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Auchenhard House Including Summerhouse and Gatepiers

A Category B Listed Building in Livingston, West Lothian

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.8543 / 55°51'15"N

Longitude: -3.6064 / 3°36'23"W

OS Eastings: 299534

OS Northings: 663516

OS Grid: NS995635

Mapcode National: GBR 308R.07

Mapcode Global: WH5RV.K3WT

Entry Name: Auchenhard House Including Summerhouse and Gatepiers

Listing Date: 31 January 2003

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 396648

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49089

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Livingston

County: West Lothian

Electoral Ward: Fauldhouse and the Breich Valley

Traditional County: West Lothian

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Blackburn

Description

Later 18th century single storey and attic on raised basement, 3-bay, plain classical villa in derelict state (2003). Coursed ashlar to S; coursed rubble to E, N and W. Ashlar string courses; eaves course; stone cills; droved ashlar quoins and window surrounds. Central stair to pedimented entrance.

S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: slightly advanced central pedimented bay with in-filled flying-arch splayed stair, round arched doorway with keystone; flanking windows to raised basement and ground floor. Remains of former boundary wall adjoining to right.

E ELEVATION: central doorway to basement connected to semi-derelict brick-built out buildings. Attic-floor window off-centre right; flanking owl holes.

N (REAR) ELEVATION: central long round arched stair window; flanking windows to raised basement and ground floor. Central cast-iron rooflight.

W ELEVATION: central ground floor window. Attic-floor window off-centre left; flanking owl holes.

Windows missing. Pitched slate roof; straight ashlar skews; coped ashlar gablehead stacks; circular clay cans.

INTERIOR: derelict but with remnants of original fittings including stone spiral staircase to rear of plan; plain moulded cornices and architraves; panelled doors and shutters; stone fireplaces to basement.

SUMMERHOUSE: single storey mono-pitched summerhouse. Random rubble, droved margins; crowstepped. Plain gable to N and S. Central timber boarded door to E, flanked by arrow slits. Concave profile to W.

GATEPIERS: 3 square-plan ashlar early 19th century gatepiers with pyramidal caps next to gatelodge at main road. 2 droved round-headed gatepiers leading to former flower garden and Gothick tower to S of house.

Statement of Interest

B-Group with Auchenhard Tower AND Auchenhard Farmhouse (see separate listings). Although unoccupied since the 1960s with a derelict interior (2003), this house is one of a select number of late 18th century buildings still remaining in West Lothian and unusually displays a relatively elaborate and unspoilt designed landscape in relation to its modest scale. Also on the same lands are a picturesque Gothick tower to S set on the edge of a former flower garden, an ornamental pond to the SE, and an ornamental stone summerhouse set closer to the farmhouse. The remains of a former terraced formal garden lies on a clear axis to the S of the farmhouse building. The farmhouse and steading were probably designed to complement the existing Auchenhard House. The farmhouse is a large yet refined early 19th century building and displays a grander design than would have normally been required. A U-shaped steading adjoins the farmhouse to the rear. There is a gatelodge (much altered) at the main road and to the W of the central avenue lies enclosed parkland or pasture, to the E is arable land. Another summerhouse appears on the 1st edition OS map to William Augustus Cunynghame, 4th Bart who was MP the SW of Auchenhard Tower; however this structure (probably made of wood) no longer exists. Small yet carefully designed, this estate originally formed a minor part of the Cunynghame of Milcraig and Livingston estates and was probably established during baronetcy of Sir William Augustus Cunynghame, 4th Bart who was MP for Linlithgowshire (1774-90) and founder of the Linlithgowshire and Stirlingshire Hunt. Linlithgow Cess Book of 1790 names Sir William as proprietor of Auchenhard. The 1799 estate map of Livingston by Bauchope omits Auchenhard indicating that it was probably sold on by this date. Successive owners included Alexander Wilkie (1806) and David Alston (1809). At the death of Sir William in 1828, the Livingston estates as well as Auchenhard were acquired by the Earl of Rosebery. Subsequently the land was tenanted until it was acquired in 1868 by the famous chemist, James (Paraffin) Young (developer of the shale oil industry) who became the owner and occupier while he was building the Addiewell Oil Works which came into production around this time. Young also owned the early 19th century farmhouse and both houses remained in his possession until his death in 1883, after which time the houses remained in the ownership of Young's Paraffin Light and Mineral Oil Company. The oil company occupied the ground floor of both houses; the upper floors of Auchenhard House was tenanted by the Free Church and used as a manse. Coincidentally, the farmhouse, also known as the new mansion house, was tenanted by the Established Church. When the Established and Free churches merged in 1929, the older house ceased to be the Free Church manse. In 1931 the farmhouse was no longer in use as the Manse. Matthew Thomson, bricklayer tenanted Auchenhard House until 1961-62 when the house ceased to be occupied. Both Auchenhard House and Auchenhard Farmhouse (2002) were tenanted by the family of the current owner since the 1960s and were purchased outright in the early 1980s from Scottish Oils (formerly Young's Paraffin Light and Mineral Oil Company).

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