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- Category: A
- Date Added: 05/10/1971
- Supplementary Information Updated: 07/04/2010
- Local Authority: Stirling
- Planning Authority: Stirling
- Parish: Gargunnock
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NS 6898 9469
- Coordinates: 268980, 694690
1530-70 (see Notes). Crowstepped Laird's House returned to original plan-form and sympathetically renovated during early 1970s. Picturesquely located within large policies close to Old Leckie Bridge (scheduled monument), Old Leckie is a good example of the transitional style from Scottish defensive castle to domestic mansion.
3-storey and attic with projecting 4-storey S wing forming T-plan; 3-stage, steeply conical-capped, corbelled stair turret over main door in SE re-entrant with segmental-arched recess over yett; narrow full- height stair tower in SW re-entrant; vaulted ground floor. Harled with ashlar margins to E door and adjacent window. Corbel course.
FURTHER DESCRIPTION: entrance elevation to S with dominant projecting 2-bay gable incorporating spyhole at ground, centre window abutting corbel course, and gunloop to right; 2 vertically-aligned windows high up to left. Small door in set-back bay to left; main door set back on right return within deep segmental arch, moulded panel above to left. Gabled outer elevations to E and W and N elevation with centre gablehead. Asymmetrical fenestration throughout.
Largely multi-pane glazing patterns in timber sash and case windows. Small grey slates. Harled, coped and shouldered gablehead stacks. Ashlar-coped skews and skewputts.
INTERIOR: some fine decorative detail including moulded cornices and timberwork. Vaulted ground floor with inner wall of dining room reinstated and stepped cill at high centre 'viewing' window. Modern E staircase with decorative timber balustrade (timber salvaged from Campbeltown distillery warehouse floor); turnpike stair in SW re- entrant. 1st floor timber-panelled hall (reclaimed from 3 partitioned rooms) with monumental stone chimneypiece incorporating plain lintel and cornice on short half-columns; full-height panelling (see Notes), shutters and 6-panelled doors. Green Room (to W) with 1660 panelling, now with 2 windows to N (formerly 3), timber fire surround with frieze from Edinburgh over door. Bedroom with E wall moved slightly W to incorporate ensuite but garderobe retained. Study with large stone fireplace on half columns uncovered during restoration, small side windows added 1970s.
GARDEN WALLS: coped rubble garden walls with pedestrian gateways.
Statement of Special Interest
Old Leckie is an important example of Scotland's transitional style architecture when the need for defensive castle dwellings was giving way to laird's houses and more settled domesticity. Situated a few miles to the west of Stirling in the fertile Forth Valley overlooking the Gargunnock Hills, the house and policies include a 17th century sundial, courtyard offices of the early 19th century and the remains of a large walled garden. Sir Herbert Maxwell's Scottish Gardens of 1908 includes Leckie even though by that time the old house was occupied by 'workmen and their families' as New Leckie had become the principal residence. Maxwell makes specific mention of the stunning Tropaeolum which still flourishes today. The lands of Leckie belonged to the family from as early as the 14th century and it is thought that Old Leckie was built between the years 1530 and 1570. It was formerly thought to date from the late 17th century. The new dates have been established from the identification of similar masons marks found at Stirling Castle and Mar's Walk. In 1668 Leckie was lost over debts to David Moir, a clerk in Stirling. A later Moir was a staunch Jacobite and on 13 September 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie spent the night in what is now the Green Room. His son married the daughter of Stewart of Ardshiel. The daughter had been born in a cottage or cave in 1746 after Redcoats had destroyed Ardshiel. In 1829 New Leckie (now Watson House, separately listed) was built a short distance to the east, and the Stewart Arms are displayed on the building. The Younger family, brewers of Alloa, purchased Leckie in 1906, and the current owner's father inherited in 1946. Huge death duties eventually led to the sale of New Leckie. Old Leckie had been left unoccupied and ruinous, but was restored in the early 1970s.
Restoration work included removal of the 18th century east wing and a small piend-roofed 1st floor porch, returning the building to its original plan form. Plans dated 1793 and signed by Joseph? Bowes, Architect are kept at the house. The hall was reinstated by removing partition walls and exposing the monumental fireplace. The lower panelling was saved from the demolished east wing and may date from 1748. It is thought to have come from America. The upper panelling is made from salvaged timber from a Campbeltown distillery warehouse, as was the balustrade for the east stair. It has been suggested that the hall may have been half a storey taller but this is not thought to be the case by the current owner who undertook the restoration work.
Formerly listed as Old Leckie House. Address and list description revised 2010.
David MacGibbon and Thomas Ross The Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland Vol IV (1892), pp84-5. John Gifford & Frank Arneil Walker Stirling and Central Scotland (2002), p628. 1st and 2nd edition Ordnance Survey Maps (1858-63, 1895-6). Sir Herbert Maxwell Scottish Gardens (1908) www.electricscotland.com/gardening/gardensndx.htm [accessed 15.06.09]. Dictionary of Scottish Architects 1840-1980 www.scottisharchitects.org.uk. Clackmannanshire Libraries George Younger & Son Limited, Alloa (1762-1925). Information courtesy of owner.
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