History in Structure

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Manderston, Buxley, Dairy Tower with Unicorn Stair

A Category A Listed Building in Duns, Scottish Borders

We don't have any photos of this building yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »


Latitude: 55.7859 / 55°47'9"N

Longitude: -2.305 / 2°18'18"W

OS Eastings: 380968

OS Northings: 654773

OS Grid: NT809547

Mapcode National: GBR D1BJ.RR

Mapcode Global: WH8X2.KTLV

Entry Name: Manderston, Buxley, Dairy Tower with Unicorn Stair

Listing Date: 9 June 1971

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 389038

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB42510

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Duns

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Mid Berwickshire

Parish: Duns

Traditional County: Berwickshire

Find accommodation in


John Kinross, 1900. 2-stage Border pele tower with forestair, stair tower and cap house, adjoined to SE corner of dairy court (see separate listing). Sandstone rubble with droved ashlar dressings and part harling. Base course. Roll-moulded surrounds to openings. Deep, corbelled ashlar parapet with gablet coping and waterspouts.

FORESTAIR AND RECESS: encircling tower from S to W, stepping up over arcaded recess to W, with gablet coping to stone stair and carved armorial panel to half-way platt: W recess of 2 openings with squat columns and quasi-cushion relief carving to capitals, ornate cornucopia carving to central spandrel; heavy carving between columns to side wall; 2 decorative timber benches.

W ELEVATION: door at head of forestair to upper stage with shouldered surround jumping fleuron studs and with carved rose at centre; Miller crest carved to left of door; window above to right.

S ELEVATION: largely blank with window to upper stage at centre.

N ELEVATION: to dairy court. Door under cloister garth in ornate ogeed surround with carved fleuron and Miller motto carved on stone ribbon above. Stair tower projecting to left with gabled cap-house; narrow windows, 1 corniced, 1 ogee-arched, slab roofing and ridge finial.

E ELEVATION: deep base course; large window to lower stage at centre and smaller window off-centre left above; ashlar buttress to right carved with heraldic plaque.

Small-pane glazing to timber sash and case windows. Decorative lead hoppers and square downpipes. Boarded doors with decorative bronze handles. Leaded viewing platform.


MILK HOUSE: 3 x 3-bay, vaulted gothic interior in form of chapter-house, with marbles and alabaster from seven different countries, decoratively inlaid to floor, walls and bench of green marble. Stone groin-vault with carved boss at centre, of maid milking.

TEA ROOM: Tudor-gothic interior with built-in Spanish oak wall cupboards, ribbed geometric ceiling.

UNICORN STAIR: after stair to Old College, Glasgow University (except

2 unicorns instead of lion and unicorn). Flight of steps to S of dairy tower with decorative ashlar balustrade and panelled, ball-finialled dies at foot; dies at head of steps bearing lion and uniciorn statues, with lead horns and chains to cartouches.

Statement of Interest

Part of the Buxley A group. The unicorn stair is closely paralleled on that at Old College, Glasgow (demolished on the advent of the train), though here the guarding animals are a lion and a unicorn rather than two of the latter. The squat form of the tower, after examples such as Kirconnell Tower and Darnick Tower, was favoured by Kinross who designed similarly sturdy towers for his churches, St Peter?s Fraserburgh, and St Mary?s, Chapeltown. The arcaded seat recess echoes the form of covered walkways to laird?stown houses, such as Elchies House, Elgin, and the house (now altered) in Kirkgate, Leith. The Milk House form can be seen as inspired by the Chapter House at the Inchcolm Abbey and those of its ilk.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.