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Rowchester House

A Category B Listed Building in Greenlaw, Scottish Borders

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.6879 / 55°41'16"N

Longitude: -2.4255 / 2°25'31"W

OS Eastings: 373348

OS Northings: 643911

OS Grid: NT733439

Mapcode National: GBR C2HN.PV

Mapcode Global: WH8XL.Q96D

Plus Code: 9C7VMHQF+5R

Entry Name: Rowchester House

Listing Name: Rowchester House Including Garden Terrace Walled Garden, Gates and Gatepiers

Listing Date: 23 November 2006

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 399263

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50748

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Greenlaw

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Mid Berwickshire

Parish: Greenlaw

Traditional County: Berwickshire

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Description

Circa 1830, with upper storey and porch added 1913-4 by Peddie and Forbes Smith. 3 storey and 5 bay symmetrical Jacobethan style country house. Sandstone ashlar. Base course, string course to 1st floor. Hood moulds with label stops above mullioned and transomed bipartite and tripartite windows to ground and 1st storeys. Tudor arch bipartite windows to 2nd storey. Square plan buttress towers to corners. Plain gables and wallhead dormers to additional storey.

3 bay NE (Entrance) elevation with slightly advanced gabled central bay. Projecting canted castellated porch added in 1913-4; boarded 2-leaf door set in Tudor arch architrave; blind panel above, flanking multi-paned windows with ornate tracery. 5 bay SE (Garden) elevation; 3 bays at centre slightly advanced between shouldered buttress with frieze of gargoyles above 1st floor; leadwork above dated 1914; 2-storey canted bay window to centre. Symmetrical 3 bay SW elevation with Gothic y-traceried central window between shouldered buttresses.

Timber vertically sliding sash and case windows, plate glass. Graded grey slate, cast iron rainwater goods, tall ornate canted and shouldered ridge stacks on ashlar plinths.

INTERIOR: Interior remodelled in early 20th century but retaining significant elements of 1830 scheme. Drawing room retains original scheme with large pointed arch to bay window, ornate plasterwork to ceiling, white marble Tudor arched fireplace. Entrance hall and hall with linenfold panelling and decorative chimneypieces. Upper stairhall top lit with pointed arch supports springing from ornate corbels. Shallow pointed arch openings leading to principal rooms. Bathrooms contain some good examples of early 20th century plumbing. Interior door architraves have trefoil and quatrefoil detailed carved surrounds.

GARDEN TERRACES: 1913-4. 2 L-plan balustrades with square plan ashlar piers and ashlar coping, set on saddleback coped, squared and snecked rubble dwarf wall, forming terrace to S of main house.

WALLED GARDEN: 1830. Located to NE of main house. Tall ashlar coped rubble wall with dwarf wall and iron railings to SE wall. Lean-to on NW wall. Red sandstone square-plan ashlar gate and corner piers.

GATES AND GATEPIERS: round-plan piers with ball finials, iron gates with traceried upper panels to centre, outer pedestrian gates flanked by square-plan coped ashlar piers.

Statement of Interest

Rowchester House is a good example of a relatively small and yet well designed and detailed country house. Just predating the Victorian era the original house was of a castellated Gothic design in the manner of James Gillespie Graham (Cruft p.650). Old photographs show that the roofline detailing of the original was considerably more ornate. However the house was not felt to be dramatic enough to take advantage of its prominent site and an extra storey was added in a well detailed Jacobethan style. This both complemented the existing house and gave the building the mass and silhouette to better suit its setting. The addition also provided increased accommodation for children and servants. The garden terraces were constructed at the same time.

The interior retains its original layout despite some more recent alterations; again the 1913-14 changes were sympathetic to the existing 1830 decorative scheme. The ceilings and panelling to the ground floor, as well as the top lit Gothic upper hall are particular features.

Built for John Castell Hopkins, the architect of the original house is not currently known. Peddie and Forbes Smith were responsible for the 1913-14 remodelling of the house and the garden terraces. The partnership of John More Dick Peddie and James Forbes Smith was responsible for many alteration and extension projects to country houses ' including work at the House of The Binns - as well as various new builds. The partnership lasted from 1909-1917.

The lodge at the gates, which appears to date from the construction of the house in the 1830s, has a colonnaded front elevation and piended roof, but has been both altered and extended.

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