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Latitude: 57.1097 / 57°6'34"N
Longitude: -2.6337 / 2°38'1"W
OS Eastings: 361714
OS Northings: 802260
OS Grid: NJ617022
Mapcode National: GBR WX.642T
Mapcode Global: WH8PJ.JK2H
Entry Name: Torphins, 70 Beltie Road, the Firs
Listing Date: 11 June 2004
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 397506
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49865
Building Class: Cultural
Location: Kincardine O'Neil
Electoral Ward: Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside
Parish: Kincardine O'Neil
Traditional County: Aberdeenshire
Alexander Ellis, probably 1890s; sunroom circa 1980 and garage 1998. 2-storey, 4-bay eclectic Canadian Arts & Crafts style house with lookout tower, on ground falling to SW. Brick to ground floor and lookout tower, mock half-timbering to 1st floor. Deep granite ashlar base course, jettied 1st floor and cavetto eaves cornice. Timber mullions.
SW (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: bay to right of centre with projecting 4-light canted window at ground and tripartite window to 1st floor bay surmounted by railings and small set-back gable with door abutting top stage of square lookout tower; pavilion-roofed entrance tower to outer right with canopied part-glazed timber door and small square window above; bay to left of centre with small timber-framed bracketed window below canted window and angled bay to outer left with bipartite at ground reducing to smaller bipartite at 1st floor with pendant finial at projecting eaves.
SE ELEVATION: 3-bay elevation with bipartite window to projecting swept roof stair tower at centre bay and top stage of lookout tower set-back above, entrance tower to left with bipartite at ground and small square window at 1st floor, further set-back bay to right with altered window at ground and bipartite above. Polygonal- roofed single storey sunroom projecting at outer right angle.
NW ELEVATION: bracketed single window below canted window at left with 2 further windows to single storey leant-to bay at outer left.
Decoratively-astragalled original windows (except to tower and altered window), some small panes with coloured glass. Grey slates with diamond-pattern slates and decorative cast-iron finial to entrance tower, and some decorative terracotta ridge tiles. Tall coped brick stacks with cans.
INTERIOR: variety of decorative timber and brick linings, some cast-iron radiators and unusual window-opening mechanisms. Screen door with coloured glass and timber-balustered staircase; kitchen fireplace in boiler cupboard. 1st floor with later pine lining.
Probably built during the 1890s, The Firs, an unusual design for Alexander Ellis, takes its inspiration from the holiday home of John Morgan (Ellis' brother-in-law) who had built Woodcote at William Street in 1890. Morgan had visited Toronto and Montreal and in his own words "came home with some new ideas about Architecture". Certainly the construction methods and timber-lined interiors of Woodcote are echoed in Eliis' design. The Firs was built as a holiday home and remained in the Ellis family until 1920 when Alexander's widow Helen sold it to Alexander James Webster (timber merchant) and William Webster (accountant) both of Peterhead. In 1932 Helen Ellis, sold the family home at Springbank Terrace in Aberdeen and moved to the nearby Hazelhurst, another Ellis building in Torphins. This house remained in the family until 1961 when Alexander's daughter, also Helen, died.
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