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
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
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
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
Change of Category B to A 25.4.89.
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