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Milton of Balgonie, Balfour Walled Garden with Garden House

A Category B Listed Building in Markinch, Fife

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Latitude: 56.1904 / 56°11'25"N

Longitude: -3.094 / 3°5'38"W

OS Eastings: 332203

OS Northings: 700286

OS Grid: NO322002

Mapcode National: GBR 2D.FT13

Mapcode Global: WH6RH.FNXR

Entry Name: Milton of Balgonie, Balfour Walled Garden with Garden House

Listing Date: 1 March 1996

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 389305

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB42988

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Markinch

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Glenrothes Central and Thornton

Parish: Markinch

Traditional County: Fife

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Possibly 18th century with 19th century additions. Rectangular plan walled garden, 100M x 100M, with 2 storey, crowstepped and piended garden house (apple house?) at SW corner and remains of (triumphal?) entrance archway beyond W boundary. Roughly coursed rubble and brick with flat ashlar coping and ashlar dressings. Segmental arched gateways.

WALLED GARDEN: S boundary with wide, segmental arched, architraved opening at centre with 5 small brick niches to right and to left on outer S side. Garden house (see below) to outer left.

N boundary with brick face to inner S side; timber door in depressed arch opening at centre with evidence of flanking ogee shaped buildings (conservatories?) and 3 further niches to each side. N side with variety of semi derelict lean to outbuildings.

W boundary with segmental arched opening at centre and further openings to outer right and left.

E boundary opening at centre partly demolished to allow entrance for cattle.

Archway beyond W boundary with centre opening below flat coped wallhead flanked by concave sloping wings.

GARDEN HOUSE: set into SW corner of garden, with later work.

W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: boarded timber door to right adjacent to corner with corbelled, coped ashlar stack(?) or blinded window(?), window to left with gabled dormerhead breaking eaves. Adjoining W boundary of garden at outer left.

S ELEVATION: window to right of centre at ground and to left of centre at 1st floor. Adjoining S boundary of garden at outer right.

E ELEVATION: window to centre at both floors.

N ELEVATION: door to outer right with window at centre ground and further window to right of centre at 1st floor. Brick wall adjoining at centre in poor condition.

No glazing remains. Grey slates. Coped ashlar stacks.

Statement of Interest

The estate originally belonged to a family which took its name as their surname; in 1360 Robert Bethune married the heiress and their descendants were the Bethunes or Beatons of Balfour. It was sold late 19th century to Charles Balfour of Balgonie and is now (1995) completely ruinous (demolished circa 1930). Oak panels from the dining room were taken to Newton Don House in Roxburghshire. According to Cunningham, Balfour House was known originally as the House of Orr, dated from 16th and 17th centuries, and in 1853 was incorporated into a Scots Baronial mansion designed by David Bryce. This is contradicted by Groome "The old House of Orr was situated at the junction of the Orr with the Leven, but the present house is near Milton of Balgonie" (p7). He also mentions the gallery with family portraits including Mary Beatoun, one of the ?Queen?s Maries?. A monogrammed stone dated 1353 situated above the porticoed entrance of Mountquhanie (circa 1820), near Cupar, is said to have come from Balfour house, the families being related by marriage. Owing to the early date, this is more likely to have originated from the House of Orr.

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