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.

PRESTON, NORTHFIELD HOUSE, INCLUDING BOUNDARY WALLS, GATES, GATEPIERS AND CORNER BARTIZANLB17560

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
A
Group Category Details
100000019 - see notes
Date Added
05/02/1971
Local Authority
East Lothian
Planning Authority
East Lothian
Parish
Prestonpans
NGR
NT 38915 73921
Coordinates
338915, 673921

Description

Late 16th century; NW wing and alteration of 1611, with later alterations of 1730 and 1950s. 3-storey and attic L-plan mansion. Harled, with ashlar dressings. Crowstepped gable to left at rear. Slated roofs. Chamfered margins to ground and 1st floor windows.

N (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: 6-bay, asymmetrical. Projecting gabled bay to right, comprising lean-to vehicular addition at ground, with vertically-boarded folding timber doors and timber lintel to street, modern door centred at return to left; window centred at 2nd floor, flanked by 3-light corbelled corner turrets. Window to left return, at 1st floor. Large circular stair tower breaking eaves, to re-entrant angle, including vertically-boarded studded timber door with roll-moulded jambs to left at ground, thumbnail-bead string course between 1st and 2nd floors, window centred at 2nd floor. Irregular fenestration to left of stair tower, including pair of gabled dormerheads with decorative finials, breaking eaves at 2nd floor.

E ELEVATION: angle to right chamfered at ground. Small single window at 1st floor to left; pair of 3-light corbelled corner turrets with conical roofs to outer left and right at 2nd floor (see above and below).

S (REAR) ELEVATION: 8-bay, asymmetrical with penultimate bay from left rising to crow-stepped gable, truncated to left, incorporating dovecot with 4 flight ports symmetrically arranged in square opening, 3-light corbelled angle turrets with conical roofs, to outer left and right at 2nd floor. 2-leaf vertically-boarded timber door to right of centre at ground, with roll-moulded jambs incorporating inscription reading 'Excep the Lord Buld In Wane Bulds Man' (sic), tooled decorative shield centred in lintel, divided per pale with arms of Marjoribanks and Simpson, the initials 'IM' and 'MS' and date 1611, surmounted by broken pediment with decorative finials; vertically-boarded studded timber door in penultimate bay from left at ground; 4 irregularly-spaced windows at ground; 7 irregularly spaced windows at 1st floor; 5 irregularly-spaced windows at 2nd floor, comprising window to left of gable, small window hugging eaves, 3 gabled dormerheads breaking eaves, with thistle finial to window to outer right.

W ELEVATION: 3 irregularly-spaced windows at 1st floor; pair of gabled dormerheads breaking eaves, with decorative finials, at 2nd floor; pair of 3-light corbelled corner turrets with conical roofs, to outer left and right at 2nd floor (see N and S elevations).

INTERIOR: early 19th century spiral stair from ground to 1st floor in N stair tower; scale and platt stair in main block. Renaissance tempera ceiling and wall paintings, including wall painting of dog and painted ceiling to principal floor bedroom. Painted ceiling to Dining Room, with foliage and fruit motifs; Georgian ceiling and cornice now removed; later black marble fireplace and 1703 timber panelling. Partial remains of original hall fireplace to 1st floor reception hall. Archway in former larder off reception hall. N wall of 1st floor corridor contains possible window arch to former great hall. 2nd floor gallery: remains of wall painting to SE corner; fireplace (from Woolmet House). Barrel vaulted kitchen with arched fireplace and cellars to main block; decorative geometric pattern of east gable kitkchen flagstones similar to hall floor of 1548 at Tolquhon Castle, Gordon.

BOUNDARY WALLS, GATES, GATEPIERS AND CORNER BARTIZAN: random rubble walls with semicircular rubble coping, including crenellated corbelled angle bartizan folly to NW corner; red brick walls with semicircular rubble coping, to E. Pair of corniced square-plan gatepiers flanking vertically boarded studded vehicular gates to left at street, with decorative pyramid and ball finial (missing to E gatepier); design repeated in pair of dividing piers within wall to street.

Predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows, some barred at ground. Graded grey slate roof; stone ridges; 3 vertically-boarded timber-fronted rectangular dormers to S elevation; roof swept over conical turret roofs. Cast-iron rainwater goods. Shouldered wallhead and gablehead stacks; corniced, with circular cans.

Statement of Special Interest

A Group with Northfield House Dovecot (see separate listing). Joseph Marjoribanks altered George Hamilton's original house (late 16th century) in the early 17th century to include the projecting NW wing creating the current L-plan form, and the southern entrance and scale-and-platt stair. The stair turret replaced an earlier turret which was used as the principal entrance. The house was sold to the Syme family in 1703 and they subdivided rooms to incorporate a fashionable interior, including the creation of two rooms and a corridor out of the former Great Hall. These eighteenth century partitions hid and ultimately saved Northfield's 17th century tempera ceiling and wall paintings in the principal rooms. The hanging of a gas chandelier in the 1890s revealed a painted bunch of grapes on the underside of a removed floorboard, but it was not until the 1950s when Schomberg Scott removed much of the Georgian plasterwork, that the spectacularly preserved ceiling paintings, including images of fruit, flowers, birds and animals, were revealed. W Schomberg Scott, architect to the National Trust for Scotland, who lived at Northfield from 1951 to 1997, decided not to restore the former ceilings, but to maintain them in an unrestored state. W F Lyon's sketch of Northfield in 1868 (NMRS) is of interest as it shows the towers as they were originally, with pepperpot caps.

References

Bibliography

EDINBURGH ARCHITECTURAL ASSOCIATION SKETCH BOOK, VOL II (1878-79), plate 50; A Eddington, EDINBURGH AND THE LOTHIANS AT THE OPENING OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY (1904), pp95, 303; RCAHMS, INVENTORY OF MONUMENTS AND CONSTRUCTIONS IN THE COUNTY OF EAST LOTHIAN (1924), pp104-5; D MacGibbon and T Ross, THE CASTELLATED AND DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTLAND, Vol II (1971), p183; C McWilliam, LOTHIAN (1978), pp391-3; N Allen, SCOTTISH INTERIORS - RENAISSANCE (1987), pp40-47; D MacMillan, SCOTTISH ART 1460-1990 (1990), pp52-53; D Howard, SCOTTISH ARCHITECTURE FROM REFORMATION TO RESTORATION 1560-1660 (1995), pp67, 95.

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 www.historicenvironment.scot/advice-and-support. You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at designations@hes.scot.

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Printed: 23/07/2019 10:43