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
Scottish Borders
Planning Authority
Scottish Borders
NT 63719 26797
363719, 626797


1780-90. Octagonal summerhouse and observatory with piended roof surmounted by iron finial. Gothick pointed window openings on three sides, boarded up. Later wooden door to NE. Random rubble with dark whinstone pinnings and rusticated quoins on window and door openings. Welsh slate roof.

Interior walls retain remains of plaster. Wooden floor and boarded roof with trusses in radial pattern.

Statement of Special Interest

Prominently situated on summit of Down Law within the Fairnington estate. Baron's Folly was built as a summerhouse and observatory by Baron Robert Rutherford, merchant, into whose hands the estate of Fairnington passed in c.1777. It is described as a summerhouse on John Ainslie's 'Map of the Southern Part of Scotland' of 1821 but by 1843 is recorded as 'Baron's Folly'. It is visible from several miles away from every direction and is an important feature in the landcape.



shown on John Ainslie, Ainslie's Map of the Southern Part of Scotland (1821). William Crawford and William Brooke, Map Embracing Extensive Portions of the Counties of Roxburgh, Selkirk, Berwick and Midlothian and Part of Northumberland (1843). K Cruft, J Dunbar and R Fawcett, Buildings of Scotland: Borders (2006), p275.

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: 19/04/2019 21:55