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Lambden House

A Category B Listed Building in Greenlaw, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.6831 / 55°40'59"N

Longitude: -2.4099 / 2°24'35"W

OS Eastings: 374325

OS Northings: 643368

OS Grid: NT743433

Mapcode National: GBR C2MQ.2L

Mapcode Global: WH8XL.YFM3

Plus Code: 9C7VMHMR+63

Entry Name: Lambden House

Listing Name: Lambden House

Listing Date: 13 March 2008

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 399859

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51063

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Greenlaw

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Mid Berwickshire

Parish: Greenlaw

Traditional County: Berwickshire

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Dated 1839. T Bowhill Gibson circa 1920 alterations and additions and interior remodelling. 2-storey, 5-bay irregular U-plan, piend roofed small Classical house with Roman Doric tetrastyle entrance portico, bowed outer bays, and symmetrical single storey pavilions. Grey stugged sandstone ashlar with droved ashlar dressings to front elevation; squared sandstone to side and rear elevations. Base course, cill course, eaves course and blocking course to main block; eaves course and blocking course to pavilions. Regular fenestration with raised margins to S, E and W elevations; corniced tripartite windows.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: pavilions to N with screen walls and balustraded link to main block. 3-bay side elevations of main block with tripartite windows to recessed central bay. Service quarters to rear including tall Italianate water tower with pyramidal roof and with lower flanking piended wings.

Generally 12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows. Octagonal ashlar stacks grouped in threes with small yellow clay cans. Welsh slate roof.

INTERIOR: good mainly 1920's interior with many features intact. Four-panelled timber doors throughout, those in principal rooms with deeply moulded architraves. Timber panelled hall and stair with timber balusters and rail; Adam revival plasterwork, timber and gesso chimneypiece and panelled dado in drawing room; timber fireplace and buffet niche in dining room; library fitted with timber shelves; butler's pantry with original cupboards.

Statement of Interest

An attractive and well-detailed house, this is a very good example of this type of small late Georgian-style country house and very largely retains its original appearance on S, W and E elevations. There are a number of other examples of this type of villa in the Borders which use the combination of shallow bows and tripartite windows and examples can be seen in both Kelso and Melrose. Early map evidence (1843) suggests that the pavilion wings at Lambden were built at the same time as the main block of the house but the latter was extended at the rear for more service accommodation by the mid-1890s. The interior of the house was refurbished in the early 1920s when further extensions were made to the service quarters and the Italianate water tower was built along with the stables across the lane to the S. The house retains much of its 1920s interior including the fine butler's pantry and fitted shelving in the library.

The architect for the extensions and refurbishment is Thomas Bowhill Gibson and this is one of his earliest recorded works in independent practice. Bowhill Gibson (1895-1949) who came to specialise in cinema design from the mid-1920s started his career relatively late, presumably because of the First World War. He had been apprenticed to James Inch Morrison just prior to the War and it would seem likely that he obtained the commission via Morrison and his former associate James Alexander Arnott.

The Lambden estate was owned by the Nisbet family during the 19th century but was purchased by David Paton Thomson in 1917 as a country retreat. Thomson was a member of the Paton family of Alloa who owned and ran the successful yarn spinning business there. Thomson already had commissioned a house called Greenfield in Alloa in 1892 from Sidney Mitchell & Wilson with alterations of 1914 designed for him by the architects Jamieson & Arnott who took over Sidney Mitchell's practice after his retirement. The Lambden estate passed to Moffatt Scott Thomson by 1920 who was instrumental in commissioning the alterations. It would seem very likely that Morrison or Arnott recommended Gibson to Arnott's former clients.

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