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Willowbush, 17 Abbotsford Road

A Category B Listed Building in Galashiels, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.6109 / 55°36'39"N

Longitude: -2.8002 / 2°48'0"W

OS Eastings: 349689

OS Northings: 635541

OS Grid: NT496355

Mapcode National: GBR 83WK.KH

Mapcode Global: WH7WN.Y7QH

Plus Code: 9C7VJ56X+8W

Entry Name: Willowbush, 17 Abbotsford Road

Listing Name: 17 Abbotsford Road, Willowbush, with Boundary Walls

Listing Date: 14 November 2006

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 399171

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50654

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Galashiels

County: Scottish Borders

Town: Galashiels

Electoral Ward: Galashiels and District

Traditional County: Selkirkshire

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Dated 1845. 2-storey and attic over cellar, 3-bay irregular-plan Gothic villa. Prominent advanced gable, stepped buttresses and projecting chimney with blind windows. Squared whinstone, snecked to sides and rubble to rear. Buff sandstone ashlar dressings, rendered in parts. Hoodmoulded openings.

FRONT (SW) ELEVATION: advanced gable to right, canted bay at ground floor. Central advanced gabled porch with pointed-arch doorway and fanlight with perpendicular tracery. Gabletted dormers to left.

Predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows with some plate glass. Purple slate roof; pointed ashlar skews and moulded skewputts. Decorative timber snow-catchers. Corniced wallhead stacks. Cast iron rainwater goods with decorative hoppers.

INTERIOR: a number of interior features survive. Gothic-arched inner door with decorative carved timber surround. Overdoor with quatrefoil containing stained glass image of a Gothic villa. Marble chimneypieces, elaborate plasterwork.

BOUNDARY WALLS: rubble boundary walls with semicircular coping.

Statement of Interest

Willowbush stands out as the best of the earlier houses on Abbotsford Road, with an exceptional quality of details and construction, in particular the unusually polished finish achieved using local whinstone. The design is relatively advanced for its date and features such as the buttresses and traceried fanlight stand out from the normal sub-Gothic houses of the period. This prominent house makes a notable contribution to the streetscape on Abbotsford Road. Abbotsford Road is significant as a collection of houses built for mill-owners and other businessmen who wished to move away from the town centre and is thus an important part of the history of the town, reflecting the growth of the Textile industry through the middle of the 19th century. Later, from the 1860s, the mill-owners moved further afield to the series of more ostentatious houses further south along the road.

Willowbush was built for Walter Cochrane, a partner in Mid Mill. Elmbank, No 11 Abbotsford road, built around the same time for his brother John Cochrane, is a more modest house on the same theme. Willowbush is deceptively complex in plan, consisting effectively of an offset double-pile house with a long projecting service wing to the rear.

Some single-storey additions were made to the rear in the later 19th century.

It has been suggested (Lawson, nd) that this house was the work of William Hay. Hay, who later designed Galashiels houses such as Abbotshill for the Cochrane family, was working for John Henderson for a short time in the 1840s, but this is probably too early to be by Hay, who was not named in a practice until later. A separate William Hay, owner of Duns Castle, was also an amateur architect of the period.

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