Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
Liff And Benvie
NO 33414 32983
333414, 732983


2-storey, irregular-plan, classically detailed former manse of various periods. Original T-plan house, circa 1758; S gable end block at NE re-entrant earlier 19th century; NW gable later 19th century. Original building and earlier 19th century additions harled, painted ashlar dressing; NW gable, painted stugged and snecked rubble, ashlar dressings; piended and gabled slate roof. Base course and 1st floor band course to S elevation; pedimented gable to S with keystoned blocked oculus and leaf motif, coped skew, coped block finial; coped gable to NW with bracketted skewputts and ball finial; sash and case windows, 12-pane to N elevation and S gable, plate glass elsewhere, painted ashlar margins; copied ridge and end stacks, brick and masonry; cast-iron rainwater goods.

W ELEVATION: original gable to right, window to ground floor; later 19th century gable advanced to left, bipartite and single window to ground floor, bipartite to 1st, panelled door with fanlight to right return.

S ELEVATION: 6-bay, symmetrical. Gable advanced to centre, 2 doors cut down from windows to ground floor, 2 windows to 1st floor; recessed bays of original house to left and right, 2 windows to ground and 1st floor.

N ELEVATION: original gable to centre, door cut-down from window at ground floor left, window to right, 2 windows to 1st floor, gablehead stack; earlier 19th century bay to left, French window and single window, window to 1st floor; later 19th century bay slightly advanced to right, window to 1st floor.

E ELEVATION: single storey outbuilding advanced to centre, small window to 1st floor.

INTERIOR: encaustic tile floor in vestibule; geometric staircase with decorative cast-iron balusters extending to landing, border-glazed rooflight; some doors with fielded panelling; keystoned, segmental- arched doorpiece with fluted jambs in rear store room, probably re-sited; some panelled shutters; moulded cornices; coomb ceilings to some 1st floor rooms; chimneypieces with arrangements of naval artifacts, perhaps reflecting patronage of Duncans of Camperdown, early 19th century.

COACH HOUSE/STABLE/STEADING: single storey and attic, U-plan, 1822, in ruinous condition. Rubble, droved and margined dressings. Coach house to W, stable with timber trevises to N, byre to E.

BOUNDARY WALLS: coped rubble boundary walls to N, S, E and W.

Statement of Special Interest

According to the NEW STATISTICAL ACCOUNT, the building was begun in the 1750s ?for a lady connected with the Gray family, who died before it was completed?. It was completed as a manse for James Playfair (minister of Benvie 1743-53) in 1758, following the death of Thomas Donaldson (minister of Liff 1726-58) when Playfair became the first minister of Liff and Benview parish, united in 1753. The building superseded an earlier manse to the south of the church, listed as the Old Manse in the garden of Wild Acres. The 1789-90 map shows a T-plan building with its principal elevation to the south. The NEW STATISTICAL ACCOUNT (1845) mentions repairs and additions which had taken place during the previous twenty years, undoubtedly the south gable and the north east re-entrant block, both shown on the 1859 OS map; it also specifically mentions the erection of the offices in 1822. The north west block appears ton the 1903 OS map. James Playfair was the father of the architect James Playfair (1755-94) and the grandfather of the architect William Henry Playfair (1790-1867).



OSA (1794), vol XIII, p121; NSA (1845), vol XI, p587; Arthur B Dalgetty, THE CHURCH AND PARISH OF LIFF (1940), p19; OS maps, 1859, 1903; Plan of Part of the Intended Turnpike Road from Dundee to Coupar Angus, William Panton and Alex Stevenson, 1789-90, RHP 20, 695.

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


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Printed: 22/04/2019 03:06