Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.

GARDENS HOUSE AND WALLED GARDEN, PITLOUR HOUSE, STRATHMIGLOLB17435

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
B
Date Added
17/10/1973
Local Authority
Fife
Planning Authority
Fife
Parish
Strathmiglo
NGR
NO 20623 10918
Coordinates
320623, 710918

Description

GARDENS HOUSE: early 19th century. Single storey and attic, symmetrical 3-bay, rectangular-plan Gothick gardener's house with distinctive gothic-arched windows and deep eaves with exposed rafter ends to south of walled garden. Semi-circular arched doorways with 2-leaf timber doors to front and rear elevations with Gothic pointed lights in upper parts. Red dressed stone, cream freestone dressings to front and side elevations, rear elevation rubble with cherry cocking and red sandstone dressings. Situated to north of walled garden. Base course, eaves course, long and short quoins.

Pointed windows with Y-tracery, lying panes to timber casements in lower part, diagonal shafted stacks, grey slate roof.

WALLED GARDEN: mainly early 19th century, probably dating from 1802-3. Large, roughly square-plan walled garden with 4 ashlar chimneys, quatrefoil opening, and fragments of hot houses to north on raised terrace; timber doorway giving access to former potting sheds outside garden to north. Main entrance to south side; entrance for occupants of Pitlour House at east side through timber door. Droved red squared rubble with cream quoins and dressings and simple ashlar cope; partly brick to north elevation.

Statement of Special Interest

The Gardens House, designed in the contemporary Gothick or cottage ornée style, is a striking little-altered externally early 19th century cottage. It is located in a picturesque position adjacent to the walled garden dating to the same period. Both buildings are significant components of the group of late 18th and early 19th century Pitlour estate policies. Early maps show that the original approach to the house was via the west drive or ladies walk or from a small arched gate in the park wall.

Pitlour estate was entailed in 1787. Under the Montgomery Act of 1770 (c.51), owners of entailed estates were allowed to charge their estates with three-quarters of the cost of improvements which they made. Intimation of intended improvements and a record of expenditure on them had to be registered in sheriff courts. Various improvements were made between 1812 and 1822 under this Act and a number of the estate buildings including the Gardens House may date from this period

It is difficult to date the house precisely. The picturesque details are almost certainly derived from pattern books of rural cottages and villas, many of which were published in the first half of the 19th century. However these details continued to be used on lodges and other garden buildings throughout the 19th century. The OS 1st Edition map confirms that a building existed on this site by the mid-1850s. The building had a small wing at the rear at that time but this was removed and it is likely that the rear wall was rebuilt using the cherry cocking as an economical way of using a limited amount of stone. Possibly the embellishments were added at the same time as rebuilding the back wall, rather than their being part of the original building but there is no clear evidence to substantiate this.

Census records show that there was more than one house for gardeners on the estate by the 1870s at least if not before. In the 1830s Mr Berry was the gardener at Pitlour and was active in local horticultural shows both as an exhibitor and as a judge. It is not yet clear where he lived. He had moved to a different job by 1841. By the 1870s there was both 'Bothy Pitlour Gardens' and 'Pitlour Gardens House'. The bothy accommodated junior members of staff at this date until at least 1901. The Gardens House was the accommodation for more senior gardening staff. In 1851 Robert Whytock, master gardener, was living there with a journeyman and an apprentice. In the 1860s the Laing family were gardeners at Pitlour. However they also gardened at Wellfield to the W of Pitlour and lived at Wellfield Gardens House. In 1871 John Cunnison, the head gardener lived there with his wife and daughter. From 1881 William Law, head gardener was living there with his wife and continued to do so until his death in 1898. Law had worked at Pitlour from the 1870s, exhibiting at local horticultural shows from that date. In 1901 the Gardens House was home of the head gardener, William Letterson, with his wife and family.

The walled garden is substantial walls and probably dates from 1802-03 as indicated by the datestone above the timber door in the east wall. Although a walled garden may have existed from the time 16th century when the earlier Pitlour House was built, the present walled garden is likely to date from about 1802-03 when much other work was undertaken of the estate.

Another datestone (1503) is incorporated elsewhere in the garden walls and a stone with the initials of Patrick Moncrieff of Reidie & Myres taken for a chimneypiece at Myres Castle has also been incorporated. The connection between Myres and Pitlour came about because Helen Skene, who had married George Moncrieff of Reedie and Myres in 1746, inherited Pitlour in 1805. Their grandson, Patrick Moncrieff, inherited the estate in 1825. This part of the wall must have been rebuilt around or after this time.

The wall behind the raised terrace where the glasshouses stood is partly of brick (and incorporates a lozenge pattern). These brick sections were to accommodate unusual horizontal ashlar chimneys to provide heat for the glasshouses.

Listed building record and statutory address updated, 2014.

References

Bibliography

Fife Herald (1 October 1835) (28 September 1837. Present on OS 1st edition map (1856). Dunfermline Press (13 December 1860) Dundee Courier (14 September 1872) (12 November 1898). Census records for Strathmiglo and Abernethy parishes. G Seton & A Moncrieff, The House of Moncrieff (1890). C McWilliam, 'Pitlour' Scotland's Magazine (October 1960). R D A Evetts, 'Pitlour House and Landscape: An Account of Its Development' (unpublished research report, March 2014).

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The statutory listing address is the legal part of the listing. The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. For information about curtilage see www.historicenvironment.scot. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. 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 Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. 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 current legislation.

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Printed: 20/11/2018 07:28