History in Structure

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Ravenswood House

A Category B Listed Building in Melrose, Scottish Borders

We don't have any photos of this building yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

Coordinates

Latitude: 55.5994 / 55°35'57"N

Longitude: -2.6689 / 2°40'8"W

OS Eastings: 357947

OS Northings: 634178

OS Grid: NT579341

Mapcode National: GBR 93SP.ZL

Mapcode Global: WH7WQ.ZJ78

Plus Code: 9C7VH8XJ+QC

Entry Name: Ravenswood House

Listing Name: Ravenswood House

Listing Date: 22 July 2010

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 400474

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51569

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Melrose

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Leaderdale and Melrose

Parish: Melrose

Traditional County: Roxburghshire

Find accommodation in
Melrose

Description

John and Thomas Smith of Darnick, 1824; additions 1864 for Admiral Sir Henry Fairfax; further alterations and additions 1900 for William Young; reconfigured internally 1961-3 (see Notes). Extensive, 2-storey and basement, asymmetric, castellated mansion in Neo-Tudor style situated beside the River Tweed on the historic estate of Old Melrose. Long rectangular-plan. Pale sandstone ashlar with moulded string course between 1st and 2nd floor. Irregular fenestration. Turreted towers to corner angles; castellated parapets; crow-stepped gables; bi-partite mullioned windows with Tudor hoodmoulds; raised pointed-arch arcaded loggia to E end. Tall diamond-plan chimney flues to W end.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: 3-3-4 bay arrangement to S (garden) elevation broadly of 1824, 1864 and 1900 dates respectively.

3-BAY 1824 SECTION: S ELEVATION: slightly advanced tower bay flanked by engaged square-plan turrets; to ground, oversailing steps to pointed-arch tripartite window; further tripartite above. Canted window to left rising through basement and ground floor with castellated parapet. W ELEVATION: engaged octagonal turrets to corner angles. Crowstepped gable to parapet with carved lion panel flanked by griffin water spouts. N (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: Later square-plan castellated porch with slit windows to centre with 1864 date panel above.

3-BAY 1864 SECTION: S ELEVATION: lower with castellated tower bay to right surmounted by pyramidal capped, glazed viewing room; carved inset panel above doorway to ground.

4-BAY 1900 SECTION: S ELEVATION: sundial inset to far right crowstepped gable; pointed-arched opening below with canted balustraded balcony at 1st floor. E ELEVATION: 3 arched arcaded loggia with octagonal-columns, returning to W ELEVATION: pointed-arch loggia opening to far left; canted oriel window to right at 2nd floor.

Predominantly plate glass glazing to timber sash and case windows. Grey slate. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

Statement of Interest

Part of a B-Group comprising: Ravenswood House; Ravenswood, Stables; Ravenswood, North Lodge Including Gates and Railings; Ravenswood, South Lodge; Ravenswood, Summerhouse.

A grand castellated mansion house, the product of a number of remodellings by various hands, producing a broadly unified whole in the Neo-Tudor style. Situated in extensive landscaped grounds, the house is distinguished by its castellated parapets, numerous moulded details and diamond-plan shafted chimney flues, all adding significantly to its architectural and historic interest.

John and Thomas Smith of Darnick began Ravenswood House in 1824 for Major John Scott, a cousin to Sir Walter Scott and a younger of the Laird of Raeburn. The Smith brother's work constitutes the bulk of the 3-bay section to the W with its castellated parapet and slightly advanced tower bay to the S elevation. Sir Walter Scott's Journal entry of April 8, 1831 notes that he 'took leave of poor Major John Scott who, being afflicted with a distressing asthma, has resolved upon selling his house in Ravenswood, which he had dressed up with much neatness, and going abroad to Jamaica.

A number of large-scale additions and alterations were made for subsequent owner, celebrated Navy Admiral Sir Henry Fairfax, who was 27 at the time. He moved the original entrance from the S to the N side, adding the castellated porch, and raised the height of the W block adding the canted bays and the octagonal corner turrets.

Ravenswood House is currently the principal residence within the wider Ravenswood/Old Melrose estate. Stone from a 16th century house, probably built during the on or near the site of the present Old Melrose house (currently undergoing re-modelling, 2009), was used to construct the Ravenswood Summerhouse (see separate listing) incorporating a panel dated 1570.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.