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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Group Category Details
100000020 - See Notes
Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Scottish Borders
Planning Authority
Scottish Borders
NT 5378 3491
353780, 634910


Circa 1808-11 with 19th and 20th century additions and alterations; most notably by John Smith of Darnick, 1824, and Robert Lorimer, 1913-14 (see Notes). 2-storey with attic and basement, 5-bay, bow-fronted Classical villa with recessed pavilion wings. Single-storey linking passage to east pavilion. 2-storey, 3-bay wing incorporating west pavilion. Whinstone rubble with cream sandstone dressings. Cill courses; moulded cornice and blocking course. In-and-out quoins. Chapel by Brother Columba Farrelly, 1921-72, adjoining to east.

Further Description:

South (principal) elevation: bow-fronted bay to centre: steps to semi-circular porch with tuscan-columned arcade and entablature; slender iron colonnettes inset; round-arched niches with oval panels above flank 2-leaf glazed-panel doorway with side lights. Tripartite window to 1st floor with balustraded parapet above. Outer bays slightly advanced with raised panels to blocking course.

North elevation: 3-bay projection (outer hall) with pedimented porch and low stone balustraded walls flanking basement wells. Advanced bay to centre with Diocletion window to attic surmounted by broad 8-stack chimney. Arched loggia to west elevation (now blocked). Predominantly 12-pane glazing to timber sash and case windows. Grey slate. Broad corniced stacks with clay cans. Cast-iron rain water goods predominate.

Interior: oval vestibule to south entrance leading to impressive square-plan inner hall with Ionic-columned arcaded gallery to upper floor, top-lit by large oval cupola. Some good plaster and vaulted ceiling work survives, principally within Robert Lorimer s west wing additions of 1913-14.

Chapel: by Brother Columba Ferrelly (see Notes). Rectangular-plan chapel with round-arched windows and pitched roof. Regularly arranged, rough-faced, square and snecked sandstone with polished ashlar dressings. Coursed ashlar base course. Chamferred cills. Pitched-roof porch with circular window to north (entrance) elevation. Tripartite window to south (chancel) elevation. Interior: polished ashlar. Romanesque chancel arch with chevron pattern. Stained glass nativity scene to chancel. Squared and polished timber 'cruck trusses to ceiling.

Former coach/motor house and cottage: 1824, John Smith of Darnick; remodelled 1914 by Robert Lorimer; converted to accommodation by local architect, Duncan Cameron, 1980s. Rubble whinstone with pale sandstone ashlar dressings. Coach house: single-storey with attic and piended roof; segmental-arch opening to centre with multi-pane astragalled glazing surrounding door; bipartite dormer window breaking eaves above. 3 windows to ground floor right with single round-arch window breaking eaves. Advanced section to left, added 1914, with pair of motor vehicle openings, now bipartite windows. Cottage: set at right angle to former coach house forming L-plan grouping. Simple 2-bay garden cottage with further bay added 1914 to right, now with with lean-to double door addition to ground. Piended dormers breaking eaves. Walled garden: situated to west of former coach house; evident on John Wood s map of 1826. Simple, rectangular-plan walled garden with curved corners and low coped rubble walls to south. Later 20th century, T-plan building (for St Aiden s Care Home) abuts north wall within garden.

Statement of Special Interest

Part of a B-Group with Gattonside House, Lodge (see separate listing, LB51563).

A well-detailed early 19th century Classical villa with additions by distinguished architects, John Smith of Darnick and Robert Lorimer, located beside the River Tweed overlooking the Eildon Hills. The bow-fronted, arcaded porch provides a striking central feature to the principal south facing elevation while inside, a fine top-lit inner hall with arcaded upper gallery is an important centre-piece to the arrangement of interior spaces, adding to the building s special interest.

Between 1821-1824, Sir Adam and Lady Ferguson, close associates of Sir Walter Scott lived at Gattonside House. Following this the house was acquired by retired banker George Bainbridge who employed eminent local architect, John Smith of Darnick in 1824 to enlarge it with set-back piend-roofed pavilion wings, connecting to the main body of the villa by single-storey links. The 3-bay outer hall projection to the north elevation with pedimented porch and Diolcletian window was added circa 1860. Principal among Robert Lorimer s early 20th century additions were the west wing additions incorporating the west pavilion by John Smith, adding a 2-storey canted bay and an arched loggia to the west elevation (now blocked).

The building became the administrative headquarters of the Brothers of Charity in the early 20th century, operating as St Aidan s Care Home and remains in their ownership. The building is currently unoccupied (2009). The chapel adjoining the east end of the house was designed and built with great dedication, almost single-handedly by Brother Columba Farrelly over a 50 year period (1921-72).

The converted former coach/motor house, cottage and walled garden are contemporary with John Smith s early 19th century alterations to the house, adding to the wider contextual interest.

List description updated at resurvey in 2010. Minor updates to Description and Statement of Special Interest sections in 2017.



John Wood s Sketch Map of Melrose and Gattonside (1826).

RCAHMS, Plans and Elevations (1913-14), Lorimer and Matthew Collection, Ref G/1/1-5.

RCAHMS, Frontispiece of Catalogue of Antique Furniture and Plenishings, (1952) Ref: RAB 187FR, BibNo 9125.

RCAHMS, An Inventory of the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Roxburghshire: Vol. 2 (1956) pp 295-6, no. 575, Ref: A.1.1.INV/14. C A,

Borders and Berwick: An Illustrated Architectural Guide to the Scottish Borders and Tweed valley (1994).

Kitty Cruft, John Dunbar and Richard Fawcett, The Buildings of Scotland - Borders (2006) pp. 318-9.

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.

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