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Kirkhouse, and Entrance Gatepiers

A Category B Listed Building in Innerleithen, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.5906 / 55°35'26"N

Longitude: -3.0784 / 3°4'42"W

OS Eastings: 332132

OS Northings: 633520

OS Grid: NT321335

Mapcode National: GBR 63YS.BR

Mapcode Global: WH6VD.PR92

Plus Code: 9C7RHWRC+6M

Entry Name: Kirkhouse, and Entrance Gatepiers

Listing Date: 12 August 2003

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 396873

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49373

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Traquair

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Tweeddale East

Parish: Traquair

Traditional County: Peeblesshire

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1867 for the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensbury; possibly incorporating earlier house in part with later 20th century single storey addition. 1? to 2-storey, 3-bay, asymmetric-plan former farmhouse with single storey, 3-bay rectangular-plan service wing to NW and earlier L-plan house and wing to SW. Droved sandstone ashlar to main elevations with coursed whinstone rubble to others; sandstone dressings to windows and doors. Stone pedimented attic dormers to ?-storey with overlapping skews, stone roll-finals and projecting bell-cast moulded putts. 1? -storey, asymmetric picturesque-style lodge (with modern rear extension) with rock-faced ashlar main elevations and whinstone rubble rear.

Coursed whinstone rubble with droved sandstone ashlar dressings and quoins with chamfered arrises; coursed yellow sandstone ashlar with matching dressings to main house, similar materials to later service wing. Pitch roofed with overlapping skew gables and projected bell-cast moulded putts.

SE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: ashlar entrance to centre with roll moulded arrises, timber panelled entrance door (leading to multi-paned glazed inner door) with plain envelope fanlight, segmental pediment (inset date stone 1867) surmounting held on scroll brackets; to right, plain single window. To ?-storey, pair of attic dormers aligned with ground floor bays. Advanced gable end to left with tripartite window (with stone mullions) to ground floor and single window to upper storey, rises into gablehead. See SW elevation for left return and NE elevation for right return.

SW ELEVATION: T-plan elevation: advanced gable end to centre with single windows to right at both storeys and single storey outbuilding (probably formerly a stable) adjoining to ground floor left and extending along length of left return (door and window to left return); to right return of main gable, 2-bays to both storeys (wallhead dormers to upper storey) with ground floor right window partially concealed by lean-to glass house in re-entrant angle which obscure ground floor of main house, paired dormers to upper level right. To left of advanced central gable, blind rear wing with gabled dormer to upper right.

NW (REAR) ELEVATION: advanced gabled end of later extension to left with advanced gable of service wing to right; recessed central section forming regularly fenestrated courtyard.

NE ELEVATION: advanced gabled end to left with projecting bay window to ground floor (bipartite window to front, single windows to sides, moulded parapet concealing flat roof) and central window to 1st floor; 2 bays to right with small window to ground floor centre with elongated stair window directly above, to right single window with stone pedimented attic dormer aligned and breaking wallhead. Adjoining to right, much later single storey, 3-bay extension (larger windows to outer bays, smaller central window).

Variety of windows including 12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows to SW elevations and NW single storey extension. Plate glass glazing, 4-pane and 6-pane glazing (to staircase) in timber sash and case windows to main house to NE. Pitched graded slate roof with lead roll-riding, flashing and valleys. Painted cast-iron rainwater goods. Tall ashlar roofline stacks with moulded neck copes and plain terracotta cans.

INTERIOR: original room plan with 2 original staircases in place with timber handrails; Marble fireplace to drawing room, number of surviving later 19th century grates to bedrooms. Steel picture rods to reception room; wiring for butler's bells to attic. Most original timber work survives, including flooring, shutters, skirting boards and doors. Some stone flagged floors with cobbled floor to former stable. 20ft high fire hydrant with woven canvas hoses near back stairs.


NE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: to centre, advanced gabled entrance porch with moulded shouldered door surround and inscribed with 1867 date (later boarded entrance door), steeply pitched roof with overhanging eaves and exposed timber purlins (similar to those on all the elevations; narrow window to returns. To flanks, tripartite windows, with gabled ? storey rising above left, small diamond quarry window to gablehead. Regularly fenestrated gabled ends to SE and NW with much altered rear elevation.

Mostly later timber casement windows but small square casements with diamond quarry survive to ?-storey. Pitched slate roof with overhanging eaves and exposed timber purlins and rafters; piended slate roof to rear extension; lead ridging, flashing and valleys. Tall ashlar roofline stack with moulded neck cope and 3 plain cans. Painted cast-iron rainwater goods.

GATEPIERS: pair of tall hexagonal ashlar gatepiers with advanced base courses and moulded hexagonal caps, small sections of whinstone rubble wall to flanks.

Statement of Interest

Sited near Traquair Parish Church and Kirkbride House (former manse). It is believed this originally was the farmland for the Traquair Parish called Kirklands. Circa 1580 it became known as Kirkhouse. In the early 19th century, Kirkhouse was a farmhouse with a pair of steading wings running parallel with its sides. It had been in the possession of the Dukes of Buccleuch since the latter part of the 18th century and was likely to have been an outlying farm from the Bowhill Estate (old Selkirkshire is on the opposite bank of the adjacent burn, as was some of Kirkhouse?s associated farmland). The house under went substantial enlargement and alteration in 1867 (see date stones of house and lodge); it is believed the original farmhouse is incorporated into the later house as part of it contains stone flagged floors and walls that are so thick, they could be mistaken for exterior ones. A single storey range adjoining the SW of the house could have been stabling and carriage stores for the house (it has a cobbled yard with central cobbled drainage channel and circular cobbled feature which may have held a stand pipe or tap). It is relatively hidden from the main elevations and faces the later 19th century steading built to replace the one demolished during the construction of the grander residence. The Duke of Buccleuch and Queensbury (and his successors) held Kirkhouse until 1902 when it was sold to Sir Charles Tennant. The Glen suffered a serious fire in 1905 when it was being used by Edward Tennant and his family. Although no one was hurt, the Factor wrote to Sir Charles Tennant informing him that although his objets d'art and pictures were fine, the fabric of the building was wrecked. It is thought that Kirkhouse was used as accommodation during the reinstatement of the interior of The Glen. An interesting feature of this period survives in the form of a large internal fire hydrant with woven hoses. It is believed that the fire at The Glen instilled a certain paranoia into the family and they did not want to be in such a helpless position again, hence the fire protection measures. It was later used as the residence of one of the estate's farm managers. The house is sited near to Traquair Parish Church and former manse (now Kirkbride House, both listed separately). Listed as a good example of a country residence with many fine interior and exterior features surviving and for its historical association with The Duke of Buccleuch and Queensbury and the Tennant family.

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