Built originally around 1862, Inchgarth House was extensively extended and internally altered by Alexander Marshall Mackenzie in 1897. The building is 2-storey, roughly rectangular-plan and with a curved single storey Ionic portico at the south (principal) elevation and several deep-set pediments at the wallhead. It is of Aberdeen bonded granite with a base course, quoined corners, cornice and raised cills. There is an advanced single-storey entrance porch to the east elevation with a 2-leaf timber entrance door. The west elevation has a single storey tripartite bay window to the right and a curved 2-storey bay to left.
The windows are predominantly 4-pane glazing in timber sash and case frames. The roof has grey slates, a coped ridge and tall wallhead chimney stacks with decorative panels.
The interior was partially seen in 2014. There is a large timber panelled hall with parquet flooring, a timber staircase with decorative balusters and newel posts and a round-arched screen with fluted Ionic timber columns. Sales particulars of 2014 show the other rooms with extensive timber panelling and there are some carved timber fire surrounds.
There is a curved, rubble retaining wall forming a garden terrace to the southwest of house, with a balustrade and a central set of steps.
Statement of Special Interest
Designed largely by Alexander Marshall Mackenzie, one of Aberdeen's most prestigious architects, Inchgarth House mostly dates to 1897, with some earlier fabric. The house has a number of distinguishing architectural features, in particular the deep-set pediments, decorative stacks and the Ionic portico to the south elevation. It also has fine timberwork to its entrance hall. The house is set in extensive grounds and retains its 19th century sense of privacy.
Age and Rarity
Inchgarth House was constructed in two significant phases: 1862 and 1897. The 1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map, published in 1868, shows the property as L-plan, situated within its own, substantial wooded grounds. Alexander Marshall Mackenzie extended the property to the north in 1897 and added the Ionic portico to the south. The garden terrace is also likely to date to this period, and it is depicted on the 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey Map, published in 1901. Internally, the reception hall and the timberwork in the main rooms is most likely to date to this 1897 remodelling.
Inchgarth House is situated in the Pitfodels area of Aberdeen. The rural Pitfodels estate, which stretched from Cults to the Bridge of Dee, was owned by the Menzies family since the 15th century. From 1805 the last laird, John Menzies began to feu some of the estate and when he died in 1843, without any descendants the remaining estate was purchased by the Pitfodels Land Company. Brogden notes that the plots varied in size, but were as large as 8-10 acres along the side of the River Dee, where Inchgarth House is situated. An 1895 account describes it as follows "...The greater part of the lands of Pitfodels is now studded with beautiful mansions and villas, each of which stands amid well laid out and carefully kept grounds. They mostly belong to manufacturers and gentlemen engaged in business in Aberdeen, and retired gentlemen" (Mackintosh, p.29). Large villas surrounded by trees were erected in a number of the larger plots and these continue to be a feature of this area. Inchgarth House is one of only a few properties which have not been largely extended since the late 19th century and it retains its sense of privacy within its own grounds.
The period from 1870 -1905 was a boom time in the construction of domestic architecture in Scotland and villas were a popular building type, particularly in the suburbs of cities. Built during this time, Inchgarth House has good quality detailing and retains much of its 19th century setting.
Architectural or Historic Interest
The entrance hall is a major feature of the interior of Inchgarth House, and was created at a time when an entrance hall space was a significant feature of domestic properties, as they provided a welcoming space which could also be used for relaxing. With its dominant, highly decorative timber staircase, extensive timber panelling and parquet flooring, the hall at Inchgarth House is particularly fine.
Inchgarth House has a long, rectangular plan form, which is not exceptional. Information from the sales particulars of 2014 indicate that the house has been divided into 3 separate apartments.
Technological excellence or innovation, material or design quality
Inchgarth House is constructed from granite, which is the predominant building material in Aberdeen and is standard for houses in the city. The Aberdeen bonding used for the stonework is a particular feature of the northeast of Scotland and adds a specific regional aspect to the property. Inchgarth House was constructed at a time when it was possible to achieve high quality, intricate detailing in granite, however such detailing was more common on public and commercial buildings. There is some external decoration at Inchgarth House, such as the deep-set pediments and decorative stacks. The Ionic portico is a distinctive addition to this property which was added to increase the grandeur of the residence.
Alexander Marshall Mackenzie (1848-1933) was one of Aberdeen's most prestigious and prolific architects, whose output extended over private commissions and large public works. His work was mainly concentrated in the northeast of Scotland, and includes the frontage of Marischal College in Aberdeen (1893-1905) (LB20096) and Aberdeen Art Gallery (1885) (LB19978). He was also responsible for Australia House in London (1913-1918).
Inchgarth House is situated within its own wooded grounds and is not visible from the public road. The house retains much of its 19th century sense of privacy, and the rubble terrace garden wall adds to the impression of it being a grand country house. Large houses which retain their setting within large wooded spaces are a feature of the Pitfodels Conservation Area.
The building is constructed from granite in an Aberdeen bonding pattern, which is a distinctive bonding pattern particular to the northeast of Scotland.
Close Historical Associations
There are no known associations with a nationally important person or event (2016).
Statutory address and listed building record revised in 2016. Previously listed as 'Inchgarth, Garthdee Road'.