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Octagonal Dairy, The Glen

A Category B Listed Building in Traquair, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.5852 / 55°35'6"N

Longitude: -3.1182 / 3°7'5"W

OS Eastings: 329612

OS Northings: 632963

OS Grid: NT296329

Mapcode National: GBR 63NV.QP

Mapcode Global: WH6VD.2WD5

Plus Code: 9C7RHVPJ+3P

Entry Name: Octagonal Dairy, The Glen

Listing Name: The Glen, Octagonal Dairy

Listing Date: 12 August 2003

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 396894

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49387

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Traquair

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Tweeddale East

Parish: Traquair

Traditional County: Peeblesshire

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Circa 1880 for Sir Charles Tennant (designed and constructed by The Glen masons and joiners). Single storey, multi-bayed, rectangular-plan, picturesque dairy with canted gabled porch and octagonal cold room. Coursed and squared local whinstone rubble with yellow sandstone ashlar dressings. Octagonal piended roof to E end.

NE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: very wide, canted timber entrance porch with paired heavy turned timber supports to front holding pitched timber gable (with spiked finial) and catslide roof to flanks, further matching upright to rear left with timber balustraded in-fill to bottom left and right; canted timber boarded door (to octagonal dairy) to left and similarly styled door to right leading to house. To right of entrance porch, pair of rectangular windows and to left of porch, advanced octagonal dairy (see below).

SE (DAIRY) ELEVATION: single storey, octagonal end with window (within ashlar surround) to each face; overhanging roof with exposed timber rafters.

SW (REAR) ELEVATION: regularly fenestrated elevation with circa 1920 timber and glazing lean-to glasshouse.

NW ELEVATION: gabled end (originally with now blind central window) concealed behind much later timber lean-to store with entrance in left return.

Pitched slate roof with overhanging eaves and exposed painted timber rafters; lead roll-ridging. Octagonal piended roof to dairy with lead roll-ridging and ventilated section near apex, spiked timber finial surmounting.

INTERIOR: original timber work on boarded doors and skirting boards. Octagonal dairy with half height tiling, tiled floor (squares with diamonds inset in lieu of corner angles) marble shelving on arched brackets, central marble console with bracketed legs supporting round marble table top with stalk holding further round top.

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. The dairy is sited within the same grounds as the Factor?s house and was originally a plain rectangular building, slightly bigger than what we see today. The building with the octagonal room (to the E) appears to have replaced this structure around 1880. The octagonal room was for the preparation of dairy produce (butter and cheese). The marble walls kept the produce fresh and the marble shelves helped preserve the finished goods. It was also a hygienic environment for the preparation and storage of dairy produce. The ceiling is angled to match the rake of the roof and is quite open. The Tennants lost money during the Wall Street Crash and this had a knock on effect, as estate workers lost their job and tied housing. The numbers on the estate swelled again during World War II, when 48 landgirls came (4 married Glen men and never left). The estate functioned like a community until the 1920s. The diary ceased to function for its original purpose and has since been a candle making workshop and an artist's residence and studio (within the well-lit octagonal room). Listed as a good example of a dairy building within an intact later 19th century estate (other estate buildings are listed separately ? this building is particularly noted for its well preserved octagonal dairy room interior).

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