History in Structure

Shank House

A Category C Listed Building in Borthwick, Midlothian

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Latitude: 55.839 / 55°50'20"N

Longitude: -3.0645 / 3°3'52"W

OS Eastings: 333432

OS Northings: 661149

OS Grid: NT334611

Mapcode National: GBR 701X.BQ

Mapcode Global: WH6T7.WHXM

Plus Code: 9C7RRWQP+H6

Entry Name: Shank House

Listing Name: Shank Garden, Including Walled Garden and Remains of Shank House

Listing Date: 19 March 1998

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 392006

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB45185

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200392006

Location: Borthwick

County: Midlothian

Electoral Ward: Midlothian South

Parish: Borthwick

Traditional County: Midlothian

Tagged with: House

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Dated 1758 and 1880, with later additions. L-plan house comprising single storey and attic 3-bay principal block with single storey 3-bay wing projecting to rear clasping single storey lean-to in re-entrant angle. Harl-pointed rubble walls with droved sandstone ashlar dressings. Base course; chamfered reveals to window margins; relieving arches to ground floor; shouldered openings to attic floor.

SW (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: symmetrical; modern infilled former entrance door to centre of ground floor, with keystone dated 1758 centring lintel; windows to flanking bays. Framed datestone reading RD 1880 centred over doorway; gabled stone dormerheads to dormers breaking eaves to outer bays of attic floor. Rubble garden wall adjoining elevation to left.


NE ELEVATION: single storey wing advanced to right with modern openings to left return, regular fenestration to right return; window to centre of single storey lean-to with cat-slide roof to re-entrant angle to left; modern entrance porch to re-entrant angle to outer left.

NW ELEVATION: gable of principal block to right with single window off centre to left of ground floor; rubble-infilled window to right of attic floor; irregular fenestration to rear wing extending to left.

Predominantly 4-pane timber sash and case windows. Grey slate roof with overhanging timber eaves and exposed rafter ends to principal roof and rear wings; decorative bargeboards with incised quatrefoils to principal roof and timber-finialled dormers; red clay ridge tiles to rear wing. Coped and harled gablehead stacks with octagonal cans, single-flue harled wallhead stack to lean-to wing. Cast iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: not seen 1997.

WALLED GARDEN: 3-sided, walls to NE, NW and SW of house. Random rubble, repaired in places. Infilled doorway with chamfered reveals and polished raised margins to centre of NE and NW walls; NW wall recessed to right with infilled doorway to right return. Remains of Shank House (see below) to W of SW wall.

REMAINS OF SHANK HOUSE: to W of SW wall of walled garden (see above). SE and SW walls survive of regularly fenestrated, 2 storey, 4 bay house. Pink sandstone rubble with polished dressings. Raised margins with chamfered reveals; relieving arches; long and short quoins.

Statement of Interest

The walled garden at Shank's importance in Scottish garden history stems from it being the place where John Reid wrote "The Scots Gard'ner" (1683), which was the first gardening book to be written by a Scot with Scottish conditions in mind. The garden, which belonged to Arniston House (see separate listing), is now under private ownership and operates as a commercial garden centre. Interest in the site is further increased by the remains of Shank House (possibly dating from the 17th century), which, according to the New Statistical Account (p175-176), was built either by the Duke of Argyll or the Earl of Bute, and was reputedly the residence of many eminent gentlemen before it fell into ruins.

External Links

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