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Howford House

A Category B Listed Building in Traquair, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.6151 / 55°36'54"N

Longitude: -3.0872 / 3°5'14"W

OS Eastings: 331616

OS Northings: 636259

OS Grid: NT316362

Mapcode National: GBR 63WH.FZ

Mapcode Global: WH6VD.K437

Plus Code: 9C7RJW87+24

Entry Name: Howford House

Listing Name: Howford House Including Gatepiers

Listing Date: 12 August 2003

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 396861

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49366

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Traquair

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Tweeddale East

Parish: Traquair

Traditional County: Peeblesshire

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1839-1840 for Mr Thomas Salton, tenant of Traquair Estate. Robert Lochie and Robert Hall, Galashiels and Robert Ritchie, Reston, masons. 2-storey and basement, 3-bay rectangular-plan classical farmhouse with servants' wing to rear. Giant angle pilasters, slightly projecting central bay with raised block pediment and classical portico. Base and band course with prominent eaves cornice and parapet. Polished ashlar front; harled sides and servants' wing with tabbed ashlar windows.

NE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: slightly projecting central bay with 3 stone steps leading to Tuscan-Doric columned door piece, windows to flanking bays. 3 regularly placed bays to 1st floor, full length corniced parapet surmounting, rising into block pediment above central bay.

NW ELEVATION: giant angle pilasters meeting base and band courses and forming slightly recessed rectangular panels; 2 widely spaced tabbed windows to each floor.

SW (REAR) ELEVATION: not seen, 2002.

SE ELEVATION: main house to right with giant angle pilasters meeting base and band courses and forming slightly recessed rectangular panels; 2 widely spaced tabbed windows to each floor. Symmetrical, 2-storey, 4-bay servants wing to centre and left (adjoining main house to right return): 3 stone steps leading to boarded timber door in bays 1 and 4, window with projecting sill to bays 2 and 3 (smaller window directly adjacent to left of 3rd bay); to 1st floor, 4 regularly placed bays (aligned with ground floor)

12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows; semi-glazed timber panelled entrance door with rectangular leaded diamond quarry fanlight surmounting. 2-pane cast-iron Carron lights to roof of main house. Piended and platformed slate roof with lead ridging and flashing. 10 tall hexagonal ashlar stacks to centre of main roof, divided into 2 blocks of 5, all with projecting neck copes and various decorated cans; smaller plain rectangular ashlar stacks to servants wing, formerly with plain paired cans (some now missing). Painted cast-iron rainwater goods with concealed gutters.

INTERIOR: well proportioned rooms including hall with original stone staircase; drawing room with classical fireplace; many timber panelled doors and skirting boards; cornicing and ceiling roses.

GATEPIERS AND GATES: 3 square ashlar gatepiers with projecting neck copes and pyramidal caps (sited to provide foot and carriage entrances); 3 painted wrought-iron spearheaded gates with plain dogbars.

Statement of Interest

This house and farm stands to the NW of the site of Grieston Tower, on the B7062. Behind it rises Wallace's Hill with the disused Grieston Slate Quarry cut into the side of it. The lands belonged to Traquair Estate and took their name from How Ford (sited to the N), which was once a popular crossing of the Tweed for carts and carriages when the river was not too flooded. The lands surrounding Traquair were let to tenants, although the estate continued to improve the farms. When this farmhouse and steading were built, they took the name Howford, with the older settlement nearer the ford becoming known as Old Howford (the ford keeper's cottage can still be seen). Howford House sits within a formal terraced, lawned garden separating it from the road. A driveway leads between the main house and the altered farmstead, which predates the house by about 30 years. The farmstead has its own integral farmhouse and garden, which is sited adjacent to the road. It was remodelled in the late 19th century. There is also a 2-storey courtyard steading, as well as a rubble-built barn with ventilation slits facing the road. The concealed courtyard has cart shed openings. Howford House was built to house Mr Thomas Salton who was a tenant of the Traquair estate. The classical house was built to house him and his family. The ground floor had a hall leading to the main staircase, a drawing room, dining room and small library / office. A back passage led to the rear service wing which housed a kitchen, laundry and access to the cellar. The upper floor of the main house provided bedrooms for the family, with the upper floor of the wing providing servant accommodation (this was accessed by a lesser back stair). Listed as a good example of a mid 19th century classical country farmhouse, which retains many original features and remains largely unaltered.

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