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Cambus O'may Hotel Including Terraced Garden Walls and Gatepiers

A Category C Listed Building in Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside, Aberdeenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.0676 / 57°4'3"N

Longitude: -2.956 / 2°57'21"W

OS Eastings: 342125

OS Northings: 797798

OS Grid: NO421977

Mapcode National: GBR WJ.8RHB

Mapcode Global: WH7NF.KMK9

Entry Name: Cambus O'may Hotel Including Terraced Garden Walls and Gatepiers

Listing Date: 14 November 2006

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 398930

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50730

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Glenmuick, Tullich and Glengairn

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside

Parish: Glenmuick, Tullich And Glengairn

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

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Description

Possibly George Truefitt, dated 1874. Well-detailed, 2-storey, U-plan, asymmetrical hotel built as fishing lodge and set in landscaped grounds with walled garden (LB50734), cottage (LB50727) and kennels to north (LB50731), and stable block to south (LB60733). Bull-faced, snecked pink and grey granite with Aberdeen bond; bull-faced margins and projecting cills. Incorporating piended tower-like porch with squat square-section piers to east, slated polygonal porch on decoratively-braced rustic columns to south, monumental shouldered and battered stacks rising from wallhead, and some 1st floor windows breaking eaves into gabled dormerheads. Crowstepped south gable, decorative voussoired windowheads appearing as relieving arches, stone mullions, timber transoms and mullions.

Further description: garden elevation to south with asymmetrically-fenestrated outer gabled bays, crowstepped bay off-centre right with rustic porch and large canted French window at ground, single window below semicircular relieving arch with incised date, and flanking bipartites at 1st floor. East and west wings form small courtyard at rear.

Plate glass glazing in timber casement and sash and case windows. Coped, shouldered ashlar stacks with full complement of polygonal cans. Red slates with decorative grey fish-scale bands. Finialled gableheads and scallop bargeboarding to south.

Interior: good decorative scheme in place. Reeded timber dado panelling to lobby with narrow shelves for fishing rods. Moulded cornices, timber fire surrounds and some timber-lined walls. Lounge bar with pine-log cladding. Part glazed 2-leaf screen door.

Terraced gardens walls: coped squared rubble terraced garden walls with steps flanked by ball-finialled dwarf walls to south and east.

Gatepiers: pair of coped and ball-finialled square-section bull-faced ashlar piers.

Statement of Interest

Originally Cambus O May House, this remarkably well preserved building, with its unusual mix of Arts and Crafts, Tudor and Classical references, sits within fine landscaped gardens overlooking the River Dee.

Here, on the hill, or some distance up, our architect (George Truefitt) is putting up a capital house for Mr H L Gaskell, - dining room, drawing room, library, billiard-room, and lots of bedrooms. There will be three gables in front, towards the road, the centre one stepped, and below it a large bay window and verandah around it. [Aberdeen Journal/Builder 19 September 1874 p791-792]

The Dictionary of Scottish Architects notes that the client was Henry Lomax Gaskell (1813-1889) of Kiddington Hall, Woodstock, Oxfordshire; 9 Lowndes Square, London and Cambus O'May, Aboyne, Scotland. [London Gazette 24 January 1890 p441]. He married Alice Brooks, daughter of Samuel Brooks of Whalley Range, Manchester and sister of Sir William Cunliffe Brooks who died 27 December 1872, aged 50. This family connection would explain George Truefitt's involvement in this scheme

Other sources have suggested that the house was built for Manchester banker, Sir William Cunliffe Brooks, as a present for his daughter Amy who married Charles Gordon, 11th Marquis of Huntly in 1869. Sir William purchased the Glen Tanar estate in 1869, and Aboyne Castle in 1888. Glen Tanar House, built in the 1890s, was designed by the English architect, George Truefitt, who trained under Lewis Nockalls Cottingham. Geddes says of Glen Tanar House that Each façade was an exercise in asymmetry and quirky detail: a little tower, bays, ..., rugged granite chimneys at all angles, pine pillar porches , she also mentions the fish-scale slates . All of these details appear at Cambus O May, including the remarkably similar rustic porch, hence the attribution to Truefitt on stylistic grounds.

Listed as part of a B group with the Walled Garden, Kennels and Stable Block.

Description section updated in 2017.

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