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Fordell Estate, Pitadro House Including Sundial, Fountain and Gatepiers

A Category B Listed Building in Inverkeithing, Fife

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.0549 / 56°3'17"N

Longitude: -3.3754 / 3°22'31"W

OS Eastings: 314441

OS Northings: 685522

OS Grid: NT144855

Mapcode National: GBR 21.QHNJ

Mapcode Global: WH6S4.32YL

Entry Name: Fordell Estate, Pitadro House Including Sundial, Fountain and Gatepiers

Listing Date: 27 March 2003

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 396734

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49164

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Inverkeithing

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay

Traditional County: Fife

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Description

Dated 1855. Single storey and attic, 5-bay T-plan gardener's cottage and bothy (now converted to single dwelling). Narrow coursed squared and stugged sandstone; droved ashlar belfry and dormers; droved ashlar dressings; tooled quoins with droved rybats. Gabled dormers; diamond-pane leaded windows; overhanging bracketed eaves; heraldic carving to S.

S (GARDEN FRONT) ELEVATION: symmetrical elevation. Central advanced gable; ground floor 4-light canted window, moulded openings; hoodmoulded and architraved window above. Raised-carving monogram and date 'GWMH / 1855' set in shield to gablehead; finialed gable. Flanking recessed bays, gabled and finialed porches to re-entrant angles with chamfered and hoodmoulded door openings. Ground floor windows and gabled dormers breaking eaves with heraldic carving of naked fist holding flower and albatross to outer bays. Cast-iron rooflight to left of right-hand dormer.

E ELEVATION: plain gable.

N (REAR) ELEVATION: central slated lean-to shed (former outside toilet) with timber boarded door to right return. Timber panel and glazed door to right, another door opening to far right blocked with timber and glazed panel. Tripartite window to left of shed, window to far left. 2 breaking eaves gabled dormers to centre; flanking small Velux roof-lights.

W ELEVATION: corbelled canted lancet-arched belfry to attic floor with cast-iron bell, fleur-de-lis finial above.

Diamond-paned leaded windows with timber cross-mullioned frames (most lower window panes replaced with plate glass); modern timber glazed doors. Pitched roof; graded grey slates; narrow bargeboards, deep bracketed eaves; corniced ashlar gablehead stacks, central corniced ashlar ridge stack; circular clay cans.

INTERIOR: no outstanding original features noted.

SUNDIAL: freestone column with stepped base and table dial.

FOUNTAIN: late 19th century circular ashlar coped fountain trough; cast-iron figures of 3 Graces to centre set on cast-iron pedestal, central Corinthian column, surmounting gadrooned bowl with decorative finial.

GATEPIERS (to NE of house): 18th century large square-plan vermiculated and droved ashlar gatepiers, with vermiculated stepped caps.

Statement of Interest

A-Group with Fordell Castle (see separate listing). Formerly the gardener's house and bothy for garden workers of the Fordell Estate, the house was built on land formerly occupied by Pitadro Cottages. The name Pitadro House is taken from the former mansion house belonging to the Moneypenny family which once stood nearby. The lands of Pitadro were acquired by the Hendersons of Fordell in the late 17th to early 18th century and it was probably after this date that the original Pitadro mansion house became disused. George William Mercer-Henderson (1823-1881) was probably responsible for the later 19th century improvement to the late 18th century garden and a good number of glasshouses and ancillary structures were added as well as the substantial and finely decorated gardener's cottage, it is his monogram on the cottage. Fordell estate was divided up in 1953 by Sir John Hampden Mercer Henderson (died 1963) and the gardens were developed into a commercial nursery. Prior to the cottage being converted into a single dwelling, sleeping accommodation for garden workers was provided in two thirds of the upper level to the W and access was via a back stair, now removed. A workers' common room was located at the ground floor to the W. The rest of the house was occupied by the head gardener. An article appearing in the Gardeners' Chronicle of 1887 refers to Mr Ramsay as head gardener. The diamond window panes were typical of the old houses in the mining village of Fordell (mostly demolished in the 1940s), also owned by the Hendersons. The fountain, appearing on the 2nd edition OS map, is said to have come from Fordell House. The gatepiers are not in their original location, although they were originally set in an unknown location on the Fordell Estate.

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