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Duff House Mausoleum

A Category A Listed Building in Banff, Aberdeenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.6542 / 57°39'15"N

Longitude: -2.5371 / 2°32'13"W

OS Eastings: 368043

OS Northings: 862826

OS Grid: NJ680628

Mapcode National: GBR N83H.DF6

Mapcode Global: WH8LW.0W42

Entry Name: Duff House Mausoleum

Listing Date: 22 February 1972

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 357436

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB21988

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Banff

County: Aberdeenshire

Town: Banff

Electoral Ward: Banff and District

Traditional County: Banffshire

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Description

1790, rectangular Gothick mausoleum and re-sited late 17th century tomb.

MAUSOLEUM: Single storey over burial vault, rectangular mausoleum; long 3-bay elevatons N and S, 2-bay return gables. Sneck harled rubble, tooled and polished ashlar dressings and margins. All bays and corners defined by engaged cluster columns; pointed-headed doorway approached by short flight of steps in centre of N elevation. Fine cast and wrought-iron gate incorporating complex designs of foliage, anthemion, rosettes, Earl's coronet and monogram JF. Entrance flanked by windows; further 3 windows in long S elevation and 2 in each return gable, all unglazed windows screened with heavy moulded ashlar astragals, each rectangular void infilled with cusped fillet, upper lights with intersecting tracery.

Deep quatrefoil detailed Coade stone frieze below eaves; 2 wallhead Coade stone crocketted pinnacles survive (out of 10). Piended slate roof.

INTERIOR: simple, elegant plaster walled interior, each window framed with moulded ashlar jambs with blocked imposts and depressed ogee lintels. Similar jambs define sites of marble mural memorials.

TOMB: Resited against centre of S elevation round-headed mural tomb with recumbent figure. Table tomb decorated with panels, left to right: crossbones interspersed with ears of corn, signs of mortality and re-birth, text, memento mori, saltire. Text of 1790 placed over that of late 17th century latin text, see NOTES.

Statement of Interest

A-Group with Duff House, Fife Gates, Walled Garden, Collie Lodge, Mausoleum, Ice House, Bridge Gates House and the Eagles Gate Lodge. Mausoleum constructed in l790 by James, 2nd Earl of Fife, whose monogram is incorporated in the fine iron gates closing the mausoleum. These gates probably made in the Banff Foundry (James Fraser, founder). The re-sited tomb was supposed to be that of Robert the Bruce and was taken to give spurious antiquity to the recently established (1759) Earldom of Fife. It was however, taken from Banff burial ground (old St Mary s) along with 2 others from Cullen. The latter have been returned to Cullen Kirk, the former is the tomb of a 17th century Provost Douglas of Banff. The original latin inscription (covered by that of 1790 until it slipped in 1997) can be translated as: Beneath this mausoleum, in the hope of the blessed Resurrection, lies the body of Mr Alexander Duff of the Dunes, doctor of medicine, provost of Banff and sheriff of Banffshire, who yielded to the Fates on 9 October, 1663, to whose memory his dearest daughters, Isobel and Christiana, and also Walter Lesley of Tullich, husband of said Christiana, have assumed responsibility for offering a solemn filial sacrifice by setting up this very sarcophagos. 1790 inscription above tomb reads: This mausoleum is erected on the place where stood a chapel dedicated to the Blessed Virgin by King Robert the Bruce MCCCXXIV. The adjacent grounds were also.. (?gifted).. by his Royal Charter for the building and support of a monastery of the holy brethren of Mount Carmel . It is not known who designed this most unusual late l8th century essay in the Gothick style. Mausoleum formerly listed in Banff Parish.

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