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Traquair House Policies, Estate Office (Bear Cottage)

A Category B Listed Building in Traquair, Scottish Borders

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.6072 / 55°36'25"N

Longitude: -3.0657 / 3°3'56"W

OS Eastings: 332956

OS Northings: 635356

OS Grid: NT329353

Mapcode National: GBR 731L.2T

Mapcode Global: WH6VD.WB99

Entry Name: Traquair House Policies, Estate Office (Bear Cottage)

Listing Date: 12 August 2003

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 396916

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49400

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Traquair

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Tweeddale East

Parish: Traquair

Traditional County: Peeblesshire

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Description

Circa 1749 for Charles Stuart, 5th Earl of Traquair (11th Laird). Single storey, 4-bay, rectangular-plan vernacular estate cottage with rustic timber gabled porch and attached square-plan outbuilding (possible piend-roofed former store/byre) sited to right. Random whinstone rubble, harled and painted to principal elevation of cottage, some whitewashing and roughcasting to rear. Thin stone sills to principal elevation, later window dressings to rear.

NW (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: to left and centre, single storey, 4-bay former cottage (now estate office): entrance to 2nd bay comprising open timber rustic gabled porch with rough logs supporting corners and sides in-filled to below half-height with weather-board, upper section with diagonal timber in-fill (see NOTES) and later timber door; regularly placed window to bays 1 and 3 with smaller widow to 4th bay. Adjoining to right, blind rear of 1?-storey former store with lower wall continuing to SW and forming open courtyard entrance with wall of tea room.

SW ELEVATION: blind end of 1?-storey store with stone bear finial to apex of roof.

SE (REAR) ELEVATION: to centre, slightly advanced rear of original cottage with entrance door to left and much later tripartite window to right; small window on narrow left return. Square-plan 1?-storey building attached to rest of left return (probably former store with door to ground floor centre and hayloft entrance to ?-storey) now in-filled, re-pointed and altered with central window. To right of cottage, (later) projecting gable with centrally placed 2-leaf semi-glazed doors.

NE ELEVATION: blind end of cottage and side of rear gable with wall continuing to form semi-enclosed garden area.

12 and 4-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows to front elevation; later replacement combination fixed pane windows with timber cases and opening top hoppers; later semi-glazed 2-leaf doors to rear gable. Pitched and piended slate roof with roll ridging to main cottage and overlapped slate angles on piended store. Painted cast-iron rainwater goods. Tall rubble stack with projecting rough neck cope and paired cans.

INTERIOR: room plan slightly altered and currently in use as estate office; originally plain cottage style interior refurbished to provide office accommodation.

Statement of Interest

A-Group with Traquair House, Exedra, Bridge on East Drive, East Lodge, Walled Garden, Tea Room, Craft Workshops, Summerhouse, Garden Cottage, Bear Gates and Avenuehead Cottages. This former cottage was added during the tenure of the Charles Stuart, 5th Earl of Traquair. He was a Jacobite and was imprisoned in the Tower of London following the 1745 uprising. He was released in 1748 and undertook substantial improvements on the Estate. He redecorated the main House and was responsible for the construction of many of these small estate buildings adjacent to the garden, as well as the lodges flanking The Bear Gates. He was also Factor of Traquair Estate during the latter years of his father, the 4th Earl's life and may have commissioned some of the work that was done in the earlier period. The garden was constructed to the south of the formal drive and was well used and had already been remodelled by the beginning of the 19th century. The 1st Edition OS map shows a quite detailed layout to the garden with a tree lined avenue bisecting the main area and smaller squared areas to the south, each surrounded by fruit trees. The Bear Cottage is sited on the left flank of an entrance that leads to the rear of the Craft Workshops (listed separately), to the right flank is the Tea Room, which is of similar style and forms a near symmetrical entrance. It gets its name from the small bear finial that is sited on the apex of the former store's roof. Similar bears can be found on other estate buildings, most notably the gateway beside Traquair House courtyard and office wing. They are small versions of the supporters from the family's coat of arms, where as these are plainer. The rustic porch is similar in style to those found on the terraced cottages in Traquair Village and it appears it is a style favoured by the estate. The garden is now open to the public with this former cottage now forming the estate office (and formerly being an education centre). Although slightly altered, this building is listed due to its important role as an integral part of the development of Traquair Estate.

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