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Exedra, Traquair House

A Category B Listed Building in Traquair, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.6075 / 55°36'27"N

Longitude: -3.0654 / 3°3'55"W

OS Eastings: 332979

OS Northings: 635393

OS Grid: NT329353

Mapcode National: GBR 731L.4P

Mapcode Global: WH6VD.WBG1

Plus Code: 9C7RJW5M+2R

Entry Name: Exedra, Traquair House

Listing Name: Traquair House, Exedra

Listing Date: 12 August 2003

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 396917

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49401

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Traquair

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Tweeddale East

Parish: Traquair

Traditional County: Peeblesshire

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Circa 1738 for Charles Stuart, 4th Earl of Traquair (10th Laird) with mid-19th century remodelling. Landscape features comprising pair of arched walls terminating in cylindrical piers formerly with statues surmounting. Random rubble walls and piers with very thin flat copes, now turfed and seeding.

NE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: pair of arched rubble walls terminating in (later remodelled) cylindrical piers flanking end of formal Avenue and overlooking Wineglass Lawn. Formerly with classical statue (draped nude female) surmounting each pier, only NW statue on S exedra surviving.

Statement of Interest

A-Group with Traquair House, Bear Gates and Avenuehead Cottages, Bridge on East Drive, East Lodge, Tea Room, Office, Craft Workshops, Walled Garden, Gardener's Cottage and Summerhouse. Terminating a broad sycamore avenue to the Peebles Road, the formal gateway (locally known as The Steekit Yetts) to Traquair House is flanked by two stone bears surmounting the gatepiers. To the outer flanks of the gateway are single storey lodge buildings, with a further 2 cottage set a little to the south adjacent to the informal drive to the house. The gates, railings, pillars and (former) seats were added during the lifetime of the 4th Earl, but may have been commissioned by his son. The cost of gateway was #12. 15s for the building, #10. 4s for the carving of the bears and 4 gallons of ale for the workmen that erected them. Sir Walter Scott took inspiration from Traquair and based the gateway of Tully Veolan in Waverley on it. He then describes a tree lined avenue of similar style to that of Traquair. At the end of the real avenue are the exedra. These are a pair of curved walls terminating in rounded piers. The exedra were constructed at the same time as the gates and lodges and terminated the NE of the avenue formally. The piers are cylindrical and may have been altered later as they are similar to those found on other parts of the estate which date from the mid 19th century. Originally each of the piers would have had a classical statue surmounting. Only one remains and a foot of another. The arched recesses face the main house and are currently grassed and planted. It is believed they may have contained seats (like the recesses behind the Bear Gates), which would have given views toward the 1695 gates and the main house and wings. The exedra are an integral part of the avenue and formal entrance to the house via the Wineglass Lawn. Like the coping on the Walled Garden (listed separately), the exedra have developed turf caps and a variety of grasses and plants have sprouted from them. They are listed because of their value within the development of the Traquair landscape and for their historical importance.

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