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Latitude: 57.1762 / 57°10'34"N
Longitude: -2.1142 / 2°6'51"W
OS Eastings: 393193
OS Northings: 809496
OS Grid: NJ931094
Mapcode National: GBR S95.CD
Mapcode Global: WH9QJ.HWGH
Entry Name: Don Cottage, Tillydrone, Aberdeen
Listing Date: 30 April 2003
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 396782
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49191
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Tillydrone/Seaton/Old Aberdeen
Traditional County: Aberdeenshire
Earlier/mid 19th century. 2-storey classical house with L-plan block connected by link sections, with some small later additions, to lower 2-storey rectangular block to rear; projecting eaves; timber colonnade surmounted by balustrade to 3-bay principal elevation. White-painted harl. Base course; band course dividing ground and 1st floors; eaves course. Predominantly regular fenestration; French windows both floors to principal and NE elevations (excluding right bay to ground floor of NE elevation); to 1st floor of principal and NE elevations, shaped timber pelmets and projecting triangular hoods to lintels.
SE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: to centre bay, timber-panelled and glazed door with architraved doorpiece with consoled cornice and slim panelled pilasters to jambs; to left and right bays, corniced architraves. Hexastyle colonnade extending to just beyond outer windows; columns formed by rustic tree trunks with square bases and capitals; moulded panels to timber fascia above; to 1st floor, roof of colonnade forms balcony with timber balustrade with wrought iron infill panels (see Notes).
NE (SIDE) ELEVATION: advanced 2-bay section to left; narrow single bay single storey link section to centre; lower 2-storey 2-bay section to right. To ground floor to outer left bay, large canted bay with French windows to all three sides; roof of canted bay forming 1st floor balcony with wrought iron balustrade featuring oval motifs with Greek key border. To right bay of advanced section, altered window to ground floor; to 1st floor, under cill, 3 ornate wrought iron brackets (see Notes).
SW (SIDE) ELEVATION: advanced 2-storey section to right with later lean-to roofed 2-storey addition to centre right; to centre left, recessed flat-roofed single bay link section; to outer left, single bay 2-storey section.
GLAZING etc: 5-lying-pane glazing in timber windows to French windows; predominantly plate-glass in timber sash and case windows to remainder of L-plan block; predominantly out-of character modern uPVC windows to remainder of building. Piended roof to L-pan section; pitched roof to rear wing; predominantly grey slate with terracotta ridge tiles. Corniced rendered stack with octangular cans to rear of L-plan block.
INTERIOR: outer and inner lobby, both with geometric patterned encaustic tiled floor and ceiling rose, separated by glazed door and screen of moulded timber frame with floral design acid etched glass consoled beam to rear of inner lobby. Dog-leg stair, altered; replacement balusters; area underneath second flight filled in. To ground floor: front room to left, ceiling rose, shallow moulded cornice; front room to right (with bay window), 2 ceiling roses, shallow moulded cornice, corniced architraved doorpieces. Predominantly moulded cornices and moulded door architraves to 1st floor rooms
Don Cottage is listed as a good example of a earlier-mid 19th century villa, with some interesting features, including the rustic porch and classically detailed balustrade, which suggest a date around the 1830's- 1840's. It is one of the oldest significant structures in the Gordon Mills complex and is valuable evidence of the existence and history of one of Aberdeen's oldest mills. The secluded setting of the villa, including the remnants of an established garden, is also of value.
The wrought-iron brackets to the 1st floor of the NE elevation are likely to have once supported a continuation of the balcony over the bay window; it is probably the panels from the balustrade of this balcony that now form part of the balustrade to the front elevation.
Although the history of Gordon's Mill is relatively well documented, there is unfortunately little information available specifically pertaining to Don Cottage itself. The site of Gordon's Mills is shown named on Gordon of Rothiemay's map of 1661. In 1749, the firm of Leys, Masson and Co. (latterly Leys, Still and Co.) began the manufacture of linen thread and cloth at Gordon's Mills on the banks of the Don. In 1792 the firm entered into an agreement with the proprieter of Grandholm, (which lies on the other side of the Don) to establish a bleachfield on his estate. The firm grew swiftly, and the bleachfields at Grandholm were soon followed by a mill complex. A detailed plan of the Grandholm Works dated 1829 also shows some of the Gordons Mills site, but does not show Don Cottage, although the plan does cover that area of the Mills complex. It is for this reason that it seems likely that Don Cottage cannot have been built before 1829.
In 1848, Leys, Masson and Co went bankrupt, and their Grandholm plant was taken over in 1859 by J & J Crombie. The Gordons Mills site continued to be associated with the textiles industry; in 1901, at least part of the site were owned by Alexander Hadden and Sons, woolen and carpet manufacturers. Use of the Gordons Mills complex finally ceased in the late 20th century.
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