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Gates And Gatepiers, Aultnagar Lodge

A Category B Listed Building in North, West and Central Sutherland, Highland

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Latitude: 57.9584 / 57°57'30"N

Longitude: -4.3996 / 4°23'58"W

OS Eastings: 258111

OS Northings: 899085

OS Grid: NH581990

Mapcode National: GBR H7HP.KH0

Mapcode Global: WH3BY.D76C

Plus Code: 9C9QXJ52+95

Entry Name: Gates And Gatepiers, Aultnagar Lodge

Listing Name: Aultnagar Lodge Including Former Coach House, Gates and Gatepiers

Listing Date: 26 January 2012

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 400808

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51872

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Creich (Highland)

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: North, West and Central Sutherland

Parish: Creich (Highland)

Traditional County: Sutherland

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Robert J Macbeth, 1910 for Andrew Carnegie. Large, 5-bay, 2-storey and attic, Arts and Crafts and domestic Tudor-Revival style lodge with rare Liberty interior scheme. Rusticated base course; moulded cill and string courses. Polished ashlar dressings to ground floor bays; harled to first floor with patterned half-timber frames to gables. Over-hanging bracketed eaves with plain timber bargeboards.

SW (GARDEN) ELEVATION: pair of canted bays to centre flanked by advanced gables with stone mullioned tri-partite windows to ground and first floor; single lights to attic. Octagonal bay to SE corner angle with sunroom to ground; glazed french doors with curved astragals; capped octagonal roof. Later flat-roofed single-storey conference room addition to SW re-entrant angle. Later, canted dormer additions to attic level.

NE (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: multi-pitch glazed canopy above entrance with later, reception room infill to right of main entrance. Circular windows to ground floor with key-stoned surrounds and astragalled glazing. To right: walls forming enclosed courtyard area with rounded gatepier entrance for vehicles.

Corbelled-out oriel windows to NW and SE (side) elevations. Square-capped observation tower with tri-partite glazing to roof of SE wing.

INTERIOR: entrance hall with hardwood timber panelling; large segmental-arched, leaded and stained glass screen in 'Glasgow School' style with glass-fronted display case (former fishtank) to centre. Panelled hardwood doors with original fixtures.

Library/drawing room fitted throughout by Liberty of London including secretaire, bookshelves, leaded display cupboards, corner units, all with brass and copper handles, locks and light switches. Tailor-made tapestry depicting sylvan scenes covering three walls to ceiling height. Oak-beamed ceiling.

Octagonal sunroom with segmental-arched inglenook fireplace with polished ashlar surround; oak-beamed ceiling with decorative octagonal Liberty ceiling light fitting to centre.

Principal reception rooms to ground floor centre with large timber fire surrounds by Liberty; one with glazed display cupboard over mantle.

Principal staircase: timber with carved timber newel posts and ball finials. Principal first floor bedrooms with decorative brass wall and ceiling lights by Liberty.

Predominantly timber sash and case windows with four-pane glazing to upper sash at S, E and W elevations. Non-traditional replacement windows to attic level and rear (N) elevation. Grey slate. Tall end and ridge stacks with clay cans. Cast iron rainwater goods with decorative hoppers.

FORMER COACH HOUSE/STABLE (Map Ref: NH 58389, 98986): single-story, gabled, U-plan range. Harled with patterned half-timber frames to gables. Coped walls to front with capped gatepiers forming courtyard. Swept-roof louvre to central ridge. Open-plan garage space to right range; left block (formerly stables) converted to residential accommodation.

GATES AND GATEPIERS (Map Ref: NH 58113, 99085): circular-plan gate piers with mushroom caps; pierced timber gates with Moorish arch pattern.

Statement of Interest

Aultnagar Lodge is a rare surviving example of Tudor-Revival/Arts and Crafts architecture in the central Highland region and contains a high quality interior decorative scheme by Liberty of London. The fitted library/drawing room may be the only complete surviving early 20th century Liberty interior scheme in Scotland. Occupying an isolated location on high ground, Aultnagar was built for Scottish-born millionaire industrialist and philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie, as a rural retreat 10 miles away from Skibo Castle, his principal residence in Scotland. A hybrid of Scottish and English elements, it combines harl and slate with rusticated base courses and half-timbered gables.

The library/drawing room at Aultnagar is of particular interest, fitted throughout with Liberty furnishings in oak including a large secretaire, bookshelves, leaded display cupboards, corner units, brass and copper handles, locks and light fittings. A tailor-made tapestry covering three walls to ceiling height depicting sylvan scenes adds further interest. Other ground floor reception rooms have timber fireplace surrounds by Liberty while the octagonal sunroom and principal bedrooms have Liberty light fittings. Some of the original furnishings at Aultnagar are now at the Royal Marine Hotel (formely Duncraggie, by Robert Lorimer, 1911 - see separate listing) in Brora.

Arthur Lasenby Liberty (b.1843) built strong relationships with leading designers in the Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau movements in the 1880s and 90s including C.F.A Voysey, W.R Lethaby and M.H Baillie-Scott creating furniture, wallpapers and glassware for his company. Liberty furnishings evolved considerably between 1880 and 1910. By 1905, Liberty furniture catalogues illustrated pieces with cleaner lines in the style of the 'Glasgow School'. The glazed and leaded screen in the hall at Aultnagar reflects the Glasgow Style.

Architect Robert Macbeth of Inverness was the partner of pre-eminent Highland architect Alexander Ross from 1887 until setting up on his own in 1907. Macbeth and Ross remodelled Skibo Castle for the Carnegie's in 1899.

Dunfermline-born millionaire, Andrew Carnegie (b. 1835 - d. Masachuesetts 1919) amassed much of his fortune in the American steel industry and spent the last 20 years of his life donating large sums of money to worthwhile causes. Focusing primarily on education and scientific research, he helped fund the building of over 2000 public libraries throughout the UK and the USA, many in his native Scotland including those at Dunfermline, Edinburgh Central, Jedburgh, Airdrie and Dundee (see separate listings). Carnegie spent around 3 weeks each year at Aultnagar towards the end of his life. His widow notes in the preface to his posthumously released autobiography that it was at Aultnagar that he wrote most of his memoirs.

The former coach house located close to the E elevation of the Lodge was designed with both stable and coach/motorcar accomodation. The associated Gatehouse with distinctive castellated porch and bay window parapet is located beside the A836. It was built by Andrew Carnegie shortly after Aultnagar Lodge and is understood to also be by R J Macbeth.

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