1813-15, James Gillespie Graham (with John Smith of Darnick superintending); 1890 additions to rear and SW by George Henderson; 1926 additions to NE by Rowand Anderson and Paul (see Notes). 2-storey and attic, irregular-plan, castellated Tudor-Gothic revival mansion house occupying fine hillside location. Coursed, dark brown whinstone with pale sandstone dressings. Chamfered base course; ground floor cill course; corbelled and machicolated parapet. Irregular fenestration with chamfered margins.
FURTHER DESCRIPTION: SE ELEVATION (PRINCIPAL BLOCK): roughly 7-bays; castellated port-cochere to centre with turret corner angles, wide Tudor-arch openings and stepped parapet on corbelled brackets; 2-leaf timber door. Heavily machicolated tower above with large Tudor-arch window. Square corner tower to outer left with pointed-arch slit windows and corbelled bartizan. Outer bay to right flanked by turreted octagonal towers with blind-slit windows.
Further wing to right: recessed section with low string course and cill course; bipartite windows above with large quatrepartite dormer window to centre; advanced 3-storey gabled section to far right with square-plan oriel to 1st floor and Tudor-arch moulding with date panel above.
SW ELEVATION: large, leaded and traceried, pointed-arch stair window recessed to centre. Gabled section to left; large canted-bay to left with pierced parapet and mullioned and transomed 5-light window above; round-arched moulding to apex with ball and cup finial. Banded octagonal corner tower to W angle.
NW (REAR) ELEVATION: roughly 10-bay with strong horizontal emphasis. Interupted string and blocking courses. Irrgular fenestration. Large Tudor-arched Venetian window to centre (kitchen). Flat-roof dormers to centre. Gable to far left mirroring opposing gable at SE elevation. Ornamental arcaded retaining wall behind with 3 recessed openings.
Wide variety of narrow stone mullioned, traceried and leaded casement windows, many with pierced decorative timber frames to principal elevation. Grey slate. Piended roofs. Groups of tall, broad octagonal and castellated stacks to ridge and wallhead. Clay cans. Garden steps from Port-Cochere to terraced lawn with paved area with cube-headed stone sundial to centre.
INTERIOR: entrance hall with ribbed plaster ceiling; principal staircase leading off; early 19th century stone fireplace, timber panelling and floor. Decorative gothic cast-iron balustrade to staircase. Library with marble chimney-piece, fitted bookshelves and cupboards and timber dado. Drawing room with moulded chimneypiece; plaster cornice. Plaster-panel walls to dining room. Predominantly marble chimneypieces to 1st floor rooms; decorative cornicing. Timber wine bins to cellar.
GARDEN COTTAGES AND WALLED GARDEN: pair of single-storey and attic, L-plan, piend-roofed cottages in symmetrical arrangement forming U-plan with cobbled courtyard to rear. Whinstone rubble with sandstone dressings. Tall tripartite pointed-arch windows to ground at gable ends. Co-axial stacks with clay cans. Large walled garden to immediate S with additional curved wall to SW. Timber-framed lean-to glass house to centre of N wall. Open on S side (orchard area).
GARAGE/FORMER STABLE: long rectangular-plan gabled building to NE of house. Roughcast stone and brick. Double garage to far right; single garage to centre with internal staircase to hayloft above; workshop/store room to lower section to far left. Diminutive pyramid-capped outbuilding to NE angle with decorative weathervane.
Statement of Special Interest
B-Group with Bowland Policies, North Lodge And Gate (see separate listing).
Bowland is a very fine early 19th Century Castellated Tudor-Gothic mansion house of substantial proportions on a prominent hill-side site incorporating several phases of construction and rebuilding. Free use is made of densely-massed Tudor-revival design elements with the consistent use of dark whinstone throughout helping to convey the sense of an homogenous whole. Its heavily machicolated parapet, squared corner tower, large mullioned Tudor-arch windows, turreted porte-cochere and fine entrance hall all contribute to its distinctive appearance.
Early records indicate that an earlier 16th Century house was built on the site by the Archbishop of St. Andrews as a hunting lodge. The house, probably is refered to as 'Bullen House' on Roy's Military Map of 1747-55, which is a verbal corruption of 'Bowland'. General Alexander Walker purchased the estate in 1809, incorporating parts of this earlier house behind the Castellated-Tudor-Gothic additions by eminent 19th Century architect James Gillespie Graham. Master mason, John Smith of Darnick, who superintended, built Abbotsford for Sir Walter Scott. The principal elevation shares a number of elements with Culdees Castle (see separate listing) in Perth and Kinross, also by Gillespie Graham. The remaining sections of the earlier house were demolished to accommodate additions to the rear by Edinburgh architect George Henderson in 1890. The central tower section and parapet conceals a large water tank on the roof.
Further additions by Rowand Anderson and Paul in 1926 include the 3-storey gable W wing with square-plan oriel window. Set within the retaining wall to the rear of the house are three carved stone slabs brought from India by General Walker. The Bowland North Lodge (circa 1818 -see separate listing) uses similar Castellated Gothic details and it is likely that Gillespie Graham or John Smith of Darnick also had a hand in its design.
List description updated as part of Stow Parish resurvey (2009).