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- Category: A
- Date Added: 09/06/1971
- Supplementary Information Updated: 25/09/1998
- Local Authority: Scottish Borders
- Planning Authority: Scottish Borders
- Parish: Swinton
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NT 81825 47086
- Coordinates: 381825, 647086
Dated 1800 with later additions and alterations. 2-storey with basement and attic, plain classical style house with asymmetrical 6 bay elevation to front (later addition); symmetrical, bowed bay at rear; lower 2-storey, 5-bay rectangular-plan wing adjoined to SW. Lightly droved coursed sandstone ashlar (rendered repairs in part); ashlar dressings; tooled and coursed sandstone to SW. Raised base course; raised string courses dividing floors; sandstone mutules beneath corniced eaves; projecting cills. Coursed and tooled sandstone to adjoining wing; tooled and droved sandstone dressings; projecting cills.
NW (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: steps to pedimented entrance in penultimate bay to outer left comprising timber panelled door, flanking pilasters, Tuscan Doric columns to front beneath heavy pediment. Single window aligned at 1st floor; single windows at all floors in bay to outer left. Full-height projecting pedimented bay off set to left of centre with single windows at all floors. Regularly fenestrated in remaining 3 bays recessed to right.
NE (SIDE) ELEVATION: 4-bay. Slightly advanced pedimented bay to outer right with single windows at all floors; regularly fenestrated in remaining bays to left. Single window in projecting porch recessed to outer right.
SE (REAR) ELEVATION: 5-bay elevation to main house with single windows at all floors in bays to outer left and right; regularly fenestrated, full-height, 3-bay shallow bow at centre. 2-storey wing adjoined to outer left with boarded timber door at ground in bay to outer right; plate glass fanlight; single window aligned at 1st floor. Single windows at both floors in 3 bays to left. Glazed door at ground in bay to outer left; single window aligned above.
SW (SIDE) ELEVATION: projecting 2-storey wing to outer right with single windows at ground; single window at 1st floor in bay to outer left; exterior stair to part-glazed timber door in bay to outer right. Main house recessed to left with irregularly spaced single windows at all floors; sandstone plaque at 1st floor inscribed ?MDCCC?. Entrance front advanced to outer left with single windows at all floors (blind at 1st floor). Square-plan, pyramidal capped piers flanking courtyard entrance; range of single storey outbuildings within.
12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows (some painted imitation windows); various skylights. Grey slate piend and platform roof; some decorative rainwater goods. Predominantly corniced sandstone stacks; various cans.
INTERIOR: entrance hall with timber panelled door to right accessing main stair comprising timber treads, decorative uprights, timber handrail. Separate door accessing top-lit inner hall with decorative timber fire surround; architraved surrounds to double timber panelled doors accessing reception rooms and service quarters; large rectangular opening enclosed at 1st floor with decorative Chinese/Chippendale style timber balustrades to landing; glazed ceiling light; compartmental ceiling. Near square plan study to left; rectangular-plan drawing room set behind with timber skirting boards, timber dado rail, decorative cornice, marble fireplace, timber shutters. Bowed sitting room at rear with fine timber skirting and dado rails, decorative cornice, broken pediments surmounting doors, replacement fireplace, timber shutters. Rectangular-plan dining room to front with timber skirting board, decorative cornice, ceiling rose, timber shutters, fireplace. Kitchen and separate apartment to SW with decorative nursery (?) wallpaper revealed in part. Interconnecting 1st floor rooms set around central opening; further storerooms and bedrooms in attic. Service stair accessing basement and upper floors comprising timber treads, plain uprights, timber handrail. Former service quarters in basement with service bells in place; rooms include former servants' hall, gun room, milk house, beer and wine cellars, scullery and pantry. Various cast iron fireplaces and ranges in place; decorative stencil work revealed in part.
Statement of Special Interest
B Group with the Quadrant Walls, Railings, Piers, Gatepiers & Gates at the East and North Lodges, the Walled Garden including Greenhouse, Gatepiers, Gates, Gardener?s Cottage and Ancillary Structure, the Stables and East Lodge (see separate list entries). Dated 1800, this "...elegant modern mansion" was "...successor to one of great antiquity" (Groome, 1885) - itself destroyed by fire in the late 18th century. It has been suggested that the 2-storey wing, today adjoined to the SW and housing a separate apartment, may be a remnant from this earlier house. The asymmetrical entrance front, dominated by its off-centre, pedimented doorpiece and set forward from the plain, early 19th century core, may well derive from a later date (although the Ordnance Survey map shows it in place by 1858). In a sale brochure dated 1884, the house was described as "...substantial and commodious...supplied with all the modern conveniences...The stables and offices, which are conveniently situated, are extensive and in first-rate order." No longer home to the Swintons (lairds here from the 12th century), Swinton House remains the most significant house in the parish. Furthermore, with much of its original detailing intact, its surrounding estate in place, and its associated buildings little changed, both its architectural and historical significance should be viewed in a wider context.
SRO RHP3352. Thomson map, 1821 (evident). HOMES OF BERWICKSHIRE (photographic collection, 1875). F H Groome ORDNANCE GAZETTEER (1885) p424. C A Strang BORDERS AND BERWICK: AN ILLUSTRATED ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE (1998) p61. NMRS photographic records BW/904, BW/1227, BW/1228, BW/1229, BW/1230, BWD/83/1, BWD/83/2, BWD/83/3, BWD/83/4. Swinton Post Office photographic archive.
Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for the designation of buildings, monuments, gardens and designed landscapes and historic battlefields. We also advise Scottish Ministers on the designation of historic marine protected areas.
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