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Kingsmeadows House, Kingsmeadows Road, Peebles

A Category B Listed Building in Peebles, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.6473 / 55°38'50"N

Longitude: -3.1778 / 3°10'40"W

OS Eastings: 325973

OS Northings: 639931

OS Grid: NT259399

Mapcode National: GBR 6374.TF

Mapcode Global: WH6V5.5B02

Plus Code: 9C7RJRWC+WV

Entry Name: Kingsmeadows House, Kingsmeadows Road, Peebles

Listing Name: Kingsmeadows Road, Kingsmeadows House Including Terrace, Wall, Gazebo, Gate, Gatepiers and Boundary Wall

Listing Date: 26 October 2000

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 394739

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB47381

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Peebles

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Tweeddale East

Parish: Peebles

Traditional County: Peeblesshire

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Circa 1795 (for John Hay); additions, 1811 and extended to rear, 1855. 2-storey and basement classical country house with projecting porch and canted central bay. Droved pale ashlar with polished dressings; rear block and some returns whinstone rubble (harling removed, 2000) with tabbed pale sandstone margins. Eaves course and cornice. Skew gabled extension with overhanging moulded putts.

W (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: 2-storey and basement, 7-bay block from 1811. To centre, 7 stone steps flanked by ball finialled walls leading to projecting flat-roofed porch with cornice and blocking course; 2-leaf timber panelled door in moulded architrave flanked by paired Doric pilasters; 2 windows in stepped returns lighting vestibule. To 1st floor, semi-octagonal central bay with pyramidal roof; window to each canted side. Flanking to left and right: 3 regularly placed bays to basement (half-lights), ground and 1st floor; cill bands to ground and 1st floor; corniced windows in moulded surrounds to ground floor; eaves cornice.

S ELEVATION: to left of elevation (1811 block): late 19th century conservatory removed (circa 1960) and disabled access built, modern glazed door to ground; tripartite window with cill course and painted blind sidelights to 1st floor; bartizan/circular tourelle with finialled, fish-scale slated conical roof corbelled out at 1st floor re-entrant angle. To centre of elevation (concealing 1795 house): paired windows to left and right of basement; pair of irregular windows to ground floor left with corbelled course above, tripartite window to right; 2 bipartite windows to 1st floor; 3 regularly placed pedimented stone dormers to attic. To right of elevation (1855 extension): projecting gabled end, narrow window to centre of basement with larger windows to flanks; central window to ground floor; bipartite window to 1st floor. To left return, window to basement; blind to rest of elevation.

E (REAR) ELEVATION: 2-storey with basement and attic around U-plan former service court. To projecting left arm: lean-to concealing basement elevation with entrance door to right return. To main building, irregular fenestration. To right return of projection: window and door at basement level; to ground floor, irregular pair of windows; blind gable to rest of elevation. To recessed centre: altered fenestration with projecting 1st floor extension in right re-entrant angle, supported on SE angle piloti; pair of timber gabled attic dormers to main roofline. To projecting right arm: pedimented gable-end with long and short quoins, altered door to central ground floor accessed by ramp; high window to 1st floor left; apex stack.

N ELEVATION: to left, rendered 2-bay 1855 extension: corniced canted bay window to basement and ground floor; single window to basement bay window flanked by window on main elevation; to 1st floor, tripartite window in bay with single lights in flanking angles; 2 pedimented dormerheads to 1st floor breaking eaves. To centre of elevation (1795 house): later 2-storey corniced projecting squared bay with paired window to basement; tripartite window to ground floor; 3 windows in moulded surrounds to 1st floor of main house and 2 pedimented dormers to attic. To right of elevation, L-plan rear of 1811 main block: tripartite windows with painted blind sidelights to each storey of outer ashlar bay with polished band courses; blind whinstone elevation to left return leading to full height single bay extension in re-entrant angle; to left return, later lean-to porch with entrance door at basement level, adjoining central block bay window to left; to 1st floor, corbelled bartizan adjoining left return and linking into central block.

8-pane (4-pane to basement) glazing in timber sash and case windows to principal elevation; plate glass sash and case windows to other elevations. Piended and graded grey slate roof; fish-scale detail to conical bartizans; mansard roof to original house. Lead ridging, flashing and valleys. Painted cast-iron rainwater goods with some decorative hoppers. Ashlar stacks with projecting neck copes and plain cans to most; some semi-harled stacks to rear with projecting quoins.

INTERIOR: oval entrance hall with coved ceiling and hexagonal stone flags. Curved cantilevered stair with cast-iron balusters and rosewood handrail. Suite of rooms along N side has ornate plasterwork and marble chimneypieces; that in former 'Conference Room' with Greek key pattern frieze and incorporates marble statues (from another source) lion in frieze and classical figures in flanking niches. Late 19th century Rococo brass door furniture.

TERRACE WALL: divides N side of forecourt from sloped riverside site: base course of coursed whinstone rubble facing river with formal ashlar wall surmounting; pilaster supports carrying ball finials.

GAZEBO: ruins of octagonal gazebo (shown on 1856 OS map), partly complete to wallhead, in trees to E of house. Squared and snecked whinstone rubble with pale sandstone margins. Tabbed windows (now blind), round-headed at 1st floor.

GATE, GATEPIERS AND BOUNDARY WALL: later 19th century entrance of recessed rectangular-plan, comprising: reset 2-leaf wrought-iron gate, ornate spearhead bars with alternate spearhead and plain dogbars; central thistle finial apparent when gate closed. Pair of square ashlar gatepiers with chamfered angles and pyramidal caps; adjoining much later coursed rubble right-angle walls. Further pair of squared ashlar piers terminating coped rubble boundary wall to outer elevations and adjoining later wall to rear elevations.

Statement of Interest

The house was built in 1795 at a cost of £600 for Sir John Hay of Smithfield and Haystoun, an Edinburgh banker and son of Dr Hay. He was apprenticed to and eventually a partner of his brother-in-law Sir William Forbes. He had married in 1785, but by 1811 had to extend the house to accommodate the growing family; they had 15 children. After his death, the house passed to his son John, who died without issue. This second son, Sir Adam was also a banker for Forbes and under his possession, the estate and house grew. In 1855 a rear addition was added which saw the original house become concealed between later additions; he also added the pilastered entrance porch. Further work occurred in 1890 with the Baronialisation of parts of the house. A stable block (listed separately in Peebles Burgh) can be found in the grounds; it complements the gazebo and formal garden plan. The house was bought in 1920 by Harry Nelson Mitchell of Stephen Mitchell Tobacco (founders of the Mitchell Library). It was used as an emergency maternity hospital during the 2nd World War. In 1952 it was acquired by the Standard Life as a temporary office in case of nuclear attack and used to store duplicates of key records. Major repair work was carried out in 1996, when the house was divided into self-catering holiday units and conference facilities; further refurbishment was carried out in 2000. The house is now privately owned and stands in nearly 15 acres of landscaped grounds, on the S bank of the Tweed.

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