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.


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Group Category Details
100000019 - (see NOTES)
Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Scottish Borders
Planning Authority
Scottish Borders
NT 33119 35380
333119, 635380


Dated 1834. Circular-plan summerhouse with thatched conical roof. Softwood frame and lathes. Internal finish of willow or hazel twigs. Heather-thatched external walls. Overhanging reed-thatched roof. Two-pointed arched openings.

Interior: herringbone pattern walls. Date '1834' and coronet cipher inlaid in contrasting materials. Continuous arcaded bench (most supports missing). Circular pedestal table of matching hazel twigs. Heather ceiling with contrasting star detail and ribs.

Statement of Special Interest

A-Group with Traquair House (LB15429), Exedra (LB49401), Bridge on East Drive (LB49397), East Lodge (LB49399), Tearoom (LB49403), Estate Office (LB49400), Craft Workshops (LB49398), Walled Garden (LB49404), Gardener s Cottage (LB49402), Bear Gates and Avenuehead Cottages (LB15430).

This summerhouse is sited to the southeast of the house in what was once (on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map) a rectangular area regimentally laid out with trees. It is believed the summerhouse was constructed during the tenure of Charles VII and last Earl of Traquair. When he inherited a debt ridden Traquair, he streamlined the estate and managed to carry out a programme of modernisation and farm building. He was also an eccentric and curious man who enjoyed gaining fresh knowledge on a range of astonishing subjects. He enjoyed sharpening razors and disliked wasps (he regularly employed the village children in paid wasp hunts). The summerhouse appears to be one of his less eccentric projects. Similar examples of summerhouses, "moss or heath houses" are illustrated by McIntosh and Loudon.

The summerhouses were known more precisely by the plant that was used between the upright twigs of the structure. Not only did this weatherproof the structure but also gave a natural appearing habitat for the plants. If different types of mosses were used, it was known as a moss house (or mossery) and if heather was used it was known as a heath house. McIntosh expected such structures to last approximately 40 years. The Traquair summerhouse is a particularly remarkable survivor as it still contains the original internal fittings. The exterior walls were most recently re-thatched in 1990.

It is among a relatively small number of buildings with a thatched roof found across Scotland. A Survey of Thatched Buildings in Scotland, published in 2016 by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB), found there were only around 200 buildings with thatched roof.

Listed building record revised in 2019 as part of the Thatched Buildings Listing Review 2017-19.



Canmore Canmore ID 218448.


Thomson, J. (1821, published in Atlas Of Scotland, 1832) Peeblesshire showing earlier structure.

1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map (circa 1857) 1:10506 scale showing summerhouse.

Printed Sources

Loudon, J.C. (1822) An Encyclopedia of Gardening, pp.400-401.

McIntosh, C. (1853) The Book of the Garden, pp.707-711.

Maxwell Stuart, P. and F. (reprinted 2000) Traquair Guidebook.

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings Scotland (2016) A Survey of Thatched Buildings in Scotland. London: SPAB. p.358.

Online Sources

Historic Environment Scotland (2018) Scotland's Thatched Buildings: Introductory Designations Report at

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 You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to TRAQUAIR HOUSE POLICIES, SUMMERHOUSE

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 25/06/2019 16:37