20th century the former stable and byre was converted to the museum of Abernethy. As well as the addition of some new openings and a new stair tower at the rear, the windows and doors and the dressings have all been replaced.

While there have been some alterations, Mornington cottage and former stable and byre are a good survival of simple traditional buildings which group well with others.

Architectural or Historic Interest


The interior of the cottage has been comprehensively altered and no traditional fixtures and fittings were seen at the visit (2016).

The former stable retains some traditional features, such as the internal stone walls and an area of cobbled floor. There is also a fireplace in the north gable of Mornington cottage at attic level, and this indicates that this part of the building was likely to have been the accommodation for a coachman, as it is above the cart arch opening. The survival of these features indicate the former use of the building and are of some interest.

Plan form

With the exception of the stairtower, the footprint of the building is largely unchanged from that shown on the 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey. Some internal walls have been retained in the museum, however later partitions and a new attic floor has been added and the plan form is not considered to be typical for a building of this date and type.

Technological excellence or innovation, material or design quality

The street elevation of the cottage retains its classical proportions and an intact roofline including both of its end chimney stacks. The windows have been replaced but those to the street elevation follow a traditional glazing pattern. The decorative skew ends and the inscribed lintel are of particular interest.

The former stable has had a greater degree of exterior alterations and new fabric. However the former function of the building continues to be seen in the small attic windows and the arched opening for carts.


Mornington cottage and former stable are located close to the centre of this rural burgh. Mornington House (which is not listed) survives to the northwest and can be seen from the rear of these buildings, continuing to show the historical relationship between them.

In the late 20th century some houses have been constructed on School Wynd but overall the setting of Mornington cottage and stables remains largely as that shown on the 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey Map (surveyed 1898).

The building is located in a conservation area.

Regional variations

There are no known regional variations.

Close Historical Associations

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

Statutory address and listed building record updated in 2017. Previously listed as 'School Wynd, Mornington Cottage and Museum Of Abernethy'.

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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