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


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NJ 41463 62449
341463, 862449


Dated 1802. Possibly John Paterson, Edinburgh. Mansion house

on earlier site linked at NE to earlier service pavilion by

curved quadrant. N facing 2-storey and dormerless attic

mansion over raised basement, wide 3 bays. Pinned rubble

front, contrasting tooled ashlar dressings; harled or harl

pointed rubble elsewhere. Slightly advanced and pedimented

centre bay in N entrance front with doorway approached by

splayed flight of steps oversailing raised basement; wide

corniced and pilastered ashlar doorpiece incorporating

narrow side lights and large square fanlight with decorative

glazing; double-leaf panelled doors. Keystoned Venetian

window above.

Advanced centre bay in S (garden) front with ground floor

Venetian window and tripartite (blind centre light) above.

Mid 20th century single storey over raised basement kitchen

wing in SW re-entrance angle with balcony and steps leading

to garden.

2-bay E and W gables, the extra long W raised ground floor

windows (lighting drawing room) fronted by small cast-iron

balconies. Between these windows, but overgrown with

vegetation, is a reset 1666 datestone; small oval oculus

between 1st floor windows. Decorated and dated 1802 rainwater

head at E gable; long 1st floor windows; 2 sunken attic

windows in piended roof at E and W gables; multi-pane

glazing. Pair long centre coped flues; piended platform slate


INTERIOR: D-ended entrance lobby; beaded panelled dado and

doors, opening right to drawing room and left to dining room;

centre doorway leads to stairhall; bucrania frieze,

decorative centre plaster rose.

STAIRHALL: narrow and bowed each end, top lit cantilevered

staircase rises full-height with delicate decorative

cast-iron balusters and polished wooden handrail.

DRAWING ROOM: beaded panelled dados, window shutters and

doors; corniced overdoors with carved floral decoration;

white marble chimneypiece with cluster columns; moulded

plaster ceiling cornice.

DINING ROOM: panelling as drawing room; decorative corniced

overdoors with carved ferns and flowers; moulded plaster

ceiling cornice. No original chimneypiece survives.

PARLOUR: small S facing parlour; basket grate within

re-assembled marble chimneypiece; panelling as elsewhere.

1ST FLOOR: some D-ended rooms; beaded panelling; simple


ATTIC: 4 D-ended rooms; decorative cast-iron basket grates

survive; moulded dado rails. Rooms open into shaped closets

formed between curved party walls. Later built-in chests of

drawers in window embrasures.

SERVICE WING: later 18th century 2-storey W service wing of

earlier mansion linked to house by curved corridor quadrant

with convex NE face harled with regular arcade of engaged

Doric columns and corniced blocking course. Re-faced N gable

of wing of coursed pinned rubble, harl pointed rubble

elsewhere, tooled and polished ashlar dressings.

Wide segmental-headed recess in ground floor of N gable of

wing (facing entrance front) with centre window between

engaged Doric pilasters. Demi octagonal stairwell projects in

centre of W facing 3-bay front; varied glazing. Centre coped

ridge stack; piended Banffshire slate roof. Large garage door

slapped in E elevation.

INTERIOR: former ground floor kitchen gutted as garage. 1st

floor modernised as independent flatted dwelling reached by

curved staircase.

Small single storey outbuilding close to former kitchen with

bellcote and re-used lintel.

Statement of Special Interest

Until the 1970's Cairnfield was the ancestral home of the

Gordons of Cairnfield.

The service wing (mid-later 18th century former kitchen) is

similar to the 18th century mirrored wings at Rannas, also

Rathven parish, flanking the court fronting a former mansion.

The situation at Cairnfield may have been the same, but if

there was a mirrored service at the W it would have had to be

demolished as the land slopes steeply away westwards and the

present mansion takes up most of the levelled site.

Re-used 17th century lintel on outbuilding with monogram

which appears incorporate NG and 'Gloria in ......'

John Paterson, architect, Edinburgh (d.1832) practiced in

Elgin circa 1784-91. He had a predilection for circular and

D-ended rooms. Paterson is known to have worked in Moray

after his removal to Edinburgh in 1791 and is thought to have

worked for the Duke of Gordon (?Lakeside House, Gordon

Castle, 1800-1).

Change of Category B to A 25.4.89.



THE STATISTICAL ACCOUNT (1792-3, Witherington and Grant ed.



ACCOUNT (1842), p.255.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. 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 legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

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 1997 Act. 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 subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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