F T Pilkington, 1868; additional music room to NW by James Dunn, 1890. 2-storey, multi-bayed, asymmetrical-plan villa in Pilkington's idiosyncratic early French Gothic domestic idiom. Regularly coursed masonry with ashlar dressings, deep eaves cornice.
W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: grand 2-bay deep, single storey open entrance porch (not to original design) with slim colonnettes and wide stilted segmental arches, very unusual plastic sculptured treatment (spiky moustachioed heads over cavetto floral cornice at parapet, rosettes in spandrels, mixture of Moorish and early Gothic/Romanesque detailing at the arches, hybrid waterleaf caps); elaborate ashlar door surround with timber door and bipartite window to right enclosed by porch; recessed bays to ground floor left (tripartite window with single window to right); to 1st floor, gabletted dormers with console detail flanking central tower with arched bipartite windows and steep splayed pavilion roof; with original bracketed eaves surviving. Gabled end to right with projecting stack containing arched bipartite window to ground floor with inset carved panel between lintels, single arch-headed window to 1st floor and blind arch in attic level. 1890 Ballroom addition adjoining main house to left: pend at ground floor and 4-light canted oriel above. Pointed stilted arch window openings with depressed-arch lights under blind sculptured tympana, colonette mullions with hybrid floriated capitals to most.
S ELEVATION: big telescopic bowed bay at SE angle (ground floor section has stone roof giving the illusion of rolled lead) with lesser arching bay to 1st floor, bracketed floriate eaves course rising into semi-conical roof. Triple gable recessed centre section with gothic windows of same type as entrance elevation. Advanced gabled bay to right with telescopic canted treatment, all with stilted square heads on early French pilasters, sculptured foliate cornices. 3-storey parapeted square tower set back to E; single storey range extending eastwards, terminating in pyramid-capped square tower at SE angle, with distinctive diamond pattern masonry detailing at upper courses.
E & N ELEVATIONS: plainer elevations, N elevation facing cobbled court behind; simple rectangular stable block in rear court, retaining interesting cast-iron stalls.
Mostly plate glass glazing in timber sash and case windows; some stained glass lights on tower stairs depicting Morn, Noon and Even; coloured lights to top lit ballroom. Piended slated roofs on bracketed eaves cornices; elaborately detailed flashings rise into finely detailed exial finials; some semi-conical slated roofs with iron finials; some splayed eaves detailing. Well concealed cast-iron rainwater goods including barley-sugar rainwater pipes with grotesque spouts. Octagonal shafted chimneys of varying design, bold mixture of styles and decorative motif; some stacks with spiky beast-like crockets; architectural plant life sprouting out of cans.
INTERIOR: original frescoes in entrance hall by Spanish artist, painted over (during time as a convent). Elaborate classically derived heavy moulded plaster cornices and gilt centre roses; dark oak stair balustrade with hybrid lion/dragon newels (distinct to Ballantyne houses in Walkerburn). Original timber work doors and surrounds (some with chamfered upper angles). Painted tiles in bathrooms. Music room addition: deep covered panelled ceiling, top-lit with coloured leaded glass and central decorated cast-iron vent; oak-panelled dado with acanthus and moulded balusters supporting round cills; carved frieze with classical roundels at dado, polished oak dance floor.
CONSERVATORY: lean-to glass house with masonry end wall.
Statement of Special Interest
Part of an A-Group with Stoneyhill Cottage and Sunnybrae Lodge. The village of Walkerburn grew up around the textile mills of Tweedvale and (later) Tweedholm of Henry Ballantyne, the founder of the village. He was also responsible for the earliest workers' housing and laying out the village we see today. By his death in 1865, Walkerburn was a flourishing manufacturing village with a population of just under 800 people. The company and the welfare of its staff were passed to his five sons (until 1870 when 3 of them left to run a mill in Innerleithen. David and John Ballantyne remained in charge of the Walkerburn mills and set about improving not only their own housing, but also the amenities of the village.) After his father's death, John built this commodious villa to the east called Stoneyhill. 3 Ballantyne houses stood grouped together on this side of the road within one large subdivided plot (all listed separately). Although each had their own private gardens, a large part of the land was laid out with walks and grassed areas accessible to all 3 properties. A pair of identical lodges on Galashiels Road flanking the entrance to Stoneyhill by Pilkington (of Pilkington and Bell, 2 Hill Street, Edinburgh) and David Ballantyne's Sunnybrae House. Sunnybrae Lodge has Pilkington stable adjoining it to the west. Henry's former house Tweedvale got its own lodge at the same time (also by Pilkington). The unusual sunken diamond panels found on the house and lodges are a motif that was also used by Pilkington on his Morebattle Church of 1866, the botanical in-fills replaced by stylised stars. Stoneyhill (although already large and elaborate) was extended for a family wedding in 1890 with a ballroom extension by J.B Dunn (a relative of the Ballantynes). He later went on to do more buildings in the village for the family. The mill was flourishing during this period and John was one of the owners. Previous uses of Stoneyhill have included a convent (at time of O.S. map, edition 1968, Sunnybrae was in use as a retreat house) but the house is now residential once again. The entrance gates were removed during the war when unnecessary decorative features were taken and melted down for munitions. Listed as a fine example of a Pilkington mansion retaining external original features as well as a fine interior; also highly prized as one of a group of Pilkington buildings on the same street and for its importance as a Ballantyne property.