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Netherbyres House

A Category B Listed Building in Ayton, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.865 / 55°51'54"N

Longitude: -2.0934 / 2°5'36"W

OS Eastings: 394250

OS Northings: 663540

OS Grid: NT942635

Mapcode National: GBR F0TM.KD

Mapcode Global: WH9XX.TV95

Plus Code: 9C7VVW84+2J

Entry Name: Netherbyres House

Listing Name: Netherbyres House Including Boundary Walls and Gatepiers

Listing Date: 28 September 1999

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 393775

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB46460

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Ayton

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: East Berwickshire

Parish: Ayton

Traditional County: Berwickshire

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George Angus, 1834-35; extended, 1860s; rear addition, 1930s; further additions and alterations. 2-storey with basement and attic, 3-bay (4-bay at ground), fine near-symmetrical, Tudor Jacobean gabled house (grouped 1-1-1) with later 2-storey, 2-bay gabled wing slightly recessed to outer left forming near L-plan; later single storey with basement, flat-roofed addition at rear forming near U-plan. Coursed cream sandstone ashlar to front and side (SW) elevations; painted harl to rear and side (NE) elevations; sandstone ashlar dressings. Base course; decorative sandstone bargeboards to outer gables original house. Predominantly architraved and chamfered surrounds to openings (plain chamfered in part); various sandstone and timber mullions; chamfered cills; stepped hoodmoulds to original block.

SE (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: original 3-bay block to right with entrance stair centred in gabled bay off-set to left of centre comprising sandstone treads, low arcaded side walls, panelled and corniced newels with surmounting urn-shaped finials. Stair accessing tripartite entrance centred at ground with 2-leaf timber panelled door, plate glass fanlight, shouldered surround, large side-lights; stepped, full-width hoodmould encompassing central coat-of-arms; single window aligned at 1st floor; small attic light centred in finialled gablehead. Tripartite window centred at ground (narrow side-lights); projecting oriel with carved pediment aligned at 1st floor (between flanking bargeboards, within curvilinear, finialled gablehead). Gabled bay to outer right with single windows in both bays at ground; small single window centred at 1st floor; small attic light centred in finialled gablehead. Later 2-bay wing recessed to left with single windows at both floors to right; bipartite windows in gabled projection slightly advanced to outer left; carved panel aligned above; surmounting finial.

NE (SIDE) ELEVATION: 4-bay. Full-height, single bay gabled projection off-set to right of centre with timber door centred at ground; single windows aligned at 1st and 2nd floors. Single windows at basement in flanking bays; large, tripartite windows aligned at ground (timber mullions); gabled windows breaking eaves above. Single window at basement off-set to left of centre. Basement window in bay to outer left; large, tripartite window off-set to right at 1st floor; gabled window breaking eaves above.

NW (REAR) ELEVATION: original 3-bay block to left with stair accessing projecting entrance centred at ground comprising timber panelled door, 2-pane fanlight, flanking side-lights, full-width, stepped hoodmould; projecting pedimented window centred at 1st floor (between flanking bargeboards, within curvilinear, finialled gablehead). Gabled bays flanking centre with bipartite windows in canted basements; canted windows aligned at ground with strapwork detailing to parapets; single windows aligned at 1st floor; small attic lights centred in finialled gableheads. Irregularly fenestrated later wing recessed to right with full-height, ogee-roofed, square-plan tower off-set to left of centre. Flat-roofed projection to outer right with 2-leaf timber door and single window at basement; bipartite window centred at ground. Screen wall linking original block and flat-roofed addition with central boarded timber door; shoulder-arched surround; surmounting curvilinear gable.

SW (SIDE) ELEVATION: 2-bay wing to right with 3 single windows at basement; single windows at both floors in both bays above. Bipartite window centred at ground in flat-roofed addition to outer left; irregularly-spaced basement lights below.

Various timber sash and case and casement windows; stained and leaded stair window at rear. Grey slate roof; stone-coped skews; various skewputts. Corniced ridge, wallhead and apex stacks with grouped, square-plan flues; octagonal flues with barley twist and chequered detailing; circular and octagonal cans. Decorative rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: converted for use as residential home. Timber panelled doors; corniced surrounds. Plain timber skirting boards; timber dado rails; decorative cornices; compartmental ceilings; various fireplaces. Galleried, rectangular-plan stair hall comprising central T-plan stair with timber treads, timber balustrades and handrails; central stair window; regularly-spaced consoled brackets beneath upper gallery; stylised Jacobean pendant ceiling with central rectangular cupola. Remainder not seen 1998.

BOUNDARY WALLS AND GATEPIERS: arched coping to heavily-pointed rubble walls enclosing site. Square-plan, coursed cream sandstone piers flanking main entrance to N; plain caps; gates missing. Stop-chamfered, square-plan, coursed cream sandstone gatepiers flanking entrance to S; corniced caps; gates missing.

Statement of Interest

B Group comprises 'Netherbyres House', 'Netherbyres House, The Coach House & Stable Courtyard' and 'Netherbyres House, Walled Garden' - see separate list entries. Owned and occupied by the Gardeners' Royal Benevolent Society (1998). Noted in the OS Name Book as "a neat built mansion pleasantly situated at the edge of the Eye Water." The earlier, more decorative part of this house was commissioned by Captain Sir Samuel Brown, one of the most significant engineers of his time, renowned for his "..manufacture and construction of chain cables and suspension-bridges" and in particular for his "...beautiful chain bridge over the Tweed at Paxton..." (NEW STATISTICAL ACCOUNT). Brown acquired the Netherbyres estate in 1833, and having considered the possibility of extending the existing house (GD416/33/1), had it demolished the following year in favour of a new design by the Edinburgh-based architect, George Angus. A new north approach to this "...splendid mansion house" (NSA) was then created via a suspension bridge across the Eye Water (itself demolished in 1929). In 1850, Netherbyres was sold to John Ramsey L'Amy, husband of Mary, daughter of William Mitchell-Innes of Ayton Castle (see separate list entry). Some time in the 1860s, L'Amy added the simpler wing to the side of the house, supposedly for his 2 maiden sisters. Despite the flat-roofed, 1930s rear addition, little appears to have changed since the later 19th century. The nearby walled garden (still associated with the house), remains a fine and rare example of a mathematically devised, elliptical enclosure.

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