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79 Balgownie Road, Glover House (Formerly Known As Braehead), Including Boundary Walls

A Category B Listed Building in Bridge of Don, Aberdeen

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.1786 / 57°10'43"N

Longitude: -2.1039 / 2°6'14"W

OS Eastings: 393816

OS Northings: 809759

OS Grid: NJ938097

Mapcode National: GBR SBM.KT

Mapcode Global: WH9QJ.NTBN

Entry Name: 79 Balgownie Road, Glover House (Formerly Known As Braehead), Including Boundary Walls

Listing Date: 5 October 2004

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 397803

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49996

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Old Machar

County: Aberdeen

Electoral Ward: Bridge of Don

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

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Description

Early 19th century; extended between 1838 and 1855; further additions including addition of 1st floor, 1862. Rectangular 2-storey house with single storey outshoots and basement to rear. To ground floor, random and squared granite rubble built to courses with squared dressed quoins; to 1st floor, squared coursed granite with some pinnings, dressed quoins; harling to some single storey sections. To S elevation, base course, band course dividing ground and 1st floors, eaves band. Smooth narrow margins to quoins and windows.

S ELEVATION: 3-bay, 2-storey elevation; single storey gabled harled porch to centre bay with step leading to 2-leaf timber and glazed door.

E ELEVATION: irregular 4-bay elevation; to centre, harled single storey, single bay outshoot; timber and glazed quadrant porch in re-entrant angle to left; blocked window to far left to ground floor; no window to far left bay to 1st floor.

W ELEVATION: to left, advanced 3-bay, single storey and basement section with steps leading down to sunken basement area in front; 2-leaf timber panelled door with 3-light fanlight to centre bay of basement. To right, irregular recessed 3-bay, 2-storey section with timber panelled door and 3-light fanlight to left.

N ELEVATION: continuous with boundary wall, single storey section to right with 2 windows, blank 2-storey to left (several courses of brick between ground and 1st floors.

GLAZING etc: replacement 12-pane timber sash and case windows. Piended roof to 2-storey sections; pitched roof to single storey sections; overhanging eaves. Coped granite wallhead stacks to E, W and 2 to N elevations; stack to right of N elevation partly constructed of brick; circular cans. Predominantly aluminium rain water goods. Cast iron spearheaded railings edging basement area.

INTERIOR:

Timber and leaded glazed front door. Large hall divided by segmental arch. Simple cornicing and variety of doorpieces, including pilastered and corniced, throughout. Original classical slate chimneypiece to dining room; remainder of chimneypieces are not original to house (see Notes). Quarter-turn open well stair with turned newels and balusters. To basement, kitchen, coal cellar and wine cellar.

Statement of Interest

Currently in use as a museum.

A good example of a multi-phase 19th century villa with important international historical associations.

The original core of Glover House is the basement area currently forming the kitchen, with a single storey,

2- or 3-roomed cottage of the same footprint above. Between 1838 and 1855, the house was extended to create its current footprint (excluding the porches and single storey outshoot to the E; these appear to have been added between 1855 and 1867). In 1862, the 1st floor was added, with advice from Thomas Blake Glover (see below).

Glover House was, from 1851, the home of the Glover family.

Their son, Thomas Blake Glover (1838-1911) left Aberdeen for Japan in 1857. he moved to Nagasaki, where he began a shipbuilding business which formed the foundation of the Mitsubishi corporation. Glover is credited with having brought Western industrialisation to Japan, as well as the first steam locomotive and the county's first mechanised mine.

He organised the education of many young Japanese abroad, including Britain, some of whom stayed at Glover House. Glover and his Japanese wife are also thought to be an inspiration for the stories on which Puccini based Madame Butterfly. Glover was the first non-Japanese to be awarded the order of The Rising Sun, and regarded as one of the founding fathers of modern Japan.

In 1997 the house was purchased by Mitsubishi Ltd and gifted to the Grampian-Japan Trust. The house then underwent conversion to a museum, during which original fabric was revealed and restored.

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