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Solsgirth House

A Category B Listed Building in Fossoway, Perth and Kinross

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Latitude: 56.1429 / 56°8'34"N

Longitude: -3.6376 / 3°38'15"W

OS Eastings: 298346

OS Northings: 695669

OS Grid: NS983956

Mapcode National: GBR 1Q.JYKW

Mapcode Global: WH5Q9.3V3P

Plus Code: 9C8R49V6+4X

Entry Name: Solsgirth House

Listing Name: Solsgirth House

Listing Date: 10 December 2010

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 400546

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51652

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Fossoway

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Kinross-shire

Parish: Fossoway

Traditional County: Perthshire

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Circa 1870 with additions 1898; further additions 1910-13 by James Graham Fairley (see Notes). Large, 2-storey with attic and basement, irregular-plan, predominantly Neo-Jacobean and Scottish Domestic country house with adjoining courtyard range. Gabled, with additions of 1910-13 including Tuscan-columned garden loggia to S and prominent Ogee-capped tower to W. Pale stugged sandstone ashlar with polished ashlar dressings. Oriel windows, crow-stepped gables, bargeboarded dormers, timber bracketed over-hanging eaves; tall stacks.

S ELEVATION: roughly 8-bay with 4-bay section to far left including Jacobean pedimented doorpiece and square-plan French pavilion roof with cast-iron brattishing. 2-bay crowstepped gable section to right with oriel windows to first floor at S and E elevations.

LOGGIA: single-storey adjoining S elevation to right. Tuscan-columned screen with low balustraded wall and moulded cornice. Flanked by advanced, square-plan pavilions flanking with channelled rustication, round-arched openings; pierced parapets and ball-finials. Balustraded steps rising to terraced lawn.

DOWER HOUSE: set to far right of loggia: single-storey gable-ended addition, return to E ELEVATION with engaged turreted corner entrance with hood mould and conical cap.

W ELEVATION: projecting 3-stage square-plan tower with canted window to ground; decorative geometric strapwork moulding between 1st and 2nd stage and moulded round arched pediment to bi-partite window at 2nd stage; ogee-capped roof with cast-iron finial. Flanked by gable breaking wallhead to right (S), deep timber bracketed eaves to left (N).

N ELEVATION: roughly 4-bay with courtyard and separate accommodation set to far left (E). Includes advancing gable to right, corbelled out at 2nd storey. To centre: projecting gabled addition, dated 1898, with tall shouldered stack to N and crowstepped gable to W with carved date panel, key-stoned occulus and thistle-finial at apex.

COURTYARD recessed, square-plan, cobbled, with over-sailing arch entrance: To right, former stable with sliding timber doors, pitched dormers and louvred and finialled ridge ventilator; to left, self-contained former servants accommodation: 'Dower House' and 'Coachman's House'.

Predominantly 4-pane glazing to timber sash and case windows. Grey slate. Tall narrow stacks with clay cans, some with octagonal flues. Cast-iron rainwater goods with ornate hoppers.

INTERIOR: Predominantly Neo-Jacobean and French, characterised by high quality ornate plasterwork, carved timber archways, timber panelling and parquet floors. Transitional Art Nouveau/Arts and Crafts influenced fixtures include coloured and leaded glass insets to ground floor doors and cast-iron light fittings to hall and ball-room.

Interior scheme includes: fine inlaid timber fireplace and companion recessed sideboard to Dining Room. Library with walnut framework to glass-fronted bookcases; black marble fireplace. Study with Art Nouveau influenced corner fireplace. Chapel with hammer-beam roof; ornate timber fire surround with fluted columns, flanked by round-arched cabinets. Pine-panelled ball-room with fireplace set within arched recess to E; mosaic tiled floor to vestibule leading to garden loggia. Timber galleried landing with round, dome cupola to central 1st floor hall. Delft tiles insets to 2 bedroom fire places. Fitted timber wardrobes, shelving and panelling to many 1st and 2nd floor rooms.

Plain, rectangular-plan Gate Lodge, circa 1880, to NW entrance. Pale sandstone with overhanging eaves. Refurbished and significantly extended to rear, late 20th century.

Statement of Interest

Solsgirth is a large, well-detailed, late 19th century country house, broadly Scottish Domestic in style and enlarged in the early years of the 20th century introducing Neo-Jacobean and Classical influences. It is particularly distinguished by its Tuscan-columned garden loggia and ogee-capped tower. Fine Edwardian Neo-Jacobean interior finishes and bespoke Art-Nouveau and Arts and Crafts influenced light fittings and coloured and leaded glass insets to many ground floor doors all add significantly to the character of the interior.

The courtyard outbuildings were formerly detached in 1870, and linked to the main body of the house by the 1898 additions. James Graham Fairley's extensive additions of around 1910 significantly characterise the house in its present form, and include the Classical garden loggia to S, the Ogee-roofed tower and lower French-Pavilion style roof to the W, the timber bracketed eaves and decorative rainwater goods.

Born in West Calder in 1846, Fairley worked predominantly in West Lothian, Dundee and Edinburgh from 1871 until his retirement in 1915. He wrote a paper published in the 'British Architect' in 1878 entitled a 'Plea For The Principle of Restoration'.

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