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North Kessock, Bellfield Farmhouse Including Stone Well

A Category C Listed Building in Knockbain, Highland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.5079 / 57°30'28"N

Longitude: -4.2708 / 4°16'14"W

OS Eastings: 264048

OS Northings: 848684

OS Grid: NH640486

Mapcode National: GBR H8TW.BG2

Mapcode Global: WH3F4.CKJ7

Entry Name: North Kessock, Bellfield Farmhouse Including Stone Well

Listing Date: 21 December 2005

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 398143

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50185

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Knockbain

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Black Isle

Parish: Knockbain

Traditional County: Ross-shire

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North Kessock

Description

Bellfield farmhouse is an earlier 19th century Georgian style house, prominently positioned above the Beauly Firth. The house is T-plan, 2-storey and 3-bay, with single storey wings to the S (principal) elevation, and a distinctive bowed central bay with conical shaped roof, probably the original entrance bay.

Description: S-facing principal elevation, 2-storey main block, with single storey wings to E and W, and long N jamb to rear. Double height, bowed central bay to 3-bay main block; later tripartite window to bow (probably replacing original entrance). Distinctive slated conical roof to bow, piended to roof of main block. Windows at ground and 1st floor of outer bays; ashlar margins; later, mid-20th century window and door opening replacing original window to left bay. Strip quoins to main block, now rendered. Tall, tripartite windows to flanking wings; large picture window to centre with narrow outer windows, stone mullions; stone skews to gabled ends. Long, 2-storey N jamb to rear; random fenestration pattern with many later changes and additions; stone skews with ridge.

Interior: much changed mid-20th century. Central mid-20th century timber staircase to former entrance hall. Some banded cornicing and classical ceiling roses to principal rooms at ground floor; some original timber panelled window jambs and surrounds throughout house.

Materials: possibly ashlar to principal elevation; heavily rendered. Some original 6 over 6 sash and case windows to principal elevation; replacement mid-20th century windows to remaining openings. Pitched roofs, piended to main block; grey Scots slate. Ashlar ridge and gablehead stacks; projecting ashlar course to head, concrete pointing, rendered stacks to rear. Black mid-20th century cans.

Ancillary Structures: round, random rubble well, located on lawn to the S of principal elevation, sitting on the former axis of symmetry through the building.

Statement of Interest

Bellfield was formerly one of the main farms on the lands of the Mackenzies of Kilcoy, built during a number of improvements to the estate lands which were undertaken by Colin Mackenzie of Kilcoy. Bellfield was also refered to as Wester Kessock, and the construction of the house is mentioned in the 2nd Statistical Account for Kilmuir Wester and Suddy parish (as the parish was named then). This text, dating from 1834, describes the farm as 'a most complete new set of offices, and a handsome dwelling house, and has agreed to enclose the whole with hedges and stone dikes'. Given that work such as walling and landscaping had not taken place, the house was probably newly finished and can be dated to the earlier 18th century. The remnants of the landscaping work can still be seen, with parts of the stone walls flanking the formal driveway, and a stone well to the centre of the main lawn, exactly in line with the bowed central bay. The house was comprehensively re-modelled internally in the mid-20th century, but despite these changes the house retains much of its original character, symmetrically composed around the central bow. The symmetry of the elevation is only disturbed by a new main entrance made to the left side of the house in the mid-20th century. The bowed bay was also remodelled with tripartite picture windows at ground and 1st floor. The original form of this bay is unknown, however it most likely had a central entrance at ground floor, with a large window at 1st to take full advantage of the spectacular views enjoyed by the house over the Beauly Firth. The house was later owned by the Eagle Star Insurance Company, who carried out the mid-20th century internal alterations, however the house has lain empty for some time and structural settlement has affected the new internal structure. The house is currently empty (2005).

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