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Latitude: 56.0586 / 56°3'30"N
Longitude: -3.6264 / 3°37'35"W
OS Eastings: 298817
OS Northings: 686271
OS Grid: NS988862
Mapcode National: GBR 1R.Q787
Mapcode Global: WH5QP.8ZD9
Entry Name: Culross, Parleyhill House Including Boundary Walls
Listing Date: 12 January 1972
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 359810
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB23967
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: West Fife and Coastal Villages
Traditional County: Fife
Possibly 1650, single storey, E wing; 1724 2-storey and attic, 3-bay, rectangular-plan house. Decorative doorpiece; curvilinear gables. Rendered; ashlar band and cavetto eaves course; ashlar surrounds to windows and quoins.
S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: central door; corniced, moulded, lugged architrave; scrolled brackets. Flanking windows; 3 1st floor windows centred above. Single storey wing to right; window to left; door to right; raised surround to door; tiny window to right of door. W skewputt carved with shield and dated '1724'.
W ELEVATION: ground floor window to right; 1st floor window centred above with splayed surround. 2 horizontal oval attic windows.
N ELEVATION: 1st floor window to left; splayed surrounds. Smaller 1st floor window to right; small central ground floor window. Single storey wing to left; window to right; window to left (inserted circa 1994); advanced modern (circa 1994) extension to far left; window and door in right return.
ELEVATION: plain elevation.
Predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows. Slight chamfer to principal elevation window surrounds. Timber panelled door. Pitched roof; clay pantiles; slate easing course. Decorative curvilinear gables to 2-storey house; scroll skewputts. Coped gable apex stacks; circular clay cans. Gable apex stack to E to single storey wing; polygonal clay can.
INTERIOR: modernised later 20th century.
Tall rubble sandstone walls with ashlar coping stones and gatepiers to W. S wall from gate sweeps down slightly to curve eastwards towards Geddes House; N wall follows road towards West Lodge.
The attic windows provide the explanation for the nickname given to Parleyhill House, 'House of the Evil Eyes'. Culross' contact with Europe through trade links is reflected in some of its architecture including the curvilinear Dutch gables here. The name Parley Hill takes its origins from Parlor Hill, the area immediately to the west of the Abbey, where monks, relatives and other lay people would meet in the outer parlour (RCAHMS). Parleyhill House was a farm with a cattle yard to the rear. The earlier, single storey wing may have extended eastwards into the dip in the adjacent garden of Geddes House, however there is no evidence of this now. The wing may have been a buttery at one time (owner's information). The taller windows without splays are possibly about 100 years later than the original splayed windows. There was a small, interior timber spiral staircase to the rear which gave access to the attic, this was removed during later 20th century alterations. There are a number of theories for the oval windows including Parleyhill House being used as a look-out for excise men to watch smugglers.
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