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Culross, Culross Manse

A Category B Listed Building in Culross, Fife

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.0582 / 56°3'29"N

Longitude: -3.626 / 3°37'33"W

OS Eastings: 298843

OS Northings: 686235

OS Grid: NS988862

Mapcode National: GBR 1R.Q7CM

Mapcode Global: WH5QP.8ZLK

Entry Name: Culross, Culross Manse

Listing Date: 12 January 1972

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 359806

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB23963

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Culross

County: Fife

Town: Culross

Electoral Ward: West Fife and Coastal Villages

Traditional County: Fife

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Culross

Description

Possibly 1637. Alterations, 1752. W wing added, 1824, William Stirling. 3-storey, rectangular-plan manse with advanced circular stairtower to centre W and later (1824) W wing creating L-plan. Coursed sandstone to original house; droved ashlar to later wing.

W (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: original house to right; ground floor window to far right; 1st floor and 2nd floor windows centred above. Lintel of 2nd floor window breaks eaves, surmounting pediment. Carved stone to left of 2nd floor window initialled 'M' and 'JD' (John Duncan) and dated '1762' and '1637'. Stairtower to left; ground floor door to W; 1st and 2nd floor windows above. Blocked door to S (former original entrance); changes in stonework above at 1st and 2nd floor. W elevation of W wing: blind window to centre (at present 1st floor level); segmental arch to blind window above; blind narrow round-headed window at gable apex.

N ELEVATION: W wing to right; 3 ground floor windows (2 to right are blind). 1st floor window to left; smaller window to right; blind small window to far right; centred above ground floor windows. 1st floor windows hug eaves. Slightly advanced gable of original house to left. Coursed masonry advanced at ground floor; sloping head; 2 blocked round-headed doorways. Taller section of masonry to right; vertical rubble section with coursed stone to right terminating in angle-roll quoin.

E ELEVATION: inserted (1966) bipartite window to ground floor left. Blocked 1st and 2nd floor windows to far left. Door to right of bipartite; ground, 1st and 2nd floor windows centred above one another to right of door and to far right of manse. 1st floor window lintel breaks eaves; shallow catslide dormer roof. Ground floor door to left of far right window; 1st floor window above left. Wall (scheduled monument) of former abbey church nave adjoins right quoin.

S ELEVATION: 2nd floor window to right. 1966 garage at ground floor connects with abbey remains. S elevation of W wing: 2 replacement ground floor windows; 2 1st and 2 2nd floor windows centred above. Lintel of 2nd floor window to left breaks eaves; surmounting pediment.

Timber panelled front door; timber boarded door and glazed door to E. Predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows. Pitched slate roof; crowsteps and eaves cornice to all gables. 3 joined chamfered stacks to each gable apex; polygonal clay cans. Conical slated roof to stairtower. Wallhead stack to N elevation to right; wallhead stack to E elevation to centre right.

INTERIOR: front door opens into former stairtower; former manse entrance (now window) from stair tower is directly opposite front door. Minton tiles to floor. Door to left opens into later W wing and provides access into manse. Dogleg stair opposite door in W wing; cast-iron balusters; timber handrail. Former kitchen to S room (in original house); fireplace to S gable wall; former door to left of fireplace led into scullery and wash-house (now garage). Walls of original manse are between 1 and 1 ? metres thick. Study at 1st floor, N room in original manse; timber floor boards; panelled window splays.

Statement of Interest

Also called The Abbey Manse. A-Group with Culross Abbey Church. The manse continues in use as such and the West wing ground floor room is used as a Sunday school room. Thought to have been built in 1637 when the northern part of the West range of the abbey was removed and the carved stone records this date. The original parish church (West Kirk, see separate List) had become derelict and redundant and in 1633 it was superseded by Culross Abbey Church. The manse stands on the site of the abbey cellarium and has 13th century walling to the N. The 2 blocked doorways in the N wall were the exit of the night-stair to the lay brother's dormitory (W door) and the Sunday morning processional door. The abbey remains to the S are not listed but are protected as a SCHEDULED MONUMENT. Changes to the manse may have taken place in 1762, the date recorded in the carved stone. The upper storey could have been raised, the carved stone inserted and crowsteps added (the crowsteps are omitted from Slezer's drawing but he depicts pitched dormer windows above the eaves). A redundant skewputt on the E elevation to the N and on the W elevation to the S indicate the position of the earlier roof level. The initials JD in the carved stone are thought to relate to John Duncan, a minister at Culross who died in 1655 (Cunningham). The West wing was added in 1824 by William Stirling, who also carried out alterations to the Abbey Church at about this time. It may have been at this time that the stairtower was altered internally and the original door to the S blocked up as the stair within the West wing gave access to the whole building. The ground floor openings in the N elevation of the W wing do not correspond with those in the S elevation, hence their being blind (the window to the left is the mid-level stair window). Since the ground to the N is at a higher level to that at the S, the windows may have been placed at this level for aesthetic purposes only, rather than indicating any changes in floor level.

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