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4 Tower Knowe, Hawick

A Category B Listed Building in Hawick, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.4213 / 55°25'16"N

Longitude: -2.7887 / 2°47'19"W

OS Eastings: 350177

OS Northings: 614433

OS Grid: NT501144

Mapcode National: GBR 85ZR.1F

Mapcode Global: WH7XG.4ZBW

Plus Code: 9C7VC6C6+GG

Entry Name: 4 Tower Knowe, Hawick

Listing Name: 4 Tower Knowe

Listing Date: 16 March 1971

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 378919

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB34625

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Hawick

County: Scottish Borders

Town: Hawick

Electoral Ward: Hawick and Hermitage

Traditional County: Roxburghshire

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David Rhind, 1852, with 1935 extension. 3-storey, 5-bay, palazzo-style, piend-roofed former bank with fine Classical detailing; 3 central bays advanced, later recessed bay to outer right, basement level to left overlooking Slitrig Water. Polished yellow sandstone ashlar to principal elevations; tooled yellow sandstone ashlar and some render to rear. Base course; fascia band with dentilled cornice; floreate wallhead frieze with dentils; deep, modillioned eaves cornice. Raised, long and short quoins. Round-arched windows at ground and 1st floors with raised guilloche margins flanked by pilasters with scrolled consoles and lion-head capitals supporting dentilled cornices; shouldered architraves to 2nd-floor windows. 3 stone steps to 2-leaf, timber-panelled front door in right-hand bay of advanced central section, with semicircular decorative fanlight and flanked by columns supporting Doric entablature; 3 stone steps to 2-leaf, timber-panelled secondary door in plain architrave to outer right bay.

Plate glass in timber sash and case windows to ground and 1st floors; 4-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows to 2nd floor; stained glass to ground-floor windows at rear (see NOTES). 4 corniced ashlar wallhead stacks with circular buff clay cans. Grey slate roof.

INTERIOR: Former banking hall: glazed inner door with double fanlight; herringbone-pattern parquet floor; decorative cornices; moulded architraves; some timber panelling around windows; raised N section reached through broad basket arch supported by Tuscan Doric columns on deep pedestals flanking 3 steps. Some black-and-white glazed ceramic wall tiling and large, built-in metal cabinets to basement.

Statement of Interest

A fine example of a mid-19th-century, palazzo-style regional bank, built for the Commercial Bank and designed by the prominent bank architect David Rhind, occupying a commanding position at the heart of Hawick and forming a strong terminus to the older end of the High Street.

David Rhind was born in Edinburgh in 1808 and commenced practice there in 1828. His first commissions were for the Commercial Bank, probably through family connections, and he became the bank's official architect after designing their new Head Office building in George Street, Edinburgh in 1843. He designed virtually all the branch offices opened by the bank between then and his death in 1883, most of them being in a palazzo form, and the earlier ones being very similar to those of his pupil John Dick Peddie for the Royal Bank (which has led to a misattribution of this building to Peddie in some sources). This formed the bedrock of his practice, but he also carried out commissions for other commercial and church buildings. Most of his works carry richly carved stone detailing.

The building cost £2573 19s 6d. The work was carried out by local builders John Harkness and the mason responsible for the fine stonework was Alexander Pirnie (1825-79). Pirnie was Edinburgh-born and was apprenticed to a stonemason in Kirkliston in 1841, but settled in Hawick after a brief return to central Edinburgh to work for the architectural practice of Peddie & Kinnear in the early 1850s. He spent the rest of his life living in the Wilton area.

The motifs in the stained-glass windows to the rear of the former banking hall include the bank's coat of arms, two crossed keys with the initials 'CB' (Commercial Bank), and an accounts ledger.

The interior detailing dates from circa 1930 and is by Scott Morton & Co, an interior design and furnishings firm founded in Glasgow by William Scott Morton (1840-1903). The firm had offices throughout Britain, and commissions for its very high-quality output came from as far afield as the USA and Australia. The scrolled pediments above the doors in the former banking hall appear to be a late-20th-century addition. There is evidence of hinges of a massive safe door in the basement, as well as remnants of a secure door by 'John Tann's Reliance' of 17 Newgate Street, London between the former banking hall and the adjacent close.

The Ordnance Survey Town Plan (1857) shows the building lacking the north-west bay which now contains the door to the stairs leading to the upper storeys, but instead adjoining a perhaps earlier building tapering away to that side. The latter seems to have been removed and replaced by the existing bay by the time of the 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey map (1897). List description revised following resurvey (2008).

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