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Factor's House, The Glen

A Category B Listed Building in Traquair, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.5851 / 55°35'6"N

Longitude: -3.1181 / 3°7'5"W

OS Eastings: 329620

OS Northings: 632952

OS Grid: NT296329

Mapcode National: GBR 63NV.RQ

Mapcode Global: WH6VD.2WG8

Plus Code: 9C7RHVPJ+2Q

Entry Name: Factor's House, The Glen

Listing Name: The Glen, Factor's House

Listing Date: 12 August 2003

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 396879

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49378

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Traquair

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Tweeddale East

Parish: Traquair

Traditional County: Peeblesshire

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Circa 1856 for Sir Charles Tennant (constructed by estate masons and joiners). 1?-storey, multi-gabled, picturesque-style former Factor's House set on hillside with adjoining single storey, L-plan former office wing and store. Coursed whinstone rubble with sandstone ashlar dressings and quoins; stugged yellow sandstone ashlar bay window. Pitched roof with overhanging eaves and exposed rafters.

SE ELEVATION: to left and centre, main house: L-plan elevation with very deep timber gabled entrance porch in re-entrant angle with heavy turned timber uprights to front, semi-glazed door with narrow side light to upper flanks, to left return, timber base supporting paired bipartite windows, timber gable with plain barge boarding and braced drop finial. To left of entrance, tripartite window to ground floor with stone gabled wallhead dormer breaking eaves. To right, advanced gable with rectangular bay window to ground floor (with 4 stone transomed and mullioned front facing windows and single side lights) with bracketed splayed eaves to semi-piended roof; tripartite window to upper storey; plain barge boards with bracing drop finial rising into spike. Adjoining to right, set-back L-plan former office and store wing: low wall with central entrance forming enclosed yard area, main wall with paired glazed doors to left and large sliding multi-paned door to right; gabled end advancing to right with timber boarded door in left return (for rest of office elevation see NE ELEVATION).

SW ELEVATION: gabled end to right with tripartite windows to ground and upper floors, overhanging roof with plain barge boarding and king-post bracing with drop and spike finial; to left, high single storey wall with central tripartite window.

NW (REAR) ELEVATION: to left, advanced gabled end with central window to ground floor and upper storey; to right, irregularly fenestrated advanced gabled end (both ends with overhanging roof with plain barge boards, left gable with drop and spike finial); between gabled ends, advanced 2-storey flat-roofed single bay extension cutting to eaves of left gable. Adjoining to far left, single storey office wing (see NE elevation).

NE (OFFICE) ELEVATION: to rear, single storey, symmetrical end of main house with central 1?-storey gabled end rising into stack. Adjoining to ground floor (centre and right), advanced single storey, L-plan office wing with door and window to left and gable to right with central bipartite window; to right return, 3 regularly placed bays; for left return see SE ELEVATION.

Mostly bipartite and tripartite casement windows (each with 4 horizontal panes); 12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows to single storey bay window (4-pane upper sashes with 8 pane lower sashes); 4-pane timber sash and case window to rear gable, bipartite and tripartite multi-paned windows with opening top hoppers (also to rear elevation). Pitched slate roof with lead ridging, flashing and valleys, some later ventilators; overhanging eaves, exposed timber rafters and timber bargeboards (NE gable?s timber work replaced circa 1987). Painted cast-iron rainwater goods. Very high octagonal ashlar chimney stalks on solid ashlar bridge bases; sited at gableheads (behind overhanging eaves), octagonal cans to NE elevation (and office).

INTERIOR: original room plan, timber skirting boards and window ingoes, timber internal doors; some fire surrounds and staircase remain. Office wing now provides additional accommodation and stores.

Statement of Interest

Part of an A-Group with all other Glen estate buildings. Sited near the centre of the estate and built into a sloped site. The Glen estate can be traced as far back as 1296 when Sarra of the Glen swore allegiance to King Edward I of England. The estate remained in the family's hand until around 1512, when the grounds became fragmented and parts were sold to neighbouring landowners and families. By the 1700's, there were 2 main parts of the estate, Easter and Wester Glen. Easter Glen was sold to Alexander Allan (an Edinburgh banker) in 1796 for #10,500. At this point, the house was a fairly small plain farmhouse. His son, William Allan (Lord Provost of Edinburgh) was responsible for enlarging and extending the house, the architect being his friend William Playfair (see The Temple, listed separately); even after improvement it was still not regarded as being fit for a landowner's principal residence. The 3,500-acre estate was bought in 1852/3 by Sir Charles Tennant, owner of the chemical works of St. Rollox, Glasgow, for #33,140. The house was by then outdated and not suited to modern family life; he commissioned David Bryce to design a baronial style house, to which a tower (also by Bryce) was added in 1874. Tennant continually improved the estate landscape (1860-1890) and was responsible for the building of a school, farm, worker's and estate cottages, walled kitchen garden and kennels making The Glen virtually self-sufficient. In 1897, there were approximately 105 estate workers doing a range of jobs; including maids, cooks and servants within the house and gardeners, foresters, shepherds, carters, cattlemen and gamekeepers on the estate. The estate had its own masons and joiners, as well as its own whinstone quarries. The farm steading is sited at the core of the estate in the part that resembles a village. The steading has a cart shed to one side of the entrance and the community hall to the other. The still partially cobbled inner court has been altered, with a modern covered cattle court replacing the older one. The farm is still in use, predominantly for sheep but in the past there was a cattleman for the cows. The milk provided was used to make butter and cheese in this dairy as well as being used for the main house and all the residents. A dairy is sited within the same grounds as the Factor's house and has an octagonal room for the preparation of dairy produce. The Factor's house is quite large and befits the status of his position within the estate. Attached is a single storey range that would probably have housed the office where the Factor undertook the day-to-day running of the estate. This house, although following the general style of the other estate cottages, is far larger than the others. As the structure appears on the 1st Edition O.S. map, it is likely it is one of the earlier estate building, built in conjunction with the farm (it may have been latterly altered, but given its stylistic similarities with the school, it appears to have been designed this way). As there is no exact date for the building, it may have been executed by the masons used on Glen House (it is known men were brought in and stayed on the estate during this period). It has the additional benefit of a SE facing bay window to the drawing room and views towards the main house, the farm, the hillsides and the gardens. The very high octagonal stacks are very decorative (in fact more so than those one other estate buildings). Sited on a hillside, the garden contains the small flights of ashlar steps found in other estate gardens. Listed as a good example of Factor's house within an intact later 19th century estate (other estate buildings are listed separately).

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