Statement of Special Interest
Dating to the mid-18th century 2A, 2B and 4A Drummond Street is a group of traditional burgh houses which retains features typical of its date and building type. While the houses have had some alterations to their window openings and interior the overall mid-18th century character of the group's exterior has been retained. Built during the early rebuilding of Muthill following its substantial destruction in 1716, the houses are prominently located in the historic core of the village next to the Old Church and Tower and form part of the village's early social history. Set slightly forward from the other buildings on Drummond Street, they make an important contribution to the historic streetscape character of the village.
Age and Rarity
2A, 2B and 4A Drummond Street is located in the historic core of Muthill next to the Old Church and Tower (scheduled monument SM90225) and where the converging roads widen to form The Cross. In the medieval period the church and tower (parts of which date from the 12th century) formed an important ecclesiastical site in the area and the village was a settlement of some status.
Muthill underwent substantial change in the 18th century during the 1715 Jacobite uprising. After the Battle of Sheriffmuir in 1716 retreating Jacobite forces burned the village and a number of others in the Strathern area.
Following the 1715 uprising military roads were commissioned to allow government troops to move more easily into and around the Highlands. In 1742 the existing road that passed through Muthill from Stirling to Crieff was upgraded. This included Drummond Street, which was laid out as a long straight street running westward from the Cross. After the military road was improved the village was developed by the Drummond Earls of Perth and houses were rebuilt. Most of the terraced houses forming the core of Muthill today date from this rebuilding period from the mid-18th to the early 19th century.
On Roy's Military Survey of the Highlands (1747-52) Muthill is shown with the military road running through the village. Clusters of buildings are shown around the Old Church and the Cross. Along the straight military road to the west of the Cross the eastern end of Drummond Street, at what is now 2A, 2B and 4A, is shown laid out with buildings on either side of the street.
It is likely that 2A, 2B and 4A Drummond Street was built as part of the early planned development of Muthill following the laying out of the military road in the 1740s. Located in the historic centre of the village the building may retain earlier fabric. Features such as the largely symmetrical street elevation and the first floor windows positioned close to the eaves also indicate that a mid-18th century date for the building is likely.
The footprint of 2A, 2B and 4A Drummond Street can be seen on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map (surveyed 1863, published 1865) as an L-plan group of four buildings. This footprint broadly corresponds to the footprint of the buildings as they exist today.
An image of the buildings from 1962 shows them in use as a shop and café (CANMORE SC 1613868). The listed building record of 1971 also notes that the buildings contained a shop and café at that time. Since this date in the late 20th to early 21st century the buildings have been converted to solely residential use and some of the door and window openings have been reconfigured as a result. The 1962 image shows a door opening and large shop window at the ground floor right bay on the principal elevation. These openings have been reconfigured to form a pair of windows. The first floor window on the west elevation has also been reconfigured and enlarged.
All buildings erected before 1840 which are of notable quality and survive predominantly in their original form have a strong case for listing. While mid-18th century terraced houses in villages in Scotland are not a rare building type, many have been significantly altered.
Dating to the mid-18th century the buildings at 2A, 2B and 4A Drummond Street largely retain their streetscape character following some moderate alterations and changes of use over time. While some of the ground floor openings have been reconfigured, the windows at the first floor, the roofline and the footprint of the buildings remain largely unchanged. This group of houses appears to have been amongst the earlier buildings rebuilt in Muthill following its destruction in 1716 and this of interest within the history of the village.
Their larger scale in comparison to neighbouring terraces on Drummond Street indicates that they were buildings of some status. They also remain a prominent group of houses in the village because of their central location.
Architectural or Historic Interest
Sales particulars produced by Irving Geddes of 4A Drummond Street from 2018 show that the interiors have been modernised in the late 20th to early 21st century and no features of the 18th or 19th century decorative scheme are evident. Images of the interior of 4A Drummond Street provided in 2018 confirm that no historic features remain and show that the ground floor of the property is undergoing reconfiguration.
The interiors of 2A and 2B Drummond Street were not seen and have not been assessed.
With the current available information there is no known special interest under this heading.
The current L-plan footprint of the group of buildings is evident on both the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map (surveyed 1863, published 1865) and 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey map (surveyed 1899, published 1900). On both of these maps the group appears as three separate properties as it does today.
It is common that terraced houses of this date have been altered at the rear with extensions to provide additional accommodation. The rear of 2A, 2B and 4A Drummond Street, however, adjoins the burial ground of the Old Church and has not been extended. The buildings therefore retain their 18th century footprint.
Images of the interior of 4A Drummond Street provided by the owner in 2018 show that the plan form of the ground floor of the property is undergoing reconfiguration.
The houses 2A and 2B Drummond Street have been converted from commercial to residential use in the late 20th to early 21st with alterations to the ground floor openings of the street elevation. It is likely that the internal plan form of these houses has also been altered as a result of these changes.
Technological excellence or innovation, material or design quality
The principal street elevation and west elevation of this group of buildings have undergone some remodelling over the years however they continue to show their mid-18th century date. The first floor windows are evenly spaced and set close to the eaves and this arrangement is typical of village architecture of this period.
Compared with many of the buildings on Drummond Street and Willoughby Street the group of properties at 2A, 2B and 4A Drummond Street is slightly larger with widely spaced window openings. The scrolled club skewput at the east gable to the churchyard is a distinctive detail that adds interest to the streetscape elevation.
The buildings are prominently located in the village, near to The Cross, the former market place in Muthill and its historic centre. This location is also the junction of the villages' two principal streets, Drummond Street and Willoughby Street.
The key landmarks in Muthill, including the old and new parish churches, are concentrated around The Cross. 2A, 2B and 4A Drummond Street can be seen in key views of these landmarks from the village. For example, the building is the most prominent structure on the street when approaching northwards from Willoughby Street where it occupies the foreground of the view of the Old Church and Tower. From Drummond Street looking east towards the new parish church the building stands out in the streetscape with its harled west gable set forward from the line of buildings in the street.
The character of the village is largely derived from the traditional houses feued by Drummond Castle Estate on Drummond Street and Willoughby Street from the earlier 18th to late 19th century. The immediate setting of these buildings has not changed significantly since the mid-19th century.
2A, 2B and 4A Drummond Street make an important contribution to the streetscape and social history of Muthill as a substantial group of two-storey, mid-18th century terrace houses representing the early rebuilding of the town.
The building is located within Muthill Conservation Area (CA586).
There are no known regional variations.
Close Historical Associations
There are no known associations with a person or event of national importance at present (2018).
Statutory address and listed building record revised in 2018. Previously listed as 'Muthill, Drummond Street (N) Macrae Building'.