History in Structure

Alltan Donn House, Altonburn Road, Nairn

A Category B Listed Building in Nairn, Highland

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Latitude: 57.5839 / 57°35'1"N

Longitude: -3.9 / 3°54'0"W

OS Eastings: 286495

OS Northings: 856459

OS Grid: NH864564

Mapcode National: GBR J8RP.08H

Mapcode Global: WH4G2.2M3Z

Plus Code: 9C9RH3MX+GX

Entry Name: Alltan Donn House, Altonburn Road, Nairn

Listing Name: Altonburn Road, Alltan Donn House Including 1, 2, 3 Tradespark Road

Listing Date: 2 February 2004

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 397224

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49638

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200397224

Location: Nairn

County: Highland

Town: Nairn

Electoral Ward: Nairn and Cawdor

Traditional County: Nairnshire

Tagged with: House

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Large suburban 2-storey and attic villa, commissioned in 1898 for a client named Brebner and completed 1906. Edwardian, slightly English Caroline in character, with deep projecting timber cornice, dormers and big piended and platformed slated roofs. Built of rock-faced ashlar, dressed ashlar detailing; timber casement windows with multi-paned upper panels. Attic accommodation extended around 1920 providing more bedrooms, flat-roofed dormers added at this time. Corniced ashlar stacks. Main entrance set in giant-pilastered centre bay on symmetrical SW front with surmounting pediment, arched doorway with corniced architrave and keystone; large twin-leafed panelled timber door with semi-circular tear-drop fanlight. Flanking ground floor box windows lighting principal (? Dining and Drawing) rooms. Near-identical 3-bay side elevations each with box window, that to NW containing French window. Tall staircase bay central on rear has Venetian stair window. Adjoining L-plan basement and 1 ? storey servants' wing to NE with piended dormer windows breaking over hanging eaves. Retains some original timber sash and case with upper multi-pane panels. Servants wing divided into 3 separate dwellings in late 1970s.

INTERIOR: generously-scaled lay-out with impressive full-height timber staircase at far end of entrance hall, lit by stained glass windows and cupola. Exposed timber floorboards, window surrounds, architraved and lugged doorpieces with twin-leaf panelled doors. Servants' wing modernised.

Statement of Interest

A distinctive, restrained, classical design for the area. The house was built for a European client who probably specified certain features such as the continental inspired French windows, ornate stained glass stair windows and impressive stair. It is recorded by the present owners (Mr and Mrs Ruhmann, 2003) that the house passed into the ownership of the Blane family from the south of England in 1909, originally using it as their holiday home, however around 1920 they made it their permanent residence with the conversion of the attic. When built the house stood in substantial grounds of around 15 acres [Nairn and Cromarty) Ordnance Survey One Inch Popular Map (1929)], much of this land was sold off when the last member of the Blane family died in the late 1970s. Alltan Donn House still possesses its original formal driveway, large forecourt to main elevation and part of the formal lawn. It is of interest to note that the main elevation is turned away from the road and Moray Firth, the house being orientated to give encompassing views from its principal rooms of its once extensive grounds. Another point of interest as stated by the present owners is that the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip is said to have stayed at the house whilst a student at Gordonstoun School alongside with Kurt Hahn, founder of the school who was a family friend of the Blanes.

External Links

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