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Latitude: 55.805 / 55°48'17"N
Longitude: -4.3732 / 4°22'23"W
OS Eastings: 251351
OS Northings: 659405
OS Grid: NS513594
Mapcode National: GBR 3M.78Y3
Mapcode Global: WH3PD.SCP5
Plus Code: 9C7QRJ3G+XP
Entry Name: Tower Rais, Darnley Road, Barrhead
Listing Name: Darnley Road, Montford House, Including Boundary Walls, Gatepiers and Railings
Listing Date: 13 November 2003
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 397088
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49538
Building Class: Cultural
County: East Renfrewshire
Electoral Ward: Barrhead, Liboside and Uplawmoor
Traditional County: Renfrewshire
1870. 2-storey castellated-Tudor villa over raised and battered basement with 3-stage mock machicolated square entrance tower; modern alterations within former byre to rear. Single and bipartite windows, those to ground with square-headed hoodmoulds; 4-light canted bay window to E and N elevations; slit windows to basement. Base course; low relief corbel table below crenellated parapets, similar treatment to bay windows. Coursed yellow sandstone with raised ashlar margins. Piend and platform roofs hidden by parapet.
E ELEVATION: 3 bays plus tower bay to outer R. Canted bay to outer L, bipartite window above; 2 bays of bipartites to ground with single windows above. Stone stair in re-entrant angle of tower; cast-iron acanthus railings and lamp standard on low coped wall; timber panelled door; single window above; bipartite to 3rd floor of tower.
N ELEVATION: 2 bays plus engaged tower bay to L with tripartite to ground, bipartite above and 4-light window to 3rd floor. Central canted window, tripartite above. 3 over 3 windows to R (service wing).
W ELEVATION: central round arched stair window; single 1st floor window to R. Advanced service wing to L; 2 windows to 1st floor.
S ELEVATION: 2 over 2 windows.
ADJOINING FORMER BYRE AND COURTYARD: single storey former byre to rear forming 1 side of enclosed courtyard; later door and 3 slit windows to N elevation.
Courtyard wall with 1 later and 1 original opening on W side; modern garage incorporated in S elevation of former outbuildings. Interior of courtyard with modern alterations; byre converted to chapel.
BOUNDARY WALLS, GATPIERS AND RAILINGS: coped rubble boundary wall to Darnley Road; square ashlar gatepiers to E entrance with pyramidal caps; cast-iron railings and gates. Machicolated piers to W entrance.
Timber sash and case plate glass windows throughout. Grey slates; coped ashlar stacks with clay cans, many originals in situ moulded with distinctive diaper pattern. Cast-iron rainwater goods.
INTERIOR: fine original decorative scheme in place including plasterwork, chimneypieces and stencilled woodwork; stained parquet floors intact to ground floor rooms. Inner vestibule: timber door with etched glass panel; leaded surround, central panel with painted 'dove of peace'.Hall: Renaissance revival dark timber scale-and-platt stair with turned arcaded balustrades; baluster newel posts with gadrooned urn newels; deep cornices, foliate ceiling rose; diaper and rectangular pattern ceiling with rope motif; oval mirror with rope border (possibly original). Fine round-arched stair window at half-landing: border-glazed red and blue foliate-etched surround; central section with basket of fruit and scrolling foliate motifs. Dining Room: original pine doors and window surrounds with black geometric stencilling; polished black slate chimneypiece, red tiled hearth; rosette cornice; embossed Baroque-style frieze; lily ceiling rose. Sitting room: mutuled and dentilled cornice with rosettes; foliate plasterwork to corners; dark timber panelled door, 10 fields stencilled with stylised geometric designs in black and yellow; polished black slate chimneypiece with key-blocked round-arched inset, red tiles and copper hood.
Drawing Room (woodwork painted white): elaborate fern-moulded rose and cornice; geometric plasterwork ceiling in bay with small ceiling rose; bands of stars and rosettes; classical-style embossed frieze; grey marble round-arched chimneypiece with grey tiles and brass insert; panelled double-slide doors to ante room. Ante Room: plasterwork as drawing room; built-in glazed timber display cupboard; grey marble round-arched chimneypiece with red tiles and metal hood; pierced brass door plate (probably original). 1st floor: hall with dark panelled doors and fitted low cupboards.
Formerly known as Tower Rais, the name relates to the remains of a 15th century keep situated nearby called Stewart's Rais, built by Alexander Stewart. The second owner Tower Rais is thought to be John Dove who owned the Great Eastern Hotel in Glasgow. Dove also owned a basket factory in Glasgow in St Andrew Street. Tower Rais came into the ownership of Montford Missionaries in the 1960s and is still in use as a retreat.
The style of the interior decoration is to some degree reminiscent of Alexander Thomson's work, though less stylised and refined. The interior demonstrates that the architect may have had some appreciation of Thomson's work: the round-arched chimneypieces, fashionable at the time, are to be found in some of Thomson interiors, as are the stars and rosettes on the ceilings and cornices; the geometric stencilling on the pine doors and window surrounds is also in the same spirit.
Throughout the house, the details and finishes are remarkably well preserved and the interior is virtually intact. From the outside Tower Rais is faintly similar, though not of the same quality or scale, to Knock Castle by J T Rochead, 1851-2 (separately listed).
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